HBCU in Oklahoma
Editor & Writer
Reviewer & Writer
Editor & Writer
Reviewer & Writer
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were founded when higher education was still racially segregated to offer Black students the opportunity to attend college. Segregation has been illegal since 1964, but today, HBCUs continue to offer students an excellent education and a rich sense of culture and history. There is one HBCU in Oklahoma: Langston University.
The History of Oklahoma's HBCU
Langston University (LU) was officially established on March 12, 1897, as the Colored Agricultural and Normal University in response to the need for a college for Black students, who were not permitted to attend college in Oklahoma at the time. Since then, LU has proudly served the community for 125 years.
One of the most notable triumphs in Langston University's history is that it cleared over $4.5 million in student debt in 2023. It did the same in 2021, with assistance from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
LU is located in the historically Black town of Langston, Oklahoma, about 40 minutes south of Oklahoma City and an hour and half west of Tulsa. Langston University also has campuses located in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
Langston University offers students 40 degree programs divided over six schools. It also offers four different master's degree programs. Langston University is also the first institution in Oklahoma to offer an accredited doctor of physical therapy program, its only doctoral program.
Attending Langston University costs $4,342 per year for in-state students and $11,722 for out-of-state students. A number of full and partial scholarships are available to first-time and returning students. The Neighboring State Non-Resident Tuition Waiver is also an option for students who live in states that border Oklahoma.
All Langston University students are required to complete an internship in their field prior to graduation. This requirement has been in place for 40 years.
Langston's School of Agriculture and Applied Science (SAAS) is a reflection of its history as a land grant institution. As such, it's involved in advanced academic research and extension and outreach programs, providing students with hands-on research opportunities. The school involves scientists, teachers, researchers, and farmers to conduct research and training with various organizations involved with food insecurity, health improvement, and environmental health protection.
Embracing Culture as the Sole HBCU in Oklahoma
Langston University embraces diversity and works to incorporate strategies that foster a multicultural, respectful, and caring learning environment and increase student involvement in campus activities. Student organizations are plentiful, including theater, government, music, sports, social involvement, and publications.
Langston also hosts annual events, including Founders' Day, Homecoming, and the President's Scholarship Gala.
A Closer Look at Campus Life
There's more to life at Langston University than just academics. Here's more information about the students who attend Langston and the services it offers to support current and past students.
The Langston University population is small, with a total enrollment of 1,903 students in 2022. Of these, 1,814 are undergraduate students, 88 are graduate students, and 41 are professionals. There are 1,488 Black students, 101 White students, and 314 students from other ethnicities at the school. There are 1,161 women and 742 men.
Student Support Services
Langston supports its students with career and professional development services, on-campus employment opportunities, and counseling and health services. It also provides recreation and wellness activities for students with fitness classes and intramural sports teams. Langston has its own radio station, newspaper, and many student organizations to keep students engaged on campus.
Langston University maintains alum news on its website through its Alumni Association, showcasing alum journeys and achievements. Langston also presents alum awards at commencement each year. Nomination forms are available on the Langston website.
Other Schools in Oklahoma that Offer Inclusive & Diverse Learning Experiences
Other schools in Oklahoma, while not HBCUs, offer an inclusive and diverse learning experience, including support for Black students. These include the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
The University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma works proactively to increase Black student and staff representation on campus. Its African American Programs and Services Office supports Black students throughout their academic careers. The University of Oklahoma is also home to the Black Student Association, offering programming related to Black culture and history. It also offers a bachelor of art degree in African American Studies.
Oklahoma State University
Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, OSU offers a number of opportunities to promote Black students' social and cultural engagement. In addition to hosting a thriving African American Student Union, the school offers a minor through the Center for Africana Studies. Additionally, six of the nine historically Black fraternities and sororities have active chapters on campus, and there is an active Black Alumni Association.
Frequently Asked Questions about the HBCU in Oklahoma
Is Langston University the only HBCU in Oklahoma?
Langston University is the first and only HBCU in Oklahoma. The next two closest HBCUs are Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, and Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas. However, they are both nearly 300 miles away from Langston.
Is Langston University D1?
Langston University's athletic program is ranked as a Division I school in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The NAIA is smaller than the National Collegiate Association (NCAA), with two divisions versus three. A ranking of Division I in the NAIA is comparable to Division II in the NCAA.
Where is Langston University?
Langston University is located in the city of Langston, Oklahoma. The city is named after John Mercer Langston, a Black educator and U.S. representative from Virginia.
Why should I attend Langston University?
Students interested in attending an HBCU in Oklahoma will want to choose Langston University for its long history of cultural tradition and its commitment to the education of Black students. Students interested in agricultural-related careers in research will appreciate access to its School of Agriculture and Applied Science (SAAS). Langston is also good for students who prefer a smaller school, as its enrollment hovers around 1,900 students.