Our History

After over a century, CEA is still steadfast in its original mission of educating and developing African Americans as powerful leaders in the engineering fields.

In 1907, the Board of Trustees approved the initiation of two-year programs in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering leading to bachelor’s degrees. Howard University was the first American university to offer engineering education to people of color. It was during the time period of 1907-1910 that the two-year programs in architecture, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering were introduced into the curriculum of the School of Manual Arts and Applied Sciences. 

By 1911, a four-year curriculum leading to the bachelor's degree was established. A separate building was constructed and equipped to house the School. Eight years later, the School of Manual Arts and Applied Sciences was reorganized into the College of Applied Sciences, which included under its umbrella the departments of architecture, engineering, art and home economics.

In 1934, the School of Engineering and Architecture was established as a separate unit of the University, appropriate to the recognition of the distinctiveness of the engineering and architecture professions. From 1970-1997, the School of Engineering and Architecture was divided into two separate schools: the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture and City Planning. During this period, the chemical engineering and computer science programs, which were inaugurated in the 1970-1980 era, were integrated into the School of Engineering. 

In 1997, after 27 years, the two schools were rejoined as the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science (CEACS). In 2016, CEACS was structurally reorganized as the College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA). After over a century, CEA is still steadfast in its original mission of educating and developing African Americans as powerful leaders in the engineering fields. In addition to being one of the top producers of black engineers, the college also attracts international students from around the globe.