History—Building on a Dream
The story of America’s Urban Land Grant University is first and foremost a profile in courage. Our “founding mother”—abolitionist and educator Myrtilla Miner—fought considerable opposition when, in 1851, she created the Normal School for Colored Girls to bring about her dream of a more equitable and just society.
An original 1862 land grant institution, the University of the District of Columbia’s predecessors formed to extend quality, affordable education to the residents of the nation’s capital. Over time, a series of mergers among the District’s teachers and technical colleges gave rise to the city’s first comprehensive university system. In 1977, the District of Columbia Teachers College, Federal City College and Washington Technical Institute combined to form the University of the District Columbia, with Lisle Carleton Carter, Jr. as its first president.
Like the District, the university has faced many financial and institutional challenges; but, today, the original vision of our founders is within reach and driving our transformation into a global example of quality public higher education. Together, the University of the District of Columbia and its Community College (launched in 2009) offer over 70 associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs—from classical arts and sciences to new green-collar courses of study like urban agriculture and sustainability. UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law is ranked among the Top 10 in the nation in law school clinical programs and is regarded as one of the finest public interest law schools in the country.
Our state university’s future is built on the dreams of our founders. As we look back on our 160-year legacy, we rededicate ourselves to nurturing the next generations of leaders and visionaries in our city, our country and the world.
The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Philadelphia, PA.