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

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 2,647 African Americans earned doctorates from U.S. universities in 2022. This is the highest number ever recorded.

But Blacks are vastly underrepresented among doctoral degree recipients in some disciplines. For example, African Americans earned only 2.8 percent of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents in agricultural and research science. Blacks 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.

In 2022, there were 1,804 doctorates issued to U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the fields of elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, optical sciences, astronomy, plasma physics, theoretical and mathematical physics, animal sciences, natural resources conservation, molecular genetics, biomechanics, geo-environmental engineering, environmental control technologies, geochemistry, oceanography, medical physics, algebra and number theory, data mining and machine learning, developmental economics, linguistics, archaeology, and classical studies. Not one went to an African American.

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