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Higher Education  >  Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Information for Specific Humanities Disciplines
 
Racial/Ethnic Distribution of Degrees in Languages and Literatures Other than English
(Updated April 2016)

The share of degrees awarded in languages and literatures other than English (LOTE) to members of traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups was substantially greater in 2014 than in the late-1970s, but the timing and magnitude of the increase varied by degree level.

Findings and Trends

  • In 2014, the percentage of LOTE bachelor’s degrees awarded to members of traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups grew to 27%, the largest share on record (Indicator II-20d). After a decline in the 1980s, the share increased substantially until 2001, plateaued at approximately 22% until 2011, and then rose swiftly over the next three years.
  • Among LOTE master’s degree recipients, the share from traditionally underrepresented minorities reached the highest level on record in 2012 (22.8%) but then fell in both 2013 and 2014, bringing the share down to 21.9% (Indicator II-20e). The only other multiyear drop occurred in the late 1980s.
  • The increase in the shares of LOTE bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded to traditionally underrepresented minorities was driven almost entirely by a surge in the proportion of such degrees awarded to Hispanic students. The percentage of bachelor’s and master’s degrees going to members of other ethnic groups remained at a low level (less than 5.0% for each group) throughout the period, while the share of Hispanic students rose above 20% at both levels.
  • In contrast to the trend at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, the share of traditionally underrepresented minorities earning Ph.D.’s in LOTE was lower in 2014 than it had been in 1987 (12.7% as compared to 14.5%; Indicator II-20f). The percentage fluctuated in the 10–16% range over this time period with only a few exceptions (slipping to approximately 9% in the years 1992 to 1994 and rising to 17.1% in 2009). As at the lower degree levels, the trend in the minority share of Ph.D.’s mirrored the changing levels of doctorates awarded to Hispanic students.
  • A striking development in advanced LOTE degrees from 1979 to 2014 was the increase in the share of advanced degrees awarded to temporary residents—although the trend has been far from linear, with strong surges followed by sharp declines. At the master’s degree level, the 2014 share of 21% represented a 12-point increase from 1979. In the case of doctoral degrees, the share was 26%, up 14 percentage points from the late 1970s, but down ten points from the high in 2008. In contrast, temporary residents earned a consistently small share of LOTE bachelor’s degrees (approximately 2–3%) throughout this period.
II-20d: Percentages of Bachelor’s Degrees in Languages and Literatures Other than English Awarded to Members of Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, 1977–2014*

* The gaps in the trend lines indicate a shift from the National Science Foundation’s disciplinary classification system to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs. Please see the Note on the Data Used to Calculate the Number of Degree Completions in English Language and Literature and in Languages and Literatures Other than English for an explanation of the differences between the two systems that are most pertinent to this indicator. Degree counts do not include second majors.
** Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and who are identified by their institutions as African American (non-Hispanic), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.
† Students counted under “Racial/Ethnic Minorities” minus Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System; accessed via the National Science Foundation’s online integrated science and engineering resources data system, WebCASPAR.

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II-20e: Percentages of Master’s Degrees in Languages and Literatures Other than English Awarded to Members of Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, 1977–2014*

* The gaps in the trend lines indicate a shift from the National Science Foundation’s disciplinary classification system to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs. Please see the Note on the Data Used to Calculate the Number of Degree Completions in English Language and Literature and in Languages and Literatures Other than English for an explanation of the differences between the two systems that are most pertinent to this indicator.
** Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and who are identified by their institutions as African American (non-Hispanic), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.
† Students counted under “Racial/Ethnic Minorities” minus Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System; accessed via the National Science Foundation’s online integrated science and engineering resources data system, WebCASPAR.

About this DataRelated Indicators
../cmsData/xls/indII-20e.xls../cmsData/ppt/indII-20e.ppt../cmsData/pdf/indII-20e.pdf
II-20f: Percentages of Doctoral Degrees in Languages and Literatures Other than English Awarded to Members of Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, 1977–2014*

* The gaps in the trend lines indicate a shift from the National Science Foundation’s disciplinary classification system to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs. Please see the Note on the Data Used to Calculate the Number of Degree Completions in English Language and Literature and in Languages and Literatures Other than English for an explanation of the differences between the two systems that are most pertinent to this indicator.
** Includes students who are citizens or permanent residents and who are identified by their institutions as African American (non-Hispanic), American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.
† Students counted under “Racial/Ethnic Minorities” minus Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System; accessed via the National Science Foundation’s online integrated science and engineering resources data system, WebCASPAR.

About this DataRelated Indicators
../cmsData/xls/indII-20f.xls../cmsData/ppt/indII-20f.ppt../cmsData/pdf/indII-20f.pdf