Spotlight on: The Top Smaller HBCUs for STEM

Did you know:  HBCUs graduate 25% of African-Americans who earn degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees? This number also accounts for 46% of Black women who earned degrees in STEM disciplines between 1995 and 2004.  Nearly 30% of black students who earn doctorates in STEM fields begin their studies at HBCUs. (source: UNCF)  The Hundred-Seven is highlighting 10 liberal arts colleges that have produced the most Black graduates with bachelor's degrees in various STEM fields.  


The top HBCU producers of STEM graduates (bachelor's degrees) were determined by evaluting data published by Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Top 100 Degree Producers for 2016-2019. Schools who were in the Top 100 colleges in the nation when it comes to producing African-American's with bachelor's degrees in biological sciences, physical sciences, engineering (not engineering technology), math and other science fields were evaluated to determine which schools graduated the most black students in these areas in recent years. 


A listing of universities that graduate the most African-Americans with STEM degrees is HERE.



Published: December 2020


10. Fisk University
(Nashville, TN)

Fisk has consistently been one of the top producers of African-Americans with degrees in the physical sciences.  This should come as no suprise given its long-standing `partnerships with Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University.  Also, in the past 5 years, the university has secured 15 patents.  

9. Tougaloo College
(Tougaloo, MS)

This small college, located on the edge of Jackson, Mississippi, is one of the top producers of Black doctors and dentists in the state.  Recently, it has been a top producer of African-Americans with degrees in math and physical sciences. 


8. Allen University
(Columbia, SC)

Allen University is a participant in the South Carolina HBCU STEM program.   It is a top producer of African-Americans with Bachelor's degrees in math.  

7. Morris College
(Sumter, SC)

Each year Morris College highlights the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics through Science in Action Week, sponsoring activities and programs to motivate and educate students and community members through STEM.  Morris College has been a top producer of African-Americans with bachelor's degrees in physical sciences and math.  

6. Benedict College
(Columbia, SC)

Benedict College offers degrees in several STEM fields including, Cyber Security, Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Biology  It is one of the top producers of African-Americans with degrees in biology, physical sciences and engineering technologies.  

5. Claflin University
(Orangeburg, SC)

Claflin partners with NASA and the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences for provide opportunities for students to engage in research and summer STEM experiences.   Additionally, it is home to the South Carolina Center for Biotechnology.  It is a top producer of African-Americans earning bachelor's degrees in biological sciences and math.  

4. Oakwood University
(Huntsville, AL)

Oakwood University is consistently one of the top producers of African-Americans who attend medical school.  Located in "The Rocket City" it is a top producer of students with degrees in math and biology.  

3. Xavier University
(New Orleans, LA)

Known for its pre-med and pharmacy schools, Xavier rounds out the top 3 HBCU Liberal Arts STEM colleges. For nearly 20 years, it has has been a leader nationally in placing African-American students into medical school. Its physical science and biological science programs are consistently in the top 5 in the nation for graduating African-Americans and its math program is highly-ranked as well.    


2. Morehouse College
(Atlanta, GA)

The nation's only all-male HBCU is the #1 producer of black male baccalaureates in biological sciences, physics, as well as mathematics and statistics
Morehouse was the #2 producer of black male baccalaureates in chemistry.  These stats along with being one of the top producers in the nation of African-Americans with degrees in physical sciences, computer science and math lift it to #2 on the list.  

1. Spelman College
(Atlanta, GA)

Spelman College tops the list as the #1 Liberal Arts HBCU for STEM degrees.   Combined with Bennett College, Spelman has produced 50% of Black women who earn PhD's in STEM fields.  It is a top producer of African-Americans with degrees in math, biological sciences, physical sciences and natural resources/conservation.  


Honorable Mention:
Dillard University
(New Orleans, LA)

Dillard University is a notable addition to the list for its Physics program.  It graduates more physics majors -- than far bigger schools.  The small college ranks second in the country for enrolling black physics undergrads and, in the decade before 2017, conferred degrees to 33 students including nine black women- a rarity for most colleges.

Notable mention:
Lane College
(Jackson, TN)

Lane is notable because, despite its small size, in the past 5 years it has been made the list of top producers in three different categories: math, physical sciences and biological sciences.    

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