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Number of graduate degrees awarded to ethnic minorities on the rise at ASU

Two students at 2012 Commencement
November 20, 2012

ASU ranks 1st in nation for math PhDs awarded to Hispanic students

Arizona State University continues to rank high in the number of master’s and doctoral degrees awarded to underrepresented minorities, according to 2012 data from the National Center for Education Statistics published in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

ASU’s rankings reflect the number of minority degrees awarded in various disciplines compared to other universities across the nation. The ranking is an indication of which programs and disciplines attract, retain and graduate the highest number of underrepresented students.

In mathematics, ASU ranks first in the nation for doctoral degrees awarded to Hispanics for the second year in a row.

Other graduate programs in which ASU ranks high in minority graduates include architecture, business, computer and information sciences, education, engineering, law, mathematics, interdisciplinary studies, psychology, and public administration and social services.

Overall, 16 of ASU’s programs appear in the top 10, and a total of 48 programs are in the top 25. More than 70 ASU programs rank in the top 100.

Highlights of the top 10 degree rankings include:

• No. 1 ranking for doctorates awarded to Hispanics in mathematics. For all minority groups combined, ASU ranks No. 5 in the nation for doctorates awarded in mathematics.

• No. 2 ranking for master's degrees in social sciences awarded to Native Americans. Nursing and nursing administration master’s awarded to Native Americans rank No. 6 – a 300-percent increase over the previous year.

• No. 2 and No. 3 ranking for respective master’s degrees in architecture and doctoral degrees in psychology awarded to Hispanic students. Doctoral psychology degrees also rank No. 7 for all minorities.

• No. 3 and No. 5 ranking for respective doctoral degrees in business and management and computer sciences awarded to Asian-American students.

• No. 18 ranking for psychology doctorates awarded to African-American students – a 200-percent increase over last year. Master’s degrees in the liberal arts and sciences awarded to African Americans rank No. 20.

Other rankings in the top 10 for number of degrees awarded include Native American master’s in public administration and social service, No. 7; Native American master’s in all disciplines combined, No. 8; Hispanic master’s in public administration and social service, No. 8; and Hispanic doctorates in all disciplines combined, No. 9.

A few of the other programs at ASU that receive high rankings include:

• business administration and management for the number of graduate degrees awarded to Native Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and total minorities.

• engineering for the number of degrees awarded to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and total minorities.

ASU also excels in a category called “all disciplines combined,” which summarizes total degrees awarded from all graduate programs at ASU. Top rankings in this category resulted from degrees awarded to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and total minorities.

More than 21 percent of the nearly 14,000 graduate students enrolled at ASU are from underrepresented or minority ethnic groups.

“We are very proud of what our programs and our students have accomplished,” says Maria T. Allison, executive vice provost for Academic Affairs at ASU and dean of the Graduate College. “ASU continues to excel in our ability to recruit highly qualified and talented students and these data affirm that they continue to graduate in very large numbers.”

Diversity services and support for graduate students at ASU include SHADES, a peer-to-peer multicultural mentoring program; Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium (IRC) seminars and ASU PREP in Biomedical Sciences. Other graduate diversity support and mentoring groups can be found at

Diverse magazine’s annual rankings of “The Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers” were published in their July 2012 issue, with complete results online at