Transfer to Historically Black Colleges & Universities

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have an excellent academic track record, as these numbers show:

While only about 17 percent of black undergraduate students attend a historically black college and university, over 28 percent of African-Americans who receive bachelor’s degrees obtain them from a historically black college or university.

These colleges and universities are also leading institutions in awarding bachelor’s degrees to black students in the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

The HBCU guarantee

Thanks to an agreement signed March 17, 2015, between the California Community Colleges and several HBCUs, California community college students who complete certain academic requirements are guaranteed transfer to a participating HBCU.

There are 37 Participating Colleges and Universities

  • Alabama State University
  • Alcorn State University
  • Arkansas Baptist College
  • Benedict College
  • Bennett College
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Bowie State University
  • Central State University
  • Clafin University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Dillard University
  • Edwards Water College
  • Fisk University
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Fort Valley State University
  • Grambling State University
  • Harris-Stowe State University
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Kentucky State University
  • Lane College
  • Lincoln University of MO
  • Lincoln University of PA
  • Mississippi Valley State University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • Philander Smith College
  • Shaw University
  • Southern University and A&M College
  • Stillman College
  • Talladega College
  • Tennessee State University
  • Texas Southern University
  • Tougaloo College
  • Tuskegee University
  • Virginia State University
  • West Virginia State University
  • Wiley College
  • Xavier University of Louisiana


Historically black colleges and universities were established primarily to serve the higher education needs of the black community, however they are open to students of any ethnicity.  There are 105 historically black colleges and universities in the country, with most located in the South and East Coast.  They all award bachelor’s degrees in many fields. Some also award masters and doctorate degrees.

Many historically black colleges and universities were founded after the Civil War, in response to legislation (the Morrell Act) signed by President Lincoln creating land grant colleges in the states.  However, seventeen states, mostly in the South, would not grant money to black colleges.   As a result, further legislation was adopted in the 1890s requiring the states to establish a second land grant act that would provide funding for black colleges.

The goal of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities Transfer Guarantee Project is to educate students about additional transfer opportunities at these institutions and develop pathways that will ultimately contribute to an increase in baccalaureate degree attainment.


How to qualify for the HBCU guarantee

  1. An Associate Degree Awarded by a California Community College with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, that meets any one of the following requirements:
    1. The degree is an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) degree or an Associate in
      Science for Transfer (AS-T) degree. These degrees were designed to provide a
      clear pathway to a California State University major and baccalaureate degree
      and they represent strong preparation for upper-division coursework in a range
      of majors.
    2. The degree includes the completion and certification of the lower division
      Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) used by California
      Community College students to prepare to transfer to the University of California
      and California State University systems; or,
    3. The degree includes the completion and certification of the lower division
      California State University General Education Breadth pattern; or,
  2.  A minimum of 30 transferable semester units with a minimum cumulative grade point
    average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher.

See a Counselor for more information.