African American Participation among Bachelors in the Physical Sciences and Engineering

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African American Participation among Bachelors in the Physical Sciences and Engineering

Results from 2003-2013 Data of the National Center for Education Statistics
November 2015
Laura Merner

African American Participation among Bachelors in the Physical Sciences and EngineeringAfrican Americans remain under-represented in the physical sciences and engineering fields. In the physical sciences the greatest increases for African Americans were in earth sciences and atmospheric sciences. The number of physics degrees earned by African Americans remained flat despite a 58% growth in the field overall. Between 2003 and 2013, bachelor’s degrees earned in engineering by African Americans in the US increased 10%. However, the increase was significantly less than gains in engineering degrees seen across all US bachelor’s degree recipients. Of all the fields examined in this report, engineering technology is the only field in which African Americans are earning bachelor’s degrees at approximately the same proportion as all US bachelor’s degree recipients. Though there were increases in specific disciplines between 2003 and 2013, the current growth rate shows no sign of a change in status for African Americans in the physical sciences and engineering.

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