Blacks Making Steady Progress in Professional Degree Awards

In the 2004-05 academic year, blacks earned 6,313 professional degrees, which made up 7.2 percent of all professional degrees awarded in the United States that year. These include degrees in medicine, law, dentistry, and several other fields.

The number of blacks earning professional degrees has increased at a slow but steady rate in recent years, but there was a far more rapid pace of improvement in the early 1990s. Law and medical degree awards, the two disciplines with the most professional degrees, have seen a drop-off in blacks in recent years. Blacks have seen significant professional degree gains in pharmacy, podiatry, and divinity.

However, blacks continue to have a very small presence in professional degree awards in dentistry, osteopathic medicine, optometry, chiropractic medicine, and veterinary medicine.