Best HBCU Colleges By Major, Program, Campus, Teachers, etc.

Currently, there are a little over 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) around. While it’s true that there are only a few of them to choose from, it doesn’t make figuring out which HBCU to apply to any easier. If you want superb college experience and a lucrative career after graduation, it’s a must that you go to the best HBCU out there.

Schools considered as Black Ivy Leagues are typically seen as some of the best HBCUs. They include famous colleges such as Howard University (Washington, DC), Tuskegee University (Alabama), Dillard University (New Orleans), Fisk University (Nashville), Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta).

The same is true for those that rank high on various HBCU rankings online. Factors such as regional accreditation, selectivity level and programs offered also help determine which HBCUs are the best.

There are many factors to consider when deciding which historically black schools to shortlist.

Besides the cost of attendance (COA), acceptance rate, minimum GPA and test score requirements and diversity, it’s also of utmost importance to make a choice based on the best majors offered. Needless to say, you should determine which of today’s HBCUs is offering the best program you wish to take.

Howard University
Howard University

Read on if you are currently looking for an HBCU to send an application to according to college programs. By the time you get to the end of this article, you will have a better idea of which school is the right one for you.

Which HBCU Has the Best Liberal Arts Program?

The HBCU with the best liberal arts program is Spelman College. It’s no wonder why some of the school’s most popular majors are liberal arts majors, such as economics, psychology and literature. Other HBCUs with the best liberal arts program are Morehouse College and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Opting for a liberal arts program means that the courses involved are in general areas of study. Some of them include mathematics, philosophy, literature, languages and art history. Because the courses are broad, a liberal arts program will groom you for an assortment of employment opportunities.

The majority of HBCUs are liberal arts colleges. It doesn’t come as a surprise why many students who like to earn a liberal arts degree put their trust in historically black schools by applying to them.

However, just because a lot of these institutions are known to offer liberal arts programs doesn’t mean that you should not carefully choose which school you will send an application to. Always keep in mind that the exact same program can vary from one school to the other, whether HBCU or otherwise.

If you want nothing but to get your hands on the best liberal arts degree after four years, consider applying to any of these 10 of the best HBCU liberal arts colleges and their student-to-faculty ratio:

1Spelman College10:1
2Morehouse College14:1
3Xavier University of Louisiana15:1
4Bennett College10:1
5Claflin University13:1
6Dillard University14:1
7Johnson C. Smith University12:1
8Kentucky State University11:1
9Lane College20:1
10Rust College19:1

Which HBCU Has the Best Business Program?

Howard University
Howard University

The HBCU offering the best business program is Howard University. Strong business majors and alumni networks, not to mention modern resources and a high graduation rate, enable the school to offer superb business-related courses. Howard University is also number two in the Best HBCUs by US News.

All over the planet, business and related subjects are among the most popular fields of study at various colleges and universities. A business program will develop your knowledge of business operations as well as necessary skills, such as communication, customer service, marketing strategies and finance.

Many HBCUs are admired for their excellent business programs. However, some of them offer better options for those who wish to earn a business-related degree.

While there are numerous colleges and universities in the US that offer superb business programs, not everyone is the best HBCU for business. Besides liberal arts programs, the majority of historically black schools are known to offer business degrees that can prepare their students very well for life after graduation.

Here’s a table ranking HBCUs with the best business programs and their respective graduation rates:

1Howard University59.20%
2Hampton University54.10%
3Morehouse College51.20%
4Bowie State University36.30%
5North Carolina Central University42.10%
6Florida A&M University40.50%
7North Carolina A&T State University42.70%
8Fayetteville State University56.70%
9Tuskegee University44.80%
10Xavier University of Louisiana42.30%

Which HBCU Has the Best Engineering Program?

Florida A&M University has the best engineering program among the various HBCUs offering it. As a matter of fact, over 50% of its students major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Florida A&M University’s College of Engineering also serves Florida State University.

An engineering program helps you think logically. What’s more, it helps develop your numerical and problem-solving skills. It’s exactly because of this why engineers are always in high demand.

Fisk University, Jubilee Hall
Fisk University, Jubilee Hall

Since it’s a broad subject, engineering splits into various disciplines. Some of them include chemical, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering. For increased employment opportunities after earning your degree, consider completing your engineering program at the best HBCU for engineering.

Of the more than 100 HBCUs in the nation, many are known for their engineering programs. The majority of them also specialize in STEM fields, which include various engineering disciplines.

Check out this ranking of HBCUs with the best engineering programs and examples of related disciplines:

1Florida A&M UniversityBiomedical, Chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental
2Howard UniversityChemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical
3Hampton UniversityChemical, computer, electrical
4Morgan State UniversityCivil, computer, electrical, industrial, systems
5North Carolina A&TArchitectural, biological, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical
6Alabama A&M UniversityCivil, electrical, industrial, mechanical
7Spelman CollegeGeneral science (dual degree engineering or DDE)
8Prairie View A&M UniversityChemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical
9Jackson State UniversityCivil, computer, electrical
10Alabama State UniversityCivil, electrical, industrial, mechanical

Related Article: Does It Matter Where You Go to College for Engineering?

Winston Salem State University
Winston Salem State University

Which HBCU Has the Best Nursing Program?

Winston-Salem State University is the HBCU with the best nursing program. As a matter of fact, the school is known to produce some of the highest-paid registered nurses in North Carolina. Winston-Salem State University offers nursing degrees at different levels — bachelors, master’s and doctoral.

If you want to make a difference in the world in your own little way, consider becoming a nurse.

But it’s not just the people you will help along the way who will benefit from your being a healthcare expert. Your bank account will benefit from it, too. According to the US Bureau of Labor, the average salary of registered nurses in the country amounts to $72,000 per year.

When choosing the best HBCU for nursing, there are many things to take into account. One of the most important is the COA. There is no point in going to an HBCU with a phenomenal nursing program if it’s simply too expensive for you to attend it for four years to complete your degree.

To help you get started, check out the following HBCUs with the best nursing programs and their tuition and fees.

1Winston-Salem State University$5,941
2North Carolina A&T State University$6,657
3Bowie State University$8,444
4Hampton University$13,099
5Howard University$11,709
6North Carolina Central University$6,629
7Delaware State University$8,358
8Southern University and A&M College$9,340
9Tuskegee University$9,797
10Prairie View A&M University$11,099

Which HBCU Has the Best Psychology Program?

Howard University offers the best psychology program among HBCUs. Its psychology program is ideal for students who want to enjoy real-world research experience. Howard University puts emphasis on scholarship, research and service, all of which are excellent psychological science foundations.

When it comes to earning a degree in psychology, you have many options. For instance, some programs establish general base knowledge in psychology. Others concentrate more on research and analysis aspects.

Then there are programs that help prepare students for advanced degrees or professional licenses.

No matter the case, it’s a good idea to earn your psychology degree from a college or university whose psychology programs are respected and admired. Howard University is widely accepted as the HBCU with the best psychology program. The school also typically ranks number two on rankings of the best HBCUs by various college ranking sites.

Here’s the top 10 HBCUs with the best psychology programs and their respective retention rates:

1Howard University85%
2Florida A&M University80%
3Spelman College91%
4Bowie State University68%
5Winston-Salem State University77%
6Delaware State University72%
7Florida Memorial University57%
8Southern University and A&M College64%
9North Carolina A&T State University77%
10North Carolina Central University82%

Which HBCU Has the Best Veterinary Program?

In terms of veterinary programs, the best HBCU offering it is Tuskegee University. As a matter of fact, among the very few HBCUs with veterinary programs, Tuskegee is the only one that has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Other HBCUs only offer pre-vet and veterinary-focused programs.

Tuskegee University, George Washington Carver Museum
Tuskegee University, George Washington Carver Museum

Veterinary medicine or any other veterinary-related program is ideal for anyone who likes to help animals and keep them from undergoing unnecessary suffering. So, in other words, it prepares students for a noble profession.

Unfortunately, there are only a handful of historically black schools offering veterinary programs. As a matter of fact, only one of them has a DVM degree: Tuskegee University. It’s in 1945 when it first offered veterinary studies.

According to the school, its veterinary program graduates are working all over the US, including Puerto Rico, and other countries.

Other schools, as mentioned earlier, offer only a variety of veterinary medicine-related programs.

For instance, Delaware State University offers pre-vet courses that help prepare students for veterinary school, although earning them also allows them to work in certain fields, including animal health sales and service. Fort Valley State University, on the other hand, offers Veterinary Technology.

Check out this table ranking the very few HBCUs with veterinary programs and their tuition and fees:

1Tuskegee University$9,797
2Delaware State University$8,358
3Fort Valley State University$4,024
4Florida F&M University$7,262

Which HBCU Has the Best Computer Science Program?

The HBCU with the best computer science program is North Carolina A&T State University. Besides being the largest HBCU in the US, North Carolina A&T State University is also home to the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, an advanced facility for scientific computing and research.

In this day and age, many businesses, companies and organizations count on computing. It goes without saying that there is practically never a shortage of jobs available for computer science degree holders.

Xavier University
Xavier University

Many HBCUs have computer science programs.

However, one that is known to offer the best is North Carolina A&T State University. Its computer science programs are so good that many of its brightest students have job offers from giants such as Microsoft and Cisco and even the National Security Agency (NSA) before they graduate.

Various events are also held for the school’s computer science students to encourage them to pursue STEM fields. Some examples are Women in Science and Technology Luncheon, Career Expo and outreach programs.

If you are looking for the best HBCU for computer science, check out these schools and some of the courses offered:

1North Carolina A&T State UniversityCybersecurity, game design, robotics
2Howard UniversityCybersecurity, data communications
3Bowie State UniversityCybersecurity, artificial intelligence, networking
4Alabama A&M UniversityCommunication, information, programming
5Morgan State UniversityArtificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data science
6Florida A&M UniversityCybersecurity, information technology, information systems
7Norfolk State UniversityCybersecurity, robotics, software design, web development
8Fayetteville State UniversityArtificial intelligence, cybersecurity, information systems
9Fort Valley State UniversityApplication design, cybersecurity, software design
10Xavier UniversityArtificial intelligence, digital logic design, web design

Which HBCU Has the Best Online Degree Programs?

When it comes to HBCUs offering online degree programs, North Carolina A&T State University is on the top of the list. It offers more than 20 options. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. North Carolina A&T State University also offers online certificate programs.

Agricultural education, business information technology, economics, electronics technology, environmental health and safety, African-American studies — these are just some online programs that the school offers via the web.

Both online degrees and traditional degrees have the same number of credits. However, it’s possible to earn a degree online at a much faster or slower rate, especially if the class is self-paced or asynchronous. It’s due to this why online learning is ideal for working adults or those with families already.

While completing a degree online is more convenient and flexible, it requires the same amount of hard work and dedication as earning a degree in the traditional fashion.

Here’s a ranking of the best HBCUs with online classes and the number of their online courses:

1North Carolina A&T State University20+
2Tougaloo College21
3Howard University80
4Tuskegee University50+
5Bethune-Cookman University11
6Albany State University25
7Hampton University17
8Bowie State University66
9Bluefield State College3
10Lincoln University150

Which HBCU Has the Best Campus?

Leading the list of HBCUs with the best campuses is Spelman College. Its 39-acre campus may not be the biggest HBCU campus. However, its urban setting, manicured vegetation and buildings designed by top architectural firms help make it one of the most beautiful HBCU and non-HBCU campuses in the US.

Many colleges and universities admit that having a beautiful campus is an effective recruiting tool.

Besides the schools themselves, the students can benefit from going to institutions with lovely campuses.

Morehouse College wedding cake
Morehouse College wedding cake

As a matter of fact, it might help them get better grades. It’s because it makes earning a degree a less stressful and exhausting endeavor. This is especially true if there are also nice places to visit near the campus.

There are only a handful of articles or rankings online about HBCUs with the best campuses. The majority of them place Spelman College on the top of the list.

In 2020, Cosmopolitan published an online listing of 50 of the most eye-catching campuses in the country.

Considering only the few HBCUs that made it on the list, Spelman College is the best of the bunch. Others that made it on Cosmopolitan’s listing, coincidentally, also appear on most rankings of the best HBCUs.

Here are the best HBCU campuses from the said listing, plus their campus sizes:

1Spelman College39 acres
2Howard University257 acres
3North Carolina Central University135 acres
4Hampton University314 acres
5Fisk University47 acres
6Florida A&M University422 acres
7Tuskegee University5,000 acres
8Delaware State University400 acres
9Dillard University55 acres
10Xavier University of Louisiana63 acres


There are many things that you can use to determine which HBCUs are the best, thus allowing you to know trouble-free which ones of them you should send your application to.

Being a part of the Black Ivy League schools, having regional accreditation, boasting of a high selectivity level, admitting students with impressive GPAs and SAT and ACT scores, ranking high on various college rankings online — these things can help make it easier to separate the best HBCUs from mediocre ones.

In the end, however, it’s your personal needs and requirements that will determine which HBCU is the best for you.

Above, we demonstrated which of the country’s HBCUs are considered the best of the bunch based on national rankings and various majors.

By pairing the figures you came across above with the things you want in a college, you will find it trouble-free to figure out which HBCU you should spend the next four years of your life at.

Learn more about individual colleges from the list below:

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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