Colleges and Universities of Delaware

Memorial Hall at the University of Delaware

Delaware is home to ten colleges and universities, comprising of five public and five private higher education institutions. With degrees spanning a range of disciplines and study platforms, the state’s schools and programs should appeal to students across all majors.


Because there was already a private Delaware College (now the University of Delaware) located in Newark, Del., to avoid confusion new state legislation was passed and enacted in early 1893 to change the black school’s name to the State College for Colored Students. That would be the institution’s name for the next 54 years.
Delaware State University • The Delaware College for Colored Students, now known as Delaware State University, was established May 15, 1891, by the Delaware General Assembly under the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1890 by which land-grant colleges for Blacks came into existence in states maintaining separate educational facilities. With the appointment of an inaugural six-member Board of Trustees, that governing body used part of the initial $8,000 state appropriation to purchase a 95-acre property north of the state capital of Dover to establish the new college. Delaware State Collectables
Goldey-Beacom College • The College traces its origins to September 1, 1886 when business educator H.S. Goldey opened the Wilmington Commercial College with only five students. There is something very special about this small school. It has graduated four governors, corporate presidents across the nation, and professionals in every walk of life. Among its alumni are doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs who first chose this small school to start their education.
University of Delaware • One of the oldest universities in the U.S., the University of Delaware traces its roots to 1743 when a petition by the Presbytery of Lewes expressing the need for an educated clergy led the Rev. Dr. Francis Alison to open a school in New London, Pennsylvania. Collectables

Alison's first class was "possibly the most distinguished in terms of the later achievements of its members, taken as a whole, of any class in any school in America," wrote historian John Munroe.

Those first students would go on to become statesmen, doctors, merchants and scholars. Thomas McKean, George Read and James Smith signed the Declaration of Independence, and Read also signed the U.S. Constitution.


Wesley College • Founded in 1873 to provide a value-centered education to students of all races and faith. The original Wilmington Conference Academy became Wesley College institute in 1918 and Wesley College conferred its first four-year degrees in 1978. Graduate programs were added in the 1990s. The institution is Delaware’s oldest private college. Wesley College Collectables
Widener University School of Law • Since 1975, when their first law class graduated, Delaware Law has been a trusted resource in the region. They have educated nearly 12,000 alumni, many of whom have risen to positions of leadership on the bench and in the bar.
Wilmington College

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