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, two-year and four-year schools, and professional schools.

What Are the Best HBCUs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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Rank School Location
1 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, FL
2 Howard University Washington, DC
3 North Carolina A & T State University Greensboro, NC
4 Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City, NC
5 Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
6 North Carolina Central University Durham, NC
7 Delaware State University Dover, DE
8 Spelman College Atlanta, GA
9 Morehouse College Atlanta, GA
10 Bowie State University Bowie, MD
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

What is a Historically Black College or University?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the term 'Historically Black College or University,' or HBCU for short, has been in use since the Higher Education Act was amended in 1965. HBCU refers to any accredited institution established prior to 1965 "whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans." However, HBCUs are committed to educating all students regardless of their race.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 102 HBCUs in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2016. The first HBCUs were established in the 1830s, more than two decades before slavery was abolished in the U.S. The number of HBCUs has decreased since the 1930s, but has remained fairly steady since the 1980s. In 2016, the combined enrollment for all HBCUs was 292,000. HBCUs are fairly small compared to other colleges and universities, and more than half enroll 2,500 or fewer students.

Black student enrollment at HBCUs has declined since 1980, due in part to factors like desegregation, improved access to financial aid, and higher salaries among African Americans. In 1980, 17% of black students were enrolled at an HBCU, but this figure decreased to 9% by 2015. However, HBCUs still represent 15% of all bachelor's degrees conferred to black students in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.

How to Choose a Historically Black College

As with selecting any college or university, choosing the right HBCU requires extensive research. Students should peruse the list of current HBCUs and identify institutions that award degrees in their desired career field.

Once they have a list of possible schools, students should compare their top picks based on factors like location, school and class size and overall cost (see bullets below). Additionally, students should research 'student outcome' data for each of their selected HBCUs. Student outcomes include retention rates, or the number of students that return after each academic year, as well as graduation and graduate employment rates. Another important outcome is 'debt default,' which measures the number of students that are forced to default on their student loan payments after they have graduated (often because they are unable to find work).

It's important to note that HBCUs are open to students of all races. As fewer black students have enrolled at HBCUs since 1980, these institutions have experienced an uptick in the number of non-black students. The Pew Research Center notes that, in 2015, white, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American students represented 17% of students enrolled at HBCUs. In particular, the number of Hispanic students has risen by a considerable margin over the last four decades. Hispanics represented 1.8% of students enrolled at HBCUs in 1980, and this figure rose to 4.6% in 2015.

Location

School location may impact education costs for HBCU students, particularly out-of-state students, who usually pay higher tuition rates than 'in-state' students. Becoming an in-state student typically requires at least one year of established residency in the state where the college or university is located. In addition to traditional brick-and-mortar campuses, many HBCUs offer online courses and degree programs that students can access anywhere in the country. Online students often pay a flat tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence.

School Size and Type

The largest HBCUs enroll between 12,000 and 7,500 new students each year, but more than half of all HBCUs have an overall enrollment of 2,500 or fewer students. Public universities tend to have higher enrollment numbers and larger campuses, and their student-to-faculty ratios tend to be less favorable. In contrast, private colleges typically have lower enrollment numbers, smaller campuses and more favorable student-to-faculty ratios.

Degree Program Availability

HBCUs are considered especially suitable for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. According to the United Negro College Fund, 25% of African American STEM graduates come from HBCUs. However, due to the diverse selection of HBCUs, students should be able to pinpoint several institutions with degree programs that reflect their career aspirations. Some HBCUs offer specialization or concentration degree programs that allow students to focus their studies on a niche area of their career field.

Cost

The cost of attending an HBCU will depend on several factors, such as the student's state residency and whether they live on- or off-campus. All students are encouraged to complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before they begin college. The FAFSA uses factors (such as the student's household income) to determine their eligibility for federal loans, grants and other forms of financial aid. Students must submit their FAFSA at certain times to meet rolling deadlines. Those planning to attend college during the 2019-20 academic year may submit their FAFSA between Oct. 1, 2018, and June 30, 2020. In addition, students can browse scholarship opportunities using our African American Scholarships Guide.


Interviews

William Hudson, Jr., Ph.D.

William Hudson, Jr., Ph.D.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Florida A&M University

William Hudson, Jr., Ph.D., is a proud alumnus of the institution and also serves as a professor focusing on educating students in the areas of rehabilitation, disability, vocational training and services, community transition, and empowerment. Dr. Hudson is a specialist in the recruitment and retention of minority students and has a national presence in these arenas. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in counseling education from FAMU. He went on to earn a specialist degree in counseling and human services and a Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling from Florida State University.

What are the three aspects that make attending a HBCU a unique college experience?

At HBCUs, particularly FAMU, students receive the benefit of learning with and from individuals who have diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Students also experience a family-oriented environment and have unlimited opportunities to gain hands-on, real-world experience.

What are the two most important attributes or characteristics a student should consider when selecting a HBCU experience and why?

Two of the most important areas to consider when selecting an HBCU include (1) the quality of academic programs and faculty and (2) the professional development, scholarship, and networking opportunities. At FAMU, we offer some of the highest ranked programs in the nation and a legacy of alumni who have emerged as leaders in public service, civil rights and law, entertainment, environmental science, medicine, arts, engineering, business, journalism, architecture, and more. We have also been nationally recognized for the scholarship opportunities we offer our students.

In what ways do you suggest students considering applying to a HBCU begin their research and connect with HBCU admissions and faculty?

Students should attend campus tours and recruitment events, as well as research the institution's website and social media platforms to get a better feel for its academic offerings and campus life. They should also talk to alumni and recent graduates about their experiences. At FAMU, we host preview days in the fall and spring for interested students, open our campus for college tours year-round, travel across the country to offer recruitment fairs, our alumni host informational events in their areas, and we now offer a virtual-360 interactive tour of our campus.

Why are HBCUs important in America today?

At HBCUs like FAMU, we produce leaders that bring to the table a more global approach to thinking and decision-making. HBCUs offer an open-arm approach that helps students feel comfortable and confident in who they are. The research and teaching that occurs on our campus helps provide profound solutions to some of the world's greatest issues.

Do you believe more HBCUs should offer online education programs?

At FAMU, we continue to expand our online education platform. Often students who attend HBCUs are holding down part-time and full-time jobs and online education offers them the flexibility needed to complete their degrees on time. Online education gives individuals who are already well into their careers an opportunity to return to school to further their education. We also serve the millennial generation and the internet plays a big role in their day-to-day lives, so it is imperative that they have the option to attend courses online.

How can online students benefit from taking their programs from a HBCU?

At FAMU, our online students get the same personal touch that our students on-campus receive. Their instructors are the same highly credentialed educators that lead our classrooms every day. They are getting access to the best programs and other necessary resources, just like any other student.


Illai Kenney

Illai Kenney

Co-Founder and National Partnership Director of the HBCU Green Fund, Inc.

Along with a millennial board of directors, Illai Kenney is a co-founder and National Partnership Director of the HBCU Green Fund, Inc., a new 501C3 organization created to help finance green infrastructure and renewable energy projects at historically black colleges and universities. Illai gained valuable experience serving as a Program Manager in the Howard University Office of Sustainability since graduation from Howard University.

Illai is an internationally recognized environmental and social justice youth activist; her first public speech was at the Million Youth Movement Rally at the age of nine and she co-founded the Georgia Kids Against Pollution when she was 12. The Brower award winner attracted global media attention for challenging Coca-Cola over water practices in India and for speaking up about poverty at the UN Summit on Sustainability in South Africa.

Illai was among the many activists gassed at the traumatic Ferguson March that underscored Black Lives Matter. She served as an organizer with Black Youth Vote to promote youth civic engagement and as a Green Ambassador with the Toyota Green Initiative and Green for All. Illai has traveled to Senegal, Ghana, Europe, and Venezuela. She volunteered with Hearts for Africa in Malawi and went to Ghana with the Morehouse College MPAGE program where she worked on sustainable development projects.

Can you tell us a little about your academic journey and the process you went through while applying to college?

I went about applying to college in what I'd consider all the wrong ways. In fact, I only applied to two schools. I knew what I wanted to study (entertainment/media and law) so I found programs that would allow me to do that. I did not enjoy the application process, but I got through it with a lot of help from my mom. In high school, my grades were pretty average, mostly because I was academically unchallenged. I graduated with a 3.0, but I scored a 1930 on my combined SAT. I believe my SAT scores helped me get admitted to Howard.

What factors lead you to choose a historically black college and university for college?

My mom and godmother are both Howard alumna. I went to pre-K at Howard. Though I don't remember much about those days, I do remember meeting Nelson Mandela when he came to Howard. The grand nature of the school, the fact that they offered a degree in what I wanted to study, and that they offered a plethora of other majors in case I changed my mind helped me decide on Howard. The fact that Howard is a place where you can engage with elite black thinkers in any field of study was also a huge draw. Looking back, I understand that being in a space where being black wasn't different was good for me. Being on a campus where being black and exceptional were simply the starting point forced me to elevate my entire self.

What are the two most important attributes or characteristics a student should consider when selecting an HBCU experience and why?

My key questions are: where, why, and for what? Where you want to live is extremely important. If you hate city life, you probably won't like a school like Howard because it is smack dab in the middle of a big, busy city. If you're like me and don't want to live in the south, you'll love it. And being where you want is very important when you're paying to be there.

Why are you going? If you want to study agricultural sciences, then an HBCU that doesn't offer a program that gives you a robust experience is not the way to go. You must know why you're attending because the why is your purpose and will keep you focused.

Lastly, I ask for what? For what goes deeper and further than why. It looks at what your long-term goals are as well as what you need for yourself. If you aren't big on religion, then a school that is may not be a fit for you. But if religion is a cornerstone for your life, then a school that endeavors to develop their students spiritually would be right up your alley. In terms of career desire, if you know that you want to get involved in national politics, then you should attend a school that makes it easy to do so. Being in DC at Howard might be better than being in Alabama, for example.

How did attending a HBCU shape your college experience?

Attending an HBCU gave me lifelong memories and friendships. I know people in many corners of the world because of my time at Howard. Attending an HBCU made me mentally strong and it taught me to follow through until my goals are accomplished.

Why do you think HBCUs are important in America today?

HBCUs are important because black lives matter. There are few places on Earth where the black life in its entirety is enjoyed, examined, and advanced and the HBCU campus is one of them. When I co-founded the HBCU Green Fund to help HBCUs advance their sustainability goals and position themselves for the future, it was with an understanding that HBCUs are essential to not just black people, but to all people, because when black people advance, we lift as we climb.

What are ways online students can benefit from taking their programs from an HBCU?

Online students can benefit from tapping in to the HBCU network and attending classes with students and professors who have shared experiences.

2021 Best Accredited HBCUs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tallahassee, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Founded in 1887 with just 15 students, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has grown into one of the best historically Black colleges and universities in the country. It currently educates over 10,000 learners. The university offers more than 100 programs at various levels, including popular business administration, allied health, and biology degrees.

One of 12 schools that make up the State University System of Florida, FAMU features several satellite campuses, including a pharmaceutical sciences college with multiple locations throughout the state. Learners also enjoy access to the school's various research centers and institutes, including centers for sustainability, plasma science and technology, and viticulture and small fruit research.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 67 bachelor's, 47 master's, and 15 doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $2,822/semester for in-state undergraduates; $8,795/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum for first-year students and 2.5 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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2

Howard University

Washington, DC Graduation Rate: 62%

Established in 1867, Howard University serves more than 11,000 students in over 130 study areas. The university oversees 13 colleges and schools, including top medical and law schools. Recognized as a leader for its business, social work, and communication programs, Howard has also earned a place among the best historically Black colleges and universities in the fields of medicine, science, and engineering.

On the 256-acre main campus and the nearby joint campuses, Howard students can join student clubs and organizations, access the student health center, and visit the university counseling center. The university also boasts the Howard University Hospital, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, and the Center for African Studies.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Private
  • Number of Programs: 53 bachelor's, 45 master's, 24 doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $13,232/semester for undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: Test optional

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3

North Carolina A & T State University

Greensboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

Since opening in 1891, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has developed into one of the most popular historically Black colleges and universities, particularly in terms of its STEM curricula. Offering roughly 100 programs to over 12,000 students in 10 colleges and schools, N.C. A&T provides degrees in areas like agricultural and environmental systems, bioengineering, and electronics technology.

At N.C. A&T, students can access various support resources, such as the University Writing Center and the Office of Student Success. The 188-acre main campus houses many activities, including more than 150 student clubs and organizations, intramural sports, and a fitness and recreation center. N.C. A&T learners also benefit from research facilities and centers of excellence dedicated to cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, and advanced manufacturing.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 59 bachelor's, 35 master's, and seven doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $1,770/semester for in-state undergraduates; $8,525/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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4

Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

In 1891, Elizabeth City State University opened as a teacher's college with two faculty members and 23 students. Over time, the school has grown into one of the best historically Black colleges and universities. The university now offers about 30 programs. ECSU students can earn degrees in fields like the humanities, education, science, and aviation.

Despite an enrollment of only about 2,000 students, ECSU boasts extensive academic, wellness, and recreational facilities. Degree-seekers also enjoy access to student groups and campus clubs. Through the NC Promise, in-state residents at ECSU pay a standard rate of $500 per semester for tuition.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 27 bachelor's and three master's degree programs
  • Tuition: $500/semester for in-state undergraduates; $2,500/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum for first-year students and 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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5

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Formed in 1892, Winston-Salem State University was the first of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities to offer elementary teacher degrees. Since its founding, WSSU has grown into a school with more than 5,000 students pursuing dozens of majors and concentrations.

Learners can take advantage of WSSU's student activities center, student wellness center, and career development services. The university also boasts over 100 student organizations and clubs. Each academic department features its own center and initiatives to support students in various ways, such as the business college's centers for entrepreneurship, financial services, and economic mobility.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 39 bachelor's, eight master's, and three doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $1,701/semester for in-state undergraduates; $6,824/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum for first-year students and 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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6

North Carolina Central University

Durham, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University was one of the first of the state-supported historically Black colleges and universities committed to liberal arts education. As one of the best HBCUs, NCCU offers more than 150 programs and concentrations to over 8,000 students, including online and on-campus degrees in business, education, and health sciences.

All students can access the university's wellness, academic, and career support services. The school also provides access to five libraries and 13 research centers and institutes, including institutes for biomedical and biomanufacturing research. These centers and core labs give students space to develop their own research, engage in experiential learning, and drive innovation.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 107 bachelor's, 45 master's, and two doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $1,864/semester for in-state undergraduates; $8,218/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum for first-year students and 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: Test optional

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7

Delaware State University

Dover, DE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Delaware State University was founded in 1891 as one of the first historically Black colleges and universities with land-grant statues. Today, DSU offers more than 100 programs, including bachelor's tracks in aviation, agriculture, and forensic biology. The university also offers doctoral programs in optics and neuroscience.

In addition to offering programs on its 356-acre main campus, DSU provides distance learning and continuing education alternatives. Learners can take advantage of student success and career services centers. The university also boasts seven research centers and institutes, including a science center and centers for biological, environmental, and biomedical research.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 77 bachelor's, 26 master's, and six doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $3,519/semester for in-state undergraduates; $8,480/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Test optional

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8

Spelman College

Atlanta, GA Graduation Rate: 75%

Spelman College was founded in 1881 and enrolls more than 2,100 students. Among the best HBCUs in the country, this women's college boasts the highest graduation rate and enrollment number of Gates Millennium Scholars. Spelman College offers more than 30 majors, including programs in African diaspora, curatorial studies, and health careers.

In addition to the counseling, wellness, and career services available at Spelman College, degree-seekers also enjoy access to over 85 student organizations. The college houses various research centers and programs, such as the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement and the Enhancing Global Research and Education in STEM program. Spelman College also established the Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education and oversees Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTC programs.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Private
  • Number of Programs: 34 bachelor's degree programs
  • Tuition: $11,674/semester for undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: Test optional

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9

Morehouse College

Atlanta, GA Graduation Rate: 54%

One of the oldest and best HBCUs, Morehouse College opened in 1867. The college now enrolls more than 2,200 students on its 66-acre campus, offering 32 majors across seven academic divisions. Students can pursue study in areas like life sciences, experiential learning, and mathematics and computational sciences. Additional majors include applied physics, computer science, and software engineering.

Morehouse also gives students access to various research and support centers, including centers for global leadership, public health sciences, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Students can also choose from approximately 50 student organizations and take advantage of roughly 50,000 square feet of recreational facilities.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Private
  • Number of Programs: 32 bachelor's degree programs
  • Tuition: $13,519/semester for undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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10

Bowie State University

Bowie, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Founded in 1865 as the first HBCU in the state of Maryland, Bowie State University now serves more than 6,000 students in over 45 programs. Students can pursue degrees in fields like military science, educational leadership, and behavioral sciences.

On the university's 300-acre campus, degree-seekers can access health and wellness services, civic engagement opportunities, over 50 student groups, and various multicultural programs. The university also houses a performing arts center; an entrepreneurship academy; and the Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Nursing, which boasts a nursing simulation lab and fully functional greenhouse.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 23 bachelor's, 20 master's, and two doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $2,824/semester for in-state undergraduates; $8,169/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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11

Lincoln University

Lincoln University, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

The first HBCU to grant degrees, Lincoln University was founded in 1854 in Pennsylvania. In its first century, the university educated a large segment of the country's Black attorneys and physicians. Currently, more than 2,000 learners study at Lincoln in 60 programs. Popular fields include human services, digital communications, and nursing.

Lincoln students can access extensive academic support and wellness services on the school's 422-acre campus, along with more than 35 student clubs and organizations. In addition to traditional career support services, the university also offers internship services, community engagement opportunities, and pre-professional preparatory programs in health and science disciplines.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 56 bachelor's and 4 master's degree programs
  • Tuition: $5,633/semester for in-state undergraduates; $8,734/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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12

Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA Graduation Rate: 49%

Xavier University of Louisiana was founded in 1915 as the only Catholic HBCU. Xavier now offers some of the best STEM, pharmacy, and pre-medical programs in the country. The university's more than 3,000 students can choose from over 50 academic disciplines, including options in bioinformatics, neuroscience, and data science.

Xavier offers student support services in many areas, including wellness, career development, and academic success. Learners can also access research centers, along with resource centers and workshops in various departments, including biology, physics, writing, and math. The active student body also hosts academic clubs, professional and social Greek organizations, and performing groups.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Private
  • Number of Programs: 70 bachelor's, 11 master's, and one doctoral degree program
  • Tuition: $11,533/semester for undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: Test optional

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13

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

Dating back to 1873, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff enrolls nearly 2,500 students in more than 30 programs across agriculture, business, education, and arts and sciences divisions. One of the best historically Black colleges and universities, UAPB offers more than 35 bachelor's degrees, including programs in forensic chemistry, regulatory science, and aquaculture and fisheries.

UAPB's students benefit from substantial support services, including career, counseling, and academic services. They can also join one of over 90 student organizations, as well as a preparatory STEM summer academy. While the school is open to all students, minority learners can take advantage of the Minority Initiative Subrecipient Grant Office and the Minority Research Center.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 5 associate, 67 bachelor's, 7 master's, and one doctoral degree program
  • Tuition: $171/credit for in-state undergraduates; $388/credit for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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14

Hampton University

Hampton, VA Graduation Rate: 58%

Founded in 1868, Hampton University educates over 3,500 students and offers more than 80 programs at various levels. It stands as one of the oldest and best HBCUs. Popular undergraduate programs at HU include nursing, aviation management, and marine and environmental science.

HU's 314-acre campus in Virginia houses over 55 student groups and organizations and a student center that features recreational facilities and various student activities. Degree-seekers engaged in research can access 15 research institutes, including centers for atmospheric science, proton therapy, and visual parts engineering.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Private
  • Number of Programs: 54 bachelor's, 58 master's, and 15 doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $13,099/semester for undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 3.3 or higher preferred for first-year students and 2.5 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: Test optional

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15

Prairie View A & M University

Prairie View, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

One of the oldest public universities in Texas, Prairie View A&M University was founded in 1876, and it is currently one of the best historically Black colleges and universities. Enrolling more than 9,000 students, PVAMU offers more than 60 programs, including popular options in healthcare, engineering, and business.

Whether attending classes on the sprawling 1,440-acre campus or online, PVAMU learners can access the school's extensive student support services, academic resources, and libraries. The university also hosts major research institutes for students and researchers, including centers for military data intelligence, energy and environmental sustainability, and agricultural research.


School Snapshot

  • School Status: Public
  • Number of Programs: 35 bachelor's, 22 master's, and five doctoral degree programs
  • Tuition: $3,616/semester for in-state undergraduates; $11,115/semester for out-of-state undergraduates

Admission Requirements for Undergraduates

  • GPA: 2.8 for minimum for first-year students and 2.0 minimum for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT for first-year students

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Resources for African American Students

Thank you for visiting our guide to the best Historically Black Colleges and Universities. For more information, please check out the links below. These resources are tailored to African American students, and designed to assist them in different areas over the course of their higher education experience.

Our list of scholarships

This is the definitive list of scholarships available to African American students. In addition to the list, you'll find plenty of advice on how to apply for scholarships and how to stand out from other applicants

HBCU Lifestyle

This comprehensive guide to HBCU education includes resources for African American students and parents, as well as an 'Alumni Spotlight' feature and career resources for degree-holding job-seekers.

The Princeton Review

This article from the Princeton Review titled, 'Considering Historically Black Colleges and Universities,' offers tips for choosing the right HBCU ― or, for some, a non-HBCU school that offers the same opportunities and inclusive learning environment.

CollegeXpress

This guide from CollegeXpress lists 10 reasons why students should consider enrolling at an HBCU. These include supportive faculty members, an inclusive environment, courses tailored to black students and strong alumni support networks.

HBCU Digest

With more than 2 million annual readers, this aggregator website includes an extensive archive of articles and blog posts related to HBCUs and the black student experience. HBCU Digest is also home to four podcast series.

The United Negro College Fund

Established in 1944, the UNCF awards scholarships and other types of financial aid to students attending 37 different HBCUs in the U.S. UNCF member institutions account for more than 60,000 college graduates each year.