Most Influential HBCUs 2000-2020

Most Influential HBCUs 2000-2020

The very best HBCUs serve as a place for belonging, empowerment, and pride in Black culture and identity while pressing forward on equal opportunity for all Americans. Our Influence Rankings cast a spotlight on the iconic institutions and noteworthy influencers that embody Black excellence in education.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are schools of higher learning that were largely established between the end of slavery in 1865 and the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 in order to create opportunities in higher education for Black students. At a time when Southern colleges refused their admission and many Northern colleges had rigid quotas on how many Black students could be admitted, HBCUs emerged to advance educational, professional, and economic interests for Black Americans.

Today, HBCUs remain a critical source of education, community, and opportunity for Black students as well as a diverse cross-section that includes Latino, Asian, and White students. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) categorizes 101 institutions of higher learning as HBCUs across 19 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Because racial segregation played a direct role in the need for such institutions, the majority of HBCUs are concentrated in the South.

According to the NCES, as of 2018, there were 51 public HBCUs and 50 private, non-profit HBCUs providing degrees at every level of higher education. At the time of writing, 38 HBCUs offered associate degree programs, 83 offered bachelor’s degrees, 52 conferred master’s degrees, and 27 granted doctoral degrees.

Among the luminaries who were inspired to greatness during their time as students in America’s top HBCUs are Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. (Morehouse College), media magnate Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State University), Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison (Howard University), and current Vice President Kamala Harris (Howard University).

How do we determine the Most Influential HBCUs?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

Are you interested in pursuing an online degree? Check out our ranking of the Best HBCU Online Programs.


The Most Influential Historically Black Colleges and Universities

We’ve identified the most influential HBCUs in the United States. The list below focuses on those schools that offer four-year undergraduate degrees and are fully accredited.

Other Rankings

Tennessee State University’s Online Degrees

BS in Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Health Information Management
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BSN in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Degree Concentrations
  • Program type: Degree completion
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Professional Studies
Degree Concentrations
  • Health Administration
  • Information Technology
  • International Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Psychology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Sociology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online

North Carolina A&T State University’s Online Degrees

BS in Accounting
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Agricultural and Environmental Systems
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Business Information Technology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Computer Science
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Economics
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Electrical Engineering
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Electronics Technology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Elementary Education and Special Education
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Environmental Health and Safety
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Family and Consumer Science
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Geomatics
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Information Technology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in Liberal Studies
Degree Concentrations
  • African American Studies
  • Applied Cultural Thought
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
#8

Hampton University

Hampton , VA
Other Rankings

Hampton University’s Online Degrees

BS in Aviation Management
Degree Concentrations
  • Airport Administration
  • Required Credits: 122
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Business Management
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in General Studies
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BSN in Nursing
Degree Concentrations
  • 1 Year Accelerated RN
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BSN in Nursing
Degree Concentrations
  • 2 Year Accelerated RN
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in Paralegal Studies
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Public Safety Administration
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in Religious Studies
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online

Norfolk State University’s Online Degrees

BS in Business
Degree Concentrations
  • Information Management
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Health Services Management
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in History
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in Psychology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online

Texas Southern University’s Online Degrees

BA in General Studies
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Healthcare Administration
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
#25

Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City , NC

Elizabeth City State University’s Online Degrees

BSBA in Business Administration
Degree Concentrations
  • Economics and Finance
  • Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing and MIS
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Homeland Security
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Other Rankings

West Virginia State University’s Online Degrees

BS in Business Administration
Degree Concentrations
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in English
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Health Sciences
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online