Land-Grant Colleges and Universities

The term land-grant college or university most often refers to an institution of higher education in the United States funded by the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. These laws provided for the sale of lands owned by the U.S. federal government to endow colleges and universities controlled by state governments. These institutions were to offer a curriculum that combined applied fields—namely, engineering, agriculture, mining, and military science—with the traditional liberal arts and sciences. This entry provides an overview of land-grant colleges and universities, including their origins, early years, the ways in which they both expanded access to and perpetuated exclusion in higher education, and their status in the 21st century.


The Morrill Acts were significant events in U.S. history, and the institutions associated with them ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles