14000 Jericho Park Rd
Bowie, MD 20715-9465
p. 301-860-4000
w. www.bowiestate.edu

Bowie State University

Bowie State University Rating: 4.1/5 (107 votes)

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Bowie State University is the oldest historically black university (HBCU) in Maryland. The present-day public university, located in suburban Bowie, Maryland, was founded by the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People in 1865. Then known as the Baltimore Normal School, the institution’s goal was to train African Americans to become teachers.

The Board of Education provided funding and assumed control of the school in 1908. The school relocated to Prince George’s County and received the name Maryland Normal School in 1914. The first four-year programs began in 1935 and the institution became a state college in 1963. The first graduate degree was in 1970 but Bowie State did not receive university status until 1988, when it became one of the first members of the just-established University System of Maryland. The school’s first doctoral program graduates earned their degrees in May 2005.

Bowie State is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The school’s mission statement includes the desire to “provide high-quality and affordable educational opportunities at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels for a diverse student population of Maryland citizens and the global community.”

The university emphasizes the education of minority students as well as students who struggle with socioeconomic issues. It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.


Bowie State offers 20 undergraduate majors, 20 master’s programs and two doctoral programs, as well as numerous graduate certificates and certificates of advanced study.

With graduate enrollment nearly equivalent to undergraduate enrollment, the university is both a rounded undergraduate institution and a leading graduate institution. It consistently ranks in the top schools granting graduate degrees to African Americans in various disciplines, and is ranked highly among HBCUs for granting graduate degrees to African Americans in all disciplines.

The university is comprised of five colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Professional Studies
  • The Graduate School

Combined, the colleges offer 18 departments, 23 undergraduate majors, 19 master’s degree programs, two doctoral programs, and numerous advanced certificate programs.

Bachelor’s degrees can be received in many majors, including communications, computer science, English, fine and performing arts, history and government, mathematics, biology, sociology, criminal justice, business administration, nursing, social work, and education.

Graduate programs allow qualified students to pursue advanced levels of study that can lead to a Master of Education, Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Nursing. Doctoral programs offered by the Graduate School include the Doctor of Education and the Doctor of Applied Science in computer science.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

Bowie State is a participant in the National Science Foundation and NASA partnership program, Model Institutions for Excellence. This partnership implements specific improvements to ensure a high percentage of students are retained and graduate from the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. The program includes teaching and research laboratories, and specific tutorial facilities to assist students. The Satellite Operations & Control Center is a training facility and mission control center for NASA spacecraft on the Bowie State campus, where students participate in satellite operations and earn mission controller certification.

The university offers continuing education and extended education in various forms: partnerships with public high schools, distance learning, non-credit workshops, and through several institutes, including the Institute for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the Institute for Development and Entrepreneurship Advancement.


Bowie State is known for granting admission to nearly all applicants who meet minimum admission standards. Factors that determine acceptance for high school seniors who will be entering college for the first time (as well as first-time college students who have earned a GED) include GPA, standardized test scores, and recommendations from counselors and teachers.

Prospective undergraduates must submit a completed application form along with the required non-refundable application fee. Official high school transcripts and official SAT or ACT test score reports must be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions. Application essays and letters of recommendation are optional but suggested. International students, students who are transferring from other colleges or universities, and students who are applying for re-admission to Bowie State may be asked to meet additional requirements.

Students applying to graduate programs should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. General requirements include undergraduate transcripts and other materials or supporting documentation as required by the program. Applications and supplemental materials must be accompanied by the non-refundable application fee.

Students should submit all required application documents and fees by the specified deadline, which is posted on the Bowie State website. Priority consideration is given to all applications submitted prior to the deadline.

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid office at Bowie State provides counseling services to students and their families regarding the cost of higher education and where they can find assistance to accommodate that cost. The majority of financial aid that is awarded is based on financial need, but merit-based aid programs are also available. The university supports and provides programs such as the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans and Maryland State Scholarships. There are also a variety of private donor-supported scholarship funds for general support and for support of students with particular interests, talents, and majors. Students are also encouraged to inquire with individual departments about particular aid opportunities for student who study specific disciplines.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Federal Work-Study jobs are also available for qualified students. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible each year. Aid is available from federal and state agencies and from institutional funds.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3542nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Maryland.


Student life at Bowie State University includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. Students can participate in a wide variety of clubs and organizations, including academic and honor societies, fraternities and sororities, the Student Government, and various clubs organized around specific interests, cultures, and religions.

Popular groups include an Art Guild, the Baptist Student Ministry, clubs organized for students in various academic majors, the Bowie State Chapter of the Greater Washington Urban League, a Jazz Ensemble, and WBSU Radio. Many of the university’s activities and organizations are unique to the school or unique to HBCUs.

Campus is home to several residence halls and a student apartment complex as well as the Thurgood Marshall Library, which provides access to all the volumes in the University of Maryland system as well as its own collection.

Student services include career advising, health services, and assistance locating off-campus housing.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Bowie State Bulldogs compete in the NCAA’s Division II and in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Bulldogs participate in football, basketball, bowling, tennis, volleyball, softball, and cross country, along with both indoor and outdoor track and field.

Student athletes train and compete on campus in Bulldog Stadium, the A.C. Jordan Arena, and the Leonidas James complex.


The university proudly maintains its historical emphasis on educating African American students for positions of leadership and success in the professional and academic worlds. Dating back to Baltimore’s first normal school, which held classes in the African Baptist Church, Bowie State has always combined the thrill of inquiry with the respect and reverence for African American history.

Local Community

Bowie, Maryland is located between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore and has a population of over 50,000. It is the largest municipality in Prince George’s County and one of the largest cities in the state.

Thanks to its easy accessibility to two major metropolitan areas, Bowie residents have access to a wide variety of events, activities, and places to visit.

Information Summary

Ranks 20th in Maryland and 1140th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Maryland and 516th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 6 0.11
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.02
Rape 2 0.04
Robbery 2 0.04
Arson 1 0.02
Burglary 35 0.62
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.02
Arrest 1 0.02

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 32 0.06
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 2 0.00
Robbery 45 0.08
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 185 0.33
Larceny 589 1.07
Vehicle theft 60 0.11

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Bowie, MD 20715-9465
Surrounding communityLarge suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population25,226 (24,948 urban / 278 rural)
Households8,723 (2.80 people per house)
Median Household Income$76,206
Families6,923 (3.12 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Doctoral/Research Universities
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduateSingle doctoral (education)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, inclusive
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2405

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1285th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $4,824 $4,824 $15,391
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $2,147 $2,147 $2,147
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $213 $213 $647
FT Graduate Tuition $6,497 $6,497 $12,005
FT Graduate Required Fees $1,453 $1,453 $1,453
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $361 $361 $667
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $20,107 $20,107 $30,674
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $23,531 $23,531 $34,098
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $10,771 $10,771 $21,338

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,347 $6,639 $6,285 $6,639 $16,888 $17,195
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $2,845 $2,200
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,340 $8,912
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,990 $1,600
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A $11,498
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A $1,600
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A $1,600

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$40
Graduate Application Fee$40
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 3,986 (1,499 male / 2,487 female)
Admitted 2,063 (760 male / 1,303 female)
Admission rate 52%
First-time Enrollment 627 (251 male / 376 female)
FT Enrollment 623 (249 male / 374 female)
PT Enrollment 4 (2 male / 2 female)
Total Enrollment5,561

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc
NCAA Basketball Conference Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc
NCAA Track & Field Conference Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc

ACT Test Admission

1283rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 14%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 15 / 20
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 16 / 19
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 20

SAT Test Admission

1253rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 86%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 410 / 490
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 400 / 470
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 810 / 960

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,400
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$6,444
Board Fee$3,604

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 881 21 24 4 50 19 1,006
Applied Mathematics, General 3 1 4
Art/Art Studies, General 15 1 1 17
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 37 2 1 40
Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Other 1 1
Business Administration and Management, General 136 4 6 1 3 4 154
Business/Commerce, General 17 2 1 20
Child Development 55 2 1 59
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other 22 1 1 1 25
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Other 19 1 1 21
Computer and Information Sciences, General 13 3 1 17
Counseling Psychology 31 6 1 39
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 11 2 5 1 19
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 23 1 1 25
Design and Visual Communications, General 9 1 1 11
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 2 2
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 10 10
Elementary Education and Teaching 19 2 21
English Language and Literature, General 7 2 9
History, General 17 2 1 1 21
Human Resources Development 27 2 1 30
Human Resources Management and Services, Other
Information Science/Studies
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching 6 1 7
Management Information Systems, General 16 1 1 2 20
Mathematics, General 4 1 5
Mental Health Counseling/Counselor 13 4 17
Psychology, General 50 1 1 3 56
Public Administration 13 1 1 1 17
Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician 98 1 1 2 103
Reading Teacher Education 5 5
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 82 2 6 4 2 97
School Psychology 3 1 2 6
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education
Secondary Education and Teaching 10 1 2 13
Social Sciences, Other 1 2
Social Work 41 1 42
Sociology 54 3 57
Special Education and Teaching, General 4 1 5
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 8 1 9
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1473rd for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $68,290 ($71,532 male / $61,916 female)
Number of FT Faculty 228 (113 male / 115 female)
Number of PT Faculty 440
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $5,477,499

Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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