Winston-Salem State University was founded as the Slater Industrial Academy on September 28, 1892. It began in a one-room frame structure with 25 pupils and one teacher. In 1895, the school was recognized by the State of North Carolina, and in 1899, it was chartered by the state as Slater Industrial and State Normal School.
In 1925, the General Assembly of North Carolina recognized the school’s curriculum above high school, changed its name to Winston-Salem Teachers College, and empowered it under authority of the state’s Board of Education to confer appropriate degrees. Winston-Salem Teachers College thus became the first black institution in the nation to grant degrees for teaching in the elementary grades.
The School of Nursing was established in 1953, awarding graduates the degree of Bachelor of Science. The North Carolina General Assembly of 1963 authorized changing the name from Winston-Salem Teachers College to Winston-Salem State College. A statute designating Winston-Salem State College as Winston-Salem State University received legislative approval in 1969. On October 30, 1971, the General Assembly reorganized higher education in North Carolina. On July 1, 1972, Winston- Salem State University became one of 17 constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina, subject to the control of a Board of Governors.
Since its founding in 1892, Winston-Salem State University has grown from a one-room frame structure to more than 39 buildings located on 110 acres, from one teacher to more than 300 faculty members, and from 25 pupils to a student body of more than 6,400. From that resolute band of scholars, the university has expanded into a college of arts and sciences, three professional schools, a school of graduate studies and research, and a division of lifelong learning. The university currently offers 61 programs of study: 45 baccalaureate programs, 10 master’s degree programs, and six certificate programs.
From 2001-2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Winston-Salem State University among the top regional, public, liberal arts colleges in the South in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” guide.
Winston-Salem State University is located on 110 acres in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, a city of more than 200,000 residents. This thriving Twin City is part of the Piedmont Triad, which encompasses the neighboring cities of Greensboro and High Point. The Triad is one of the most heavily populated and most rapidly growing Metropolitan Statistical Areas between Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA.
University Mission Statement
Preparing diverse students for success in the 21st Century, Winston-Salem State University offers quality educational programs at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. Students are engaged in active and experiential learning and have access to education through flexible delivery modes. The university is dedicated to the development of students through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. As a comprehensive, historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, Winston-Salem State University contributes to the social, cultural, intellectual and economic growth of the region, North Carolina and beyond.