7 HBCUs to consider for higher education

A guide to Virginia’s and DC’s historically black colleges and universities.


Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States with the primary intention to serve the African-American community. Established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, HBCUs have strong ties to the community and are a source of pride for African-Americans across the country. Below, we give info on the seven HBCUs in Virginia and DC.

Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private institution located in DC offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. It was ranked as the No. 2 HBCU in the nation on the 2019 Best Colleges list by U.S. News and World Report. The school offers over 74 distinct undergraduate degrees with 64 majors and 200-plus registered student organizations. // Howard University: 2400 Sixth St. NW, Washington DC; Tuition $26,756 annually

Virginia University of Lynchburg
The Virginia Baptist State Convention founded the Lynchburg Baptist Seminary in 1886, which was eventually renamed and incorporated as Virginia University of Lynchburg in 1996. The university has five sports teams in the Division 1 section of the National Christian College Athletic Association, and offers majors in philosophy and religious studies, liberal arts and humanities, social sciences and business. // Virginia University of Lynchburg: 2058 Garfield Ave., Lynchburg; Tuition $8,200 annually

Virginia Union University
Founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves the opportunity for education and advancement, Virginia Union University is located in the state’s capital. It offers majors through its School of Arts and Sciences, Sydney Lewis School of Business and Evelyn R. Syphax School of Education, Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies. // Virginia Union University: 1500 N. Lombardy St., Richmond; $15,530 annually

University of the District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia offers 81 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs, including those in agriculture, urban sustainability, environmental sciences, business and engineering. Its history is solidified in the merging of three schools in the District, and in 1977 it consolidated its academic programs under its current moniker. // University of the District of Columbia: 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC; Tuition varies by credit hours

Hampton University
Known by students as “our home by the sea” because it’s surrounded by water on three sides of the campus, Hampton University offers a range of technical, liberal arts and graduate degree programs. There are over 110 student-run organizations on campus and athletics in the Big South Conference. U.S. News & World Report ranked the university as the third-best HBCU in 2019. The school also boasts famous alumni like Booker T. Washington and Alberta Williams King, the mother of Martin Luther King Jr. // Hampton University: 100 E. Queen St., Hampton; Tuition $40,140 annually

Virginia State University

Located 20 minutes south of Richmond, Virginia State University was established in 1882 as one of the state’s two land-grant institutions. It features academic programs within six colleges with 31 undergraduate degrees, including agriculture, computer science, mass communications, economics, education, criminal justice and more. // Virginia State University: 1 Hayden St., Petersburg; Tuition $5,540-$16,060 annually

Norfolk State University
With 31 bachelor’s degree programs, 15 master’s, three doctoral programs and 15 athletic programs, Norfolk State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university’s extracurricular activities for students include Greek life, performing arts, club sports, volunteer groups and more. // Norfolk State University: 700 Park Ave., Norfolk; Tuition varies by credit hours

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