Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)

There are more than 100 Historically Black Colleges & Universities in the US, primarily in the southeastern states, offering degrees at undergraduate and graduate level.

Defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965, the term "HBCU" refers to:

"...any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation."

HBCUs include a wide variety of institution types and sizes, from medium-sized public research universities, to small, private and women's and men's colleges.

These institutions offer a high quality education to students from a wide variety of backgrounds, with diverse and supportive campus communities, and often a particular focus on developing leadership.

According to Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, “70 percent of black dentists and doctors, 50 percent of black engineers and public school educators, 35 percent of black lawyers are graduates of HBCUs... HBCUs have provided more African American graduates in STEM fields than all Ivy League colleges combined.”

Alumni of Historically Black Colleges & Universities include:

  • Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State University)
  • Spike Lee (Morehouse College)
  • Kamala Harris (Howard University)