Founded in 1935, Norfolk State University (NSU) is a historically black university located in Norfolk, Virginia. NSU offers its students all the educational at an affordable course fee. Its nickname is the Spartans. The University came into existence, during the time of The Great Depression, as Norfolk State College, which began as a branch of Virginia State University. Later, it was named as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. It became an independent Norfolk Polytechnic College, in 1942. But in 1944, an Act of the Virginia Legislature mandated and it became a part of the Virginia State College. The institution offered the first Bachelor's degree in 1956. Later in 1969, it was separated from Virginia State College and became fully independent. Thus in 1979, it was renamed as Norfolk State University. Since then it has been serving as an urban institution awarding Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees. The university holds a School of Business, School of Education, School of Liberal Arts, Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work and the School of Science and Technology. NSU also has three Centers of Excellence established to respond to meet the needs of the rapidly changing technological society. The Division of Research and Technology in the university is responsible for the planning, implementation and utilization of technology. The university also carries out an Honors Program, offering an enriched and challenging program for potential students and thus enriching the academic community. It offers small and enriched general courses for eligible students. Norfolk State University is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.