Examining the Data on Black Enrollments in U.S. Graduate Schools

A new report from the Council on Graduate Schools provides data on graduate school enrollments by race and ethnicity. The report shows that in 2017, 49,482 Black students enrolled in graduate schools for the first time. They made up 11.9 percent of all first-time graduate students at U.S. universities. Of these first-time Black graduate students, 68.9 percent were women.

If we break down the data by broad academic field, we find that Blacks made up 18.8 percent of all first-time graduate students in public administration and more than 12 percent of all first-time graduates in the social sciences, education, and business. But Blacks were only 5.7 percent of all first-time graduate students in engineering and 3.7 percent in the physical and earth sciences.

If we look at total enrollments in U.S. graduate schools, we find that in 2017, there were 188,838 Black students. They made up 12.6 percent of all enrollments. There were 56,765 Black men and 130,006 Black women enrolled in graduate school.

In 2017, Blacks made up less than 6 percent of all graduate students in the arts and humanities, biological and agricultural sciences, engineering, and physical sciences.

The full report, Graduate Enrollment and Degrees, 2007 to 2017, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles


  1. Hello. My name is Quinn Nelson and I am working on my Dissertation concerning the fates of Black male graduate students and their challenges to retention and remuneration through their respective graduate programs. The information shared in this article is vital and any other information that you have is greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Appointed to New Academic Positions

Leon Prieto, Kofi Afrifah, and Andrea Moore have been appointed to new academic positions at Clayton University, Bowie State University, and Savannah State University, respectively.

Historic HBCU Landmark Revitalized Through National Park Service Grant

Through three restoration grants totaling $2 million, the Rosenwald Practice School and Principal House will be fully restored, becoming the new home for the Northeastern North Carolina African American Research and Cultural Heritage Institute.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Here is this week’s roundup of African American who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to contact@JBHE.com.

North Carolina A&T University Establishes Research Partnership with Collins Aerospace

“There are direct relations to the research we do in the College of Engineering and the mission purpose of Collins Aerospace,” said Stephanie Luster-Teasley, interim dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. “Being able to partner with Collins really gives our students the opportunities for hands-on research at each level – undergraduate and graduate.”

Featured Jobs