Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) serve students from a wide range of cultural, socioeconomic backgrounds and majors. They offer a high-quality education in a supportive setting for students who might encounter difficulty in realizing their full academic potential, especially students of color.

Some noteworthy graduates of HBCUs include:

  • Rev, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, graduate of Morehouse College
  • Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, graduate of Lincoln University & Howard University
  • Oprah Winfrey, graduate of Tennessee State University
  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), graduate of Howard University
  • Alice Walker, graduate of Spelman College
  • Booker T. Washington, graduate of Hampton University
  • Katherine Johnson (NASA), graduate of West Virginia State University
  • Langston Hughes, graduate of Lincoln University

HBCUs are located in the south east United States. They can be public, private, co-educational, or single-sex campuses.

They were established to serve the educational needs of African Americans at the end of the Civil War. Prior to the time of their establishment, and for many years afterwards, African American were generally denied admission to traditionally white institutions. Although these institutions were called universities from their founding, a major part of their mission in the early years was to provide elementary and secondary schooling for students who had no previous education. It was not until the early 20th century that HBCUs began to offer courses and programs at the post-secondary level. As a result, HBCUs became the principle means for providing post-secondary education for African Americans and other disenfranchised individuals in the US.

Get on the Plane

If you’re interested in attending an HBCU, you should try to join our annual Get on the Plane tour of HBCUs. Check our event calendar for more information.

Get a Transfer Guarantee

The California Community College/HBCU Transfer Guarantee Agreement is a partnership with 37 HBCUs to guarantee admissions to students who complete specific academic courses, have a GPA of 2.5 or better, and have completed an Associate Degree for Transfer or at least 30 transferable units.

Use the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)

If you choose not to go that route, a good place to start would be the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) path. IGETC is not an admissions requirement; it is just a very helpful guideline for completing your general education requirements. It will point you to courses that satisfy the freshman- and sophomore-level general education requirements at some HBCUs. However, some do not follow that curriculum, and exceptions can sometimes apply, so be sure to work with a CCC counselor to make sure you’re on the right path.

You should also visit the school’s website to figure out what you should be taking to prepare for your intended major.

You can apply to many HBCUs using either the Common Black College Application, or the Common Application.