Founded in 1856, Wilberforce University can trace its origin to a period of history before the Civil War, when the Ohio Underground Railroad was established as a means of escape for all those blacks who sought their freedom in the North from the yoke of slavery, one of the destination points of this railroad became Wilberforce University. The university is the nation’s oldest private, historically black university, named to honor the great 18th century abolitionist, William Wilberforce.
The University offers 19 areas of study (majors) leading to an undergraduate degree (B.A. or B.S), and one area of study offering a graduate degree (M.S.). The University also offers through the Credentials for Leadership in Management and Business (CLIMB) Program—four areas of study leading to an undergraduate degree.
The brush stroke that completes the picture of Wilberforce University is its mandatory Cooperative Education Program. Wilberforce bears the distinction of being only one of two four-year institutions in the country to require internships as a requirement for graduation. Wilberforce University has been cited for its excellence in many publications such as Black Enterprise, Better Homes & Gardens, Career and the Black Employment & Education Journal.