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.
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:
|3||Xavier University of Louisiana||15:1|
|7||Johnson C. Smith University||12:1|
|8||Kentucky State University||11:1|
Which HBCU Has the Best Business Program?
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:
|4||Bowie State University||36.30%|
|5||North Carolina Central University||42.10%|
|6||Florida A&M University||40.50%|
|7||North Carolina A&T State University||42.70%|
|8||Fayetteville State University||56.70%|
|10||Xavier University of Louisiana||42.30%|
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.
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:
|1||Florida A&M University||Biomedical, Chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental|
|2||Howard University||Chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical|
|3||Hampton University||Chemical, computer, electrical|
|4||Morgan State University||Civil, computer, electrical, industrial, systems|
|5||North Carolina A&T||Architectural, biological, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical|
|6||Alabama A&M University||Civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical|
|7||Spelman College||General science (dual degree engineering or DDE)|
|8||Prairie View A&M University||Chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical|
|9||Jackson State University||Civil, computer, electrical|
|10||Alabama State University||Civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical|
Related Article: Does It Matter Where You Go to College for Engineering?
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.
|1||Winston-Salem State University||$5,941|
|2||North Carolina A&T State University||$6,657|
|3||Bowie State University||$8,444|
|6||North Carolina Central University||$6,629|
|7||Delaware State University||$8,358|
|8||Southern University and A&M College||$9,340|
|10||Prairie 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:
|2||Florida A&M University||80%|
|4||Bowie State University||68%|
|5||Winston-Salem State University||77%|
|6||Delaware State University||72%|
|7||Florida Memorial University||57%|
|8||Southern University and A&M College||64%|
|9||North Carolina A&T State University||77%|
|10||North Carolina Central University||82%|
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.
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:
|2||Delaware State University||$8,358|
|3||Fort Valley State University||$4,024|
|4||Florida 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.
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:
|1||North Carolina A&T State University||Cybersecurity, game design, robotics|
|2||Howard University||Cybersecurity, data communications|
|3||Bowie State University||Cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, networking|
|4||Alabama A&M University||Communication, information, programming|
|5||Morgan State University||Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data science|
|6||Florida A&M University||Cybersecurity, information technology, information systems|
|7||Norfolk State University||Cybersecurity, robotics, software design, web development|
|8||Fayetteville State University||Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, information systems|
|9||Fort Valley State University||Application design, cybersecurity, software design|
|10||Xavier University||Artificial 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:
|1||North Carolina A&T State University||20+|
|6||Albany State University||25|
|8||Bowie State University||66|
|9||Bluefield State College||3|
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.
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:
|1||Spelman College||39 acres|
|2||Howard University||257 acres|
|3||North Carolina Central University||135 acres|
|4||Hampton University||314 acres|
|5||Fisk University||47 acres|
|6||Florida A&M University||422 acres|
|7||Tuskegee University||5,000 acres|
|8||Delaware State University||400 acres|
|9||Dillard University||55 acres|
|10||Xavier University of Louisiana||63 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.