Embracing diversity and inclusion as an essential component of a well-functioning society is leveling the playing field for all high-potential individuals of diverse racial backgrounds.
Representing more than 40 million people, the Black community accounts for 13% of the United States population. Estimates in 2021 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics saw that 5.9% of U.S. chief executives and 8.6% of management occupations were African-Americans.
For years, the academic landscape has seen a monumental shift with Historically Black Colleges and Universities fundamentally bringing limited admissions and rejections of Black college students to a close.
Today, an estimated 107 HBCUs are spread across the US, conferring Masters of Business Administration degrees, as well as other degrees of all levels and types, to Blacks and other minority students who make up 14% of all graduates.
HBCU MBA programs, in particular, provide African-American students equal opportunities for specializing and advancing their proficiency in business.
- HBCU: History and Present-day
- The HBCU Difference
- 10 Top HBCU MBA Programs
- Hampton University School of Business
- Howard University
- Jackson State University
- Claflin University
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
- Lincoln University
- Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University School of Business and Industry
- Fayetteville State University
- Morgan State University
- Texas Southern University
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Word
HBCU: History and Present-day
Already in existence before formally being established under the Civil Rights Act in 1964, historically black colleges had their origins in the late 1800s. They provided skilled or trade education to African American students. In recent decades, HBCUs have included college and university academic curricula.
While predominantly serving the needs of African American students, HBCUs have gained popularity among all other ethnicities and races. A few HBCUs are located on the east coast, but most are located in the south.
Did you know that the number of African-American and Black CPAs and Wall Street associates produced by HBCUs is substantially higher than that of any other non-HBCU institution, even rivaling Ivy League schools in the nation?
No wonder a survey found that HBCU graduates feel better prepared for life after graduation than non-HBCU graduates!
The HBCU Difference
Aside from opening windows of opportunities for Black learners in the past, HBCU institutions have continued to provide numerous benefits to students, equipping them for active community involvement and leadership roles.
Black students today continue to benefit from HBCUs, thanks to lower tuition rates, a vibrant community, and STEM-focused programs. Check out the reasons many Black students would rather enroll in an HBCU than other schools:
Lower Tuition Rates
Over the past decade, it has been said that student loans have doubled, with the rising tuition for higher education as a primary driver.
There is a significant difference in the amount of student loan debt that black students graduate with. There is also a higher rate of default on student loans among black borrowers.
In part, higher student loans and lower family wealth cause black graduates to default five times more than white graduates. Thanks to the lower tuition rates offered at HBCUs, students could limit their debts.
And it seems that HBCUs are charging less in tuition than the national average, even the most expensive ones. It’s also helpful that most HBCUs come with in-state special tuition rates as well as have access to financial aid and discounts.
Racial wealth gaps begin in childhood and continue throughout college. Students who borrow money for college but never graduate trigger this problem even more. Thankfully, HBCUs contribute to closing the racial wealth gap. In fact, only 9% of four-year institutions award bachelor’s degrees to Black students, compared with 26% for HBCUs. These schools increase the earning potential of Black graduates by helping them earn a degree.
Another promising achievement for HBCUs is that they help close the gap between black professionals in STEM fields. The National Institutes of Health points to 27% of Black graduates hailing from HBCUs. In science and engineering, nearly 30% of Black graduates attended HBCUs.
African Americans as CPAs and Wall Street Associates
Black and African American CPAs and Wall Street associates are more likely to be produced by HBCUs than by any other non-HBCU institution. Considering all these factors, any company seeking to fill a role requiring business skills should consider HBCUs.
10 Top HBCU MBA Programs
Hampton University School of Business
Hampton University School of Business offers an on-campus MBA program for students with an undergraduate degree or a BSBA. A flexible learning plan is offered as part of this MBA program.
While maintaining full-time employment, students can complete the MBA Program in 36 academic credit hours. The curriculum incorporates theoretical concepts with practical business applications, integrating both the basic disciplines underpinning management and business operations.
Students dream of attending Hampton University because it is consistently ranked among the top HBCUs.
As a global society marked by change and complexity, the School of Business at Hampton University prepares students for leadership and ownership positions. With their extensive business experience, they prepare students to be successful in any business environment.
You can expect high educational standards when taking an MBA in this HBCU. Their faculty members strive to prepare students for careers as industry professionals who are well-rounded and have strong work ethics.
Business courses provide students with an understanding of managerial decision-making and a perspective on business as a social, economic, and political institution. Some of the courses to expect in this MBA program are the following:
- Macro Environment of Business
- Strategy Business Policy
- Financial Statement Analysis.
- Marketing Management
This historically black university located in Washington, D.C. is a privately funded, federally chartered institution. It was founded in 1867 and now comes with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students from diverse fields of study.
Business, government, and nonprofit organizations are well served by Howard University’s MBA Program. They have a lot of alumni who are leaders throughout the nation and the world. Their MBA program was also among the first ones in Washington DC that got accreditation from AACSB.
Applicants must hold at least two years of experience in an area of concentration, and earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.
Among Howard’s MBA opportunities, students learn to solve problems, make decisions, and manage business situations ethically. A prominent component of the applied curriculum is the integration of real-world business questions and settings, as well as the possibility of international immersion.
A high priority is placed on diversity and inclusion in Howard’s MBA program, and minority students are welcome.
There are 48 credit hours required to complete the MBA program. These include 11 core courses and 5 elective subjects. To earn an MBA degree, students must complete 33 credit hours of core business courses.
Some of the required courses to take are:
- Statistics and Business Analysis
- Strategic Management Capstone
- Financial Management
- Economics for Global Leaders
This MBA program also comes with a distance learning option and they offer great connections among students, professors, and faculty from all over the world. Two years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university are required upon admission. I
n addition to their resume and personal statement, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and their GMAT or GRE scores.
Jackson State University
Founded in 1877 as Natchez Seminary, Jackson State University is located in Jackson, Mississippi. Currently, they’re offering 48 graduate programs, of which an MBA is included. Jackson State University’s vision as an HBCU is to become known as a state-of-the-art, technologically-infused intellectual community by empowering diverse students to become leaders.
Collaboration across disciplinary and multi-institutional/organizational boundaries, creative research, and service to the global community will be emphasized by students and faculty members.
The Jackson State University College of Business offers an MBA program that runs for five eight-week terms. Finance, accounting, and management strategies are explored in the curriculum.
Prerequisites in general business may be required for students with prior degrees in unrelated fields. Business management careers can be prepared through the program.
This MBA program is a 100% online MBA and comes with a 30 to 33 credit hours requirement. Some of the required classes to take are:
- Human relations and organizational behavior
- Managerial marketing
- Managerial economics
- Statistics for business decisions
There are two classes per term for students. There are 40 full-time faculty members in the College of Business at JSU, and government, nonprofit, and business organizations often visit the college to present guest lectures.
An accredited bachelor’s degree is required for MBA applicants to get admitted to this HBCU. There are several requirements for applying, including transcripts, GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and immunization records.
The MBA program offered by Claflin University is offered in both online and face-to-face formats. The program is exceptionally flexible, taking into account both students’ needs and their time constraints.
In just 18 months or less, their students can complete their graduate degrees while pursuing their professional or personal goals.
Through the diverse backgrounds of the students in this HBCU, they have a national and global perspective of business and management techniques that we integrate into the program delivery.
William Claflin, the then governor of Massachusetts, was the inspiration for the founding of Claflin University in 1869. Their School of Business is one among the four schools they have currently. And the MBA program is one of the strongest and most popular graduate programs in the School of Business.
This face-to-face and online MBA curriculum at Claflin University can be completed in less than two years and it features core and elective courses such as:
- Human resources management
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
In Greensboro, North Carolina, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a land-grant institution founded in 1891. Historically, it is the largest historically black university in the country, and the #1 university in North Carolina that awards degrees to African Americans.
Their strong points include their STEM education offerings. And, they also offer an MBA program at their College of Business and Economics.
Their MBA program is offered with four specializations such as:
- General Management
- Human Resource Management
- Supply Chain Management
In addition to developing ethical leadership skills, students develop analytical and collaborative skills. Business analytics, strategic marketing, and a capstone course on corporate strategy and policy are all part of the 36-credit curriculum.
You can expect excellence in your graduate studies from their faculty, administrators, and staff, as well as professional success in your future. You can take advantage of a business-mentored and student-centered environment that will be conducive to students who are ambitious, and talented, and see opportunity everywhere they go.
Among the professions in which graduates have found employment are industries such as project management, private equity, accounting, and supply chain management.
In order to get admitted to this MBA program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Prepare your college transcripts, resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. GRE/GMAT waivers are available to applicants with a minimum 3.30 undergraduate GPA.
Lincoln University is the nation’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to confer college degrees. A learning community founded on innovation, this HBCU is home to an international student body of more than 2,200.
In addition to graduating, you’ll gain access to a worldwide alumni network that can lead to a variety of career opportunities.
For your higher education goals, Lincoln University offers an MBA program that is accelerated to one year format. This program equips graduate students with the academic and practical knowledge necessary to contribute to and influence organizational strategy and operations.
The expanding scope and diversity of their MBA curriculum will challenge students to advance their knowledge in the workplace in a highly competitive, dynamic transnational, 21st-century global environment.
The MBA program can have two specialization options: Finance and Human Resource Management. Students with either concentration become qualified for advanced leadership, management, and executive careers in the public and private sectors, as well as in entrepreneurial ventures.
For professionals seeking advanced degrees and/or professional certifications beyond the master’s level, the MBA program can be a valuable career investment and life goal. There is a hybrid format for the program, which is available every Saturday or on weeknights during the week. There are two start dates every year.
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University School of Business and Industry
Another top HBCU that makes it to this list is Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s MBA program. Originally known as State Normal College for Colored Students, this public-funded institution was founded in 1887. Since 1980, the College of Business and Industry has been offering undergraduate and graduate programs, including accelerated and professional MBA programs.
Get your online MBA from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and advance your career with this ultimate credential. Over 85% of FAMU MBA graduates secure jobs, with 15% pursuing Ph.D. or J.D. degrees.
The MBA program staff at Florida A&M assists SBI graduates-to-be in scheduling interviews for future employment. Each academic year, they host two University Career Fair Expos to assist you in your job search.
Working professionals will find the program useful. Maintaining your business and personal obligations is easier when you take sequential courses which are offered in this online MBA program. There will be stimulating lectures as well as innovative teamwork opportunities in the program. In the supply chain case competition, FAMU’s MBA students recently placed second.
With FAMU’s MBA, you can be a leader in global business, regardless of where you live. In addition to strong faculty support, expect ongoing personal access from distinguished professors who have published research and made other intellectual contributions in different areas like:
- Finance and Accounting
- Information Systems
- Supply Chain Management
Fayetteville State University
In Fayetteville, North Carolina, Fayetteville State University is an HBCU that was founded in 1867. Providing public concerts, music, and distinguished speakers is part of FSU’s commitment to its role as a cultural resource. The Broadwell College of Business and Economics design its Master of Business Administration program.
This is an AACSB-accredited and online learning program that can be taken in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. The core courses are:
- Business and Society
- Leading Organizations
- Managerial Economics
- Modern Marketing
This program lasts 8 to 16 weeks with 12 concentrations:
- Health Informatics
- Digital Enterprise and Cloud Management
- Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
- General Business
- Healthcare Management
- International Business
- Project Management
- Supply Chain Management
Business foundation courses may be required for students without a business background. Capstone projects are also required for some specializations. To be admitted, applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, and a 2.75 GPA.
The two-year program requires 36 credits for completion.
Morgan State University
Morgan State University is another HBCU that offers a 36-credit MBA program. Their Earl G. Graves School of Business has designed it in a way that helps graduates develop rigorous analytical skills and stand-out leadership qualities so they can tackle complex business challenges in a matrixed environment.
The first year of the program is heavily focused on career management and placement through a structured and comprehensive set of Professional Development courses.
In order to meet the needs of working adults, the program is designed to be compatible with their daily lives as they balance work, family, and school commitments. It is a two-year program consisting of 36 credits, though customized course sequencing allows the program to be completed more quickly.
These are the course topics to expect from this MBA program:
- Information Systems
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Human Resources Management
- Strategic Management
For admission to the Graves MBA program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and three letters of recommendation. GMAT scores are optional. The minimum GPA is 3.0.
This MBA program comes in an online format and can be finished in two years.
Texas Southern University
The Executive MBA program at Texas Southern University is a 36-credit degree designed with working professionals in mind. The program is completed in two years and prepares candidates for leadership and management positions in the private and energy sectors.
This executive MBA program by Texas Southern University aims to educate a diverse group of students in an age of rapid technological change, fierce global competition, and diverse workforces. MBA students at Texas Southern University receive general management education, which prepares them for advancing in their current careers or starting a new one.
The GMAT is not required, but professional experience is emphasized in Texas Southern University’s graduate business programs. Online MBA courses are delivered through Blackboard, along with a cohort model where students move through classes together. The student can choose between a general business track or an energy finance track.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes an HBCU stand out from other learning institutions?
Even before the Civil War, HBCUs have been providing quality education to Black students during segregation. Their contributions to American culture, politics, and social life have had a significant impact on Black Americans.
More than 100 years ago, HBCUs provided economic opportunity and instilled great values in minorities. HBCU business schools today consistently strive for academic excellence and produce future business leaders.
Can anyone apply to get into an HBCU?
The short and sweet answer to this is YES. HBCUs accept applications from anyone who meets their admission requirements. Diverse backgrounds are enrolling in increasing numbers. According to National Center for Education Statistics, HBCU enrollments in 2020 are 24% higher than in 1976, when they were 15%.
What is the curriculum of an HBCU MBA program?
HBCU MBA program curricula vary depending on the business school. The key is to go for the one that fits your needs, especially if you’re committed to work or other personal obligations. It is possible to choose an MBA program that fits your learning style and offers a different curriculum.
Consider online HBCU MBA programs if you would like the option of asynchronous or synchronous learning. As with online programs, there will likely be deadlines for online students enrolled in a self-paced set-up. You should consider the curriculum of HBCU online MBA programs as one important deciding factor.
Is it hard to enroll in an MBA program at an HBCU?
Admission to HBCUs isn’t particularly difficult, but it isn’t a guarantee either. Like the rest of other schools or top Ivy Leagues, it all boils down to your qualifications and admission requirements. HBCUs have an average acceptance rate of 59%.
What are the admission requirements to get into an MBA program at an HBCU?
Most HBCUs offer online MBA and on-campus MBA programs, although entry requirements may differ. Requirements may include:
- Completed bachelor’s degree (it could be a degree in business administration, Finance, Accounting, and related field)
- Completed graduation application form
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
Black students in the US still need a truly equitable educational system—and HBCUs are tackling this issue as their top mission. Today, they continue to provide services to the Black community, including reducing the racial gap in financial literacy and improving Black representation in different social sectors and public agencies.
HBCUs provide affordable support to minority students. And if you want to take advantage of all these benefits, enroll in an HBCU for your MBA program plans. True diversity and a dynamic environment are offered by HBCUs to all kinds of students, including those from wealthier backgrounds.
HBCU MBA programs and traditional MBAs are your gateways to success in business because they provide you with knowledge of financial management. While some people usually incorporate historically black colleges and universities in sports and music excellence, their STEM and MBA programs are actually getting more popular and gaining momentum over recent years. These universities, however, have some of the best MBA programs in the country.