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This is a supplemental indicator. Unlike core indicators, which, for the most part, are updated yearly, supplemental indicators may only be updated periodically.

Degrees Conferred by Race/Ethnicity
(Last Updated: November 2015)

Between 2002–03 and 2012–13, the number of certificates and associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees earned increased for students of all racial/ethnic groups.

Table 1. Number of degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions and percent change, by race/ethnicity and level of degree: Academic years 2002–03, 2011–12, and 2012–13
Level of degree and academic year Total1 White Black Hispanic Asian/Pacific
Islander
American Indian/
Alaska Native
Two or
more races
Certificates2              
200203 646,425 382,289 120,582 95,499 32,981 8,117
201112 989,061 535,621 190,253 187,014 43,048 10,638 14,140
201213 966,084 523,334 176,700 186,029 44,357 10,813 17,635
Percent change from 200203 to 201213 49.5 36.9 46.5 94.8 34.5 33.2
Percent change from 201112 to 201213 -2.3 -2.3 -7.1 -0.5 3.0 1.6 24.7
               
Associate's              
200203 634,016 438,261 75,609 66,673 32,629 7,461
201112 1,021,718 635,755 142,512 151,807 48,861 10,738 14,858
201213 1,006,961 616,990 135,777 157,966 49,456 10,540 19,402
Percent change from 200203 to 201213 58.8 40.8 79.6 136.9 51.6 41.3
Percent change from 201112 to 201213 -1.4 -3.0 -4.7 4.1 1.2 -1.8 30.6
               
Bachelor's
200203 1,348,811 994,616 124,253 89,029 87,964 9,875
201112 1,792,163 1,212,417 185,916 169,736 126,177 11,498 27,234
201213 1,840,164 1,221,576 191,180 186,650 130,144 11,445 34,338
Percent change from 200203 to 201213 36.4 22.8 53.9 109.7 48.0 15.9
Percent change from 201112 to 201213 2.7 0.8 2.8 10.0 3.1 -0.5 26.1
               
Master's
200203 518,699 346,003 45,150 25,200 27,492 2,886
201112 755,967 470,822 86,007 50,994 45,379 3,681 9,823
201213 751,751 455,892 87,988 52,990 44,912 3,697 11,839
Percent change from 200203 to 201213 44.9 31.8 94.9 110.3 63.4 28.1
Percent change from 201112 to 201213 -0.6 -3.2 2.3 3.9 -1.0 0.4 20.5
               
Doctor's3
200203 121,579 82,549 7,537 5,503 12,008 759
201112 170,217 109,365 11,794 9,223 17,896 915 1,571
201213 175,038 110,775 12,084 10,107 18,408 900 2,438
Percent change from 200203 to 201213 44.0 34.2 60.3 83.7 53.3 18.6
Percent change from 201112 to 201213 2.8 1.3 2.5 9.6 2.9 -1.6 55.2

—Not available.
1 Includes other categories not listed separately in this table.
2 Includes less-than-1-year awards and 1- to less-than-4-year awards (excluding associate's degrees).
3 Includes Ph.D., Ed.D., and comparable degrees at the doctoral level. Includes most degrees formerly classified as first-professional, such as M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees.
NOTE: Data are for postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Separate data on students of Two or more races not collected until 2010–11. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Reported racial/ethnic distributions of students by level of degree and sex were used to estimate race/ethnicity for students whose race/ethnicity was not reported.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2003, Fall 2012, and Fall 2013, Completions component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 320.20, 321.20, 322.20, 323.20, and 324.20.

Between academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13, the total number of postsecondary degrees conferred increased at all degree1 levels: certificates conferred increased by 49 percent, associate's degrees by 59 percent, bachelor's degrees by 36 percent, master's degrees by 45 percent, and doctor's degrees by 44 percent. The number of postsecondary degrees conferred also increased for all racial/ethnic groups at each level between 2002–03 and 2012–13.


Figure 1. Percentage distribution of certificates and associate's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity: Academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13

Figure 1. Percentage distribution of certificates and associate's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity: Academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13


—Not available.
NOTE: Data are for postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Certificates include less-than-1-year awards and 1- to less-than-4-year awards (excluding associate's degrees). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Separate data on students of Two or more races not collected until 2010–11. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2003 and Fall 2013, Completions component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 320.20 and 321.20.


The number of postsecondary certificates below the baccalaureate level conferred to Hispanic students almost doubled (a 95 percent increase, from 95,500 to 186,000) between academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13. During this period, the number of certificates conferred increased by 47 percent for Black students (from 121,000 to 177,000), by 37 percent for White students (from 382,000 to 523,000), by 34 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 33,000 to 44,400), and by 33 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 8,100 to 10,800). As a result of these changes, the share of all certificates conferred to U.S. residents earned by Hispanics increased from 15 percent in 2002–03 to 19 percent in 2012–13. In contrast, the share of certificates earned by White students decreased from 60 percent to 55 percent during this period. In both 2002–03 and 2012–13, the share of certificates earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students was 5 percent. The shares of certificates earned by Black students were 19 percent in 2002–03 and 18 percent in 2012–13. The share of certificates earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students was 1 percent in both 2002–03 and 2012–13.

At the associate's degree level, the number of degrees conferred to Hispanic students more than doubled between academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13 (a 137 percent increase, from 66,700 to 158,000) and the number of degrees earned by Black students increased 80 percent (from 75,600 to 136,000). During this period, the number of associate's degrees conferred increased by 52 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 32,600 to 49,500), and increased by 41 percent for both White students (from 438,000 to 617,000) and American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 7,500 to 10,500). As a result of the changes over this period, the share of all associate's degrees conferred to U.S. residents earned by Hispanic students increased from 11 to 16 percent, and the share earned by Black students increased from 12 to 14 percent. In contrast, the share of associate's degrees earned by White students over the same period decreased from 71 to 62 percent. In both 2002–03 and 2012–13, the share of associate's degrees earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students was 1 percent. The share of associate's degrees earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students remained at 5 percent over this period.


Figure 2. Percentage distribution of bachelor's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity: Academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13

Figure 2. Percentage distribution of bachelor's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity: Academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13


—Not available.
NOTE: Data are for postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Separate data on students of Two or more races not collected until 2010–11. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2003 and Fall 2013, Completions component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 322.20.


At the bachelor's degree level, the number of degrees conferred to Hispanic students more than doubled between academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13 (a 110 percent increase, from 89,000 to 187,000), and the number conferred to Black students increased by 54 percent (from 124,000 to 191,000). During the same period, the number of degrees conferred increased by 48 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 88,000 to 130,000), by 23 percent for White students (from 995,000 to 1.2 million), and by 16 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 9,900 to 11,400). As a result of the changes over this period, the share of all bachelor's degrees conferred to U.S. residents earned by Hispanic students increased from 7 to 11 percent, and the share earned by Black students increased from 10 to 11 percent. In contrast, the share of bachelor's degrees earned by White students decreased from 76 percent in 2002–03 to 69 percent in 2012–13. In 2012–13, the share of bachelor's degrees earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students was 7 percent, and the share earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students was 1 percent; in both cases, the percentage change from 2002–03 was less than 1 percent.


Figure 3. Percentage distribution of master's and doctor's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity: Academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13

Figure 3. Percentage distribution of master's and doctor's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens by degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity: Academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13


—Not available.
NOTE: Data are for postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Doctor's degrees includes Ph.D., Ed.D., and comparable degrees at the doctoral level. Includes most degrees formerly classified as first-professional, such as M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Separate data on students of Two or more races not collected until 2010–11. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2003 and Fall 2013, Completions component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, tables 323.20 and 324.20.


The distribution of graduate degrees by race/ethnicity between 2002–03 and 2012–13 followed a pattern similar to that observed for undergraduate degrees. At the master's degree level, the number of degrees conferred to Hispanic students more than doubled over this period (an increase of 110 percent, from 25,200 to 53,000), and the number conferred to Black students almost doubled (an increase of 95 percent, from 45,200 to 88,000). The number of master's degrees conferred during the period increased by 63 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 27,500 to 44,900), by 32 percent for White students (346,000 to 456,000), and by 28 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students (from 2,900 to 3,700). As a result of the changes over the period, the share of all master's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens earned by Black students increased from 10 to 13 percent, the share earned by Hispanic students increased from 6 to 8 percent, and the share earned by Asian/Pacific Islander students increased from 6 to 7 percent. The share of master's degrees earned by White students over the period decreased from 77 to 69 percent. In both 2002–03 and 2012–13, the share of master's degrees that went to American Indian/Alaska Native students was 1 percent.

At the doctor's degree level, the number of degrees conferred increased by 84 percent for Hispanic students (from 5,500 to 10,100), increased by 60 percent for Black students (from 7,500 to 12,100), and increased by 53 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander students (from 12,000 to 18,400) between academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13. During the same period, the number of doctor's degrees conferred increased by 34 percent for Whites (from 82,500 to 110,800) and increased by 19 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives (from 760 to 900). As a result, the share of all doctor's degrees conferred to U.S. citizens earned by Hispanics increased from 5 to 7 percent, the share earned by Blacks increased from 7 to 8 percent, and the share earned by Asians/Pacific Islanders increased from 11 to 12 percent over the period. In contrast, the share of doctor's degrees earned by White students decreased from 76 to 72 percent over the period. Between 2002–03 and 2012–13, the share of doctor's degrees earned by American Indian/Alaska Native students remained at 1 percent.


1 For the purposes of this indicator, the term "degree" is used to refer to a postsecondary award at any of the following levels: doctor's, master's, bachelor's, associate's, or certificate.


Glossary Terms

Data Source

IPEDS