The Persisting Racial Gap in Doctoral Degree Awards

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that universities in the United States conferred 55,006 doctorates in 2015.

Of these, 2,281, or 4.1 percent, were earned by African Americans. African Americans earned 6.5 percent of all doctoral degrees awarded to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of this country. Therefore, African Americans earned about one half the number of doctorates that would be the case if racial parity with the U.S. Black population prevailed.

Another 495 doctorates were awarded by U.S. universities to Black students from foreign nations. The number of doctorates awarded to Black scholars from foreign nations has increased by 35 percent since 2005.

The number of doctorates earned by African Americans in 2015 was up slightly from 2014. Since 2005, the number of African Americans earning doctoral degrees is up 31 percent. But the percentage of all doctoral degree recipients who are African Americans is increasing at only a snail’s pace. In 2005, Blacks were 6.2 percent of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who earned doctorates. In 2015 the figure was 6.5 percent.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs