New first-time graduate school enrollments are way up for ethnic minorities

<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Graduate school applications were up 2.2&nbsp;percent year over year in 2018, and first-time enrollments increased 2.1&nbsp;percent across institution types, according to a <a href="https://cgsnet.org/graduate-enrollment-and-degrees" target="_blank">new report</a> by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service.</p>

<p>The groups were especially pleased to see higher increases in first-time enrollments among people of color, including Latinx (6.8&nbsp;percent), black (3.5&nbsp;percent), Asian (6.2&nbsp;percent) and Native American students (8.3&nbsp;percent). Over all, 24.1&nbsp;percent of all first-time enrollees who were U.S. citizens and permanent residents in fall 2018 were underrepresented minorities.</p>

<p>Hironao Okahana, associate vice president, research and policy analysis, at the council, attributed those gains to increased <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/content/diversifying-graduate-schools-and... target="_blank">attention to diversity</a> on many campuses. &ldquo;Graduate schools are prioritizing recruitment of traditionally underrepresented students and are eager to diversify their programs,&rdquo; he said Monday. And while the increases &ldquo;are a good start,&rdquo; he added, &ldquo;we must work to further support [underrepresented] students in their path to graduate school and beyond.&rdquo;</p>

<p>Those sentiments echo scholars and advocates who say that keeping underrepresented minority students in graduate school and academic jobs depends not so much on recruiting as on <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/06/04/whos-doing-heavy-lifting-... target="_blank">attention to inclusion</a> and climate thereafter. And the council&rsquo;s report notes that Native American, black and Latinx graduate students remain underrepresented in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and math, in particular.</p>

<p><img alt="U.S. citizen and permanent resident first-time grad enrollments by race and ethnicity" src="/sites/default/server_files/media/Screen%20Shot%202019-10-07%20at%205.29.13%20PM.png" style="width: 400px; height: 324px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />First-time enrollments among international graduate students continued to fall in 2018, by 1.3&nbsp;percent. International enrollments have <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/10/03/report-says-international... target="_blank">fallen each year</a> for the last three years, after a period of significant growth.</p>

<p>Suzanne Ortega, council president, said that drop hurts even domestic students, who benefit from training alongside international students, &ldquo;as we move to an increasingly globalized economy and workforce.&rdquo; International students also make &ldquo;important contributions to graduate education and research and the U.S. economy,&rdquo; she added in a news release.</p>

<p>Asked if the <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2019/05/16/trump-announce-immi... target="_blank">Trump administration&rsquo;s stance on immigration</a> is playing a role, Okahana said that global student mobility &ldquo;is a complex phenomenon.&rdquo; Many factors, such as the economy, workforce needs and availability of graduate education options at home and abroad influence international students&rsquo; decisions about where to study. But U.S. &ldquo;policies and politics are certainly a part of the equation,&rdquo; and the council continues to monitor both closely.</p>

<p>By field, engineering seems to be most affected by the drop in international students. Applications and first-time graduate enrollments in that broad discipline declined 6.9&nbsp;percent and 4.6&nbsp;percent last year, respectively. Most of what the report calls &quot;volatility&quot; was at the master&#39;s degree level.</p>

<p>Still, engineering programs received the most applications for any field in 2018, at 284,512.</p>

<p>The biggest increases in first-time enrollments otherwise seem to reflect long-term trends and industry needs, as projected by the <a href="https://www.bls.gov/emp/" target="_blank">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>. Math and computer science enrollments jumped 4.3&nbsp;percent year over year, and health sciences enrollments increased by 3.3&nbsp;percent. Over the last decade, according the report, first-time enrollments in math and computer science increased by 11&nbsp;percent and the health sciences by 6&nbsp;percent.</p>

<p>Enrollments in education also increased 3.2&nbsp;percent year over year.</p>

<p>In good news for the arts and humanities, there was virtually no year-over-year change in first-time enrollments, either at the master&rsquo;s or doctoral level. In contrast, the last five years saw average annual decreases of 2.3&nbsp;percent and 1.2&nbsp;percent, respectively.</p>

<p><img alt="Trends in first-time grad enrollments by discipline, 2008-18" src="/sites/default/server_files/media/Screen%20Shot%202019-10-07%20at%205.29.48%20PM.png" style="width: 400px; height: 351px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />Asked about this, Okahana was cautiously optimistic. While year-to-year changes alone don&rsquo;t constitute a trend, he said, it&rsquo;s &ldquo;possible that we&rsquo;re seeing a flattening in the decline.&rdquo; The council -- and, most likely, various professional organizations -- will continue to watch these numbers in future admissions cycles.</p>

<p>More than 1.8&nbsp;million graduate students enrolled in degree programs in 2018. As always, the majority (74&nbsp;percent in 2018), joined master&rsquo;s programs. Nearly 60&nbsp;percent of first-time master&rsquo;s degree enrollees were women, as were about 54&nbsp;percent of doctoral program enrollees.</p>

<p>Business, education and health sciences -- the biggest broad fields of study -- had the biggest share of part-time students.</p>

<p>The largest one-year increases in applications to doctoral programs were in math and computer science (18.6&nbsp;percent) and public administration and services (12.9&nbsp;percent). Applications to master&rsquo;s degree programs saw the biggest jumps in the social and behavioral sciences (9.3&nbsp;percent) and math and computer sciences (5.4&nbsp;percent).</p>

<p>Of the gradate degrees and certificates awarded in 2017-18, 62&nbsp;percent were from public institutions, 34&nbsp;percent from private institutions and about 4&nbsp;percent from for-profits.</p>

<p>This year&rsquo;s report includes data from 589 institutions.</p>
</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-art-cat field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Admissions</div><div class="field-item odd">Faculty</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Editorial Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/editorial-tags/graduate-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Graduate education</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/editorial-tags/graduate-students" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Graduate students</a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-diversity-newsletter field-type-list-boolean field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Is this diversity newsletter?:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-diversity-newsletter-order field-type-number-integer field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Newsletter Order:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">0</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-diversity-newsletter-publi field-type-datetime field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Diversity Newsletter publication date:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><span class="date-display-single" property="dc:date" datatype="xsd:dateTime" content="2019-10-08T00:00:00-04:00">Tuesday, October 8, 2019</span></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-disable-left-side-advertis field-type-list-boolean field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Disable left side advertisement?:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-is-this-career-advice-news field-type-list-boolean field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Is this Career Advice newsletter?:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-email-teaser-news field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Email Teaser:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Grad Enrollment: Gains at Home, Losses Abroad</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-magazine-treatment field-type-list-boolean field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Magazine treatment:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-trending field-type-list-boolean field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Trending:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-display-promo-box field-type-list-boolean field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Display Promo Box:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div>