Explore HBCU – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Staff Writer
August 16, 2022

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public, land-grant, historically Black university located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


In 1873, a legislative act called for the establishment of Branch Normal College, an extension of the Arkansas Industrial University (now the University of Arkansas). The primary objective of the institution was the education of Black students who would go on to become teachers for the state’s Black schools. In 1875, Joseph Carter Corbin—State Superintendent of Instruction and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Arkansas Industrial University—ushered in the establishment of the Normal College in Pine Bluff, and subsequently served as the school’s Principal. 

The first location of the school was also a one-story frame house built to serve as a barrack and the inaugural class was composed of seven students. Approximately 75 to 80 students later enrolled during the school year and an estimated 45 to 50 were able to attend the last three months of the school year. After seven years, the first Pine Bluff students graduated, and between the years of 1882 and 1895, ten students would receive the Bachelor of Arts degree before the reduction of the collegiate program at Branch Normal. 

In 1927 Branch Normal College became Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (AM&N). It would be nearly 50 years later before AM&N merged with the University of Arkansas and became the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Today UAPB is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. UAPB is also now reportedly ranked fourth in the State for the amount of research funding among institutions in the University of Arkansas system.

Programs & Opportunities

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a comprehensive institution, offering 28 undergraduate degrees, eight master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. program in Aquaculture Fisheries that is recognized as one of the leading programs in the nation. Through the School of Agriculture, Fisheries & Human Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Business & Management, University College, Graduate and Continuing Education, and Associate to Bachelor’s Program, UAPB provides innovative research and educational opportunities. 

Additionally, the Division of Student Affairs works to develop, organize, administer, and coordinate services, activities, and experiences that will contribute to the holistic development of students.

Learn more about the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff here.

Alumni Affairs

UAPB is dedicated to providing access and opportunity so that students may become wholly equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st central global community.

Some notable alumni from University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff include, but are not limited to:

  • Yaphett El-Amin, politician and former representative of a portion of St. Louis in the Missouri House of Representatives, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
  • Jeff Donaldson, artist, art historian, and critic whose work helped define and articulate the philosophy of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where he became the college’s first studio art major.
  • Raye Jean Montague, naval engineer who is largely credited with the creation of the rough draft of the first computer-generated imaging of a US naval ship, completed a degree in business from Arkansas Mechanical & Normal College (what is now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff).

Financial Information

The Student Financial Services Office at UAPB works to assist students and families with accessing resources and aid to help students pursue academic success.

While fees and charges vary, tuition for undergraduate residents totals to $171 per semester credit hour, while tuition for undergraduate non-residents totals to $388 per semester credit hour. For graduate resident students, tuition totals to $216 while tuition for graduate non-resident students totals to $490. For distance learning courses, tuition varies per student classification: $187 per credit hour for undergraduate residents, $434 per credit hour for undergraduate non-residents, $207 per credit hour for graduate residents part-time, and $481 per credit hour graduate residents part-time.


University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff both promotes and sustains excellent academic programs that integrate service programs, outreach, quality instruction, and cutting edge research.

Learn more about the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff here.