What Are the Largest Black Colleges in the U.S.?

The largest black colleges in the U.S. are all 4-year schools designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). HBCU institutions are colleges and universities that were established before 1964 with the primary goal of offering higher education to black Americans, but they admit students of any race. Read on to learn about the largest four HBCUs in the U.S.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida A&M is located on 422 acres in Florida's capital city, Tallahassee. It is the largest HBCU in the United States. At Florida A&M, you have diverse education options with over 60 majors to choose from. The graduate school highlights studies in engineering, sciences and leadership. Florida A&M also has colleges of law, education and pharmaceutical sciences, among others.

In 1887, FAMU, known then as the State Normal College for Colored Students, opened its doors to a class of 15 students. In 2011, Florida A&M had an enrollment of over 12,000 students.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

You can become an Aggie in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT). This land-grant university opened in 1893, and it has both undergraduate and graduate schools. NCAT is home to the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, an organization inspired by President Lyndon B. Johnson's desire to investigate race riots in 1968. The institute endeavors to bring black issues and journalists into the forefront of media news.

At NCAT you can choose from 117 majors in your undergraduate education. The graduate school offers 58 master's programs and doctorates in subjects like advanced engineering and leadership studies. More African-American engineers have degrees from this school than any other in the nation.

St Philip's College

With the third-largest student population among HBCUs in the U.S., St. Philip's College is a member of the Alamo Colleges. This group of colleges serves the needs of students living in Bexar County, Texas. St. Philip's College was established in 1898 as St. Philip's Normal and Industrial School. Its original mission was to train and educate newly emancipated slaves, and St. Philip's Episcopal Church played a key role in the school's administration. In 1955, St. Philip's began admitting white students.

In keeping with its mission as a community college, St. Philip's offers over 80 workforce certificates and over 85 transfer degrees. Degree programs might award Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degrees upon completion. The A.A. and A.S. degree programs typically transfer to a 4-year college, while the A.A.S. program prepares students for employment. Students could also earn marketable skills achievement awards or certificates to start their careers. Field of study range from teaching and automotive technology to nursing and restaurant management.

Howard University

Howard University in Washington, D.C. is the nation's largest private HBCU. Howard offers over 120 subjects for you to study. Graduate programs at Howard include law, dentistry, medicine, engineering and divinity. The school boasts that it produces more African-American on-campus Ph.D. graduates than any university in the world. In 2014, Howard University was ranked number three by U.S. News and World Report among the HBCU institutions in the United States.

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