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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Master's and Doctoral Degrees Earned by Field


In 2005–06, more than half of the master's degrees awarded to American Indians/Alaska Natives were in the fields of education or business. Nearly half of the doctoral degrees awarded to American Indians/ Alaska Natives were in the fields of education, psychology, and social sciences and history.

Figure 6.6. Percentage of master's and doctoral degrees conferred in total and to American Indians/ Alaska Natives by degree-granting institutions in the most popular fields of study: 2005–06
Percentage of master's and doctoral degrees conferred in total and to American Indians/
Alaska Natives by degree-granting institutions in the most popular fields of study: 2005–06
NOTE: Detail do not sum to totals because colleges and universities conferred degrees in many other fields not shown separately. Data are graphed using unrounded estimates while the value labels are rounded. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2007, based on 2005–06 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Fall 2006.

Out of the master's degrees awarded to American Indians/Alaska Natives during the 2005–06 school year, 32 percent were conferred in the field of education and 20 percent were in business. These two fields were also the most frequently studied among master's candidates in the general population: 28 percent of the general population's master's degrees were awarded for education and 23 percent were awarded for business.

In 2005-06, the distribution of doctoral degrees awarded differed between American Indians/Alaska Natives and the total population. For example, 22 percent of doctoral degrees awarded to American Indians/Alaska Natives were in education, compared to 12 percent of the total population. Sixteen percent of doctoral degrees awarded to American Indians/ Alaska Natives were in the field of psychology, compared to 8 percent of the total population. Nine percent of doctoral degrees awarded to American Indians/Alaska Natives were in social sciences and history, compared to 6 percent of the total population. Conversely, only 3 percent of doctoral degrees awarded to American Indians/Alaska Natives were in the field of engineering and engineering-related technologies, compared to 12 percent of the total population.

View Table View Table 6.6

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