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Uncommon Programs and Exclusive Partnerships for HBCU Students

Popular media, from TV shows to movies, often portrays college as a one-size-fits-all experience. But within the US alone, several HBCUs offer unique courses and specialized programs that are one-of-a-kind opportunities, proving that historically Black colleges and universities have something to offer to every student. Whether you are looking for an HBCU that provides an interesting course or a specialization in your desired field, we found some unique programs you won't see anywhere else and we're eager to share a few of them with you!

MBA Specialization at North Carolina Central University

Founded in 1910, NCCU is a public institution offering top-ranked sciences, law, business, and education programs. The Master of Business Administration program at North Carolina Central University now offers a real estate specialization as part of its expanding menu of MBA courses.

The real estate focus will be offered online and in-person through the School of Business's fully approved Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) MBA program. The program is the first to be offered as an MBA at an institution with a historically Black student body.

Within the school, a real estate hub offers tools for students looking for practical experiences and space for innovation and exploration. In addition to providing education to serve the demands of the real estate business, NCCU aims to fill the diversity gap within the field by offering a relevant and rigorous curriculum.

Significant real estate specialized firms, like Walker & Dunlop Financial Services, have contributed to the program by offering industry knowledge, structure, and support to guarantee students have access to the most recent information and a broad industry network to rely on. First National Bank has also provided the program with a $20,000 donation.

Through collaborations like this, NCCU hopes to drive meaningful and sustainable change in the industry by educating the next generation of diverse real estate leaders.

New Undergraduate Program at Edward Waters University

A private Christian HBCU in Jacksonville, Florida, EWU was founded in 1866 as the first independent institution of higher education and the first HBCU in the entire State of Florida.

In December 2021, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the organization that accredits Edward Waters University (EWU), officially informed the university that it was permitted to offer a new Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Forensic Science. As a result, the institution intends to accept incoming students this Fall to enroll in this fascinating new undergraduate degree program.

The BA degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Forensic Investigation has historically been offered by EWU. This program has cultivated a strong student following, steady enrollment increase, and curriculum expansion over time. As a result, the university's staff and administration decided to create this new, market-relevant, stand-alone degree program in forensic science to raise the academic profile of EWU, satisfy student demand, and facilitate future enrollment.

On the EWU main campus, three science laboratories are now spread across three separate buildings. By the end of the Spring 2022 semester, two of these laboratories will have received over half a million dollars in facilities and equipment upgrades.

EWU has significantly improved its forensic science laboratory resources, modernity, and technological capabilities over the last five years, providing the tools and infrastructure required to support an excellent academic degree. The Forensic Science program will prepare graduates for careers as criminalists, crime scene investigators, and forensic DNA analysts in crime laboratories at the federal, state, and local levels. By introducing this competitive, 21st-century curriculum to EWU, this program helps EWU achieve its goal of raising the university's academic profile even further.

Unique Undergraduate Program at Alabama A&M University

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) is a public HBCU land-grant university in Normal, Alabama and a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

One of the unique programs offered at AAMU, and nowhere else in Alabama, is their Urban Planning program. The Planning Accreditation Board granted BSUP program accreditations to Alabama A&M through 2023. The goal of this field of planning is to make areas better by designing solutions for the problems that cities, communities, and regions face such as social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic progress.

Additionally, the program provides academically prepared students with an expedited degree path, known as the 4+1 program, that will allow them to achieve a Bachelor of Science before continuing to a Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. The Bachelor of Science Urban Planning curriculum equips students with the information needed to excel in the industry or pursue a graduate study in planning or planning-related fields.

Discover Exclusive HBCU Partnership Opportunities

Sky’s the Limit at Texas Southern University

In March 2022, Texas Southern University (TSU) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced their partnership as the first HBCU in the airline's First Officer recruitment program: Destination 225°. Texas Southern University is the only school in Texas that offers a combined Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Science Management and, as of six years ago, a Bachelor of Science degree as a Professional Pilot.

The popular airline created Destination 225° to direct potential pilots to Southwest Airlines Co. TSU President, Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, and Southwest Vice President of Flight Operations, Lee Kinnebrew, signed a contract and exchanged token gifts to announce their collaborative effort publicly and officially. Fun fact: the name of the program comes from the Southwest direction represented as 225° on a compass.

Choice Hotels and Concord Hospitality Open Their Doors to HBCU Grads
Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) and Concord Hospitality Enterprises are now sponsoring a hospitality management training program for recent HBCU graduates.

This accelerator program provides students with valuable experience at the upscale Cambria Hotels brand. Additionally, the chance to pursue full-time managerial employment with Concord Hospitality will be available to those managers-in-training as they complete this immersive hospitality management training program.

When it comes to finding schools with unique, one-of-a-kind opportunities in education, HBCUs are some of the best! These are only a few examples of specialized degrees and courses from our historically Black colleges and universities. We hope one of these offerings spoke to a personal or professional interest of yours, and if not, we hope you will explore whatever unique programs are offered at your school!