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Bowie State University (BSU) is a public historically black university located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Just north of Bowie, the institution is part of the University System of Maryland. It was founded in 1865, making it the state’s oldest historically black university, as well as one of the ten oldest in the country. With diversity as a cornerstone, students, faculty, and staff represent many ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Bowie State University is also a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Overview of Bowie State University (BSU)

The university offers a wide variety of high quality and affordable educational opportunities for students. Home to a supportive academic environment, students are empowered to think critically, make new discoveries, value differences, and emerge as leaders. For added convenience, classes are offered throughout the days, during evenings, and online.

Bowie State University is located near one of the nation’s most exciting metropolitan areas, giving students easy access to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. The campus also boasts a 300-acre suburban wooded tract. The school also actively supports Maryland’s workforce and economy, engaging in strategic partnerships, research, and public service works that benefit the local area and nation, as well as other global communities.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 17:1
Graduation Rate 43%
Year Founded 1865

Student Enrollment

Total Students6,171


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,039
Female 3,188

Graduate Student

Male 368
Female 576

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BSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 1,652
Female 3,516


Male 1,305
Female 2,883

Acceptance Rate81%

Male 79%
Female 82%

Enrollment 963

Male 355
Female 608
Application Fee $40
High School GPA Required
High School Rank N/A
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations N/A
SAT/ACT Considered but not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Considered but not Required
Application Deadline May 15
Common Application Accepted N/A

BSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Bowie State University has been ranked as the best value among colleges in Maryland. The institution focuses on providing students with financial saving opportunities to help ensure graduates are not left with the heavy burden of excessive debt.

It’s important to realize that the cost of attending will greatly depend on student residency and whether or not on-campus student housing is necessary. For the 2021-2021 academic year, in-state undergraduate students enrolled full-time (12 credits hours or more) can expect to spend $2,888 on tuition, plus other fees per semester. Out-of-state students, on the other hand, will spend $8,250 on tuition per semester. Respective totals including other mandatory expenses are $4,281 and $9,652. Students may also need to pay lab, exam, and parking fees.

Students must also anticipate the cost of housing and meals while enrolled. The cost of living on campus ranges from $2,546 and $5,911 per semester. Meal rates range from $1,349 to $2,421 per semester, with less expensive options available for commuters and summer students.

Bowie State University also offers a variety of financial aid opportunities including access to federal aid, state aid, scholarships, loans, and student employment. All students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help determine eligibility for aid. During the 2019-2020 academic year, 89% of students enrolled at the university received some form of financial assistance.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $14,322
Average Total Aid $9,162
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Room & Board $11,476

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,444
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $19,136
  • Books and Supplies - $2,500
  • Room & Board - $11,476
  • Other - $1,600


Bowie State University empowers students to reach their potential by providing innovative academic programs and transformational experiences that help prepare them for careers, lifelong learning, and civic responsibility.

Academic programs are available in the following colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Professional Studies

Students can choose from a wide variety of majors, with opportunities to pursue numerous academic programs. The institution offers 23 bachelor’s degree programs, 19 master’s degree programs, and 14 specialty certificates, and two doctorate degree programs.

A total of 227 full-time and 230 part-time faculty members oversee instruction, making the student-faculty ratio 16:1. The school maintains this low ratio in order to provide sufficient support to students transitioning to college life for the first time. These smaller class sizes can mean it is easier for students to receive one-on-one attention from professors.

As of 2020, Bowie State University had an average first-year undergraduate retention rate of 77% for full-time students and 30% for part-time students. These statistics are significant, as they help demonstrate overall student satisfaction after the first academic. Additionally, the university has an overall graduation rate of 43% and a transfer-out rate of only 27%. While only 17% of those who began pursuing bachelor’s degrees in the fall of 2014 graduated within four years, 43% of individuals enrolled at that time graduated within six years.

As a whole, the university has been regionally accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education since 1961. Many of the programs offered, however, are accredited by additional agencies. Those of particular interest may include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Student Population Total

Student Population 6,171

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 161 Total Graduates / 19%
Business Administration and Management, General 161 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 92 Total Graduates / 11%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 92 Graduates
Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services 89 Total Graduates / 10%
Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician 89 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 87 Total Graduates / 10%
Psychology, General 87 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 64 Total Graduates / 7%
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Other 47 Graduates
Computer and Information Sciences, General 17 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 43%

Outcome & Salary

The majority of full-time, first-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at Bowie State University graduate, but it may take up to six years to complete the necessary requirements. This is an upward trend at the institution, but timeframes do vary by degree program.

Some of the top employers for Boise State University graduates are:

  • Bowie State University
  • Department of Justice, CRT
  • Department of Parks and Recreation
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • Prince Georges County Courthouse
  • Trans-Atlantic Slave Descendant Network
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Goldman Sachs
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $52,700
College Grads Average Salary $68,600
College Grads Mid Career Salary $90,000
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $686,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,586,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $57,288
10 Year Projected ROI $628,712
20 Year Projected ROI $1,528,712
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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