Historically Black Colleges or Universities (also known as a HBCU colleges) are institutions of higher education that have strong historical roots with and within the black community.

HBCU collegesThese postsecondary universities were, at one in time in their histories, some of the few places that members of the black community could obtain a higher education. There are 107 HBCU colleges in the United States, and almost all of them are located in former slave states — although a few exceptions exist.

All Historically Black Colleges (HBCU colleges) and HBCU graduate programs have always allowed admission to students of all races, so it is a myth that these HBCU colleges were ever all black colleges. However, because these HBCU colleges were all established before 1964, at the time these colleges were the only places that members of the black community could obtain a higher education.

We ranked the top 20 online colleges classified as HCBU colleges.

Methodology

We have ranked the following Historically Black Colleges (HBCU colleges) based on the following criteria:

  • 50% Quality of Education Provided
  • 50% Program Flexibility

Quality of the Education Provided is determined based on whether or not the school is accredited, if the school provides a good ROI to students, and is based on the percentage of students that have obtained a career in their chosen field six months after graduation.

Program Flexibility is based on the number of programs the school offers online, including HBCU graduate programs, and whether or not they are available in an asynchronous format.

These ranking criteria were chosen because a high-quality and flexible educational program is one of the strongest indicators of a college’s capabilities of producing excellence in students.

Each of the 20 HBCU colleges on our list has an aggregated score recorded which is an indicator of how it performs as a provider of a high-caliber and flexible education. The scoring system is based on how many programs are available online, how flexible these programs are and how rigorous they are based on data collected from NCES and each individual school’s website. We also consulted our own ranking of the top 100 best online colleges for this ranking of the top 20 HBCU colleges.

20. Florida A&M University

FAMU

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is an HBCU college (Historically Black College or University) located in Tallahassee, Florida.

The school was originally established in the year of 1887. Florida A&M (also known as FAMU) created a nursing and pharmacy program in 1971 and, to provide the school’s students with hands-on experience, built a hospital. This hospital was the only one within a 150-mile radius to serve the black community.

In the year of 2016, Florida A&M was promoted to a Doctoral University with a Higher Research Activity in the Carnegie Classifications by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and is also the only HBCU college located within the state of Florida. The school has many degree programs available for students, most of which are available in an online format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

FAMU’s Website – http://www.famu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FAMU1887

Twitter – https://twitter.com/FAMU_1887

19. Xavier University

Xavier University of Louisiana

A Historically Black and Roman Catholic-affiliated school, Xavier University of Louisiana was founded in 1915.

The school, which is commonly referred to as XULA, has numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from across a wide-range of disciplines. Many of these programs are available in an online and asynchronous format to cater to the school’s many distance-learning students.

In August of 2005, XULA suffered severe structural damage to every building on campus due to Hurricane Katrina; however, the school has since been repaired and is stronger than ever.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

XULA’s Website – http://www.xula.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/XULA1925

Twitter – https://twitter.com/xula1925

18. Fisk University

Fisk University

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Fisk University is a small, private Historically Black University with a historical affiliation with the United Church of Christ.

Today, Fisk is still a predominately black university but is no longer a religiously-affiliated school. The HBCU college, which was originally established in the year of 1866, has numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from, many of which are available online.

Fisk University is currently accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) a regional accreditor responsible for accrediting institutions of higher learning located in the southern region of the United States.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Fisk University’s Website – https://www.fisk.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Fisk1866/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/fisk1866

17. Claflin University

Claflin University

Claflin University is a Historically Black, Methodist-affiliated private liberal arts university based in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Claflin was established in 1869 by Methodist missionaries from Massachusetts to provide an education to freedmen and to prepare them for full integration as free citizens of the United States.

This HBCU college has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and has many undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from, both on-campus and online.

Claflin University currently is home to eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organization chapters, including Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta and Kappa Alpha Psi.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Claflin University’s Website – http://www.claflin.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ClaflinUniversity1869

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ClaflinUniv1869

16. North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University

Located in Durham, North Carolina, North Carolina Central University (which is commonly referred to as NCCU) is a Historically Black University that was originally established in the year of 1910.

North Carolina Central University is a member institution of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which is a college fund for members of the black community that are attending either a private or a public HBCU college.

NCCU has numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from, accommodating both traditional on-campus students and distance learning students. The online programs are available in a fully asynchronous format, providing a significant amount of flexibility for distance learning students.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

NCCU’s Website – http://www.nccu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NCCUEagle/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NCCU

15. Jackson State University

Jackson State University

Jackson State University, which is commonly referred to as Jackson State or simply as JSU, is a Historically Black University located in Jackson, Mississippi.

The school was originally founded during the Reconstruction Era in the year of 1877 in Natchez, Mississippi by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York City, and was originally known as Natchez Seminary. The Society moved the school to the state’s capital in 1882 and renamed it to Jackson College. It attained university status in the year of 1940 and is classified as a research university with a high research rating by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

JSU has many undergraduate, graduate and certification programs–both online and on-campus–available from which students can choose.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

JSU’s Website – http://www.jsums.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JacksonState

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jacksonstateU

14. Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University

Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Fayetteville State University is a Historically Black University and a member institution of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Fayetteville State University (which is commonly referred to as UNCFSU or only as FSU) offers Bachelor’s degrees in 43 separate areas, Master’s degrees in 23 areas and one doctoral degree in the field of educational leadership. Many of these degree programs–along with numerous professional certification programs–are available entirely online and in an asynchronous format.

FSU is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been since 1939. Fayetteville State University was originally established in the year of 1867 and has been providing quality, liberal arts education to the surrounding black community ever since.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

FSU’s Website – http://www.uncfsu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Admissions.FSU

Twitter – https://twitter.com/uncfsu

13. Dillard University

Dillard University

Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dillard University is a private, Historically Black University that provides students with a liberal arts education.

Originally established in the year of 1869 and named after James H. Dillard, an educator from Virginia and a strong proponent of providing the black community with a quality education, Dillard University has had a storied history as an education provider. The school has a myriad of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to choose from that span a wide variety of disciplines.

As with most HBCU colleges, many of these academic programs are offered in an online and asynchronous format to cater to the school’s many distance-learning students.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Dillard University’s Website – http://www.dillard.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dillarduniversity/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/du1869

12. Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University

A public Historically Black University located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Elizabeth City State University was originally established in the year of 1891 by the North Carolina General Assembly to provide the black community with educational opportunities.

The HBCU college was initially focused on the training and teaching of educators for two-year “normal schools,” but, today provides students with a selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate-granting programs, many of which are available in an online and asynchronous format. These online programs are of a high-quality nature and are extremely flexible.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

ECSU’s Website – http://www.ecsu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethCityStateUniversity

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ecsu

11. Morgan State University

Morgan State University

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Morgan State University is a public, Historically Black University that was originally established in the year of 1867.

Morgan State University (which is commonly referred to as Morgan State or simply as MSU) has a selection of academic programs that cover a variety of disciplines. These academic programs include undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs, and professional certification programs, and are available both to traditional on-campus students and distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format.

Although Morgan State is a public institution, it chose not to be a part of the University System of Maryland. As a result, Morgan State University continues to possess its own governing Board of Regents.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

MSU’s Website – http://www.morgan.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/morganstateu/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/morganstateu/

10. Lincoln University

Lincoln University

Located in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lincoln University is a Historically Black University that was established in the year of 1866 by the soldiers and officers of the 62nd United States Colored Infantry, who were stationed at Fort McIntosh, Texas, but the armed regiment was comprised mostly of Missourians.

The regiment established the school in Jefferson City and originally named it the Lincoln Institute. Today, Lincoln University—which is a land-grant institution—provides students with numerous undergraduate, graduate and professional certification programs. Many of these programs are available to distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Lincoln’s Website – https://www.lincolnu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LUBlueTigers

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LUBlueTigers

9. Bluefield State College

Bluefield State College

Bluefield State College (which is commonly referred to as BSC) is a Historically Black College that is located in Bluefield, West Virginia.

This HBCU college is a part of West Virginia’s public education system and offers numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, both on-campus and online. Bluefield State College is the only non-residential four-year college in the state system and administers the separately accredited New River Community and Technical College, which conducts classes throughout the southeastern part of West Virginia.

Bluefield State College is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and was initially established in the year of 1895. Today, the school has a higher percentage of Caucasian students but still maintains its federal status as an HBCU college.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

BSC’s Website – https://www.bluefieldstate.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BluefieldStateCollege/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlfdStateColl

8. Bowie State University

Bowie State University

Located in the unincorporated Prince George’s County, Maryland—just north of the suburban area of Bowie—Bowie State University is a public, liberal arts Historically Black University that was established in 1865.

Bowie State University (which is commonly referred to as Bowie State) provides the surrounding black community with numerous undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs to choose from, which span across multiple liberal arts disciplines. Many of the school’s academic programs are also available in an online, asynchronous and highly flexible format for the many distance-learning students that are attracted to the school each year.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Bowie State University’s Website – https://www.bowiestate.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bowiestate

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bowiestate

7. Hampton University

Hampton University

Located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton University is a private Historically Black university that was founded in 1868 by both black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association to provide education to freedmen after the American Civil War ended.

Among one of the school’s first students was Booker T. Washington, who went on to establish Tuskegee University later in his accomplished and storied life.

As of 2016, Hampton University offers 48 bachelor programs, 23 master programs, eight doctoral programs, two professional programs and eight certification programs. Many of these academic programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format to allow distance learning students to obtain an education at this school.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Hampton University’s Website – http://www.hamptonu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/hamptonuniversity

Twitter – https://twitter.com/_hamptonu

6. Albany State University

Albany State University

Located in Albany, Georgia, Albany State University is a public, Historically Black University.

The school, which was originally established in the year of 1903, is one of three HBCU colleges in the University System of Georgia. Albany State University (which is commonly referred to as Albany State or simply as ASU) is also member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

ASU has many undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certificate-granting programs available for students to choose from, spanning multiple disciplines. Many of these programs are available to distance learning students via an online and asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

ASU’s Website – http://www.asurams.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlbanyStateUniv/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AlbanyStateUniv

5. Bethune-Cookman University

Bethune-Cookman University

Located in Daytona, Florida, Bethune-Cookman University (which is commonly referred to as B-CU) is a private, coeducational and Historically Black university that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

The school, which was originally founded in the year of 1904 as the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School, has a wide selection of undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available for students to enroll in. Many of these programs are also available in an online and asynchronous format.

The HBCU college became a four-year college in the year 1941 when the Florida Board of Education approved a 4-year bachelor program in Liberal Arts and Teacher Education, and the name was changed to Bethune-Cookman College.

In 2007, the Board of Trustees adopted the name Bethune-Cookman University after the school established its first graduate program.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

B-CU’S Website – http://www.cookman.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bethunecookmanuniv

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bethunecookman

4. Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University is a private, Historically Black University that is located in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Tuskegee University was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, a dominant leader of the black community at the time who was also an educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States.

The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site by the National Park Service and is the only university located in the United States to have this designation.

The HBCU college was home to scientist George Washington Carver and the World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen regiment.

Tuskegee University offers 40 bachelor’s degree programs, 17 master’s degree programs and numerous professional certification programs, many of which are available to distance learning students in an online and asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

TU’s Website – https://www.tuskegee.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TUSKEGEEUNIVERSITY/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TuskegeeUniv

3. Howard University

Howard University

A private, Historically Black University located in Washington, D.C., Howard University was originally established in the year of 1867 and was originally known as Howard Normal and Theological School for the Education of Teachers and Preachers.

Howard is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity and is classified as a Tier 1 University and ranks second among HBCU colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Howard University has many undergraduate degree-granting programs, graduate degree-granting programs and professional certification programs available to students, many of which are available in a fully online and completely asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Howard University’s Website – https://www2.howard.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HowardU/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HowardU

2. Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College

Located in Tougaloo, Mississippi, Tougaloo College is a private, liberal arts Historically Black College that was originally founded in the year of 1869.

Originally established by New York-based Christian missionaries for the education of freed slaves and their offspring, the school has a rich history. This history includes a strong foundation in both civic and social activism, including hosting the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Freedom Summer in June of 2014. In 1998 the buildings of the school’s old campus were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Tougaloo College offers many undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and professional certification programs to students, both on-campus and online. The online programs are fully asynchronous and highly flexible.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Tougaloo’s Website – https://www.tougaloo.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tougaloocollege

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tougaloocollege

1. North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (which is commonly referred to as North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina A&T or simply as A&T) is our top pick for the best HBCU colleges.

North Carolina A&T is a public, land-grant Historically Black University and was originally established in the year of 1891 by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly.

North Carolina A&T is currently the largest HBCU college located within the nation based on student enrollment. Initially, the college offered students an education in Agriculture, English, Horticulture, and Mathematics. Today the school offers 177 undergraduate degrees, 30 master degrees, and nine doctoral degrees across its two professional colleges and seven schools. Many of these programs are provided in an online and fully asynchronous format.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

N.C. A&T’s Website – http://www.ncat.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ncatsuaggies

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ncatsuaggies

Top 20 Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCU Colleges) with Online Programs edited by Gerri Elder.