Established in 1865, Bowie State University is the oldest historically black institution (HBI) of higher education in the state of Maryland. Also, it is one of the oldest HBIs in the nation. The institution has evolved from a normal school into a comprehensive university that offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Currently, Bowie State University serves a diverse student population, providing educational opportunities that will enable students to function in a highly technological and interdependent world. The University continues to honor its heritage of providing access to higher education for under-represented populations, with a continuing commitment to African Americans. Bowie State University remains a leader in the graduation of African Americans in teacher education and technological fields.
Bowie State University is centrally located on a scenic wooded tract next to the city of Bowie. This location is about five miles east of Greenbelt and Lanham, less than 15 miles west of Annapolis, and seven miles north of the Capital Beltway (I-95) at the New Carrollton exit at Route 450. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is less than five miles west of the University if using either the Greenbelt Route 193 exit or the Laurel Route 197 exit. Route 197 brings motorists within 200 yards of the campus. In winter 1989, a MARC commuter rail station opened at the University, serving the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and adding a second public transportation option to existing Metrobus service.