College Search

Report Abuse

Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Prairie View, Texas, United States (northwest of Houston) and is a member of the Texas A&M University System. PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 37 master�s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools. PVAMU is one of Texas' land grant universities. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.



100 University Dr
Prairie View
Zip/Post Code

Contact Information


Total Undergrad enrollment
Total Graduate enrollment
In State Tuition Fees
Out State Tuition Fees
ACT Score
SAT Score
Grade Point Average(GPA)
Male Female Ratio
Acceptance Rate
Student Faculty Ratio

Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Purple And Gold

College History


Founded in 1876, Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest state-sponsored institution of higher education in Texas. In 1876, the Fifteenth Texas Legislature, consistent with terms of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, which provided public lands for the establishment of colleges, authorized an "Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth" as part of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University).Governor Richard Hubbard appointed a three-man commission, including Ashbel Smith, a long-time supporter of public education. The commissioners bought Alta Vista Plantation, near Hempstead in Waller County, Texas for $15,000. It appointed the A&M board to manage the school. Texas A&M president Thomas S. Gathright selected L. W. Minor of Mississippi as the first principal. On March 11, 1878, eight young African-American men enrolled in the short-lived Alta Vista Agricultural College. They were charged tuition of $130, which included nine months of instruction, board, and one uniform. In 1879, as the institution was struggling to find resources to continue, Governor Oran Roberts suggested closing the college. But Barnas Sears, an agent for the Peabody Fund, persuaded the Sixteenth Texas Legislature to issue charters to two normal schools for the training of teachers, one of which would be called Prairie View Normal Institute. The Texas A&M College board met at Hempstead in August 1879. They established thirteen elementary and secondary subjects, and founded the coeducational institution. Women were housed in the plantation house called Kirby Hall (which no longer exists), and boys were housed in a combination chapel-dormitory called Pickett Hall. Among the first faculty appointed to the new normal school was E. H. Anderson. In 1882, a strong storm damaged Pickett Hall, at the same time as state funds ran out. State Comptroller William M. Brown refused to continue paying the school's debts from the state's university fund; the white-dominated administrations consistently underfunded black schools. Governor Roberts solicited money from merchants. E. H. Anderson died in 1885, and his brother L. C. Anderson became the principal of Prairie View. A longstanding dispute as to the mission of the school was resolved in 1887 when the legislature added an agricultural and mechanical department, thus returning the college to its original mission. Historian Dr. George Woolfolk wrote in Prairie View, A Study In Public Conscience 1962): �Prairie View is an institution�a public institution. But an institution is an empty thing without the beating hearts and yearning souls of mortal men. And down the seventy-five years of Prairie View�s existence, men have lived and dreamed here until every blade of grass and every rock, in that wise primordial way in which the primitive earth knows and cares, has joined the choir invisible to bless their memory. For every man whose foot has touched this hallowed soil, has found a spirit, and has broadened and deepened it until what started out as an ambitionless meandering stream has become a purposeful river upon whose tide, now turbulent, now tranquil, floats the destiny of countless human hopes and dreams.� In 1945, the name of the segregated institution was changed from Prairie View Normal and Industrial College to Prairie View University. The school was authorized to offer, "as need arises," all courses offered at the University of Texas. In 1947, the Texas Legislature changed the name to Prairie View A&M College of Texas and provided that "courses be offered in agriculture, the mechanics arts, engineering, and the natural sciences connected therewith, together with any other courses authorized at Prairie View at the time of passage of this act, all of which shall be equivalent to those offered at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas at Bryan." This was partly in response to a suit by William Sweatt, who had sued to attend the University of Texas Law School, as none existed for blacks. The states attempted to quickly set one up, but in 1950 the US Supreme Court said that its effort did not provide equivalent education, and ruled that the state had to admit minority students to its graduate schools. On August 27, 1973, the name of the institution was changed to Prairie View A&M University, and its status as an independent unit of the Texas A&M University System was confirmed. In 1981, the Texas Legislature acknowledged the university's rich tradition of service and identified various statewide needs which the university should address. These included the assistance of students of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to realize their full potential, and assistance of small and medium-sized communities and businesses in their growth and development. In 1983, the Texas Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to restructure the Permanent University Fund to include Prairie View A&M University as a beneficiary of its proceeds. The Permanent University Fund is a perpetual endowment fund originally established in the Constitution of 1876 for the sole benefit of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas, which were originally whites-only institutions. The 1983 amendment also dedicated the university to enhancement as an "institution of the first class" under the governing board of the Texas A&M University System. The constitutional amendment was approved by the voters on November 6, 1984. In January 1985, the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System responded to the 1984 Constitutional Amendment by stating its intention that Prairie View A&M University become "an institution nationally recognized in its areas of education and research." The board also resolved that the university receive its share of the Available University Fund, as previously agreed to by Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. In October 2000, the Governor of Texas signed the Priority Plan, an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights to make Prairie View A&M University an educational asset accessible by all Texans. The Priority Plan mandates creation of many new educational programs, including graduate degrees in engineering and education, and facilities like the state-of-the-art Don Clark Juvenile Justice and Psychology building. It also requires removing language from the Institutional Mission Statement which might give the impression of excluding any Texan from attending Prairie View A&M University. Around 2004, Oliver Kitzman, the district attorney of Waller County, attempted to challenge the voting PVAMU students in local elections, rather than in the residence of their parents and permanent homes. As a result, the United States Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation about Kitzman. Geoffrey Connor, the Texas Secretary of State, said that PVAMU students, like other university students, have the right to vote for officials in the university's voting districts as long as they are registered to vote there.

College Specialty


Prairie View A&M University is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service. It is committed to achieving relevance in each component of its mission by addressing issues and proposing solutions through programs and services designed to respond to the needs and aspirations of individuals, families, organizations, agencies, schools, and communities�both rural and urban. Prairie View A&M University is a state-assisted institution by legislative designation, serving a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population, and a land-grant institution by federal statute. Having been designated by the Texas constitution as one of the three �institutions of the first class� (1984), the University is committed to preparing undergraduates in a range of careers including but not limited to engineering, computer science, natural sciences, architecture, business, technology, criminal justice, the humanities, education, agricultural sciences, nursing, mathematics, and the social sciences. It is committed to advanced education through the master�s degree in education, engineering, natural sciences, nursing, selected social sciences, agriculture, business, and human sciences. It is committed to expanding its advanced educational offerings to include multiple doctoral programs. Though the University�s service area has generally extended throughout Texas and the world, the University�s target service area for offering undergraduate and graduate programs of study includes the Texas Gulf Coast Region; the rapidly growing residential and commercial area known as the Northwest Houston Corridor; and urban Texas centers likely to benefit from Prairie View A&M University�s specialized programs and initiatives in nursing, juvenile justice, architecture, education, and social work. The University�s public service programs offered primarily through the Cooperative Extension Program target the State of Texas, both rural and urban counties. The University�s research foci include extending knowledge in all disciplines offered and incorporating research-based experiences in both undergraduate and graduate students� academic development.



Hise Austin 1973 former NFL defensive back Kirko Bangz (real name Kirk Randle) Did not graduate Rapper Sebastian Barrie 1992 former NFL defensive tackle Zelmo Beaty professional basketball player in the NBA and ABA from 1962 to 1975 Julius W. Becton, Jr. 1960 Lieutenant General US Army, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director, educator, and past president of PVAMU J. Don Boney 1948 First president of the University of Houston�Downtown Charlie Brackins 1955 one of the first African-American NFL quarterbacks David L. Brewer III 1970 Retired vice admiral of the United States Navy and superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (2006-2008) Charles Brown 1942 Legendary blues recording artist and member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Emanuel Cleaver 1972 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th district of Missouri since 2005 Cecil Cooper Did not graduate 5-time MLB All-Star who played first baseman from 1971 to 1987, Houston Astros manager from 2007 to 2009 Clem Daniels 1959 former NFL running back Dorrough (real name Dorwin Demarcus Dorrough) Did not graduate Rapper Terry Ellis 1990 vocalist and member of female R&B group En Vogue Clement Glenn 1986 (BBA) 1988 (MBA) 2010 Democratic candidate for Texas Governor; current associate professor of education at Prairie View A&M Adrian Hamilton 2012 Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL since 2012 Ken Houston 1966 Member Pro Football Hall of Fame, 13-year career as strong safety with Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins Louise Daniel Hutchinson Historian Jim Kearney 1964 Defensive back in the NFL and AFL from 1965 to 1976 Jermaine McGhee 2007 former NFL defensive end Jim Mitchell 1968 former NFL tight end Sidney A. McPhee President of Middle Tennessee State University Thomas Monroe 1990 AFL Ironman of the Year Frederick D. Patterson founder of United Negro College Fund DJ Premier (real name Christopher Edward Martin) Did not graduate member of Gang Starr Inez Beverly Prosser 1913 the first African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in psychology Dewey Redman jazz saxophonist Alvin Reed 1966 former NFL tight end Clay Smothers member of the Texas House of Representatives from Dallas County from 1977 to 1981; operator of St. Paul Industrial Training School in Malakoff, Texas Quinton Spears 2011 current NFL linebacker Mr. T (real name Laurence Tureaud) Did not graduate Actor who played B. A. Baracus in The A-Team Otis Taylor former NFL wide receiver and member of 1969 World Champion Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame Calvin Waller 1959 U.S. Army General and Deputy Commander-in-Chief in the Persian Gulf War Craig Washington 1966 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 18th district of Texas from 1989 to 1994 Craig Watkins 1990 District attorney of Dallas County, Texas since 2007 Dave Webster 1959 Former American Football League All-Pro football player for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, Prairie View A&M University Hall of Fame inductee and one of the first blacks to play professional football in the American Football League. James E. White 1986 Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Tyler County Clarence Williams 1968 former NFL defensive end