Winston-Salem State University develops graduates who thrive in a dynamic and global society. Committed to the transformative power of liberal education, Winston-Salem State University integrates diverse learning environments, student development opportunities, and campus and community life to build knowledge, cultivate talent and mold character. Guided by the motto “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” Winston-Salem State University develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.
Winston-Salem State University is a comprehensive, historically Black university offering innovative undergraduate programs and exceptional graduate programs grounded in the tradition of liberal education. Students engage in active and experiential learning offered through flexible delivery modes. The university is dedicated to the holistic development of students by faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service. As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, Winston-Salem State University contributes to the social, cultural, intellectual and economic growth of North Carolina, the region, and beyond.
Winston-Salem State University was founded on September 28, 1892, as the Slater Industrial Academy, in a one-room frame structure with 25 pupils and one teacher. In 1895, the school was recognized by the State of North Carolina, chartered it as Slater Industrial and State Normal School in 1899. In 1925, the General Assembly of North Carolina recognized the school's curriculum above high school, changed its name to Winston-Salem Teachers College, and empowered it, under authority of the State Board of Education, to confer appropriate degrees. Winston-Salem Teachers College thus became the first Black institution in the nation to grant degrees for teaching in the elementary grades.
The School of Nursing was established in 1953, awarding its graduates the Bachelor of Science. The North Carolina General Assembly in 1963 authorized changing the name from Winston-Salem Teachers College to Winston-Salem State College, and in 1969 enacted a statute designating Winston-Salem State College as Winston-Salem State University In 1971, the General Assembly reorganized higher education in North Carolina, and effective July 1, 1972, Winston-Salem State University became one of 17 institutions constituting the University of North Carolina, all subject to the control of a Board of Governors.
Since its founding, Winston-Salem State University has grown to include the School of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education. Comprised of over 300 full-time faculty members and a student body of more than 5,100, the University offers 39 bachelor’s degree programs, seven master’s degree programs, two doctorate professional programs and seven certificate programs. Supporting these programs is the Division of University College and Lifelong Learning.