Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Received Few or No Doctorates in 2021

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on research doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that universities in the United States conferred 52,250 research doctorates in 2021, down 5.5 percent from 2020. Slightly more than 3,000 of these doctorates were earned by Black students. If we exclude doctorates earned by citizens of foreign nations, we find that 2,431 African Americans earned doctorates from U.S. universities in 2021. This was down slightly from 2020. African Americans earned 7.7 percent of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of this country.

But there are many fields where Blacks earned only a tiny percentage of all doctorates. In several specific fields, African Americans did not earn any doctorates.

For example, African Americans earned only 1.4 percent of all doctorates awarded in mathematics and 1.2 percent of all doctorates in physics that were awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents in 2021. Blacks earned 4 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 4 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 4.1 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

In 2021, a total of 1,938 doctoral degrees were awarded in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, civil, environmental, and transportation engineering,  materials and mining engineering, engineering mechanics, geochemistry, climatology, marine biology, marine sciences, applied mathematics, algebra/number theory, history of science, astronomy, theoretical chemistry, atomic/molecular physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, theoretical physics, general anthropology, agricultural economics, applied linguistics, and Spanish. None went to an African American.

Related Articles

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is because by now we’ve determined that no matter what we get a PhD in, we will never make it past the job interview’s face-to-face component whereby we can see their faces fall when they see the colour of our skin. Our resumes play “guess who’s coming to the interview.”

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