All photography provided by Jared Chambers

Founded in 2015, BWPhD is working at the forefront of diversity in higher education, leading the effort to increase the number of black women in PhD programs.  


Today, Black Women comprise less than 5% of the total PhD population. To put this in context: less than 2% of all US citizens earn a PhD. Numerous studies show that individuals are more likely to pursue an education if someone in their family has done so before them. Given the low numbers of Black Women PhDs in the world, it is far less likely that a Black Woman will have the networks in place to support her as she progresses along this educational journey. 



It is our mission to increase the number of Black Women aspiring to and reaching the PhD level by providing imperative information and a strong support network:

from Application

through Matriculation

to Completion

and Career.

We will transform the experience of Black Women in PhD programs, and ultimately the percentage of Black Women PhDs in the world, one Black Woman, PhD at a time.


The first Black woman to obtain the PhD degree did so in 1921. As the centennial of this important date in history draws near, Black women are still extremely underrepresented in the upper echelons of higher education. We aim to increase the number Black women pursing Doctoral dreams, one applicant at a time.
— O.N.W., Founder of Black Woman, PhD.