HBCU Colleges List: 107 Great Education Options to Consider

Pictured are graduates march out of the Cravath Hall building at Fisk University, a private HBCU in Nashville, TN. Fisk is one of the 107 schools on the HBCU colleges list from around the nation.
Graduates march out of the Cravath Hall building at Fisk University, one of the privately owned HBCU in Nashville, TN. Photo via of Fisk University.

If you want to learn more about the HBCUs, you're at the right spot; we've compiled the HBCU colleges list of all the accredited Black colleges and the states where they are located. Let's start with the basics and explain what Historically Black Colleges and Universities are and what that acronym means before we move on.

What is an HBCU?

The letters “HBCU” are an acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They are schools that were founded on the belief that every student deserves access to a college or higher education, dating back to the early 1800s.

When segregation was legal, these establishments began to take shape and grow. Providing black Americans with opportunities to pursue higher education was a game-changer in their fight to advance economically and socially. Today, students of all races are welcome at historically black colleges.

How many HBCU schools are there?

A lot of our readers have asked the question, How many HBCUs are there? The US Department of Education has given the HBCU label to 107 schools, both public and private. In 2020, there were 101 accredited black colleges in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Out of the 101 HBCUs, 52 were public schools and 49 were private schools that gave back to the community, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended defines an HBCU as:

“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.”

What are the best HBCU colleges in the country?

The US News HBCU Rankings 2023 list is now available. Visit our HBCU Rankings page to see which HBCUs made the top 25 list and which did not.

Where are Historically Black Colleges and Universities located?

There are more HBCUs in the southeastern United States than in any other region on the HBCU colleges list. Alabama is home to a number of historically black colleges and universities. Browse the states where HBCUs are located using the interactive map provided below. 

Map of HBCUs

HBCU Colleges List by State


There are a total of 14 HBCUs in the state of Alabama, making it the state with the most black colleges in the country. Nine of the 14 are 4-year universities, while the other 5 are 2-year community colleges. 

Alabama A&M UniversityPublic, 4 Year Normal, AL
Alabama State UniversityPublic, 4 Year Montgomery, AL
Bishop State Community CollegePublic, 2 Year Mobile, AL
Concordia College (Alabama)Private, 4 Year Selma, AL
Gadsden State Community CollegePublic, 2 Year Gadsden, AL
Lawson State Community CollegePublic, 2 Year Birmingham, AL
Miles CollegePrivate, 4 YearFairfield, AL
Oakwood UniversityPrivate, 4 Year Huntsville, AL
Selma UniversityPrivate, 4 Year Selma, AL
Shelton State Community CollegePublic, 2 Year Tuscaloosa, AL
Stillman CollegePrivate, 4 Year Tuscaloosa, AL
Talladega CollegePrivate, 4 Year Talladega, AL
Tuskegee UniversityPrivate, 4 Year Tuskegee, AL
J.F. Drake State Community and Technical CollegePublic, 2 Year Huntsville, AL


Four HBCUs can be found in the state of Arkansas; only one of these is a public university (and the largest of the four), while the other three are private and all clustered around Little Rock.

University of Arkansas at Pine BluffPublic, 4 Year Pine Bluff, AR
Arkansas Baptist CollegePrivate, 4 Year Little Rock, AR
Philander Smith CollegePrivate, 4 Year Little Rock, AR
Shorter CollegePrivate, 2 Year Little Rock, AR

The only HBCU colleges in California is Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, which is a private graduate school. It was started in 1966 because people in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, didn't have enough access to health care.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and SciencePrivate, 4 YearLos Angeles, CA


Delaware State University (DSU) is the only historically black college in Delaware on the HBCU colleges list. DSU is a public land-grant research university known for its diverse student body, which includes people from 41 states and 15 countries.

Delaware State UniversityPublic, 4 YearDover, DE

Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, D.C., has two black colleges that have one or more colleges in addition to their main campuses. Howard University was founded in 1867, and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) was founded in 1851. UDC is the only public university in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Howard UniversityPrivate, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
Howard University College of MedicinePrivate, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
Howard University School of LawPrivate, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
University of the District of Columbia (UDC)Public, 4 YearWashington, D.C.
UDC David A. Clarke School of LawPublic, 4 YearWashington, D.C.


If you want to attend HBCU colleges in Florida, you have four options: Florida A&M University and Edward Waters University in north Florida; Bethune-Cookman University in the central part of the state; and Florida Memorial University in south Florida.

Bethune-Cookman UniversityPrivate, 4 YearDaytona Beach, FL
Edward Waters CollegePrivate, 4 YearJacksonville, FL
Florida A&M UniversityPublic, 4 YearTallahassee, FL
Florida A&M University College of LawPublic, 4 YearOrlando, FL
Florida Memorial UniversityPrivate, 4 YearMiami Gardens, FL


After Alabama, Georgia has the second largest number of HBCUs in a single state. There is a mix of private and public options for black colleges in Georgia to choose from, some of which are the top historically black colleges in the nation.

Albany State UniversityPublic, 4 YearAlbany, GA
Fort Valley State UniversityPublic, 4 YearFort Valley, GA
Savannah State UniversityPublic, 4 YearSavannah, GA
Clark Atlanta UniversityPrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Interdenominational Theological CenterPrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Morehouse CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Morehouse School of MedicinePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Morris Brown CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA
Paine CollegePrivate, 4 YearAugusta, GA
Spelman CollegePrivate, 4 YearAtlanta, GA


In Kentucky, there are two Historically Black Colleges and Universities to consider. Kentucky State University, founded in 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons, and Simmons College of Kentucky, founded in 1879 and accredited as the nation's 107th HBCU.

Kentucky State UniversityPublic, 4 YearFrankfort, KY
Simmons CollegePrivate, 4 YearLouisville, KY


There are seven HBCUs in Louisiana. Five of them are public, and one of them is a law school. The other two are private. Grambling State University, which opened in 1901 in Grambling, LA, and Southern University and A&M College, which opened in 1880 in Baton Rouge, LA, are two of the most popular HBCUs in Louisiana and the state. 

Grambling State UniversityPublic, 4 YearGrambling, LA
Southern University and A&M CollegePublic, 4 YearBaton Rouge, LA
Southern University Law CenterPublic, 4 YearBaton Rouge, LA
Southern University at New OrleansPublic, 4 YearNew Orleans, LA
Southern University at ShreveportPublic, 2 YearShreveport, LA
Dillard UniversityPrivate, 4 Year New Orleans, LA
Xavier University of LouisianaPrivate, 4 YearNew Orleans, LA


The state of Maryland is home to four public Historically Black College and Universities. Two are located in Baltimore, MD, and the remaining two are in Bowie and Princess Anne, MD. The oldest of the universities in Maryland is Bowie State University, founded in 1865 as the “Baltimore Normal School.”

Bowie State UniversityPublic, 4 YearBowie, MD
Coppin State UniversityPublic, 4 YearBaltimore, MD
Morgan State UniversityPublic, 4 YearBaltimore, MD
University of Maryland Eastern ShorePublic, 4 YearPrincess Anne, MD


Mississippi's seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities are scattered. There are five public and private four-year schools. Two public two-year universities remain. Jackson State University, founded in 1877 in Jackson, MS, has more students than any other Mississippi HBCU. 

Alcorn State UniversityPublic, 4 YearLorman, MS
Jackson State UniversityPublic, 4 YearJackson, MS
Mississippi Valley State UniversityPublic, 4 YearItta Bena, MS
Coahoma Community CollegePublic, 2 YearClarksdale, MS
Hinds Community College-UticaPublic, 2 Year Utica, MS
Rust CollegePrivate, 4 YearHolly Springs, MS
Tougaloo CollegePrivate, 4 YearTougaloo, MS


There are two public black colleges in Missouri. Harris-Stowe State University is in St. Louis, MO, and Jefferson City, MO, is home to Lincoln University of Missouri. The larger HBCU is Lincoln University, which began as the Lincoln Institute in 1866. 

Harris-Stowe State UniversityPublic, 4 YearSt. Louis, MO
Lincoln University of MissouriPublic, 4 YearJefferson City, MO

North Carolina

North Carolina has twelve Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Raleigh's Shaw University, which was founded in 1865, is the oldest HBCU in the South. North Carolina Central University in Durham, which was founded in 1910, is the state's newest HBCU.

Elizabeth City State UniversityPublic, 4 YearElizabeth City, NC
Fayetteville State UniversityPublic, 4 YearFayetteville, NC
North Carolina A&T State UniversityPublic, 4 YearGreensboro, NC
North Carolina Central UniversityPublic, 4 YearDurham, NC
North Carolina Central University School of LawPublic, 4 YearDurham, NC
Winston-Salem State UniversityPublic, 4 YearWinston-Salem, NC
Barber-Scotia CollegePrivate, 4 YearConcord, NC
Bennett CollegePrivate, 4 YearGreensboro, NC
Johnson C. Smith UniversityPrivate, 4 YearCharlotte, NC
Livingstone CollegePrivate, 4 YearSalisbury, NC
St. Augustine’s CollegePrivate, 4 YearRaleigh, NC
Shaw UniversityPrivate, 4 YearRaleigh, NC


Wilberforce, Ohio, is home to three HBCUs. Wilberforce University, Central State University, and Payne Theological Seminary. Wilberforce University, founded in 1856, is the oldest private HBCU to keep its original name. The university is also the first college run and owned entirely by African Americans. 

Central State UniversityPublic, 4 YearWilberforce, OH
Payne Theological SeminaryPrivate, 4 YearWilberforce, OH
Wilberforce UniversityPrivate, 4 YearWilberforce, OH


Langston University is the only school in the state of Oklahoma on the HBCU colleges list. The university is in Langston, OK. It was founded in 1897 as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University with 41 students on a single campus.

Langston UniversityPublic, 4 YearLangston, OK


Pennsylvania has the most to say about the history of HBCU colleges. There are two public schools you can choose from. In 1854, the Ashmun Institute opened in Chester County, PA, which is now Lincoln University. It is the first of the HBCU colleges to grant degrees. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is in Cheyney, PA. Quaker philanthropist Richard Humphreys started it as the first HBCU. The university's original name was the Institute for Colored Youth.

Cheyney University of PennsylvaniaPublic, 4 YearCheyney, PA
Lincoln UniversityPublic, 4 YearLincoln University, PA

South Carolina

In South Carolina, there are eight black colleges. The state has only two public schools. The rest of the schools are private. Claflin University, which has been around since 1869, and South Carolina State University, which has been around since 1896, are recognized as two of the top schools in the state. Both are in Orangeburg, SC.

South Carolina State UniversityPublic, 4 YearOrangeburg, SC
Denmark Technical CollegePublic, 2 YearDenmark, SC
Allen UniversityPrivate, 4 YearColumbia, SC
Benedict CollegePrivate, 4 YearColumbia, SC
Claflin UniversityPrivate, 4 YearOrangeburg, SC
Morris CollegePrivate, 4 YearSumter, SC
Voorhees CollegePrivate, 4 YearDenmark, SC
Clinton Junior CollegePrivate, 2 YearRock Hill, SC


Tennessee has seven historically black colleges and universities, and it was the first state to hire a full-time, statewide higher education professional to help its public and private HBCUs do well. Tennessee State University, which opened in 1912 as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School, and Fisk University, which opened in 1866, are among the top schools. Both are located in Nashville, TN.

Tennessee State UniversityPublic, 4 YearNashville, TN
American Baptist CollegePrivate, 4 YearNashville, TN
Fisk UniversityPrivate, 4 YearNashville, TN
Knoxville CollegePrivate, 4 YearKnoxville, TN
Lane CollegePrivate, 4 YearJackson, TN
LeMoyne-Owen CollegePrivate, 4 YearMemphis, TN
Meharry Medical CollegePrivate, 4 YearNashville, TN


There are ten HBCU colleges in Texas. There are four public ones and six private ones. There are two HBCU colleges near Houston, TX. The oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities are Paul Quinn College in Dallas, TX, one of the HBCU colleges near Katy, TX, and Wiley College in Marshall, TX. Both started in the years 1872 and 1873. Wiley College was in the movie The Great Debaters, which was made in 2007 and starred Denzel Washington.

Prairie View A&M UniversityPublic, 4 YearPrairie View, TX
Texas Southern UniversityPublic, 4 YearHouston, TX
Texas Southern University – Thurgood Marshall School of LawPublic, 4 YearHouston, TX
St. Philip’s CollegePublic, 2 YearSan Antonio, TX
Huston-Tillotson UniversityPrivate, 4 YearAustin, TX
Jarvis Christian CollegePrivate, 4 YearHawkins, TX
Paul Quinn CollegePrivate, 4 YearDallas, TX
Southwestern Christian CollegePrivate, 4 YearTerrell, TX
Texas CollegePrivate, 4 YearTyler, TX
Wiley CollegePrivate, 4 YearMarshall, TX


Virginia is home to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities. There are three private schools and two public ones. Virginia Union University, located in Richmond, VA, is the oldest HBCU in the state of Virginia. It began as Wayland Seminary and merged with the Richmond Institute in 1865. 

Norfolk State UniversityPublic, 4 YearNorfolk, VA
Virginia State UniversityPublic, 4 YearPetersburg, VA
Hampton UniversityPrivate, 4 YearHampton, VA
Virginia Union UniversityPrivate, 4 YearRichmond, VA
Virginia University of LynchburgPrivate, 4 YearLynchburg, VA

West Virginia

West Virginia has two public four-year HBCUs. West Virginia State University, located in Institute, WV, is the older school. It was founded as the West Virginia Colored Institute in 1891. Bluefield Colored Institute in Bluefield, WV, became Bluefield State College in 1895.

Bluefield State CollegePublic, 4 YearBluefield, WV
West Virginia State UniversityPublic, 4 YearInstitute, WV

Virgin Islands

Many people don't know there is an option in the Caribbean on the HBCU colleges list. The University of the Virgin Islands has been around since 1962. It is a public, land-grant HBCU. Between the two campuses, there are about 1,625 students living there.

University of the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas Campus)Public, 4 YearSt. Thomas, V.I.
University of the Virgin Islands (Albert A. Sheen Campus, St. Croix)Public, 4 YearKingshill, V.I.

Frequently asked questions about HBCUs

Below, we address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Got a query that hasn't been covered here? If you have any questions, please visit our contact page.

Which state has the most HBCUs?

The state of Alabama is home to the most Historically Black Colleges and Universities (14), followed by North Carolina (12) and Georgia (10). 

What is the #1 HBCU in America?

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Spelman College, an all-private women's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia, as the top HBCU in the nation. 

How many historically black colleges and universities are there?

Today, there are 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with more than 228,000 students. Most of them are in the Southeast, but some are in Pennsylvania and California. 

Which HBCUs are in the Black Ivy League?

The original Black Ivy League colleges are Dillard University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Tuskegee University.

What are the largest HBCUs?

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics for 2021, North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC, has the most students of any HBCU. This is followed by Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. 

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