The State of the Humanities
Here are a few of the findings based primarily on 2004 statistics:
Overall, between 10% and 12% of all B.A. degrees are in the humanities, behind the social sciences and business.
2.6% of B.A. degrees in the humanities fall under the category of Religion. English was the highest with 31.7%. History posted 17.7%.
Over 70% of all B.A. degrees in the humanities go to “white/non-Hispanic” students.
Over 60% of all B.A. degrees in the humanities go to women.
Over 40% of all undergraduate students take U.S. History survey courses. 15% take General/Comparative Religion courses.
Average GRE scores for humanities majors: 554 verbal/567 quantitative. For Religion majors: 556/594. For History majors: 542/554. Classics and Philosophy majors posted the highest scores.
Less than 5% of all master’s degrees are in the humanities. Less than 9% of all doctoral degrees are in the humanities, the second from last among all fields ahead of the arts.
Of all master’s degrees, 3.4% are in Religion, 11.8% in History, and 36% in English (high); approximately 65% go to white/non-Hispanic students.
Of all doctoral degrees, 5.1% are in Religion, 20% in History, and 28% in English (high); approximately 65% humanities doctoral degrees go to white/non-Hispanic students (2,384 white/non-Hispanic, 156 African American, 175 Hispanic, 138 Asian or Pacific Islander, 222 Other/Unknown, and 594 Temporary Resident).
Just over 60% of all master’s degrees in the humanities go to women. Just over 50% of all doctoral degrees go to women.
9.7 years is the median number of years for completion of doctoral degrees in the humanities (highest overall). All Fields is 8 years.
Over 28% of humanities graduate students rely on their own resources to pay for education, compared to Physical Sciences at 5.3% (lowest) and Education at 60.3 (highest).
4% of humanities-related jobs are in post-secondary education, compared to 37% in primary/secondary education.
56% of all those awarded Ph.D.’s in the humanities leave university with a definite job commitment.
Humanities faculty has increased 24% since 1999. History faculty has seen a slight but steady increase over the last decade, while Religion and Philosophy faculties have seen a slight decrease in the last 5 years.
Roughly 5% of humanities faculty are categorized at Hispanic, 5% as African American, and 5% as Asian or Pacific Islander, all substantially lower than most other fields.
40% of tenured humanities faculty are women.
Humanities full-time faculty receive the lowest salaries of all fields with a median income of $61,852, compared to overall median of all fields with $70,414 and Engineering (highest) with $89,878.
I could go on. Suffice it to say that this is a highly informative study that everyone in the academic profession should consider. For graphs and explanations and much, much, much, much more, go to http://www.humanitiesindicators.org/. To read the press release, click here.