WSSU serves a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students who pursue academic degrees from:
- 39 baccalaureate degree programs
- seven Master’s degree programs
- and two doctoral degree programs
Enrollment in graduate programs is the largest in the history of the university, and undergraduate enrollment trend data illustrates growth at a time when other four-year institutions of higher education are experiencing enrollment declines, especially during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Against a challenging backdrop painted by the global Covid-19 pandemic, a political insurrection, social unrest caused by the murders of unarmed Black and Brown people in the United States, and bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities, WSSU has emerged as an institution with a national reputation for positively impacting the social and economic mobility of its students. The U.S. News and World Report ranks WSSU as:
- #48 in regional universities in the south
- #3 in Top Performers on Social Mobility
- #21 in Top Public Schools.
WSSU also ranks as one of the Top 10 most affordable HBCUs in the country by HBCU Lifestyle, and Money Magazine ranks WSSU as the #2 HBCU in the nation for its quality and affordability.
Since 2018, WSSU has emerged as more than “a teaching institution.” Because of the research activity of faculty and staff, WSSU has firmly established itself as a burgeoning research-intensive university. According to the national rankings on National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development (NCES, 2021), WSSU increased 143 spots from rank #537 in Fiscal Year 2019-20 to rank #394 in Fiscal Year 2020-21. In the state of North Carolina, WSSU moved up from rank #19 in Fiscal Year 2019 to rank #11 in Fiscal Year 2020 among North Carolina public and private institutions; moreover, WSSU’s sponsored research portfolio of extramurally funded awards has tripled since 2018.
With a $500 million economic impact on the Piedmont Triad region, WSSU adds significant value to the regional economy. A large percentage of the university’s alumni remain in the Piedmont Triad region after graduation, and they contribute to the economy as employed, taxpaying citizens. As WSSU increases its engagement in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it adds to the region’s economic impact as the institution adds more jobs, generates more revenue, produces more alumni who earn high wage occupations, and supports commercialization and workforce development. These activities create an upward mobility ecosystem that strengthens the region’s ability to attract new businesses, industries, and companies that impact economic development.
Contributing to the region’s economic vitality is not happenstance and will not sustain if not constructed with intentionality. WSSU is focused on bolstering student success, employee and student-sponsored research, entrepreneurship and innovation among its faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and addressing a myriad of inequities and disparities within local communities. By leveraging liberal education as a driver to sharpen the power skills of its students, WSSU focuses on preparing its learners for “Day 1” readiness in their respective careers and postgraduate pathways; WSSU is significantly impacting this community, state, and nation.