Humanities Indicators
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Higher Education  >  Undergraduate Education
 
Institutional Distribution of Bachelor's Degrees in the Humanities
(Updated April 2015)

The distribution of humanities bachelor’s degrees among particular types of institutions is similar to the distribution of all bachelor’s degrees.

Findings and Trends

  • In 2013, institutions classified by the Carnegie Foundation as master’s colleges and universities conferred the largest number of humanities bachelor’s degrees, accounting for 38% of the total (Indicator II-3a). The nation’s research universities also conferred a substantial number of humanities undergraduate degrees. Universities with very high research activity awarded 28% of humanities bachelor’s degrees, and institutions with high research activity conferred another 14% of the total.
  • While baccalaureate colleges conferred 14% of the bachelor’s degrees in the humanities, they conferred less than 12% of the degrees in any of the other academic fields (Indicator II-3b) in 2013.
  • Baccalaureate colleges had the highest concentration of humanities bachelor’s degree earners among their graduates (Indicator II-3c). In 2013, 13% of all degrees bestowed by these schools were in the humanities, as compared to 11% or less of the degrees awarded by every other type of institution.
  • Public colleges and universities have awarded a growing proportion of humanities degrees since 1987, rising from 57% to 67% of the total in 2013 (Indicator II-3d). For-profit colleges and universities conferred a tiny, but increasing, share of humanities degrees (rising from 0.1% to 0.5% of all humanities degrees in the same time period).
  • In 2013 private nonprofit colleges and universities awarded a slightly larger proportion of their degrees to students in the humanities than did public institutions (Indicator II-3e). The gap between the two types of institution has narrowed over time, from four percentage points in 1987 to less than one in 2013.
  • The humanities’ share of bachelor’s degrees conferred at both private non-profit institutions and public colleges and universities declined from 2007 to 2013. At for-profit institutions, on the other hand, the proportion of baccalaureate degrees conferred in the humanities, although tiny, doubled (increasing from 0.6% to 1.2%).
II-3a: Distribution of 2013 Humanities Bachelor’s Degree Completions among Carnegie Institution Types*

* Institutions have been categorized using the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Basic Classification of college and university types.

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

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II-3b: Distribution of 2013 Bachelor’s Degree Completions among Carnegie Institution Types,* by Field of Degree

* Institutions have been categorized using the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Basic Classification of college and university types.

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

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II-3c: Humanities Bachelor’s Degrees as a Percentage of All Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded by Various Carnegie Institution Types,* 2013

* Institutions have been categorized using the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Basic Classification of college and university types.

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

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II-3d: Percentage of All U.S. Bachelor’s Degrees in the Humanities Awarded by Public Versus Private Institutions,* 1987–2013

* Institutions have been categorized according to the IPEDs classification of institutional control.

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

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II-3e: Humanities Bachelor’s Degrees as a Percentage of All Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded by Public versus Private Institutions,* 1987–2013

* Institutions have been categorized according to the IPEDs classification of institutional control.

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

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