When choosing a college, several important factors come into play. Millions of students are looking for schools that have successful graduates, amazing athletic programs, and comprehensive financial aid packages, but they rarely consider the sizes of the colleges and universities that they are applying to.
Large historically black colleges and universities have more professors, money, and resources to dedicate to their students than many of the smaller colleges in the United States. And while large enrollment numbers do not guarantee that a particular school will be right for you, they can give you a better idea of what your ideal college would be. To give you more information about the best HBCUs in the United States, we have created a brief guide to the top 10 black colleges in 2018 (based on student population).
The Largest HBCUs By Enrollment:
10. Albany State University (ASU)
Student Population: 6,615
Location: Albany, GA
Albany State University is the largest of three universities in the University System of Georgia, and one of the largest HBCUs in the United States. As a respected black college in the urban South, ASU is home to more than 6,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. US News & World Report named ASU one of the top public universities in 2018, and its alumni have made significant contributions to our nation’s political, economic, social, and athletic fields.
More information about the university is available at https://www.asurams.edu.
9. Morgan State University (MSU)
Student Population: 7,747
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
With more than 7,000 enrolled students, Morgan State University offers 70+ academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s largest HBCU, MSU serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body. It also has one of the most beautiful campuses in the Mid-Atlantic region; The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently named Morgan State University a “national treasure”.
More information about the university is available at www.morgan.edu.
8. North Carolina Central University (NCCU)
Student Population: 8,097
Location: Durham, North Carolina
North Carolina Central University was founded in 1909 as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race, and today it is the eighth largest HBCU in the United States. NCCU was the first public liberal arts institution for African-American students, and it will continue to promote diversity at every level of higher education. Students and faculty have excelled in the sciences, technology, nursing, education, law, business, and fine/performing arts.
More information about the university is available at nccu.edu.
7. Tennessee State University (TSU)
Student Population: 8,177
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Tennessee State University is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s, 22 master’s, and seven doctoral programs; it is also the seventh largest HBCU in the United States and Nashville’s only public university. TSU has been named one of the top 20 historically black colleges and universities by US News & World Report, and one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research, and community service.
More information about the university is available at www.tnstate.edu.
6. Jackson State University (JSU)
Student Population: 8,558
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson State University is a high research activity university in the heart of the South. Since its inception, JSU has played an important role the state, nation, and world by creating comprehensive economic development, healthcare, technological, and educational initiatives. With more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students, JSU is also the fourth largest institution of higher learning in Mississippi.
More information about the university is available at www.jsums.edu.
5. Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU)
Student Population: 9,219
Location: Prairie View, Texas
Founded in 1876, Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Texas and one of the largest HBCUs by enrollment. PVAMU is known for producing engineers, nurses, and educators, but it also offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors; PVAMU has a large graduate student population, with 37 master’s degree programs and four doctoral degree programs across nine colleges and schools. As a member of the Texas A&M University System, PVAMU is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research, and service.
More information about the university is available at www.pvamu.edu.
4. Howard University (HU)
Student Population: 9,392
Location: Washington, D.C.
With an enrollment of more than 9,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate, professional, and joint degree programs, Howard University is dedicated to educating students from a wide range of backgrounds. As the fourth largest HBCU in the nation, Howard has awarded more than 120,000 degrees and certificates in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Howard also produces more on campus African-American PhDs than any other university in the United States.
More information about the university is available at www2.howard.edu.
3. Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Student Population: 9,913
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was founded as the State Normal College for Colored Students in 1887, when it served fifteen students with only two instructors. Today, FAMU offers 54 bachelor’s degrees, 29 master’s degrees, three professional degrees, and 12 doctoral programs in a wide range of academic disciplines. FAMU has received multiple accolades for its students, faculty, and academic/athletic programs; in 2014, FAMU was named one of US News & World Report’s “Best National Universities.” It is also listed among The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” colleges
More information about the university is available at www.famu.edu.
2. Texas Southern University (TSU)
Student Population: 10,237
Location: Houston, Texas
Nestled on a sprawling 150-acre campus, Texas Southern University is one of the nation’s largest HBCUs by enrollment. Although it was initially established to educate African-Americans, TSU has become one of the most diverse institutions in the state. In addition to their large student population, TSU has more than 100 academic programs and concentrations, 80+ student organizations, a diverse faculty, and an extensive alumni network comprised of educators, entrepreneurs, public servants, lawyers, pilots, artists, and many more professionals.
More information about the university is available at www.tsu.edu.
1. North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT)
Student Population: 11,877
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
North Carolina A&T State University was established in 1891 as an agricultural and technical school, but it has grown into a world-class university with more than 100 majors. NCAT is the largest HBCU in the nation, and it is known for excellence in all of its undergraduate, graduate, and continuing studies programs. In addition to their undergraduate majors, NCAT offers more than 58 master’s degree programs and PhD programs in subjects such as mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering; energy and environmental systems; and leadership studies.
More information about the university is available www.ncat.edu.
What The Largest HBCUs By Enrollment Rankings Mean For You
Every student is unique, and a large HBCU may not be the right fit for you. But there are thousands of applicants who want to live on a large campus, with nationally-recognized faculty and like-minded students. If you are one of them, this list may contain your dream school.
The best thing to do, at this point in your education, is to do your homework. Consider some of the other factors that will determine where and when you go to school, like your preferred major and the campus setting (urban, suburban, or rural) that will make you feel at home.
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES ), and the bureau of the Dept. of Education (http://nces.ed.gov/)