Indicator

Racial/Ethnic Distribution of Degrees in History

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Annual data describing the distribution of history degrees by race and ethnicity were first collected in the mid-1990s and show growth at all degree levels in the share of such degrees awarded to members of traditionally underrepresented minority groups, with the most substantial increase (in percentage terms) occurring at the doctoral level. Findings and Trends

  • In 2014, the share of bachelor’s degrees in history awarded to members of traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups reached the highest level on record (Indicator II-44a). In 1995, less than 10% of history bachelor’s degrees were conferred on traditionally underrepresented minorities. The share increased gradually (with declines in some years) to 12.2% in 2008 and then rose more rapidly to 15.1% in 2014.
  • Much of the growth in traditionally underrepresented minorities is due to a substantial increase in the share of Hispanics earning bachelor’s degrees in history. The share of Hispanics receiving the degree rose from 4.4% in 1995 to 9.6% in 2014. In contrast, the 5% share of history bachelor’s degrees earned by African Americans in 2014 was only fractionally larger than it was in 1995.
  • Over the 1995–2014 time period, the shares of both master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s earned by students from traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups increased to approximately 11%, up from 6.6% at the master’s level and 5.6% at the doctoral level (Indicators II-44b and II-44c).
  • In 2014, temporary residents represented almost 13% of those receiving doctorates in history—three times the share receiving master’s degrees. In most years from 2000 to 2014, the share of temporary residents receiving master’s degrees in history was less than half the share of degrees awarded to traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Among doctoral degree recipients, the shares were much closer to equal.
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* Degree counts do not include second majors.
** Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and who are identified by their institutions as African American (non-Hispanic), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.
† Students counted under “Racial/Ethnic Minorities” minus Asians and Pacific Islanders.

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 integrated science and engineering resources data system, WebCASPAR.

See the Note on Data Used to Calculate Discipline-Specific Degree Counts and Shares, the Note on the Calculation of Shares of Degrees Awarded to Members of Traditionally Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups, the Note on the Racial/Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Young Adult Population (18–30 Years Old), the Note on the Data Used to Calculate Humanities Degree Counts and Shares, and the Degree Program Code Catalog for an inventory of the specific degree programs included by the Humanities Indicators under the heading of “History”. The percentages do not include so-called double major degrees. When degrees are earned concurrently in this way, only the first degree is counted.

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* Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and who are identified by their institutions as African American (non-Hispanic), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.
** Students counted under “Racial/Ethnic Minorities” minus Asians and Pacific Islanders.

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 integrated science and engineering resources data system, [WebCASPAR.

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* Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and who are identified by their institutions as African American (non-Hispanic), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.
** Students counted under “Racial/Ethnic Minorities” minus Asians and Pacific Islanders.

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 integrated science and engineering resources data system, WebCASPAR.

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