II-02a: Percentage of Associate’s Degrees Awarded to Members of Traditionally Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups,* Selected Academic Fields, 1989–2015

* Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and self-identify as African American (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System; accessed via the National Science Foundation’s online data system, WebCASPAR. Data analyzed and presented by the American Academy of Arts Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (

Unlike the humanities degrees conferred at the baccalaureate level, almost all of the degrees counted here were classified by the conferring institution as being in “liberal arts” and “liberal studies” rather than specific humanities disciplines. For instance, of the 363,491 degrees tabulated as humanities for 2015, only 10,382 were conferred in a specific discipline (such as languages or history). Since associate’s degrees are generally conferred with half the number of credits required for a typical bachelor’s degree program, students are less likely to specialize in a specific subject area. Nevertheless, the number and share of humanities degrees conferred in a specific discipline have been growing. In 2006, 4,002 (or 1.6%) of humanities associate’s degrees were conferred in a specific discipline. The share increased to 2.9% of humanities degrees in 2015. For the specific degree programs grouped under each academic field heading, see the Degree Program Code Catalog. Also see the Note on the Data Used to Calculate Humanities Degree Counts and Shares, Note on the Calculation of Shares of Degrees Awarded to Members of Traditionally Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups, and Note on the Racial/Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Young Adult Population (18–30 Years Old).

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