central state university the hbcu of the midwest wilberforce ohio

About Central State University

As Ohio’s only public Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and 1890 Land-Grant Institution, Central State has enriched minds and changed lives for over 135 years — always with a focus on the future. Today, we enhance opportunities for all, creating future leaders in humanities, arts, social sciences, education, and business and diversifying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries through innovative degree programs, bold research initiatives, and an extension program guided by our Land-Grant mission. Learn more


Central State University, a proud HBCU, fosters academic excellence within a nurturing living-learning environment and graduates a diverse population prepared for leadership, research, and service in Ohio and beyond.


Central State University is the premier Land-Grant Institution of excellence in teaching, learning, and research that embraces diversity and innovation in a global society.

Core values

Academic excellence (Excellence)  

  • Central State University pursues intellectual excellence in teaching, research, service, creative endeavors, and all aspects of operations.

Community engagement and outreach  (Engagement)

  • Central State University promotes processes of servant leadership, collaborative involvement, and participation to solve impactful issues in our local, regional, national, and global communities.

Cultural responsiveness and inclusion (Culture)

  • Central State University enhances the ability to learn and respectfully relate with people of their own culture and values and people from various other cultures and values.

Civility and mutual respect (Civility)

  • Central State University upholds respectful and thoughtful communication to gain a mutual understanding of concepts, philosophies, information, and ideas.

Innovation (Innovation)

  • Central State University champions creativity in all aspects of University operations.

Central State by the numbers


Most affordable four-year degree in Ohio

Source: CollegeVine

Acres of campus


Student-faculty ratio


Academic degree programs

Liberator of minds

We are Marauders

Central State was founded over 135 years ago by free African Americans who sought to liberate others through knowledge. They named themselves after the 17th-century Marauders who freed slave ships. Today, we continue to liberate minds and inspire growth at Central State University.

Students on campus
Interim President Alex Johnson



If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!

— African proverb

Alex Johnson, Ph.D.
Interim President, Central State University

Our eyes are on the future

As an 1890 Land-Grant University, Central State has the resources and the commitment to drive innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and research. Our goal is to equip and uplift students, underrepresented farmers, and others so they can compete in a global, tech-driven market.