2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Welcome to Norfolk State University

Norfolk State College was founded on September 18, 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.


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.

  1. 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.
  2. Student-Centered – Students are our top priority, and we are committed to helping them become globally competitive in an enriching, stimulating and supportive environment.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pride – We display great admiration for the University and its rich history and legacy.
  7. Financial Empowerment – We aggressively pursue expanded and more diversified revenue streams.


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.


Institutional Accreditation - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctorate degrees. The Commission also accepts applications from other international institutions of higher education. 

SACSCOC Mission Statement: The mission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.

Core Values: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has six core values:

1.            Integrity
2.            Peer Review/Self-regulation
3.            Student Learning
4.            Continuous Quality Improvement
5.            Accountability  
6.            Transparency

SACSCOC Vision Statement: To serve as the premier model for shaping and ensuring the quality of higher education throughout the world.

Accreditation Status of Norfolk State University
The official statement on Norfolk State University's regional accreditation status as required by Standard 14.1, Principles of Accreditation (2018), of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is as follows:
Norfolk State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Norfolk State University.


Specialized Accreditation

Accrediting Agency Discipline
Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET 1. Electrical and Electronics Engineering (BS)
2. Optical Engineering (BS)
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications 3. Mass Communications - General Broadcast (BS)
4. Mass Communications - Journalism (BS)
American Chemical Society (ACS) 5. Chemistry (BS)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics 6. Food Science and Nutrition (BS)
American Psychological Association 7. Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.)
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) 8. Business (BS)
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, American Kinesiotherapy Association 9. Physical Education/Exercise Science (BS)
Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET 10. Computer Science (BS)
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 11. Social Work (BSW)
12. Social Work (MSW)
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) 13. Medical Technology (BS)
The Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) 14. Construction Management Engineering Technology (BS)
15. Computer Engineering Technology (BS)
16. Electronic Engineering Technology (BS)
National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) 17. Music Education (BMus)
18. Music (MMus)
National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) 19. Art Education (BS Art)
20. Art Education (MAT)
21. Biology Education (BS Biology)
22. Biology Education (MAT)
23. Chemisitry Education (BS Chemistry)
24. Chemistry Education (MAT)
25. Early Childhood/Elementary Education (BS Interdisciplinary Studies or Psychology)
26. Early Childhood/Elementary Education (MAT)
27. English Education (BS English)
28. English Education (MAT)
29. Health and Physical Education (BS)
30. History Education (BS History)
31. History Education (MAT)
32. Mathematics Education (BS Mathematics)
33. Mathematics Education (MAT)
34. Pre-Elementary Education/Early Childhood Special Education (MA)
35. Special Education (BS Interdisciplinary Studies or Psychology)
36. Special Education (MA)
37. Urban Education (MA): School Counseling, Principal Preparation, and Curriculum Development and Supervision
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN) 38. Nursing (BS)


Membership Affiliation

  • 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 Doctorial 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 School
  • Virginia Public Health Association

Campus Library

Donald L. Essex
Dean of Library Services
Lyman Beecher Brooks Library
(757) 823-9153

The Lyman Beecher Brooks Library provides services and resources to meet the scholarly and informational needs of the Norfolk State University community. Students and faculty can access online resources, including the library catalog, electronic full-text journals, and e-books, either remotely or via any campus computer. The Reference Research area in the library not only provides research assistance, but also provides access to additional computer workstations, which students can use for research needs. The Lyman Beecher Brooks Library is a member of the Virtual Library of Virginia. This cooperative effort of the libraries of colleges and universities in the state of Virginia provides cost-effective access to online resources and enhances interlibrary lending. The library has extensive journal subscriptions, including e-journals and many issues in micro format. The library is an open-stack facility with space for approximately 2,000 readers and a book capacity of 500,000 volumes. The Herbert A. Marshall Collection is also located in the Library. It is a special collection of approximately ten thousand (10,000) items pertaining to African-American history, folklore and culture.

Campus Archives

Harrison Wilson Archives

The Harrison B. Wilson Archives is the repository of the historical records of the university, its faculty, alumni, and students. In addition, the archives has the mission of collecting and preserving the historical records of African-Americans in Virginia and making them available to researchers.

The African Art Gallery

The art gallery houses a collection of African art from 14 countries representing 40 groups and cultures. Included in the gallery is a reference library that features over 400 books on African art, culture, and history.