Bowie State University

Bowie State University
TypePublic, HBCU
EstablishedJanuary 9, 1865 (1865-01-09)
Endowment$7.3 million
PresidentAminta H. Breaux
ProvostDeBrenna L. Agbenyiga
Academic staff
Administrative staff
CampusSuburban, 338½ acres (1.4 km²)
ColorsBlack and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division II

Bowie State University is a public historically black university in Prince George's County, Maryland, north of Bowie. Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland. Bowie State is Maryland's oldest historically black university[1] and one of the ten oldest in the country.[2] Bowie State is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


Bowie State University is the oldest HBCU in Maryland.[3] It was founded in 1865 by the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People as a teaching school.[4][5] The school first used space at the African Baptist Church at Calvert Street and Sarasota Street, in Baltimore, Maryland.[5] In 1867, a dedicated facility was purchased nearby at Sarasota Street and Courtland Street, and the school was formally named the Baltimore Normal School for Colored Teachers.[4][6] After being reorganized in 1883 as the Baltimore Normal School, it educated African Americans to be teachers for African American students until 1908.[5] At that time, the school became a state institution of teaching under the Maryland State Department of Education and was redesignated as a Normal School No. 3.[4][5]

Shortly thereafter, in 1910, the school moved to the Jericho Farm, a 187-acre campus in Prince George’s County.[4][5] About 60 students lived in the old farmhouse.[3] The school was renamed in 1914 as the Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie.[4][5] A two-year professional degree was added in 1925, a three-year program in 1931, a four-year program for elementary school teachers in 1935, a four-year program for junior high school teachers in 1951, and a four-year program for secondary school teachers in 1961.[4] In recognition of its principal role, the school was renamed in 1935 as Maryland Teachers College at Bowie.[4]

In 1963, Bowie State College was officially named a liberal arts school – with additional majors in English, history, and social science – although emphasis remained on teacher education.[4] A Master's degree in education was added in 1969.[4]

The school was renamed Bowie State University in 1988, as a member of the University System of Maryland.[4] In the subsequent decades, Bowie continued to expand, especially in professional and STEM fields.[4][5] In 1992, it became the first HBCU to expand overseas, with graduate programs for military personnel stationed abroad.[1] By 2017, the school offered 20+ undergraduate majors and 30+ advanced degrees or certificate programs.[4]

In the Oct 29th 2015 of The Economist magazine's first ever rating of Colleges in America, which was based on an statistical estimate for each college based exclusively on factors such as average SAT scores, sex ratio, race breakdown, college size, whether a university was public or private, and the mix of subjects students chose to study versus how much money its former students would make. Bowie State University ranked #61 on the list and was #1 in the State of Maryland.[7]

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