Bowie State University


What Is Bowie State University? Bowie State University Online:

Bowie State University is a large school located in the metropolitan corridor between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Its campus is on a 300-acre wooded track in the suburbs of the city of Bowie and also offering Bowie State University online courses. 

As a member institution of the University System of Maryland, Bowie State University strives to uphold the System’s mission of “providing high-caliber, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities.”i Academically, the school offers bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees and postbaccalaureate and post-masters certificates. The majority of students at BSU take courses on campus, but BSU online courses are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. It is a four-year public university.

Bowie State University's History and Unique Features

Founded in 1865, Bowie State University is Maryland’s oldest Historically Black College/University and one of the 10 oldest in the nation. While its student population is predominately African-American or black, its campus and faculty represent a diverse range of ethnicities and cultures.i 

Bowie State University’s founding school was one opened in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1865 to offer educational opportunities to black citizens who had recently been emancipated. Seeing that Maryland State continued to fail its black population, Joseph M. Cushing, a champion for the education of the black population, co-organized the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of the Colored People.i

At the same time, as chairman of the Educational Committee for Maryland’s Constitutional Convention in 1864, Cushing fought against the Committee’s strong will to not fund schools for black people. Turning away from the Committee and using instead the Baltimore Association’s commitment, resources, and connections, Cushing helped open the Association’s first Baltimore school. What would eventually become Bowie State University was born.ii  

Besides its role in expanding educational opportunities for black citizens, some of Bowie State University’s great features are its advanced teaching and research facilities. One facility includes a “FlexPod,” which is one of technology’s latest computing innovations. FlexPod has the capabilities of a supercomputer in a box the size of two student desks. BSU also has an all-Steinway Fine and Performing Arts Center equipped with advanced technologies for digital media arts and music production. And the school’s satellite operations control center works in conjunction with NASA. It short, BSU boasts excellent technology.i

Bowie State Online Admissions and Enrollment

As of fall 2016, Bowie State University had 5,669 total students, 4,711 of which were undergraduate students. That same semester, 6,735 prospective students applied for undergraduate admission. Forty-one percent of those applicants were accepted, and 35 percent of those admitted students enrolled.iii

In fall 2016, eighty-four percent of undergraduate students attended Bowie State University full-time. Sixteen percent attended part-time. Thirty-five percent of those students were enrolled in at least some online education through Bowie State Online Courses.  Ninety-two percent had in-state status. Of the undergraduate students enrolled at Bowie State University that fall, 86 percent were black or African-American and the majority, 62 percent, were female. Seventy-seven percent were aged 24 years or younger.iii

Bowie State University Online Programs

Of Bowie State University’s 958 graduate students, 57 percent attended classes part-time and 43% did so full-time. The large majority, 92 percent, were not enrolled in any online education.iii

The Bowie State University acceptance rate was 41 percent in 2017, which U.S. News labeled as “less selective.”iv

The Bowie State University Application Process

Undergraduate Freshman Admissions:

For first-time students graduating from high school or holding a General Education Diploma, Bowie State University considers grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, and counselor recommendations. To apply, prospective students must:

  • Complete an online application
  • Submit a non-refundable $40 application fee
  • Have official transcripts sent from their high school to BSU’s admissions office
  • Have official test scores from the SAT and/or ACT sent to BSU’s admissions office (scores as parts of official transcripts will also be accepted)

Applicants also have the option to submit an essay and letters of recommendation, both of which could improve a student's chance for admission.

Transfer and international students may have to meet additional requirements.

Graduate Admissions:

To apply to graduate school at Bowie State University, applicants must hold a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a 2.0-2.49 GPA may be granted conditional admission. To apply, prospective graduate students must:

  • Complete an online application
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee of $40 ($50 for doctoral programs)
  • Upload copies of transcripts from all previously attended institutions
  • Complete an official Recommendation Form to receive a link that applicants can send to their recommenders. Recommenders must use this link for their recommendations to be official
  • Submit any additional information that may be required by their specific programs
  • Submit an application package digitally or by mail

Transfer and international students may have to meet additional requirements.

Bowie State University Tuition and Financial Aid

During the 2015-2016 academic year, in-state full-time beginning undergraduate students paid $7,880 annually for tuition. Out-of-state students from the same population paid $18,416 annually for tuition. In- and out-of-state students paid an additional $2,200 for books and supplies per year. Between the fall 2015 and fall 2016 school years, tuition increased by 2.9 percent.iii

That same academic year, 65 percent of undergraduate students, or 2,816 students, accessed Bowie State financial aid. Sixty-five percent of those students received grant or scholarship aid, 51 percent of which came from Federal Pell grants. Sixty-four percent of undergraduate students received federal student loans.iii 

Bowie State University Majors

In the 2015-2016 school year, 832 students earned bachelor's degrees, 337 students earned master's degrees, and 10 students earned doctorate degrees. Sixty-two students earned certificates. Some of the most popular degrees for baccalaureate students and students pursuing masters degrees that same year were as follows:iii

Bachelors Degrees:

  • Business administration and management
  • Radio and television broadcasting
  • Registered nursing
  • Criminal justice
  • General psychology
  • Child development

Masters Degrees:

  • Management information systems
  • Communication, journalism, and related programs
  • Computer and information science
  • Education (across areas)
  • Registered nursing
  • Pubic administration

The majority of doctorate students earned degrees in education, and the majority of students pursuing certificates earned ones in information science, human resources management, and school psychology.iii

Bowie State University Faculty

As of fall 2016, Bowie State University had 222 full-time faculty members and 228 part-time faculty members. Faculty used 36 graduate assistants to aid in instruction and related services. The student to faculty ratio at BSU was 16 to 1.iii

Bowie State University Rankings

U.S. News ranked Bowie State University #22 in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the 2018 edition of Best Colleges ranked Bowie State University within Regional Universities North Tier 2.iv

Bowie State University Accreditation

Bowie State University has regional institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Its baccalaureate and master’s degree nursing programs have specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc., and its registered nursing program has specialized accreditation from the Maryland Board of Nursing. BSU’s education and other programs have additional accreditation as required by the industry.iii

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