A number of historically black colleges and universities make their home in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the reconstruction period after the Civil War, advancements for blacks happened rapidly in Virginia. These advancements included some of the first schools dedicated to teaching blacks only. Today, some of the colleges, trade schools and technical institutions that began during reconstruction have evolved into some of the country's top institutions of higher learning.

Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University, founded in 1935, began as the Norfolk unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942 the college became Norfolk Polytechnic College and in 1944 it became a part of Virginia State College. In 1969 the college gained complete independence from Virginia State College and in 1979 it was granted university status and the name changed to its current moniker. Norfolk State University has five different schools---the school of education, college of liberal arts, college of science, engineering and technology and the school of social work and the school of business. The liberal arts college offers degrees in English and foreign languages, fine arts and history and interdisciplinary studies. Norfolk State University's graduate school programs offer advanced degrees in pre-elementary education, teaching, criminal justice, music and urban affairs and social work.

Norfolk State University 700 Park Ave. Unit 2568 Norfolk, VA 23504 757-823-8600 nsu.edu

Virginia State University

Virginia State University was the first four-year fully state supported school of higher education for blacks in the state of Virginia. Founded in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, the school has a 236-acre main campus and a 416-acre agricultural research facility. Students at Virginia State University have 50 baccalaureate and master's degree programs from which to choose. Virginia State University has schools in engineering, science and technology, business, agriculture, liberal arts and education and graduate studies, research and outreach. The school of agriculture offers degrees in agriculture and human ecology, hospitality management and family and consumer sciences and nutrition and dietetics. Liberal arts majors choose from a number of programs including criminal justice, mass communications, music and sports management and economics.

Virginia State University 1 Hayden Dr. Petersburg, VA 23806 804-524-5000 vsu.edu

Hampton University

A private institution located in Hampton, Virginia, Hampton University held its first class on September 17, 1861, under an oak tree that later became known as the Emancipation Oak. This tree still stands on Hampton's campus. In 1863 General Benjamin Butler founded the Butler School for Negro Children using funds from the U.S. government. Hampton's most famous graduate, Booker T. Washington was one of the founders of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Hampton University has six schools---business, engineering and technology, liberal arts, nursing, pharmacy, science and the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. Hampton offers advanced degrees in multiple subjects including atmospheric and planetary sciences, chemistry, math and physics and nursing.

Hampton University 100 E. Queen St. Hampton, VA 23668 757-727-5000 hampton.edu