Degree Attainments

The Youngest Woman Recipient of a Ph.D. in Africa

The Youngest Woman Recipient of a Ph.D. in Africa

Muswenkosi Donia Saurombe is on track to receive Ph.D. in industrial psychology from the North West University in Mafikeng, South Africa, this October. At the age of 23, she will be the youngest women in African history to earn a Ph.D.

Tracking African American Progress in Higher Education

Tracking African American Progress in Higher Education

A new 188-page report from the U.S. Department of Education offers a wide-ranging summary of most of the important educational statistics on enrollment, financial aid, graduation rates, degree attainments etc. as they pertain to race all in one place.

An Educational Milestone for April Gillens at Clemson University

An Educational Milestone for April Gillens at Clemson University

Earlier this month, April Gillens became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and earth sciences at Clemson University in South Carolina.

New Data on African American's Enrollments and Degree Awards in Higher Education

New Data on African American’s Enrollments and Degree Awards in Higher Education

The data shows that in the 2014-15 academic year, there were 3,810,300 African Americans enrolled at degree-granting institutions in the United States. They made up 13.9 percent of the total enrollments in higher education.

Thirty NFL Players Complete an Executive MBA Program at the University of Miami

Thirty NFL Players Complete an Executive MBA Program at the University of Miami

Some 30 current or former players in the National Football League, most of them African Americans, were among the program’s first graduating class.

A Black Woman's Half-Century Journey to a Bachelor's Degree

A Black Woman’s Half-Century Journey to a Bachelor’s Degree

Delores Ojunga-Andrew is a Black woman who is a member of the Class of 2018 at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. At age 72, she is the oldest student enrolled at the women’s college.

The Brotherhood Initiative at the University of Washington Looks to Boost Graduation Rates

The Brotherhood Initiative at the University of Washington Looks to Boost Graduation Rates

The goal of the new Brotherhood Initiative being launched this fall is to reduce the graduation rate gap between Black men and Black women and also to close the racial graduation rate gap. Joe Lott, an associate professor of education is leading the initiative.

Tracking the Progress of African Americans in Degree Attainments

Tracking the Progress of African Americans in Degree Attainments

In master’s degree awards, the gains for African Americans were the most impressive. The percentage of African Americans among all master’s degree recipients jumped from 9.0 percent in 1999-2000 to 12.5 percent in 2009-10.

Black Identical Twins Each Had the Highest GPA at FIU's College of Engineering and Computing

Black Identical Twins Each Had the Highest GPA at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing

Shalisha and Shonda Witherspoon are identical twins. They recently graduated from the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University in Miami with identical 3.95 grade point averages, the best in the college.

Third Sister From Same Family Named Valedictorian at Dillard University

Third Sister From Same Family Named Valedictorian at Dillard University

Stephanie Akpapuna from Lagos, Nigeria, is the third member of her family to be named valedictorian at Dillard University in New Orleans. She will continue her education in the master of fine arts degree program in stage and production management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The First African American to Earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh

The First African American to Earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh

Adrienne Washington of Morgantown, West Virginia, is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia. She received a master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Howard University Issues Tuition Rebates to Students Who Graduated Within Four Years

Howard University Issues Tuition Rebates to Students Who Graduated Within Four Years

Howard University, the historically Black research university in Washington, D.C., has issued a 50 percent rebate on the last semester’s tuition for students who completed their degrees in the traditional four-year time frame.

The Racial Gap in Educational Attainment in the United States

The Racial Gap in Educational Attainment in the United States

More than one third, 36.2 percent, of adult non-Hispanic White Americans in 2015 had obtained a bachelor’s degree. For adult African Americans in 2015, 22.5 percent had earned a bachelor’s degree.

HBCUs Awarded 448 Doctorates in 2014, an All-Time High

HBCUs Awarded 448 Doctorates in 2014, an All-Time High

The 448 doctorates awarded by HBCUs is the highest total since JBHE began tracking this statistic. In 2014 there was a 13 percent increase in HBCU doctoral awards from the previous year.

Racial Differences in Persistence Rates in U.S. Higher Education

Racial Differences in Persistence Rates in U.S. Higher Education

More than 40 percent of all African Americans who enrolled in higher education in the 2011-12 academic year were no longer enrolled in higher education in 2014 and had not earned a degree or certificate of any kind. For Whites, 27.7 percent were no longer enrolled.

Study Finds Academic Coaching Helps Retain Minority Students in Ph.D. Programs

Study Finds Academic Coaching Helps Retain Minority Students in Ph.D. Programs

The Academy for Future Science Faculty consists of individual and group-based professional development activities, discussions with fellow students, and highly skilled mentors serving as coaches, many of them minorities themselves, trained in diversity issues.

Penn State Partners With the National Football League Players Association

Penn State Partners With the National Football League Players Association

Former NFL players will be able to earn their degrees through the World Campus of Pennsylvania State University. The agreement is of particular importance to African Americans. Blacks make up two thirds of all players in the National Football League.

The Nationwide Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates

The Nationwide Racial Gap in College Graduation Rates

For all students who enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at four-year institutions in 2008, Blacks had the lowest graduation rate of any racial or ethnic group. Only 40.9 percent of Black students had completed their degree within six years.

Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Earned No Doctoral Degrees in 2014

Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Earned No Doctoral Degrees in 2014

There are 16 academic disciplines where African Americans earned no doctoral degrees in 2014. The good news is that the number of academic fields where there have been no Black doctoral awards is growing smaller.

The Youngest Ph.D. Recipient in the History of Delaware State University

The Youngest Ph.D. Recipient in the History of Delaware State University

Jalaal A. Hayes recently was awarded a Ph.D. in applied chemistry at Delaware State University at the age of 22. Dr. Hayes graduated from high school at the age of 15 and earned a bachelor’s degree at the age of 18.

The First Black Student to Earn a Ph.D. in History at the University of Southern Mississippi

The First Black Student to Earn a Ph.D. in History at the University of Southern Mississippi

A half century after the racial integration of the University of Southern Mississippi, Tonya De’Nee Blair is the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in history at the university.

New Report Shows Graduation Rate Progress for Minority Students, But Blacks Trail Other Groups

New Report Shows Graduation Rate Progress for Minority Students, But Blacks Trail Other Groups

The Education Trust has released a new report showing progress has been made in the college graduation rates of minority students. But progress for Black students has trailed the improvements shown by students from other underrepresented minority groups.

Ohio University's New Program to Boost Black Male Enrollments and Graduation Rates

Ohio University’s New Program to Boost Black Male Enrollments and Graduation Rates

The African American Male Initiative aims to connect its more than 40 students to academic support services on campus. It also is working in tandem with student organizations, student affairs, and the Athens community to establish a welcoming environment that young Black males can call home.

A Mississippi Woman's Long Journey From Janitor to the Pinnacle of Higher Education

A Mississippi Woman’s Long Journey From Janitor to the Pinnacle of Higher Education

Yolanda Jones was a college dropout. She enrolled in the Academic Second Chance program at Jackson State University and worked as a janitor to support herself as she pursued a bachelor’s degree. Now she has received a doctorate in urban higher education.

Florida A&M University Confers Ph.D.s in Physics to Two Black Women

Florida A&M University Confers Ph.D.s in Physics to Two Black Women

According to the National Science Foundation, 1,902 people earned Ph.D.s in physics at American universities in 2013. Only 18.8 percent were women and only 19 were Black. Now two Black women have earned Ph.D.s in physics at the same university in the same year.

Four Black Men Earn Doctoral Degrees From One Department at Ohio State

Four Black Men Earn Doctoral Degrees From One Department at Ohio State

Four Black men earned doctorates this spring in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State under the mentorship of Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, the youngest full professor in the university’s history.

Report Documents Racial Gaps in California Higher Education

Report Documents Racial Gaps in California Higher Education

Blacks are less likely that other racial/ethnic groups in California to graduate from high school, to complete the curriculum needed for admission to campuses of the University of California or California State University, and to graduate from college.

Identical Twins Graduate With Identical 4.0 Grade Point Averages

Identical Twins Graduate With Identical 4.0 Grade Point Averages

Alissa and Ariel Barlow are identical twins who earned their bachelor’s degrees at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. Both achieved perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

Louisiana State University: A Leader in Black Male Doctoral Awards

Louisiana State University: A Leader in Black Male Doctoral Awards

Each year, only about 1,000 African Americans men earn doctoral degrees. Thus, it is noteworthy that this spring four African American men earned their doctoral degrees in one department at Louisiana State University.

New Study Documents Degree Completion of Minority Doctoral Students in STEM Fields

New Study Documents Degree Completion of Minority Doctoral Students in STEM Fields

One important finding in the Council of Graduate Schools report was that minority doctoral students had the most difficulty when they entered the dissertation phase of their doctoral programs.

New Study on the Marriage Prospects of Educated Black Women

New Study on the Marriage Prospects of Educated Black Women

New research from the Brookings Institution shows that only 8 percent of Black women in 2012 married a man with a higher level of education. Nearly 60 percent of Black women who married in 2012 wed a man with a lower level of education.

The Gender Gap in African American Degree Attainment

The Gender Gap in African American Degree Attainment

The gender gap is most pronounced for holders of master’s degrees. In 2014, there were 964,000 Black women who held a master’s degree but no higher degree. For Black men, the figure was 565,000.

How the University of Maryland Has Boosted Black Male Retention and Graduation Rates

How the University of Maryland Has Boosted Black Male Retention and Graduation Rates

For Black male first-year students in the fall of 2013 at the University of Maryland at College Park who had a 2.3 grade point average or better, 100 percent returned for the spring semester.

Nearly 6 Million Living African Americans Hold a Four-Year College Degree

Nearly 6 Million Living African Americans Hold a Four-Year College Degree

In 2014, nearly 6 million living African American now hold at least a four-year college degree. The data shows that 179,000 African Americans in 2014 held a professional degree and 206,000 had obtained a doctorate.

Racial Differences in the Road to the Doctoral Degree

Racial Differences in the Road to the Doctoral Degree

For recent doctoral degree recipients, African Americans took longer than Whites to earn their doctoral degree. On average, Blacks tended to accumulate more debt and used their own resources to fund their doctoral studies more than Whites.

Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Earned No Doctoral Degrees in 2013

Academic Disciplines Where African Americans Earned No Doctoral Degrees in 2013

According to the National Science Foundation, there were 18 academic fields where none of the doctorates awarded in 2013 went to an African American. More than 1,800 doctorates were awarded in these fields.