Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

News: Ph.D. enrollment growth

Posted on September 16, 2009

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has released its annual report for 2008, Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 1998 to 2008. Enrollment for all U.S. minority groups increased 4.5%, compared the 1.5% increase for White, non-Hispanic students, and nearly all minority groups saw greater growth in 2008 than the average annual change from 1998-2008.

Growth in first-time enrollment from 2007 to 2008 was greater for students from all racial/ethnic minority groups than for White students: 10.6% for Hispanics/Latinos, 8.8% for American Indians/Alaskan Natives, 6.7% for Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 6.5% for Blacks/African Americans, compared to 3.5% for Whites.

The one ethnic group that did not see a greater growth than average was Blacks/African Americans. The 6.5% growth was the lowest growth for all other groups except Whites and was lower than the average of 7.6%.

Similarly, though all fields showed moderate growth in enrollment, only the Arts and Humanities demonstrated a lower growth rate than the average for that field and the lowest growth rate of all other fields in the study. This was particularly the case in terms of Black/African Americans, who only showed a 1.6% average annual increase in Arts and Humanities, the smallest growth of all ethnic groups.

Inside Higher Ed noted that “many graduate programs have for years now been creating programs to diversify their pool of students, and [Nathan E. Bell, director of research and policy analysis for CGS] said that he hoped the data suggest that those efforts are starting to pay off. He noted that many of these efforts were destined to take a while to show returns.”

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