There Are Very Few Black Graduate Students in Many Scientific Fields

New data from the National Science Foundation shows that in 2008 there were 16,839 blacks enrolled full-time in scientific programs in U.S. graduate schools. They made up 4.4 percent of all full-time graduate students in scientific disciplines.

However, the data shows that in many disciplines, blacks make up a very small percentage of full-time student enrollments. For example, there were 168 blacks among the 12,626 graduate students in the field of physics.  Only seven of the 1,233 full-time graduate students in astronomy in 2008 were African Americans. Blacks made up 1 percent or less of the graduate students in botany, zoology, and ecology.