Top 10 Most Influential HBCUs Ranked by Academic Influence

Last Updated on January 22, 2024

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically Black Colleges & Universities are increasingly the preferred choice of students today. Academic Influence ranks the 30 most influential HBCUs for you to consider…

HBCUs are hot. America's Historically Black Colleges & Universities are attracting more students and generating more press attention—and deservedly so.

Historically Black Colleges & Universities are schools of higher learning largely established between the end of slavery in 1865 and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in order to create opportunities in higher education for Black students. At a time when southern colleges refused their admission and quotas at northern colleges dictated the number of Black students admitted, HBCUs emerged to advance educational, professional, and economic interests for Black Americans.

For 2021, announces the 30 elite HBCUs that have proven most influential over the past two decades:

Clark Atlanta University Atlanta, GA
North Carolina Central University Durham, NC
Hampton University Hampton, VA
North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, NC
Florida A&M University Tallahassee, FL
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL
Tennessee State University Nashville, TN
Fisk University Nashville, TN
Spelman College Atlanta, GA
Morehouse College Atlanta, GA
Howard University Washington, DC

What are the top 30 Historically Black Colleges & Universities overall? To see the full list visit Academic Influence's post:

Baseline criteria for this ranking include four-year undergraduate degree offerings and full accreditation. Visit the link above for the final ranking order, details about each school, and lists of alumni from each school who influence our world today.

“For many students, HBCUs have established themselves as their preferred educational destination. Students today want more than a degree—they want a college experience that meets their personal needs. And more are finding what they want in an HBCU,” says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and professor of physics at Wake Forest University.

HBCUs remain a critical source of education, community, and opportunity for Black students as well as a diverse cross-section of Latino, Asian, and white students. According to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 51 public HBCUs and 50 private, nonprofit HBCUs provide degrees at every level of higher education. At the time of writing, 38 HBCUs offered associate degree programs, 83 offered bachelor's degrees, 52 conferred master's degrees, and 27 granted doctoral degrees.

Why do rankings stand out from all other ranking sites? The answer is found in the proprietary InfluenceRanking Engine—innovative machine-learning technology that scours the web's leading data repositories to map and objectively measure the influence of a school's thought leadership through its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Finally, students can access a superior, trustworthy ranking resource that generates unbiased rankings that resist manipulation. See the About page for further details on the unique capabilities and advantages of this ranking technology.

“Students concerned about bias and gamesmanship in college rankings can find a more accurate assessment of scholarly impact with Our rankings are based primarily on objective influence data rather than on some unknown person's subjective feelings about a college or university or on self-reported info that can be skewed or obsolete,” says Macosko. “It's why we believe students can trust over the alternatives.” is the preeminent technology-driven rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders. is a part of the EducationAccess group, a family of sites dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth.

SOURCE: Academic Influence

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