HBCU Frequently Asked Questions
What is an HBCU?
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established to serve the educational needs of black Americans. Prior to the time of their establishment, and for many years afterwards, blacks were generally denied admission to traditionally white institutions. As a result, HBCUs became the principle means for providing postsecondary education to black Americans.
Source: US Department of Education
What is Find My HBCU?
Findmyhbcu.org is a free online resource for students interested in enrolling at an HBCU. Our site lets you search and compare every degree offered at all accredited HBCUs in the United States. We also provide resources that will help you learn more about HBCUs, career development, networking, and much more.
Are HBCUs good schools?
Yes! But don’t just take our word for it, check the stats:
- More than 80 percent of all black Americans who received degrees in medicine and dentistry were trained at the two traditionally black institutions of medicine and dentistry–Howard University and Meharry Medical College. (Today, these institutions still account for 19.7 percent of degrees awarded in medicine and dentistry to black students.)
- HBCUs have provided undergraduate training for three fourths of all black persons holding a doctorate degree; three fourths of all black officers in the armed forces; and four fifths of all black federal judges.
- HBCUs are leading institutions in awarding baccalaureate degrees to black students in the life sciences, physical sciences mathematics, and engineering.
- HBCUs continue to rank high in terms of the proportion of graduates who pursue and complete graduate and professional training.
Source: US Department of Education
Is the information on this site accurate?
Our team of researchers has collected data from every single accredited HBCU in the United States to provide you with the most up-to-date information available. The programmatic and university data provided comes directly from each university’s website. Information like tuition is subject to change and does not include any additional fees.
Do you have to be black to attend an HBCU?
HBCUs are not exclusive to just African American students. These institutions serve as safe spaces, diverse environments, and authentic communities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOCs). However, some HBCUs are single-sex institutions and limit enrollments to male or female only applicants.
How long does it take to complete a degree?
Degree completion can vary by level and if you plan on transferring any credits earned at a prior institution. On average:
Certificates: Less than 1 year
Associate degrees: 2 years
Bachelor degrees: 4 years
Master degrees: 1-2 years
Education Specialist degrees: 2 years
Doctorate degrees: 2-4 years
What is the difference between a SCHOOL accreditation and a PROGRAM accreditation?
School Accreditation: The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes 19 institutional accrediting organizations. Every HBCU in the United States is accredited by one of these 19 organizations. These accreditors are private, nongovernmental organizations who review higher education institutions and programs for quality.
Program Accreditation: The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes approximately 60 accrediting bodies for degree programs. These accrediting bodies ensure that the quality of education provided by an institution has met widely accepted educational standards. While not every degree option has an accrediting body, those that do can be a prerequisite for employment post-graduation.
Why is it important to enroll in a program that is accredited?
Earning an accredited degree can be a prerequisite for obtaining a job in some fields such as nursing, social work, education, and law. Other fields may not offer or require any programmatic accreditation. It is important to familiarize yourself with any professional requirements in the field you wish to pursue.
Accredited HBCU programs will indicate a specified accrediting body on program tiles.
Do tuition rates include fees?
No, tuition rates for each program are the total number of credits for the program multiplied by the cost per credit. Any additional fees are not included in this calculation.
Tuition rates highlighted on a school’s page reflect the average undergraduate tuition at this institution.
For total tuition costs click “Get Info” on a school or program tile and we will connect you with an enrollment advisor!
Which HBCUs offer hybrid or online learning?
For a full list of online and hybrid programs visit our online page! You can also filter your program search by modality to view online, hybrid, and on-campus programs.
What is the difference between hybrid and online modality?
Online programs are fully remote, meaning 100% of your courses will be available online. Online education also does not require any campus visits for labs, capstone courses, etc.
Hybrid programs take place both online and on-campus. The amount of campus visits required for hybrid courses will vary by program.
What makes an HBCU LBGTQ-friendly?
According to CampusPride.org, these HBCUs have implemented policy, programs, and practices for LGBTQ inclusion. Some of these programs include but are not limited to: LGBTQ student organizations, gender-inclusive housing, counseling/support groups, and free HIV/STI testing.
What makes an HBCU Veteran-friendly?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the Yellow Ribbon program is a voluntary program through which participating public and private institutions can provide veterans and eligible beneficiaries additional institutional aid to cover the costs of tuition and fees at their institutions. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a supplementary program to the Post 9/11 GI Bill coverage of in-state tuition and fees. The Department of Veterans Affairs matches the institutional aid provided beyond the in-state tuition and fees, but to a certain limit each year.
What is Divine 9?
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (or Divine 9) was formed in 1930, during a time when African Americans were being denied essential rights and privileges afforded to others. “Racial isolation on predominantly white campuses and social barriers of class on all campuses created a need for African Americans to align themselves with other individuals sharing common goals and ideals. With the realization of such a need, the African American (Black) Greek-lettered organization movement took on the personae of a haven and outlet, which could foster brotherhood and sisterhood in the pursuit to bring about social change through the development of social programs that would create positive change for Blacks and the country.”
Members of The Divine 9 are:
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity
Do I have to be religious to attend an HBCU with a religious affiliation?
It is not required to have the same religious affiliation as the university you wish to attend. However, since religious universities are private, the separation of church and state does not apply. Therefore, you may be required to complete some courses that are religion-focused.
Do HBCUs have athletic programs?
They sure do! To find out if your prospective school offers athletics, visit their school page to see information about athletic associations, conferences, band name, and mascot.