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About NSU

Norfolk State College was founded on September 18, 1935. The College, brought to life in the midst of the Great Depression, provided a setting in which the youth of the region could give expression to their hopes and aspirations. At its founding, it was named the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942, the College became the independent Norfolk Polytechnic College, and two years later an Act of the Virginia Legislature mandated that it become a part of Virginia State College. The College was able to pursue an expanded mission with even greater emphasis in 1956 when another Act of the Legislature enabled the institution to offer its first bachelor’s degree. The College was separated from Virginia State College and became fully independent in 1969. Subsequent legislative acts designated the institution as a university and authorized the granting of graduate degrees. In 1979, university status was attained. Norfolk State University is an institution of higher education that is classified as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). It is one of five HBCUs in Virginia (Hampton, Virginia State, Virginia Union and Virginia University).


Norfolk State University will be recognized nationally as a premier public institution with outstanding signature academic programs, innovative research and community engagement opportunities.


Norfolk State University, a comprehensive urban public institution, is committed to transforming students’ lives through exemplary teaching, research and service. Offering a supportive academic and culturally diverse environment for all, the University empowers its students to turn aspirations into reality and achieve their full potential as well-rounded and resourceful citizens and leaders for the 21st century.


  • Excellence: We are dedicated to fostering a culture of excellence in all facets of the University through the highest educational standards for student achievement, stellar faculty teaching, innovative research, dedicated service and creative co-curricular activities.
  • Student-Centered: Students are our top priority, and we are committed to helping them become globally competitive in an enriching, stimulating and supportive environment.
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness: We foster a multicultural environment respecting all people, cultures, ideas, beliefs, identities, socioeconomic backgrounds and perspectives. We train our students to become leaders in an ever-changing global and multicultural society.
  • Integrity and Civility: We expect everyone to be accountable for his or her actions and to engage in honest, ethical behavior. We value the contributions of each person, treating all with respect and civility, and affirm our shared responsibility for institutional success.
  • Engagement: We continually enhance the University’s role and influence in affairs of local and global communities by promoting educational attainment, cultural enrichment and economic development.
  • Pride: We display great admiration for the University and its rich history and legacy.
  • Financial Empowerment: We aggressively pursue expanded and more diversified revenue streams.

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