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ASU ranks among best in US for graduate degrees to ethnic minorities

September 26, 2011

Arizona State University has again placed high in the number of master’s and doctoral degrees awarded to minority students, according to figures just published in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The magazine’s annual rankings of “The Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers” were published in their July 2011 issue and are based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

In mathematics and statistics, ASU ranks first in the nation for doctoral degrees awarded to Hispanics. In the same category last year, ASU was ranked first for master’s degrees to Hispanics in math, indicating that many progress to a doctoral degree.

ASU’s rankings reflect the number of degrees awarded to ethnic minorities in various disciplines compared to other universities across the nation. It is an indication of which programs and disciplines attract and retain the highest number of underrepresented students.

The graduate programs in which ASU ranks highest include mathematics and statistics, education, law, business, architecture, engineering, public administration, and visual and performing arts. ASU also excels in a category called “all disciplines combined,” which summarizes the total number of graduate degrees awarded to ethnic minorities.

Of all ASU’s rankings, 15 appeared in the top 10, and an additional 23 categories were in the top 25. Overall, more than 60 ASU rankings placed in the top 100.

ASU top rankings include:

  • Doctorates awarded to Hispanics in mathematics and statistics No. 1
  • Doctorates awarded to all ethnic minorities in mathematics and statistics No. 2
  • For Native Americans, master’s degrees awarded for education and law degrees both rank No. 3
  • Also for Native Americans in all disciplines, the number of master’s degrees awarded ranks No. 4, and No. 5 for doctorates.
  • Visual and performing arts doctorates awarded to all ethnic minorities ranked at No. 5
  • Hispanic doctoral degrees in psychology ranked No. 4. Hispanic doctoral degrees in education and all disciplines combined each ranked No.10.
  • Master’s degrees awarded to African Americans in the liberal arts and sciences ranked No. 14. Engineering master’s degrees to African Americans ranked at No. 46.
  • Doctoral degrees awarded to Asian Americans ranked at No. 14 in engineering and No. 18 in education. Master’s degrees for the same group in visual and performing arts ranked at No. 15.

Of the more than 13,800 graduate students enrolled at ASU, nearly 22 percent of master’s students  and over 16 percent of doctoral students are from underrepresented or minority ethnic groups.

“Ethnic minority students are pursuing advanced degrees in greater numbers, particularly in fields where they have been traditionally underrepresented,” says Maria T. Allison, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate College.  “We are committed to creating an environment in which all students can thrive and benefit from a diversity of ideas, experiences and backgrounds.”

Diversity services and support for graduate students include SHADES, a peer-to-peer multicultural mentoring program; Diversity Across the Curriculum (DAC); and the Gates Millennium Scholars Organization (GMSO).

Other graduate diversity support and mentoring groups can be found at