Allen University is a private, coeducational historically Black university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. Allen University has more than 600 students and still serves a predominantly Black constituency. 
Allen University was founded in Cokesbury in 1870 as Payne Institute by a number of ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, including John M. Brown. Its initial mission was to provide education to freedmen, former African American slaves and their children.
In 1880, it was moved to Columbia and renamed Allen University in honor of Bishop Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The university remains connected to the denomination, which is related to other Methodist churches. As one of two black colleges located in Columbia, Allen has a very strong presence in the African-American community. Allen University initially focused on training ministers and teachers, who were considered critical to the progress of African Americans. Over the years, it has enlarged its scope to produce graduates in other academic areas.
In 1885, Joseph W. Morris became president of the University.
The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees through various schools.
- Division of Humanities
- Department of English
- Department of Music
- Division of Social Sciences
- Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
- Department of Biology
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Mathematics
- Division of Business Administration
- Division of Religion
Buildings such as Arnett Hall, the Chappelle Administration Building, Coppin Hall, the Joseph Simon Flippen Library, and the Canteen Building are included in what is designated as the Allen University Historic District, listed in 1975 on the National Register of Historic Places.   
Several of the district's buildings were restored, using $2.9 million in funds obtained through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Building Restoration and Preservation Act. Chappelle Auditorium's seating capacity of 700 has made it the site of countless organizations' and community events.
The auditorium was the site of the meeting of educators and lawyers to initiate efforts that led to the landmark US Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Board of Education (1954) on school integration.
In addition, nationally known musicians and artists, including Leontyne Price, Brooks Benton and Langston Hughes, have performed in the auditorium. Notable speakers include: Mary McCloud Bethune, Reverend Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Reverend Jesse Jackson, George Elmore, John H. McCray, and Senator Strom Thurmond.
Chappelle Auditorium was designed by John Anderson Langford (1874-1946), who is known as the 'Dean of Black Architects.’ He served as the official architect of the AME Church. The auditorium was named in honor of Bishop William D. Chappelle, an Allen University President. On April 14, 1975, Chappelle Auditorium was recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior and placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.
- Adams Gymnatorium
- Arnett Hall
- Chappelle Administration Building (a National Historic Landmark)
- Coppin Hall
- Counseling Center
- Flippen Library
- Higgins Hall
- Mance House
- Reid Hall
- Richard Allen Apartments
- Williams Living and Learning Complex
Allen University is the home of more than 15 students on-campus organizations.
Academic Organizations/Honor Societies
- Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society
- Chi Pi Chapter
- Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in the Social Sciences
- South Carolina Nu Chapter
- Phi Beta Lambda
- Sigma Phi Omega
Civic, Religious and Social Organizations
- NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
- B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters In Christ)
- Global Outreach Campus Ministries
- Chic Republic
- Allen University Chorale
- Gospel Choir
- Allen University Cheerleaders
- AU NAACP
- Groove Phi Groove
- Students for Positive Change
- Yellow Jacket CARES
- Spartan ENT.
- A.U.I.S.C (Allen University International Student Club)
Leadership and Development Organizations
- Student Government Association
- Student Activities Board
- Allen University Student Ambassadors
- Pre-Alumni Association
- Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team
- Allen University Chorale
- Mu Omicron Chi fraternity
National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations
|Alpha Kappa Alpha||ΑΚΑ||Mu||M|
|Alpha Phi Alpha||ΑΦΑ||Gamma Gamma||ΓΓ|
|Delta Sigma Theta||ΔΣΘ||Gamma Pi||ΓΠ|
|Kappa Alpha Psi||ΚΑΨ||Beta Rho||ΒΡ|
|Omega Psi Phi||ΩΨΦ||Mu Sigma||ΜΣ|
|Phi Beta Sigma||ΦΒΣ||Alpha Omicron||ΑΟ|
|Sigma Gamma Rho||ΣΓΡ||Beta Iota||ΒΙ|
|Zeta Phi Beta||ΖΦΒ||Lambda||Λ|
Allen University teams, nicknamed athletically as the Yellow Jackets, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC), effective in the 2016-17 school year.  The Yellow Jackets formerly competed in the now-defunct Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) and as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Men's sports include basketball; while women's sports include basketball and volleyball.