The university has a long and proud history dating back to 1857, with Harris Teachers College, a normal school for white students to train future teachers. Later in 1890, the Sumner Normal School for black students was founded, which changed its name to Stowe Teachers College. The two schools existed separately for decades, until the historic Brown v. Board of Education mandate of 1954 when the two merged but retained only the Harris name. Later, alumni and others pointed out that the Stowe name should be attached, and was known as Harris-Stowe College until 2005 when the school became Harris-Stowe State University.
The school today has expanded beyond just a teacher’s college and is now a public university awarding a variety of degrees. The institution can be found in St. Louis, Missouri on a 31-acre campus in an urban setting. It has been recently rated as one of the best regional colleges in the Midwest and was also listed as one of the remaining historically black colleges or universities. Part of the school’s baseball field was once used as the Negro National League Stars’ Park – a fact of pride among students and alumni.
Based on its tuition rates, the school is found to be one of the most affordable baccalaureate degree-awarding schools in the St. Louis area. The university is composed of three different schools and colleges: the Anheuser-Busch School of Business, the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Education.
Bachelor of Science degree programs are offered including Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Care Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Sciences & Computer Technology, Mathematics, Middle School Education, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, and Urban Education. Students who pursue these degrees must also complete general education requirement classes, to give a firm foundation for upper classwork.
Out of the 15-degree programs offered the most popular majors are Business Administration and Management, Elementary Education and Teaching, Accounting and Criminal Justice/Safety Studies.
Class sizes are generally small and there are no classes offered containing 50 students or more. For the most part class sizes consist of fewer than 20 students, however there are a small percentage of classes which contain 20-49 students.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Students interested in attending must complete an application for admission, send official college/university transcripts (when applicable), send official high school transcripts or GED scores, send ACT or SAT scores, and pay a small nonrefundable application fee. Applications can be submitted online or printed and mailed to the Office of Admissions.
Transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 for admission to the Teacher Education programs and a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all non-teaching programs. Transcripts will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis for all transfer students that have not completed an Associate of Arts degree or 42 semester hours of general education.
International students whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL and send their scores to the university. These students must also provide evidence that they will be financially secure while in the US.
Most students here receive some type of financial aid assistance. Federal loans and grants are available and students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). State assistance available for Missouri residents include the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program, Four New Missouri Student Assistance Programs, Bridge Scholarship Program, Advantage Missouri Program, MOSTARS Higher Education Savings Program, and Missouri College Guarantee Program.
There are also external scholarships available and these include The Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation Inc. Scholarships and Fellowships, ProNet International Gifts & Scholarships Inc., and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Science, Technology, Engineering or Math Emergency Scholarship Program. There are also various scholarships offered by the university and information regarding these scholarships can be found on the school’s official website.
Student Financial Aid Details
This is in large part a commuter-school and most students live off campus. Almost all students have a car on school premises, regardless of where they are living.
Students who are interested in living on campus must fill out an application and pay a housing deposit to the Department of Residential Life. Freshmen are guaranteed housing if they pay the housing deposit by a certain date and therefore students are encouraged to apply and pay the deposit as early as possible. There are both single-bed suites and double-bed suites available for freshman. The on-campus housing available for upperclassman is the Gillespie Residence Hall. All rooms come fully-equipped with telephone service, cable TV, and high speed Internet access. Even if a student is of legal age, alcohol is not permitted in student housing. No student over the age of 25 is eligible to live in on-campus regardless of their student status.
The library is a member of the Bridges Cluster within the MOBIUS library association, along with eight other members, allowing the library catalog to be linked with the catalogs’ of all of the Bridges Cluster members and to the full MOBIUS complement of member catalogs. This allows the catalog to contain information from more than 50 academic and public libraries across the state of Missouri.
Jazz and HSSU:
Donald Wolff and his wife donated their jazz collection to HSSU in April of 2002. From this contribution, the Don & Heide Wolff Jazz Institute was created allowing students as well as the community to learn more about jazz music and its various artists.
Most of the Greek organizations offered at the school are historically Black Greek organizations, which were started to help bring African-Americans together and provide unity to college campuses in the early 1900s. In order to be a member of a Black Greek letter organization students must be enrolled full-time, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, meet the required community service hours, obtain formal letters of recommendation, meet the guidelines of the chapter and/or membership intake committee, attend an informal meeting and their sponsored events, and participate in an interview by the organization.
The Greek organizations offered include:
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Omega Alpha Psi Fraternity & Ministry
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletic program is a member of the NAIA and the American Midwest Conference (AMC). The school’s mascot is the Hornets and their colors are brown and gold. Soccer and basketball teams are available for both men and women. Men are also able to compete on a baseball team and women can also compete in volleyball and softball.
Notable alumni include:
- Julius Hunter, former anchorman for KMOV Channel 4
- Charles Shaw, federal judge
- Bobby C. Wilks, first African-American to reach the rank of Coast Guard Captain and the first African-American Coast Guard aviator.
Accreditation is provided by The Higher Learning Commission for the school.
The Anheuser-Busch School of Business receives further accreditation from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
Furthermore, the School of Education receives its accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.