The Large Gender Gap in African-American Degree Awards

Last week the JBHE Weekly Bulletin reported preliminary data on the number of degrees earned by African Americans in the 2008-09 academic year. This week we look at the gender disparity in degree awards to blacks.

In the 2008-09 academic year,  black women earned 64,694, or 68.5 percent, of the 94,409 associate’s degrees earned by African Americans.

In bachelor’s degree awards, black women earned 96,105 degrees compared to 49,729 degrees earned by black men. Thus, black women earned 65.9 percent — roughly two thirds — of all African-American bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, white women earned 56 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned by white Americans.

Black women earned 44,674 master’s degrees in the 2008-09 academic year. Black men were awarded 17,495 master’s degrees. Therefore, black women took 71.9 percent of all African-American master’s degrees.

Of the 9,300 professional and doctoral degrees earned by African Americans in the 2008-09 academic year, 65.5 percent went to black women. For whites, women earned 51 percent of all doctoral and professional degrees.