Press Release - USM Institutions Improve in Annual Survey

July 3, 2002

USM Institutions Improve in Annual Survey by Black Issues in Higher Education

In an improvement over last year's results, institutions of the University System of Maryland (USM) placed in the nation's top five in 16 categories in Black Issues in Higher Education's annual survey of top awarders of undergraduate and graduate degrees to minorities, including African-Americans. Last year, USM institutions finished in the top five in 15 categories. The list - encompassing a broad range of institutions from across the U.S., including traditionally white and historically black colleges and universities - was the 11th annual produced by the Fairfax, VA-based publication. It was published in the June 20 edition.

The University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) finished first among all institutions in the categories of Social Sciences and History (producing more African American baccalaureates) and mathematics (producing the most African-American doctorates). The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) placed first for a traditionally white institution in the awarding of first-professional degrees in all categories to African Americans. First-professional degrees include medicine, law, and dentistry.

"In years past, many of our institutions did not appear in this publication in substantive ways," said USM Interim Chancellor Joseph Vivona. "The University System has worked diligently to increase the number of minorities who both attend and graduate from our institutions, and each year we are seeing improvements when Black Issues publishes its findings. Yes, there is more to do, but the good finishes in these lists demonstrate that we have momentum. The task before us now is to sustain that momentum."

The annual survey provides a comprehensive picture of how minorities are faring in higher education across the U.S. It examines the top producers of minority graduates in categories ranging from Area Ethnic Group Studies to Health Sciences, and provides an intensive look at business, education, and information technology, this year for the academic year 2000-2001.

USM institutions finished in the top five in a number of different categories in both the undergraduate and graduate lists. Bowie State University placed second in the number of African-American recipients of a master's degree in computer science, and fifth in the production of master's degrees in all categories for African Americans at a historically black college or university. UMCP had a total of 11 top-five national finishes, including a second place for the awarding of doctoral degrees in all categories (biology, education, engineering, social sciences and history, etc.) to African Americans attending a traditionally white institution. It also finished third in the production of English undergraduate degrees for African Americans and third in doctorates for Asian Americans in computer and information science.

University of Maryland University College, widely considered to be a global leader in the delivery of on-line courses, placed third in the category of master's degrees in business for African Americans. In the first-professional degree category of dentistry for all institutions, UMB produced the fourth-largest number of African-American graduates, the 10th largest number of Asian American graduates, and the 14th largest number of Hispanic graduates. In the category of first-professional law degrees for African Americans, UMB placed seventh, with the University of Baltimore coming in 11th. In medicine, UMB produced the ninth largest number of African American degree recipients.

Coppin State College and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), the USM's other two historically black institutions (Bowie State being the third) appeared in the survey six and nine times respectively. UMES's best showing was a 16th place in master's degrees for African Americans in computer science. Coppin's best showing was a 24th best overall ranking among the nation's historically black institutions in producing master's degrees for African Americans.

In total, nine of the 11 degree-granting institutions of the USM appeared in Black Issues in High Education's top 20 more than 50 times in a variety of categories.

The survey is available to Black Issues subscribers on-line at


Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739