The Best HBCUs for Computer Science

Compare the top-ranked historically black colleges and universities for computer science.

HBCU computer science student

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) provide high-quality, affordable education to African American students. Within the fast-growing and lucrative field of computer science, certain HBCUs stand out not just for their academic excellence but through impactful partnerships, groundbreaking research opportunities, and a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion. This article will highlight the HBCUs with the best computer science programs.

We selected the best historically black colleges and universities for computer science based on numerous factors, including the relevance of the curriculum to the needs of the CS workforce, industry partnerships, school reputation, faculty expertise, program features, institutional statistics, affordability, and overall value.

Top-Ranked Computer Science HBCUs in 2024:

1. North Carolina A&T State University - Greensboro, North Carolina

America’s largest HBCU also offers some of the best computer science degrees. NC A&T features numerous innovative research centers and dedicated programs for CS students, including its Cyber Identity and Biometrics Lab (CIB), which promotes advanced research on biometrics, cybersecurity, machine learning, and data science; the Gaming and Cyber-Secure Smart Lab where students learn game development including cutting-edge AR and VR platforms; and its Center for Trustworthy AI that focuses on the safety, security, reliability, and inclusivity of emerging AI technologies. As our top-ranked public HBCU for computer science, NC A&T also offers the most affordable programs at this level of instruction.

Top Computer Science Degrees:

  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • M.S. in Computer Science
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science

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2. Spelman College - Atlanta, Georgia

With a focus on providing quality education for women of African descent, Spelman’s computer science degrees feature industry-relevant coursework in Python programming, database management, software engineering, cybersecurity, and more. Its innovative G-STEM program prepares African-American women to enter the global STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) workforce upon graduation. Computer science students at Spelman are making a name for themselves on the national stage - at the 2024 Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, Spelman’s inaugural team, Cyber Kunai, won the "Best Written Brief" award, showcasing their ability to tackle complex cybersecurity challenges.

Top CS Majors and Minors:

  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Game Design and Development
  • Interactive Media

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3. Morehouse College - Atlanta, Georgia

Renowned for its unparalleled contribution to the education and development of Black men, Morehouse College offers some of our favorite undergraduate computer science programs at any HBCU. Students in the Computer Science Bachelor's program learn marketable skills in programming, software development, algorithm design, and advanced mathematics. At the same time, Morehouse’s deep liberal arts catalog empowers students to align their CS education with their goals and interests. The program's commitment to addressing societal issues through technology, coupled with its nurturing of leadership qualities, makes its computer science graduates a hot commodity in the IT workforce.

Top Majors for Computing Students:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Dual Degree Engineering Program

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4. Florida A&M University - Tallahassee, Florida

FAMU is the premier computer science HBCU for aspiring electrical and computer engineers. Its FAMU-FSU College of Engineering - a collaborative endeavor with Florida State University - enhances computer science students' academic and research opportunities while fostering a valuable interdisciplinary approach to solving complex technological challenges. The university’s engagement in National Science Foundation (NSF) projects aimed at enhancing minority participation in high-tech fields exemplifies its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and innovation in STEM.

Top Computer Science Programs:

  • Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering
  • Master’s in Electrical Engineering

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5. Howard University - Washington, D.C.

Howard University offers respected undergraduate and graduate computer science degrees featuring coursework in hot domains like software development, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and data science. Howard collaborates with Google through its Tech Exchange program, where comp-sci students get career-focused training from Googlers and HBCU professors, fully-funded trips to Google's headquarters, personalized mentorship sessions with Google staff, networking opportunities with fellow HBCU/HSI students, and personalized career support. The university also features cutting-edge computer science labs and research centers, including its Data Science and Cybersecurity Center (DSC2) and DoD Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (CoE-AIML).

Top Computer Science Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Science

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These historically black colleges and universities are shaping the future of technology through pioneering academic programs, advanced research initiatives, and strategic partnerships. The best HBCUs for computer science provide the skills to excel in this rapidly evolving space and ensure that the CS field reflects the diversity and dynamism of our society.

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