These institutions foster an important environment for African Americans and have been recognized for their academic excellence, cultural significance, and commitment to social justice. We will provide an overview of each institution, including its history, mission, and notable alumni, as well as information about its academic programs, campus life, and student resources. Whether you are an aspiring college student, a parent, or an educator, this guide will help you make an informed decision about which African American college or university is the best fit for your needs and aspirations.
Howard University is known for its strong academic programs in fields such as medicine, law, business, engineering, and the arts. It is also a research-focused institution that provides students with opportunities to work alongside faculty on cutting-edge research projects.
Founded in 1867, it has served as a beacon of hope and opportunity for generations of African American students. The university has produced many notable alumni, including Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Kamala Harris. It is home to the Howard University School of Law, which has a strong focus on civil rights and social justice, and the university has been at the forefront of many important social justice movements throughout its history.
Howard University has a vibrant and diverse student body, with over 100 student organizations and clubs. The university also has a strong athletics program and is a member of the NCAA Division I. Also, US News & World Report ranked Howard University as the top college for African American females.
Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana is a private, historically black university that is known for its exceptional academic programs, strong sense of community, and commitment to social justice. It is recognized as a leader in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as in the health sciences. The university has a rigorous academic program that emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills through its intensive liberal arts curriculum. Also, it has a long-standing commitment to social justice and activism. The university’s mission is to promote a more just and humane society by preparing students to become leaders and change agents in their communities. There are also several notable alumni that include: Norman C. Francis, Dr. Regina Benjamin , Wendell Pierce , and John L. Ory.
Morehouse College is a historically black college and university located in Atlanta, Georgia, and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and important HBCUs in the United States, ranked as #1 for producing the most African American male Rhodes Scholars. Morehouse College has a strong focus on developing leadership skills in its students. The college’s mission is to develop men who are “dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service,” and the college provides numerous opportunities for students to develop these skills. This is probably the top African American college in the United States for males. Here are some of the alumni who received an education at Morehouse College:
- Martin Luther King Jr. – Civil rights leader and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement and is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in 20th-century American history.
- Spike Lee – Award-winning filmmaker and director known for his work on films such as “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X.”
- Samuel L. Jackson – Actor known for his roles in films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “The Avengers,” and “Star Wars.”
- Maynard Jackson – First black mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, and one of the first African American mayors of a major southern city.
Florida A&M University (FAMU)
FAMU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including business, engineering, nursing, and pharmacy. Its College of Agriculture and Food Sciences is one of the top agricultural programs in the country, and its School of Journalism and Graphic Communication is one of the best in the state of Florida. It is also regarded as the #1 public HBCU in the United States. Here are some important African American alumni who have graduated from FAMU:
- Althea Gibson – professional tennis player and the first African American to win a Grand Slam title.
- Shirley Chisholm – politician, educator, and author, and the first African American woman to serve in the U.S. Congress.
- Tisha Campbell – actress and singer, best known for her roles in the TV shows Martin and My Wife and Kids.
- Kanyi Maqubela – venture capitalist and co-founder of the investment firm Kindred Ventures.
- Bobby Bowden – former head football coach at FAMU and Florida State University, and one of the most successful coaches in college football history.
- Ken Chenault – former CEO of American Express and one of the most prominent African American executives in the United States.
Delaware State University
Delaware State University is another highly ranked public HBCU university. Founded in 1891, DSU is known for its business, communication, public relations, and health professions. DSU is a leading research institution that provides students with opportunities to conduct research in a variety of fields. It has several research centers, including the Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research and the Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research.
DSU has a strong alumni network that includes many influential African American leaders, such as former U.S. Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy, and former Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner. This network can provide students with valuable connections and opportunities after graduation.