Johnson C. Smith University students

Johnson C. Smith University students in front of Biddle Hall; (c) Soul Of America

Johnson C. Smith University


Johnson C. Smith University has an auspicious beginning.

In 1867, the Rev. S.C. Alexander and the Rev. W. L. Miller saw the need to establish an institution in this section of the South. On April 7, 1867, at Catawba Presbytery in the old Charlotte Presbyterian Church, formerly located at the corner of D and Fourth streets in Charlotte, the school was formally inaugurated, and the two ministers were elected as teachers.

Information concerning the establishment of the school was brought to the attention of Mrs. Mary D. Biddle, an excellent churchwoman of Philadelphia, PA, who through appeals on behalf of the work in one of the church papers, pledged $1,400.

In appreciation of this first and generous contribution, friends of the project requested Mrs. Biddle name the newly established school after he late husband, Major Henry Biddle.

After the request was granted, the school was named Biddle Memorial Institute and was chartered by the state legislature under that name. The school later became Biddle University, then Johnson C. Smith University in 1923.

Academic Merit

JCSU offers 22 degree options for undergraduates and one graduate degree. Students earn their degree through one of our three colleges – the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and the College of Professional Studies. A list of undergraduate majors follows:

Social Work
Business Administration
Communication Arts
Public Health
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Political Science
Social Work
Sport Management
Visual and Performing Arts

Campus Life

With a focus on technologically-enhanced instruction, Johnston C. Smith University has a student population of approximately 1,500 and became a co-educational facility in 1932.

As an independent college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in the United States, the university will, beginning in August of 2000, be the first and only historically Black IBM ThinkPad University, where students and their school-provided laptops will have complete access to the campus-wide network and internet services.

In addition to the residence halls, students study and socialize at the James B. Duke Memorial Library, Biddle Memorial Hall, University Memorial Student Union, Johnson C. Smith Memorial Hall, and Edward Crutchfield Center for Integrated Studies.

ADDRESS: 100 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, NC MAP
PHONE: 704-378-1000