The Racial Gap in Doctoral Degree Awards

nsf1The National Science Foundation recently released its annual report on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. The annual Survey of Earned Doctorates reports that universities in the United States conferred 52,749 doctorates in 2013. Of these, 2,167, or 4.1 percent, were earned by African Americans. African Americans earned 6.4 percent of all doctoral degrees awarded to U.S. students. Therefore, African Americans earned about one half the number of doctorates that would be the case if racial parity with the Black population prevailed.

Another 485 doctorates were awarded by U.S. universities to Black students from foreign nations. Doctorates to Blacks from foreign nations increased by 19 percent over the past two years.

The number of doctorates earned by African Americans in 2013 was just short of the all-time high. The number of Black doctorates was up 5.3 percent in 2013, following an 8.3 percent increase the year before.


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