Jerrod A. Henderson, Erik M. Hines, Ayesha Boyce, Monique Golden, Paul Singleton, Jared L. Davis, Tyron Slack, Waldemiro Junqueira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Black males are severely underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate engineering programs. While postsecondary interventions have shown to be effective, they are few and far between. Representation of Black males in all segments of the engineering pipeline continues to lag. There also remains a dearth of research that has sought to uncover and understand the factors that influence Black males to pursue engineering graduate degrees and further use these perspectives for more informed intervention design. As a part of a larger study, the authors used interpretive phenomenological analysis to understand the factors that influenced 15 Black male engineers to pursue engineering graduate degrees and to elucidate factors that led to their degree attainment. As the data was analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis, the authors were guided by cultural capital theory to uncover the assets possessed by participants to attain an advanced degree. Three major themes emerged from this study: benefits of advanced degrees (motivation for why they pursued advanced degrees), social supports (motivation for attainment), and hurdles and obstacles experienced (possible barriers to attainment). Two minor themes (advisor and men-tor challenges and negative racial experiences) emerged from the major theme of hurdles and obstacles experienced. Finally, the authors provide recommendations for improving the educational pipeline to in-crease the number of Black males attaining advanced degrees in engineering. The findings of this study may impact intervention design and efforts aimed at recruiting and retaining Black males in engineering graduate programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Black males
  • broadening participation
  • graduate school
  • underrepresentation in engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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