Jan 21, 2021  
Graduate Catalog 2007-2009 
Graduate Catalog 2007-2009 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History of Winston-Salem State University

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 Assembly reorganized higher education in North Carolina. On July 1, 1972, Winston-Salem State University became one of 16 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 117 acres, from one teacher to more than 300 faculty members, and from 25 pupils to a student body of more than 5,600. 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 numerous programs of study including 47 baccalaureate programs, seven master’s degree programs, and six certificate programs.

From 2001-2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Winston-Salem State University in the top two regional, public, liberal arts colleges in the South in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” guide.

Winston-Salem State University is located on 117 acres in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, a city of approximately 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

Winston-Salem State University is a public university whose primary mission is to offer high quality educational programs at the baccalaureate level for a diverse student population. Master’s level programs for professional study are also available from the university and through inter-institutional agreements. While the primary focus is on teaching and learning, the university encourages scholarship and creative activities by faculty and students, and engages in mutually beneficial relationships with a global community in ways that complement its educational mission.

The university is strategically positioned to provide unique opportunities for students through four centers of academic excellence in health services, teaching and learning, science and technology, and financial services. The instructional program comprises three components—general education, specialized education, and lifelong learning. General education provides for all students the academic foundations and cultural experiences essential to a liberal arts education. Specialized education provides students with the experiences necessary to master an academic discipline in preparation for employment and/or graduate and professional programs, including master’s degree programs offered at WSSU. Through the Division of Lifelong Learning, traditional and nontraditional students have opportunities for continuing education, distance learning, and summer programs that provide coursework for professional and/or personal enrichment.

Regional Accreditation

Winston-Salem State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees.

Program Accreditations

AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; North Carolina State Board of Nursing; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, American Physical Therapy Association; National Association of Schools of Music; Computer Science Accreditation Commission; National Recreation and Park Association/American Association for Leisure and Recreation Council on Accreditation; Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association; Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, College Entrance Examination Board, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, North Carolina League for Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, National Association of Schools of Music, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Association for Continuing Higher Education, North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities, Association for Computing Machinery, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Intercollegiate Music Association, Inc., National Art Education Association, Community Campus Partnership for Health, Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools (CHBGS), Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS), National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP), American Academy of Physical Therapy.