Delaware State University


Delaware State University (DSU) is located in Dover, Delaware and there are branch campuses located in Sussex and Wilmington. Delaware State University was founded in 1891 as a land-grant institution for blacks, became a 4-year school in 1911, and received university status in 1957. Initially named the State School for Colored Students, the school was known as Delaware State College until it was changed to its current name in 1993. The University now awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as provides continuing education credits. It is accredited by the Middle State Association of Colleges and Universities on the University level, and by several national and regional bodies on the programmatic level.

Delaware State University defines its mission as “to provide . . . meaningful and relevant education that emphasizes both the liberal and professional aspects of higher education.” The school is still largely African-American, and provides both courses that are traditional to liberal education and those that are more vocationally-oriented.

The university offers numerous student organizations including intercollegiate, club and intramural sports, Greek organizations and a wonderful choir that participates in numerous community events. DSU also sponsors study-abroad programs so that students may learn to serve their fellow man both near and far. As a land-grant institution, the university takes its responsibility to serve its community very seriously and offers programs for a variety of needs. Not only are there standard classroom courses targeting the traditional student, there are also distance learning opportunities, continuing education courses and adult education classes.


Information Summary

Ranks 2nd in Delaware and 973rd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 80.5
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $23,420
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 22 / 1010
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 72% / 27%
Enrollment Total (all students) 4,586


Five colleges make up the foundation of Delaware State’s academic offerings, including Agriculture and Related Sciences; Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Business; Education, Health and Public Policy. The undergraduate curriculum is primarily liberal arts-focused. The University’s General Education Program provides required courses to all students that assist them in becoming well-rounded and developing critical thinking skills. The university also provides continuing education courses as well as an adult education program to better serve the needs of its community.

Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including such typical subjects as consumer studies, chemistry, mathematics, physics, English, French, Spanish, journalism, art education, education, sports management and nursing. There are also several non-traditional courses that aren’t found at many universities including finance and banking, airway science management, general and specialized agriculture programs, and optical engineering. Minors are also awarded in many of these fields, and other more specialized ones such as mathematics and French or Spanish. The University has set its majors up around a General Education Program which requires a number of core courses in different areas, “foundation courses for life-long learning” that emphasize traditional liberal arts education, and a “capstone” course such as a senior seminar or internship in the major area. A few courses are offered as part of an honors program.

Master’s degrees are awarded in natural resources, applied optics, animal science, chemistry, mathematics, biology, physics, historic preservation, and various areas of education as well as several other areas. Delaware State University also awards an MSW and an MBA as well as several doctoral degrees.

In addition to providing traditional classroom learning, Delaware State University has an extensive distance learning program so that students who may not be able to make it to campus for standard classes may still benefit from an education at DSU.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Delaware State University 2
Delaware State University

Unique Programs

The Department of Airway Science educates future aviation professionals such as pilots, air traffic controllers, or airline management professionals. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Science in Airway Science and can choose concentrations in Airway Science Management or Aircraft Systems Management. Admission to the Professional Pilot program is predicated on approval by the Department.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) SMILE program is a nationally-recognized program that supports students that attend HBCU-UP schools by providing summer camps, mentoring, career counseling, research funding including a stipend and assistance with applying to graduate schools. This program generally encourages students pursuing careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Education or Math) fields. Delaware State University offers several majors that fall under this program.

The school is typically involved in numerous research products that focus on finding solutions to environmental and social issues by using analytical and critical thinking skills and logic. The university focuses heavily on hands-on learning and students have many opportunities to participate in these research projects.


Though the student’s GPA and standardized test scores have considerable weight when applicants are being considered, the university takes a holistic approach to admissions and evaluates each applicant individually in order to determine the potential for success at DSU. Activities such as community service and demonstrated leadership skills also weigh heavily in a student’s favor. Delaware State encourages applicants to submit applications as soon as possible, and incoming freshmen should apply at the end of their junior year of high school.

Delaware State typically requires a grade average equivalent of “C” in most high school coursework to be considered for admission. Applicants must also have a high school diploma and have completed at least 16 hours of high school coursework in the appropriate courses. Along with the application and accompanying fee, students will need to submit official high school transcripts, official SAT or ACT scores and other documents as requested by the admissions committee.

Graduate students must provide the following for admission to the graduate school: application and fee, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation and standardized graduate school test scores appropriate to specific departments. Students will also have to provide proof of having received an undergraduate degree and other items as required by the specific graduate school of choice. As different programs will have different requirements, students should work closely with the graduate school to which they are applying in order to get all documentation submitted in a timely manner.

There are different requirements for international students and students who wish to transfer from another institution and students should refer to the university’s current requirements in order to apply for admission.

Financial Aid

Delaware State’s financial aid office usually requires that the FAFSA be submitted no later than the month of April to be considered for financial aid. Students are encouraged to apply early in order to be considered for all forms of aid because many scholarships are limited in funding and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The FAFSA is available online beginning in January.

The University’s website is a portal to scholarship applications for university or endowed scholarships, minority scholarships, other forms of financial aid and provides students with a search engine with access to millions of scholarships nationwide. The website also allows applicants to browse Stafford Loans, Parent Loans (PLUS), and Sallie Mae signature loans, plus the convenience of an online loan management system.

In addition to federal loans, graduate students may also receive aid in the form of numerous assistantships, fellowships and work-study programs

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2874th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Delaware.


Students on campus can contribute to campus life by participating in a community building program or becoming a Resident Assistant. Intramural sports are also a favorite pastime, including flag football, basketball, soccer, and field hockey. The Student Leadership program provides enrichment activities, lectures, and cultural events on campus. And the on-campus Student Health Services program ensures that all students have access to necessary health services.

Residence life consists of eight different facilities, including the University Courtyard Apartments that are near the campus and designated solely for honor, married, and graduate students.

As part of its “airway science” program, Delaware State University maintains a small fleet of planes for instructional purposes. The University also provides support for the Schwartz Center for the Arts in the city of Dover, which is the venue for the Dover Symphony Orchestra and other shows and entertainment.

The Delaware State University Library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site or available through interlibrary loan. It is also home to the Art Center Gallery, the Office of Disabilities, and various classrooms and instructional centers.

There is also a wide variety of student organizations including Greek organizations, sports clubs, a radio station, the university newspaper and the Farmers Market. In addition, the university provides numerous opportunities for students to assist the community in the form of volunteer activities.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Delaware State Hornets compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference of the NCAA Division-I. Intercollegiate sports include men’s and women’s basketball, cross country and indoor and outdoor track. Men may also choose to participate in football or baseball while women have the additional options of softball, equestrian, cheerleading, bowling, soccer, tennis and volleyball. The school’s colors are cherry red and Columbia blue.

The Athletics Department is home to seven different athletic facilities including Alumni Stadium, Soldier Field (baseball), The Hornets Nest (softball), Schutte Park (soccer), Brunswick Doverama (bowling), and the DSU tennis courts. The Athletic Department also houses a dedicated Sports Medicine unit that provides prevention, diagnostic, and therapy services to students, athletes, and student-athletes.

Local Community

The City of Dover is a quaint, quiet community and is the capital of Delaware. Shopping in Delaware is tax-free and Dover provides several fun venues such as Downtown Dover and the Dover Mall where visitors can take advantage. The Schwartz Center, the modern renovation of the old Dover Opera House, was reopened in 2001 and now hosts a variety of performances. But perhaps the most popular event at Dover is the annual MBNA 500, part of the NASCAR tour, which attracts 200,000 fans.

Delaware State University is also proud to host the Farmer’s Market at DSU. This is a weekly event that features local produce, honey, ready-to-eat food, flowers and other locally-made products. It’s held on Saturdays in the DSU Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and features different products every week. This is a community service hosted by the university and all money goes to the farmers and producers.


  • Delaware State University. Delaware State University. 2011. Web. 22 June 2011.
  • Official Site of Delaware State Athletics. Delaware State University. 2011. Web. 22 June 2011.

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