Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Received Few or No Doctorates in 2019

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 in 2019 there were 2,512 African Americans who earned doctorates. They made up 7.1 percent of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States. But there are many fields where Blacks earned only a tiny percentage of all doctorates. In several specific fields, African Americans did not earn any doctorates.

For example, African Americans earned only one percent of all doctorates awarded in physics to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Blacks earned 3.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 3.4 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 3.5 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 4.2 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

In 2019, there were 1,690 doctorates awarded by U.S. universities in the fields of fisheries science, forestry, atmospheric physics, geochemistry, marine biology, oceanography, astronomy and astrophysics, applied physics, plasma physics, algebra, geometry, logic, number theory, neuropsychology, Asian history, European history, Middle or Near East history, and music. Not one went to an African American.


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