The Surging Enrollments of Blacks in Graduate Degree Programs

New data from the U.S. Department of Education shows continuing rapid growth in black enrollments in graduate programs. In 2009, there were 342,400 African Americans enrolled in graduate programs in the United States. This was up from 315,200 blacks enrolled in postbaccalaureate education in 2008. This is a one-year gain of 8.6 percent. This is more than twice the enrollment growth in graduate programs shown by white students from 2008 to 2009.

Since the year 2000, the number of blacks enrolled in graduate programs has increased from 181,400 to 342,400. This is an increase of 88.8 percent during the decade. For whites, graduate enrollments increased 22.8 percent in the 2000-to-2009 period. In 2000, blacks made up 8.4 percent of all enrollments in graduate education. In 2009, the latest year for which data is available, blacks were 12 percent of all graduate school enrollments.