National Institute on Aging

The Undergraduate Institutions That Produce the Most Black Doctoral Degree Recipients

A new report from the National Science Foundation provides data on the undergraduate institutions whose graduates from underrepresented groups go on to earn doctoral degrees.

The study found that although most Black and Hispanic doctorate recipients earned a bachelor’s degree from public colleges and universities, a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic students with undergraduate degrees from private colleges and universities went on to earn a research doctorate.

Of all doctorate recipients who earned their undergraduate degrees in the United States, about half of White doctorate recipients earned a bachelor’s degree from R1 doctoral universities, while only 36.2 percent of Black doctorate recipients earned a bachelor’s degree from these very high research activity universities. More than one quarter of all Blacks who went on to earn doctorates were graduates of historically Black colleges or universities.

From 2010 to 2020, nearly 22,000 Blacks earned doctorates from U.S. colleges and universities. The new NSF report finds that Howard University in Washington, D.C., produced the most undergraduates that went on to earn a doctoral degree during the period with a total of 403. Some 393 Spelman College graduates earned a doctoral degree. Florida A&M University, North Carolina A&T State University, Hampton University, Jackson State University, Southern University, and Morehouse College all graduated more than 200 Black students who went on to earn doctorates.

The University of Maryland, College Park and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were the only predominantly White institutions that graduated more than 200 Black students who went on to earn doctorates. Among private predominantly White institutions, Harvard University produced 117 Black graduates who earned doctorates. Cornell University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania also graduated more than 100 Black students who later earned doctorates.


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