Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was founded as the State Normal College for Colored Students in 1887, beginning classes with fifteen students. The school, prominently located on the highest hill in Tallahassee, the school is known as one of the premiere historically black colleges in the country.
The school began as the dream of Thomas Van Renssaler Gibbs, an educator who was elected to the Florida legislature. Before his political career ended due to the resurgence of education, Representative Gibbs succeeded in getting House Bill 133 passed, establishing a white normal school in Gainesville and a colored school in Jacksonville. After the passage of the bill, the colored school was moved to Tallahassee.
Representative Gibbs, along with Thomas DeSaille Tucker, became the first faculty members at the new school. Under the Morrill Act, the school received $7,500 from the federal government in 1891 to offer agricultural and mechanical programs, creating a land-grant institution for colored people. Around the same time it earned land-grant status, the school moved from the single white-framed building on Copeland Street to the campus where it sits today. The name of the school changed to the State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students.
Management of the college transferred to the State Board of Education in 1905, officially designating the school as a n institute of higher education. In 1909, the name was changed to the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. Despite a fire that destroyed Duval Hall, the main building where administrative offices, the library and cafeteria were located, the college awarded its first degrees in 1910. The school gained university status in 1953.
During the 1960s, many students at the college were involved in the fight for civil rights, participating in bus boycotts in Tallahassee, an event that successfully integrated the city’s transportation system. This fight for civil rights began a tradition of social involvement and legacy that exists at the university today.
Florida A&M University was named “College of the Year” by TIME Magazine-Princeton Review in 1997-98. The school is one of the Top 10 Best Historically Black Colleges or Universities in the country and one of the best National Universities according to U.S. News & World Report. It was named Best Southeast College by The Princeton Review in 2014 and listed on Forbes top colleges in 2013. The school has been recognized by the College Database for providing high-quality education at an affordable price and named one of the top colleges for future service members by the same publication. Washington Monthly named Florida A&M one of the Top 100 National Universities while Forbes named it one of the best colleges in 2011.
Florida A&M University Accreditation Details
Florida A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools. Accreditation means that the school meets or exceeds criteria that the accrediting agency determines indicates excellence in education. It also allows parents, students and future employers know that graudates are prepared for leadership roles in their field. In addition to regional accreditiation, programs at the school are also accredited by:
- Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
- Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communication
- Accrediting Council for Occupational Therapy Education
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communication
- American Bar Association
- American Chemical Society
- Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration
- Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
- Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Association
- Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care
- Computing Accreditation Commission
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Council on Social Work Education
- Engineering Accreditation Commission
- Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission
- International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.
- International Facilities Management Association
- National Architectural Accrediting Board
Florida A&M University Application Requirements
Students who have not completed college credits after high school graduation are admitted as freshmen at Florida A&M University. Students must complete an online application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official high school transcripts as well as official SAT or ACT scores.
Students who have completed college credits after high school graduation may be considered transfer students. Students must have at least 12 transferrable credits to be considered a transfer student. Students must complete the application and pay the fee. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts as well as official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students with less than 30 transfer credits must provide official SAT or ACT scores. Students must also have completed two sequential courses in foreign language.
Admission for graduate studies varies by program. Students are encouraged to contact an admissions counselor to learn what is required.
Florida A&M University Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at Florida A&M University is $21,329 for in-state students and $34,725 for out-of-state students. Graduate tuition for in-state students is $24,077 while out-of-state tuition is $35,171. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any aid. Florida A&M University participates in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program which provides assistance for students based on high school achievement.
Florida A&M University Degree Program(S) Available
Florida A&M University offers students a unique opportunity through the Center for Intelligent Systems, Control and Robotics (CISCOR). CISCOR offers an undergraduate and graduate program for students who are interested in robotics and control systems. The undergraduate program allows students to gain hands-on experience in robotics and controls research. Students are able to work on projects for credit or on senior design projects funded by CISCOR. The graduate program is multidisciplinary with students entering CISCOR from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science. The graduate degree consists of coursework, research that is directed by CISCOR faculty and the submission of a thesis. Students must already be enrolled in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering or the Computer Science Department. Courses required for the graduate program include:
- Advanced Design and Analysis
- Advanced Dynamics
- Advanced Neural Networks
- Algorithm Design and Analysis
- Applied Machine Learning
- Artificial Intelligence
- Artificial Neural Networks
- Computer-Human Interaction
- Design and Analysis of Control Systems
- Digital Control Systems
- Image Processing
- Introduction to Robotics
- Multivariable Control
- Numerical Optimization
- Objective-Oriented Program in C++ for Non-Majors
- Optimization on Networks
- Pattern Recognition
- Pattern Recognition and Data Mining
- Power Conversion and Control
- Power Systems Operation and Control
- Principles and Algorithms of Computer Vision
- Random Processes
- Robot Kinematics and Dynamics
- Signal and System Analysis
- Theoretical Foundations of Computer Vision
- Vehicle Design
Related Resource: 25 Best Affordable Online Master’s in History Degree Programs
Florida A&M University has carried forward its mission to provide students with outstanding agricultural and mechanical skills with the addition of the Center for Intelligent Systems, Control and Robotics. This allows Florida A&M University to develop advanced skills that they would not be able to develop at other universities. This means that graduates of the CISCOR program through Florida A&M University are more likely to achieve their career goals than those with degrees from other universities.