Doctoral Awards at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that universities in the United States conferred 54,904 doctorates in 2016. Of these, 2,360, or 4.3 percent, were earned by African Americans.

The report shows that 432 doctorates were awarded by historically Black colleges and universities in 2016. Thus, HBCUs conferred just 0.8 percent of all doctoral degree awarded in the United States in 2016. The 432 doctorates awarded by HBCUs was down from 448 doctorates awarded by HBCUs two years earlier in 2014.

Howard University in Washington, D.C., led the HBCUs, granting 93 doctoral degrees in 2016. Two years earlier in 2014, Howard University awarded 105 doctorates. Howard University awarded its first Ph.D. degree in 1958.

Jackson State University in Mississippi ranked second with 64 doctoral degree awards. This is an increase of three from 2014. In third place among HBCUs, North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro awarded 47 doctorates in 2016, the same number it awarded in 2014.

Morgan State University in Baltimore ranked in fourth place, giving out 28 doctorates in 2016. Texas Southern University in Houston was in fifth place with 27 doctoral awards.

Other HBCUs that awarded at least 15 doctorates were Tennessee State University, Clark Atlanta University, Southern University in Louisiana, Hampton University in Virginia, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Alabama State University.

All told, 21 HBCUs awarded doctoral degrees in 2016, the same number as in 2014.

It must be noted that in all probability not all doctoral degrees awarded by HBCUs went to African Americans. But the data does not break down the doctoral degree awards from HBCUs by race or ethnic group.


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