Historically black colleges and universities

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community. Most of these institutions were founded in the years after the American Civil War and are concentrated in the Southern United States.[1] During the period of segregation in the United States prior to the Civil Rights Act, the overwhelming majority of higher education institutions were predominantly white and completely disqualified or limited African-American enrollment.[2][3] For a century after the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, most colleges and universities in the Southern United States prohibited all African Americans from attending, while institutions in other parts of the country regularly employed quotas to limit admissions of Black people.[4][5][6][7] HBCUs were established to give opportunities to African Americans especially in the South.

There are 101 HBCUs in the United States (of 121 institutions that existed during the 1930s), representing three percent of the nation's colleges and universities,[8] including both public and private institutions.[9] Of these remaining HBCU institutions in the United States, 27 offer doctoral programs, 52 offer master's programs, 83 offer bachelor's degree programs, and 38 offer associate degrees.[10][11][12] Among the graduates of HBCUs are civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., United States Vice President Kamala Harris, United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Virginia governor Douglas Wilder, and former president of Brown University Ruth Simmons.