Largest HBCU in the Nation: Top 10 Black Colleges by Enrollment

Updated June 23, 2023

Graduation celebration among a group of black college students wearing stoles and sashes at one of the largest HBCUs in the nation.

Welcome to the HBCU world! Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have left an indelible mark on American society by producing leaders in every field, from the arts to technology, from politics to science. They have been a source of hope, support, and progress for the Black community in particular. In this post, we’ll talk in-depth about the largest HBCUs with the most students.

Factors That Determine the Size of an HBCU

When we talk about the “size” of the largest HBCU, we’re mostly talking about enrollment or the number of students who attend. Size can also mean the size of the campus or the number of academic programs, but enrollment numbers are the best way to show how influential an HBCU is and how many opportunities it gives.

An Overview of the Largest HBCU by Enrollment

North Carolina A&T State University is the largest HBCU with the most students and leads in academics, research, and innovation. NC A&T has excellent STEM programs. It produces smart, world-changing people.

NC A&T has long promoted academic excellence. It has top engineering and agricultural programs. In 2020, Money Magazine named it the best public HBCU in the nation for its quality, affordability, and student success.

This school also excels in research. North Carolina A&T is a member of R2: Doctoral Universities with High Research Activity, conducting groundbreaking research in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, nanoengineering, and energy.

Fans of sports should know that the Aggies, the university’s teams, have done well in football and track and field at the NCAA Division I level. The campus is filled with a sense of community and ‘Aggie Pride’ because of their success.

Let’s also talk about differences. North Carolina A&T celebrates its diverse student body. African American students studying engineering, agriculture, business, and other fields rank it highly.

The university is known for its innovation.

Their students and faculty innovate in biotechnology and green technology. Their innovation and excellence have garnered national attention.

North Carolina A&T’s achievements demonstrate how education can change lives and how vital HBCUs are to society. That’s why they’re leading!

The Big 10 on the Largest HBCU List!

Alright, family, it’s time to dive into our list of the top 10 largest HBCUs:

10Jackson State University7,080A top producer of African American professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).Jackson, MS
9Texas Southern University7,524Is a comprehensive metropolitan university that ranks among the top HBCUs in the nation for producing black architects.Houston, TX
8North Carolina Central University7,953This university’s law school has one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation.Durham, NC
7Tennessee State University8,077Known for its strong business, education, and health science programs.Nashville, TN
6Southern University and A&M College8,317The largest HBCU in Louisiana, it offers degrees in areas like business and nursing.Baton Rouge, LA
5Morgan State University8,469Is a hub for engineering and science; its motto is “Growing the Future, Leading the World.”Baltimore, MD
4Florida A&M University9,000A vibrant institution that offers top-rated programs in architecture, journalism, and health.Tallahassee, FL
4Prairie View A&M University9,400This Texan university excels in the fields of engineering and nursing.Prairie View, TX
2Howard University12,065Known as “The Mecca,” Howard has been a powerhouse in the arts, humanities, and sciences since 1867.Washington, DC
1North Carolina A&T State University13,322Grounded in a rich tradition of research and innovation, this university nurtures future leaders.Greensboro, NC

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (2020-2021) and the websites of each university.

The Impact of The Largest HBCUs on Their Communities and Society

These HBCUs do more than just teach students. They also have a big effect on the communities they are in and on society as a whole. They make important cultural contributions and help local economies grow. Also, they still fight for racial justice and equality, breaking down barriers and opening doors.

The Future of HBCUs
HBCUs face problems, just like other schools. One of them is that there aren’t enough resources or that people have the wrong ideas about it. But they change, adapt, and try to push the limits. In this world after the pandemic, they have shown a lot of strength and will play an even bigger role. Keep an eye on those enrollment trends, because we think they are going to go up.

Some Closing Thoughts
We just went on a quick tour of the top 10 largest HBCUs, which are places that stand for academic excellence, cultural heritage, and social change. HBCUs aren’t just important; they’re essential. Keep this in mind if you’re going to college, are in college, or are just interested.

Largest HBCUs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is the #1 HBCU?

The “#1 HBCU” can be different depending on how the list is made. Based on things like student retention, faculty resources, and donations from alumni, U.S. News & World Report says that Spelman College is the best HBCU as of 2023.

Is A&T the biggest HBCU?

Yes, North Carolina A&T State University is the largest HBCU in terms of student enrollment as of 2021.

Which state has the largest number of HBCUs?

Alabama is the state with the most historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), with a total of 14.

What is the hardest HBCU?

The “hardest” HBCU to get into can change from year to year, depending on the admissions requirements and how competitive the applicant pool is. Spelman College has a lower acceptance rate than most HBCUs. This makes it one of the more competitive HBCUs to get into.

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