2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Welcome to Norfolk State University

Norfolk State College was founded in 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 this 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.

Today, the University is proud to be one of the largest predominantly black institutions in the nation. Furthermore, it is committed to pursuing its vital role of serving the people of the Hampton Roads area.

Our Mission

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 their aspirations into reality and achieve their full potential as well rounded, resourceful citizens and leaders for the 21st century.

Vision Statement

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

Core Values

Norfolk State University's strength lies in its core values. They form the foundation for the University's actions and reflect what is important to the members of the Norfolk State University community and the Hampton Roads region.

  • 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 campus respecting all people, cultures, ideas, beliefs, identities, socio economic 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.

Institutional Goals

Institutional goals are derived directly from the mission statement and represent the direction the University intends to pursue over the decade.

  • The University shall continue to define those areas in which it can make the most effective contributions to the total educational enterprise of the community, state, nation, and the world.
  • The University shall continue to utilize its assembled expertise in research and public service to develop programs specifically related to urban needs.
  • The University shall continue to develop its management capability in order to provide adequate, efficient, and timely services to its constituents.
  • The University shall continue to maintain an environment which encourages its graduates to assume leadership roles in the community, state, nation, and world.

Accreditations and Affiliations

Regional Accreditation

Norfolk State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the:

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097

or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Norfolk State University.

Specialized Accreditations

Accrediting Agency Discipline
Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET Electrical and Electronics Engineering (BS)
Optical Engineering (BS)
American Chemical Society (ACS) Chemistry (BS)
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Food Science and Nutrition (BS in Exercise Science)
American Psychological Association (APA) Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.)
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) School of Business (BS)
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) Kinesiotherapy (BS in Exercise Science/ Physical Education)
Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET Computer Science (BS)
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Social Work (B.S.W.)
Social Work (M.S.W.)
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Medical Technology (BS)
The Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) Building Construction Technology (BS)
Computer Technology (BS)
Electronic Technology (BS)
National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) Music (B.Mus.)
Music (M.Mus.)
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Programs (CAEP) Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education (BS Interdisciplinary Studies or BA Psychology)
Health and Physical Education (BS Exercise Science/Health and Physical Education)
History Education (BA History)
English Education (BA English)
Mathematics Education (BS Mathematics)
Chemistry Education, Physics Education, Biology Education (BS Science: Chemistry, Physics, Biology)
Fine Arts Education (BA Fine Arts)
Music Education (BM Music Education)
Early Childhood Special Education (MA PreElementary Education)
Special Education General Curriculum K-12, Special Education Adapted Curriculum (MA Special Education)
Elementary Education, English, Mathematics, Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry), Visual Arts, Music, History (MAT)
School Counseling, Administration and Supervision (Principal Preparation and Curriculum Development and Supervision) (MA Urban Education)
School Social Work (MSW)
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Nursing (BS)
Accrediting Council on Education And Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Mass Communication & Journalism (BS)


  • Administrative Management Society
  • American Alliance for Health Education, Recreation, Physical Education and Dance
  • American Association for Affirmative Action American Association of Colleges of Nursing American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • The Virginia Association of Teacher Educators American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities American Council of Construction Education
  • American Public Health Association American Society of Engineering Education
  • American Society of Manufacturing Engineering Association for Continuing Higher Education and Council of Graduate Schools
  • Association of American Colleges
  • Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
  • Association of Information Systems Professionals Association of Virginia Colleges
  • Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Cluster Program
  • College Placement Council
  • Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools Council on Social Work Education
  • Intercollegiate Music Association
  • Mid Atlantic Association for School, College and University Staffing and Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education
  • National Alliance of Business College/Industry Relations National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
  • National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics
  • National Association for the Health Professions
  • National Association of College Admissions Counselors
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administration
  • National Business Education Association
  • National Center for Allied Health Leadership
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • National League of Nursing
  • Norfolk Chamber of Commerce
  • Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Southern College Placement Association, Inc. Southern Region II, ALAW
  • Southern Regional Education Board
  • Virginia Association of Allied Health
  • Virginia Association of College Nursing
  • Virginia Council of Graduate Schools
  • Virginia Public Health Association