Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are a unique feature of the higher education landscape in the United States. They are found mostly in the Southern United States.
HBCUs are higher education institutions that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and were created with the intention to provide education for the African American community. This was because, before the Civil Rights Act was established, African Americans were not permitted to study in the majority of schools.
Today, while many of the students attending HCBUs are predominantly African American, diversity in student bodies has increased over time, with white, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American students making up a fifth of the population at HBCUs.
Many HBCUs are private, liberal arts universities.
Here is a rundown of all the best HBCUs based on data collected for the THE/WSJ US College Rankings 2019:
1. Spelman College
Spelman College is a private, women’s liberal arts college located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Many prominent women have attended Spelman, including Pulitzer prizewinning author Alice Walker, the first African American COO of Starbucks and CEO of Sam’s Club Rosalind Brewer, former dean of Harvard College Evelynn M. Hammonds, and musician, activist and historian Bernice Johnson Reagon.
The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is the only museum in the United States dedicated to art by women in the African diaspora.
Students at the institution come from 41 US states and 15 countries.
2. Howard University
Howard University is a private, co-educational college in Washington. It is categorised by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity. It is a national leader in studying health disparities among ethnic minorities.
It is particularly well-known for the STEM subjects and is seen as a top producer of African-American graduates who go on to earn science and engineering doctorates.
Alumni include writer and MacArthur Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates; first African American and first Indian American female Attorney General and US Senator from California, Kamala Harris; actress Taraji P Henson; and Nobel and Pulitzer prizewinning author Toni Morrison.
3. Hampton University
Hampton University was founded in 1868 and is located in Hampton, Virginia.
It is home to the Hampton University Museum, the oldest African American museum in the US, and the oldest museum in the state of Virginia.
A 15-acre section of the campus along the Hampton River is a US National Landmark District, which means that it is officially recognised by the US government for its historical significance. Buildings in this area include Mansion House, Marquand Memorial Chapel and Virginia Hall.
The student to faculty ratio is 10 to 1 which is a better than the national average of 18 to 1.
4. Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana is the only historically black, Roman Catholic institution of higher education in the US.
It was established in 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The campus of the university is sometimes called the “Emerald City” because many of the buildings on campus have green roofs. These include the Library/Resource Centre, the Living Learning Centre and the Katharine Drexel Hall.
5. Tuskegee University
The university offers 40 bachelor’s degree programmes, 17 master’s degree programmes, a five-year accredited professional degree programme in architecture, four doctoral degree programmes and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Tuskegee University is the number one producer of African American aerospace science engineers in the US as well as being one of the top producers of African American engineering graduates.
Best historically black colleges and universities in the United States
|HBCU rank||US College Rank 2019||University||City||State|
|4||=320||Xavier University of Louisiana||New Orleans||Louisiana|
|=6||501-600||Delaware State University||Dover||Delware|
|=8||601-800||Bowie State University||Bowie||Maryland|
|=8||601-800||Clark Atlanta University||Atlanta||Georgia|
|=8||601-800||Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||Tallahassee||Florida|
|=8||601-800||Jackson State University||Jackson||Mississippi|
|=8||601-800||Morgan State University||Baltimore||Maryland|
|=8||601-800||North Carolina Central University||Durham||North Carolina|
|=8||601-800||Tennessee State University||Nashville||Tennessee|
|=8||601-800||Texas Southern University||Houston||Texas|
|=8||601-800||Virginia State University||Petersburg||Virginia|
|=8||601-800||Winston-Salem State University||Winston-Salem||North Carolina|
|=18||> 800||Alabama A&M University||Normal||Alabama|
|=18||> 800||Alabama State University||Montgomery||Alabama|
|=18||> 800||Albany State University||Albany||Georgia|
|=18||> 800||Fayetteville State University||Fayetteville||North Carolina|
|=18||> 800||Norfolk State University||Norfolk||Virginia|
|=18||> 800||North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University||Greensboro||North Carolina|
|=18||> 800||Prairie View A&M University||Prairie View||Texas|
|=18||> 800||Savannah State University||Savannah||Georgia|
|=18||> 800||Southern University and A&M College||Baton Rouge||Louisiana|
|=18||> 800||Wiley College||Marshall||Texas|