Number of Blacks Earning Doctorates Reached an All-Time High in 2009

According to the National Science Foundation, in 2009 there were 2,221 African Americans who earned doctoral degrees from U.S. universities. This was the highest number of doctorates awarded to blacks in any single year. African-American doctoral awards increased by a healthy 10.1 percent from 2008 to 2009. Since 2005, black doctoral awards are up by 23.5 percent.

African Americans won 4.5 percent of all doctorates awarded in the United States last year. If we exclude foreign students, we find that African Americans made up 6.9 percent of all U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents who earned doctorates.

Blacks earned 947 Ph.D.s in scientific fields, up from 825 in 2008, an increase of nearly 15 percent. Another 1,274 African Americans earned doctorates in non-scientific fields. Many of these doctorates were in the field of education.