A prominent historically black university founded in 1871, Alcorn State University was the first land-grant university for African-American students. Alcorn was built on the site of a former white college (Oakland College, which collapsed when its entire student body enlisted in the Civil War) and was intended to provide educational opportunity for freed slaves and their children. With segregated schools in the South, the federal government required each state to establish a land-grant university for black students as well, and Alcorn was the first. Originally an agricultural and mechanical college, Alcorn was dedicated to farming and industrial education, and even as it has developed traditional undergraduate liberal arts programs, Alcorn still makes important strides in educating black students for specialized professions, and is ranked one of the top 25 HBCUs in the US.
Academic ProgramsAs a land-grant university, Alcorn State is particularly strong in STEM-related programs, with many students drawn by top applied science and science programs including computer science, biology, physics, and mathematics; social science is also popular among Alcorn’s students. The School of Nursing is one of the strongest in Mississippi, and the state’s only comprehensive nursing program at an HBCU. Alcorn’s many pre-professional programs prepare students for further schooling and careers in law, medicine, engineering, and physical therapy. No matter the program, Alcorn puts a premium on integrity, diversity, and the holistic education of each student; Alcorn’s student support is rated highly by graduates.
Alcorn has a number of highly-ranked graduate degree programs as well, including education, nursing, computer science, and biotechnology, among many others; the MBA degree has its home at the Natchez campus, and is available in on-campus and distance formats. With its land-grant heritage, Alcorn is accomplished in research, particularly undergraduate research, and all Alcorn students have the opportunity to work directly with faculty members on real, applicable research. This access, especially for undergraduates, is a key to success in applying for graduate school as well as entering a career as a well-prepared professional.
Student LifeWith just under 4000 students, Alcorn is small enough for students to feel a strong sense of shared community, but big enough for diversity of background, interests, and values. While Alcorn is a public university, religious life is an important part of student life, with a number of campus ministries and faith activities in the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel, from revival services to lectures and cultural performances. Community service and engagement are also central to life at Alcorn, from the service activities of the various Greek organizations, to the Office of Student Engagement & Community Service Outreach, which coordinates service groups and action.
The Alcorn State Braves is a small athletics program with an extraordinary history. Part of the NCAA Division I Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Braves have sent more than 60 football players to the NFL, and have one more 15 conference championships under their belt. Fifteen teams include basketball, baseball and softball, and track and field, as well as a women’s tennis team that has earned numerous conference championships as well. The Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite marching band – a 200-plus, 5 drum major marching band – is known throughout the South as a leading outfit.