History of Central State University

Central State University is a nationally recognized, academic institution located in Ohio.  The University has leading edge programs in urban education, engineering and science, and fine arts.
The Ohio General Assembly in an act that created a Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University established Central State University on March 19, 1887.
The older institution was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1856 and named in honor of the great abolitionist William Wilberforce. In 1941, the General Assembly expanded the new Department, which was considered as a separate school with its own Board of Trustees, into a College of Education and Industrial Arts offering four-year college programs. In 1947, the College began independent operations continuing its programs in teacher education, industrial arts, and business, and adding a four-year liberal arts college under the name Wilberforce State College. In 1951, the legislature provided the name Central State College, and in 1965, Central State was granted university status.
Central State University remains true to the dictum of the enacting legislation that the University “be open to all persons of good moral character.”  The University maintains a core responsibility to affordably, educate students for success, leadership, and service to the state, the country, and the world.

Central State University, with campuses in Wilberforce and Dayton, Ohio, is one of the nation's oldest public historically black universities. It has a 125-year legacy of academic achievement, and the development of students who go on to be leaders and make significant contributions in business, education, law, science, and the arts.

Celebrating our rich history, acknowledging our present and building awareness about our global future.


Central State University - 125 years of Academic Excellence

  • Recognized by the State of Ohio as a Center of Excellence in Emerging Technologies  
  • National reputation for preparing students in STEM disciplines
  • One of 23 universities in the nation with an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited program in Manufacturing Engineering
  • Diverse academic curriculum with opportunities for research, student internships, co-op education, work experiences, and study abroad
  • Faculty dedicated to helping students succeed
  • Master of Education (M.Ed) program with concentrations in Personnel Services, Research or Student Services
  • A leader in Teacher Education – accredited by NCATE
  • Internationally acclaimed University Chorus
  • One of two undergraduate Water Resources Management programs in the country
  • Model Pre-Law program and a Pre-Law society
  • University commitment to student wellness
  • Focus on adult learners through the CSU-Dayton campus
  • Recognized programs and majors in Fine and Performing Arts with prominence in Jazz Studies - Music and Art - accredited by NASM and NASAD
  • Recognized by the State of Ohio as a Center of Excellence in Fine and Performing Arts.
  • Home of the first Military Science Department at an HBCU
  • Accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1949
  • Ohio’s only publicly supported HBCU – Historically Black College or University