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October 29, 2001
Lincoln University Ranks Third in Nation Among Black Colleges and Universities in Graduating African Americans with Baccalaureate Degrees in Physics, Say National Report and News Magazine

Lincoln University, America's first Historically Black University, ranks third among the nation's 117 Black colleges and universities in producing African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in physics, according to a national survey and news magazine. Between 1996 and 1998, which are the most recent years that national and comparative statistics are available, Lincoln University granted bachelor's degrees in physics to an average of nine (9) graduates in each of the three years, according to the American Institute of Physics. Moreover, in 1999, Lincoln graduated 11 students with degrees in physics.

Out of a total of 3,405 students receiving physics degrees in 1999, only 160 African Americans nationwide, or five (5) percent, received bachelor's degrees in physics; another 24 or six (6) percent earned master's degrees in physics; and ten or one (1) percent were granted Ph.D.'s in physics. Meanwhile, white students in 1999 received 2,948 or 86 percent of the bachelor's degrees in physics; 329 or 85 percent of the master's degrees; and 603 or 90 percent of the Ph.D.'s .

The nationwide survey and resulting ranking were reported in the September 13, 2001 edition of BLACK ISSUES IN HIGHER EDUCATION (BISHE). During the three-year period of 1996 to 1998, Xavier University of Louisiana led the list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by averaging 15 graduates with bachelor's degrees in physics; Southern University & A&M College, also in Louisiana, was second after averaging 10 graduates.

The magazine says that the number of black students graduating yearly with degrees in physics has remained low, in comparison with white students and traditionally white institutions, because the physics profession needs to "do a better job at making black students aware of opportunities in physics before they get to college."

The numbers may reflect a declining interest in physics in general, BISHE says. At Lincoln University, however, interest in the physical sciences -- biology, chemistry and physics -- continues to grow.

"Lincoln University's outstanding physical science faculty members in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are to be commended for their longstanding commitment to academic excellence and encouraging students to seek their degrees in the physical sciences," University President Ivory V. Nelson said.

Lincoln University has several other national distinctions. Lincoln is ranked first in Pennsylvania and second in the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences. Lincoln is the only university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and one of but 20 universities nationwide where 40 percent or more of its physics graduates are women.

The Lincoln Advanced Science and Engineering Reinforcement (LASER) program is recognized as one of the most successful pre-engineering and science-training programs in the nation. It is a national model of success in recruiting and mentoring students for science careers. First established in 1980 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and now also supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the LASER program aims to increase the number of minority students in aerospace and other engineering fields. In addition to undertaking a rigorous curriculum, LASER students also have the opportunity to participate in summer internships at a NASA site.

Founded in 1854 in southern Chester County, Lincoln University is a nationally acclaimed institution of higher learning that provides the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of students living in a highly technological and global society. During its 2000-2001 academic year, Lincoln enrolled 1,842 undergraduate and graduate students. * * * *

For more information, contact:
Samuel W. Pressley, Director
Lincoln University's Office of Marketing & Communications,
610-932-1094; e-mail:; home: 856-582-9574.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
1570 Old Baltimore Pike, P.O. Box 179, Lincoln University, PA 19352 (484) 365-8000

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