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 expressions 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 is a public, urban, comprehensive University offering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. They adhere to the traditional purpose of the Historically Black University and espouses the tradition of service to its students, its alumni, the academy, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world.