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Since 1958, more than 24,000 undergraduates from the University of California-Berkeley have gone on to do PhDs, twice as many as from all the ABET-accredited historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) combined.

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), one-third of all Black students who have earned doctorates graduated with bachelor’s degrees from HBCUs. In addition, almost 18% of the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) bachelor’s degrees awarded nationally are from HBCUs.

Last year, the NSF established the HBCU STEM Undergraduate Success Research Center (STEM-US), with the aim of using data to explain how the support provided by HBCUs contributes to higher percentages of STEM graduates, and, ultimately, STEM doctorates.

Recent NSF data shows that the top baccalaureate institutions for Black science and engineering PhDs include Florida A&M, Howard, Hampton, North Carolina A&T State, Southern, Tuskegee, and Morgan State universities.

North Carolina A&T State University’s engineering programs produce more bachelor degree holders who go on to doctorates in the field, while Hampton University has similar concentrations in the life sciences, particularly the biological sciences.

Baccalaureate Origins of Underrepresented Minority PhDs, 1958-2018 (Source: Higher Ed Data Stories)

1. Howard University – 2,262
2.Florida A&M University – 1,161
3.Hampton University – 1,099
4. Souther University and A&M College – 994
5. North Carolina A&T State University – 941
6. Jackson State University – 867
7. Morgan State University – 851
8. Tuskegee University – 846
9. Tennessee State University – 751
10. Virginia State University – 553
11. Prairie View A&M University – 527
12. Alabama A&M University – 445
13. University of the District of Columbia – 443
14. Norfolk State University – 356
15. University of Maryland Eastern Shore – 194

HBCUs with concentrations in both engineering and the life sciences include Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan State, Tuskegee, and Prairie View A&M universities. Alabama A&M, Jackson State, and Southern University also have concentrations in the life sciences, with a focus on the agricultural sciences. Hampton, Norfolk State, and have granted bachelor’s degrees to future doctorates across the disciplines of the natural sciences.

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