Rising from a historic environment of legal segregation, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established prior to 1964 with the intention of offering accredited, high-quality education to African American students across the United States. These schools do, however, admit students of all races. Students can choose from 99 HBCUs across America, including public and private schools, 2-year and 4-year schools, and professional schools.
The best historically black colleges were determined by considering each school’s academic standards, affordability, outcomes, and student support. The following school profiles explore the legacies, present successes and ongoing initiatives of each institution.
Original article can be found at https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/top-30-historically-black-colleges/
FAMU was founded as the State Normal College for Colored Students in 1887, and began classes with 15 students and two instructors. The university enrolls nearly 10,000 students from more than 70 countries, including several African and Caribbean nations. FAMU is the largest among historically black colleges and universities in the state of Florida.The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through its School of Agriculture and Food Sciences. Fields of study include agribusiness, plant science, entomology and soil and water. FAMU also offers 10 bachelor's degree teaching concentrations through its College of Education, and 13 specialized graduate degree programs through its College of Engineering.According to the university's 2010-20 Strategic Plan, FAMU strives to 'become a top producer' of African American graduates with degrees in law, health and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and to maintain a diverse and inclusive campus atmosphere. FAMU has launched numerous programs to build economic growth and partnerships in Florida, such as the Sustainability Institute and the Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University was established in 1891 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race, a land-grant learning institution reserved for African American students. The university is the largest among all agriculture-based HBCU colleges, and produces the second-largest number of agricultural graduates that belong to minority groups.North Carolina A&T was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center in 2008, and the university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in seven specialized engineering fields. Graduate students attending the university may also pursue graduate degrees in six different concentration areas through the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Additionally, the university offers degrees in four areas of agriculture and environmental science.Alumni of North Carolina A&T include several notable figures of the Civil Rights Era, including the Greensboro Four, who staged the country's first sit-in, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. According to the most recent data, nearly 80% of the students at North Carolina A&T are A
Originally founded in the 1860s as a baptist church offering free teaching classes and later named the Baltimore Normal School for Colored Teachers, Bowie State University is the oldest HBCU in the state of Maryland and among the 10 HBCUs oldest in the country. In 1995 the university received an $27 million grant from NASA and the National Science Foundation, becoming one of six schools recognized as a 'Model Institution for Excellence in STEM.' Since then, Bowie State has been considered a leading producer of African American graduates with degrees in STEM fields.Students seeking a STEM-centered education can choose from degrees in fields like computer science, mathematics, military science and biology. Bowie State also continues its tradition of teacher education by offering a total of eight undergraduate and graduate education degree programs, as well as pathways in educational leadership and school counseling.Bowie State enrolled roughly 6,100 students in Fall 2017, and 82% of the student body is African American. The university also boasts a relatively low student-to-faculty ratio of 17.5-to-1.
Howard University was founded in 1867 by Civil War general Oliver O. Howard, and today the DC-based institution consists of 13 schools and colleges. This HBCU's impressive alumni list includes notable African Americans like Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison and political writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.More than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at Howard. The university's College of Medicine is today recognized as a leading institution doctors and healthcare workers that work with underserved populations, as well as a premier training site for female surgeons. The Howard University School of Law is also considered a major producer of public service graduates.Howard currently enrolls more than 10,000 students from all 50 states and nearly 70 countries across the globe. Additionally, Howard is home to the first African American-owned television station in the U.S., and established Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma, two of the country's most prominent African American fraternities.
Originally founded as the Delaware School for Colored Students in 1891, this HBCU institution currently enrolls 4,600 students and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 16-to-1. In addition to the main Dover campus, DSU operates satellite campuses in two other Delaware cities, Georgetown and Wilmington.The university's most popular major fields of study include accounting, mass communications, movement science, management and psychology. Additionally, the university offers a unique Africana Studies minor that includes coursework in African American history, literature and politics. The school features a total of 19 program departments and six academic colleges. DSU is also home to the Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research (CIBER), where researchers from DSU and three other Delaware schools participate in collaborative, interdisciplinary projects.DSU is considered a top school for Dreamers, or undocumented immigrant students, who have received educational assistance from the Opportunity Scholarship Program. The university enrolls nearly 50 Opportunity Scholarship students, and was one of two schools nationwide to accept applications from these scholarship recipients.
Founded in 1892 as a teaching academy for African Americans, Winston-Salem State University leads all UNC constituent schools for graduate job placement and average salary for graduates in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. Additionally, WSSU is the largest producer of black graduates in the fields of nursing, health professions and education.WSSU offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree and certification programs. Most of these pathways are concentrated in the university's College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education. The WSSU School of Health Sciences also offers programs in fields like clinical laboratory science, exercise physiology and health management, as well as nursing. WSSU is the only HBCU to offer a bachelor's degree in the field of motorsport management, as well.Of this HBCU's 5,000 students, roughly half are first-generation college learners. Students who choose to live on-campus can choose from seven themed residences, including Women in Science and Health, Women Involved in Leadership Development and Live to Serve.
Established by Seventh-Day Adventists in 1896 to provide educational opportunities for freed slaves, Oakwood University is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. The university was accredited as a junior college in 1943, and 15 years later received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as a provider of associate and bachelor's degrees.Undergraduates can choose from 58 degree pathways, including faith-based fields like pastoral care and pre-chaplaincy, ministerial theology and religious education. The university also offers an extensive number of bachelor's programs grounded in STEM and healthcare fields. Three graduate degree pathways are also available, as well as five degrees and certificates offered through the LEAP Adult Degree Completion Program.
Established in 1910 as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race, this Durham-based HBCU was the first state-supported liberal arts school for African American students. NCCU is currently home to 13 research institutes that explore areas like homeland security and workforce development, juvenile justice and minority issues.The most popular areas of study for undergraduates at NCCU include criminal justice, family and consumer science and business administration, while the most popular fields for grad students include law, library science and public administration. The university also offers two dual-degree pathways for students that allow them to earn a bachelor's in physics from NCCU and an engineering bachelor's from North Carolina State University. Several joint degrees are also offered at the graduate level, including business administration/information science, law/library science and law/public administration.Of the university's 8,000 enrolled students, 78% are African American and 12% are white. NCCU boasts a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate of 82%, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-1.
Simmons College of Kentucky is the latest (107th) HBCU in the country. Having lost it's campus and accreditation more than 50 years ago, within the last 13 years Simmons bought their original campus back and full accreditation from ABHE and returned back to HBCU status in 2016. Simmons is known as one of the most resilient colleges in the history of America.