Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been around prior to 1964 to educate primarily African Americans. Today, there are 101 HBCUs located in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 19 of these universities were established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890, known as land-grant universities. These campuses attract more students into careers in agriculture, food, natural resources, and human sciences.
Howard, Spelman, and Morehouse are the most common with each campus giving its own vibe of black excellence. The “yard” lights up on Wednesdays with divine nine steppas, and seasonal sports, and the band has a reputation that can make or break the school. Leaving a historical mark on the world and offering a variety of educational classes. However, there are other HBCU’s that are just as amazing.
Here’s a list of nine HBCUs you should consider in no chronological order.
1. Prairie View A&M University
Founded in 1876. PVAMU is located in Prairie View, Texas. It’s one of Texas’s two land grant universities and the second oldest public institution of higher learning in the state. The campus is commonly known as “The Hill” offering more than 70-degree programs, including its most popular undergrad engineering, architects, and online MBA program.
Notable Alumni: Charles Brown, Kirko Bangz, Loni Love, Dewey Redman, Dorrough
2. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
UAPB is the second oldest public institution and the only public historically black institution in the state of Arkansas. With a D1 football team, this campus offers 25 majors. Biology and Agriculture are the top two choices.
Notable Alumni: Chris Mercer, Frank Burgess, Smokie Norful, Chris Akins, Jamie Gillan
3. Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta is a private, Methodist, research university in Atlanta, Georgia. As the first HBCU in the Southern United States, it was first known as Clark College. Clark College consolidated with Atlanta University in 1988. Before the consolidation AU was the first institution to award African Americans in the Nation and the first to award bachelor’s degrees to African Americans in the South. Clark College was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve African-American students. A D2 school offering 23 majors, Clark Atlanta’s top two major picks are Business Administration and Management and Radio, Television, and Digital Communication.
Notable Alumni: Eva Marcille, Jacque Reid, James Weldon Johnson, DJ Drama, Fletcher Henderson
4. Xavier University of Louisiana
XULA is the only historically black Catholic university in the United States. The campus is private, small, and a nationally recognized leader in the STEM and health sciences fields. The institute has the most African American medical school graduates each year than any other university in the United States. With liberal arts-based programs, the campus has more than 40 majors.
Notable Alumni: Troy Carter, Emmitt Douglass, Merri Dee, Akilah Weber, Katrina Robinson
5. Tennessee State University
Tennesse State University was created by Tennessee State General Assembly in 1909 with three normal schools including the Agricultural and Industrial Normal School, which grew to be TSU. In 1912, 247 students began their academic careers in Nashville, Tennessee. The campus has a rich history with the Olympics involving the girl’s track team, TSU Tigerbelles. With 37 undergraduate majors, it is designated as a “high research” institution. The HBCU’s band shared an experience at Coachella with the Houston native Beyonce.
Notable Alumni: Oprah Winfrey, Wilma Rudolph, Thelma Harper, Ralph Boston, Edith McGuire
6. Norfolk State University
NSU is known as one of the largest HBCUs in the nation. Created during the great depression in 1935, the campus sits on 134 acres offering more than 64 majors with business/commerce being the top choice.
Notable Alumni: Tim Reid, Evelyn J. Fields, Karen Briggs, J.B. Smooth, Kyle O’Quinn
7. Tougaloo College
TC is a private HBCU located in Jackson, Mississippi, and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. The National Science Foundation also ranks this institution among the top 25 U.S. institutions that graduate with their Ph. D. degrees in science and engineering disciplines. Offering 29 majors, the top major choice is biology.
Notable Alumni: Bennie Thompson, Walter Turnbull, Aaron Shirley, Colia Clark, Aunjanue Ellis
8. Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is located in Tuskegee, Alabama. Offers over 60-degree programs and is ranked as the number four HBCU nationally. The university was home to scientist George Washington Carver and to World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen. In 1966, Tuskegee became the first black college to be designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark.
Notable Alumni: Keenen Wayans, Danielle Spencer, Ralph Ellison, Lionel Richie, Tom Joyner
9. Texas Southern University
Located in Houston, Texas Third Ward community TSU is one of the largest HBCUs. As a D1 school, it has over 100 academic programs. Ranking Biology as the top major and Law as the top degree. It is classified among R2: Doctoral Universities for high research activity. The institution’s band “Ocean of Soul” has performed with Solange and Kirk Franklin. In 2022, the school is now a participant in a new reality TV show known as “College Hill: Celebrity Edition“.
Notable Alumni: Megan Thee Stallion, Yolanda Adams, Mickey Leland, Morris Overstreet, Barbara Jordan