The Gender Gap in Black Ph.D. Awards

As is the case in almost every measure of African-American higher education, black women have come to hold a large lead in doctoral awards. As recently as 1977, black women earned only 38.7 percent of all doctorates awarded to African Americans. By 2000 black women earned 65.7 percent of all doctorates awarded to African Americans. This is the highest percentage of African-American doctoral awards earned by women in U.S. history. Black men narrowed the gap in both 2001 and 2002. But in 2003 and 2004 black women upped their percentage of all doctorates earned by African Americans. In 2005, 64.9 percent of all African-American doctorates were earned by women.

Since 1990 African-American women have increased their number of Ph.D. awards from 550 to 1,096. This is an increase of 99 percent. In contrast, the number of Ph.D. awards to African-American men increased from 351 in 1990 to 592. This is a rise of 68.7 percent.