The Large Gender Gap in Awards of Degrees and Certificates to African Americans

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers information on the number of degrees and certificates awarded by colleges and universities in the United States during the 2016-17 academic year. The data is broken down by gender and racial and ethnic groups.

The data shows that in the 2016-17 academic year, African American men earned 197,737 degrees and certificates from Title IV educational institutions. These are institutions that qualify to participate in federal student financial assistance programs. Black women earned 371,596 degrees and certificates from these institutions. Thus, Black women earned 65.3 percent of all awards from these institutions.

Black women earned 83,642 associate’s degrees compared to 41,436 for Black men. Thus, women earned 66.9 percent of all associate’s degrees awarded to African Americans.

Black women received 64.1 percent of all bachelor’s degrees and 70.1 percent of all master’s degrees awarded to African Americans.

Black women earned 3,904 research doctorates in the 2016-17 academic year. This was 68 percent of all such degrees awarded to African Americans. In contrast, women earned 53 percent of all research doctorates awarded to White Americans.

Black women earned 64.4 percent of all professional practice doctorates awarded to African Americans. These include doctoral degrees in medicine, law, nursing practice, veterinary medicine and other professional fields.

The full report, Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2017-18; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2016-17; and 12-Month Enrollment: 2016-17: First Look, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. Lets be honest and bring some dose of reality here. Black women are graduating from and surpassing all female and male racial groups. However, Black women are also slapped with huge college debt that is upwards of a couple of hundred-thousand dollars. It takes time to build the experience and wealth after obtaining such accomplishments. Nevertheless, this is great news but there is an absolute price to pay for being “Uber-educated.”

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Black Film Project and Film Studies Fellowships Established at Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will direct the newly established Black Film Project, an initiative aiming to support independent films focusing on Black history and culture.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Academic Fields Where Blacks Earned Few or No Doctoral Degrees in 2022

In 2022, African Americans earned 1.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 1.2 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 1.7 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 1.7 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

Featured Jobs