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For more than 125 years Agnes Scott College has educated and empowered intelligent women. Through the new SUMMIT curriculum, Agnes Scott has reinvented the liberal arts and sciences for the 21st century so that ever women graduates ready to become a leader in a global society.
Founded in 1887 by the School Sisters of St. Francis, Alverno College promotes the academic, personal and professional development of its students in a collaborative and inclusive environment. For more than 130 years, we’ve been changing lives with our powerful combination of liberal arts education and career readiness.
When it was founded in 1889, Barnard was one of very few American colleges where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. The College was named after Frederick A.P. Barnard, then the 10th president of Columbia University, who fought unsuccessfully to admit women to Columbia. Today, Barnard is one of the most selective academic institutions in the country and remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional.
Bay Path University was founded in 1897 in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a coeducational business school offering programs in accounting, business administration, secretarial science, and business teacher training. In 1945, Bay Path moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and it restricted its enrollment to young women. Four years later, it received approval to be chartered as Bay Path Junior College. In 1988, the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education authorized Bay Path Junior College to become a four-year degree-granting institution, and its name was officially changed to Bay Path College. Maintaining its commitment to women-only undergraduate programs, in 2014 Bay Path launched The American Women's College, the first all-women, all-online accredited bachelor’s degree program in the country. After introducing coeducational graduate programs in 2000, in 2014 the College became Bay Path University. Today, the university offers over 70 undergraduate programs for women and over 30 graduate programs for women and men, including doctorate degrees.
Bennett College is the only historically African American college for women in North Carolina and is one of two such HBCUs in the country. Founded in 1873 as a coed institution and reorganized as a college exclusively for women in 1926, today Bennett is a private, four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Brenau University was founded in 1878 as the Georgia Baptist Female Seminary by Dr. W.C. Wilkes. In 1900, H.J. Pearce, who was the institution’s president at the time, named it Brenau, which is a linguistic blend of the German word “brennen,” meaning “to burn,” and the Latin “aurum,” which translates to “gold.” This combination embodies Brenau’s motto, “As gold refined by fire.” Today, Brenau University consists of The Women’s College, the coed Undergraduate School, and the Sidney O. Smith Graduate School.
Even before women were legally recognized as persons, the Ursuline sisters founded Brescia University College in 1919. They created sacred spaces where women could access the prestigious education previously denied to them, while fostering their commitment to leading with wisdom, justice and compassion in a changing world.
When Bryn Mawr College opened its doors in 1885, it offered women a more ambitious academic program than any previously available to them in the United States. Other women's colleges existed, but Bryn Mawr was the first to offer graduate education through the Ph.D.—a signal of its founders' refusal to accept the limitations imposed on women's intellectual achievement at other institutions.
Founded in 1913, the College of Saint Benedict embraces the rich heritage of bold leadership and pioneering spirit of its Benedictine founders, the Sisters of Saint Benedict's Monastery. The college’s dedication to the power of the liberal arts is a cornerstone of the Benedictine wisdom tradition. In addition, the college expresses its Benedictine character through the practice of enduring Benedictine values, including community living, hospitality and respect for persons.
Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy and an early 18th century Irishwoman, believed that nothing was more productive of good to society than the careful education of women. Her strength of conviction gave birth to what would become a long line of women's secondary and post-secondary schools around the globe. Mother Mary Leo Gallagher, another Sister of Mercy, carried on the tradition and opened the doors of College of Saint Mary in 1923. In the old Continental Hotel at 15th and Castelar Streets, the work began. In November 1950, the Sisters purchased 80 acres of land next to a dirt road named 72nd Street and what would then become Mercy Road. A $3 million construction project began in March 1953 and by May 1955, College of Saint Mary was a reality. By 1958, College of Saint Mary had become a four-year fully-accredited college. Today, the College continues its affiliation with the Sisters of Mercy and is proud of its tradition of women leading the way.
Although the doors of Converse opened October 1, 1890, the first step towards the founding of the college was taken in 1889 when a prominent attorney assembled a group of Spartanburg citizens to discuss the project. Among the 13 men was Dexter Edgar Converse, a native of Vermont who had settled in Spartanburg before the Civil War. His contributions to the college were so valuable it was given his name.
Cottey College was founded in 1884 by Virginia Alice Cottey. She said,"When I was a small child I read a book about Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke College for Women. It gave me a purpose in life and I devoted all my energy to learning and teaching so that if the time ever came when I could found my own school, I would be ready."
Meredith College has been educating strong, confident women for more than a century. Chartered in 1891, the College opened with 200 students and a mission to provide a first-rate course of female education. Today Meredith is one of the largest independent women’s colleges in the U.S., graduating nearly 500 students each year who come from across the country and around the world.
Founded in 1848 under the mission to expand women’s access to higher education, Moore College of Art & Design offers a women’s college experience. Undergraduate admission is open to otherwise qualified applicants: (i) assigned female at birth; or (ii) who self-identify as women, trans women, nonbinary or gender nonconforming individuals, at the time of application.
Chemist and educator Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke College (then called Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837, nearly a century before women gained the right to vote. As the first of the Seven Sisters—the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League—Mount Holyoke has led the way in women's education.
Mount Saint Mary’s University was established in 1925 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Since their founding in Le Puy, France, in 1650, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) have been faithful to their original mission of "helping women become all they are capable of being" and of "serving all persons without distinction."
Established by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Notre Dame of Maryland University has anticipated and met contemporary needs with visionary and pragmatic educational programs since 1895. It was the first Catholic college for women to award the 4-year baccalaureate degree.
Saint Mary’s promotes a life of intellectual vigor, aesthetic appreciation, religious sensibility, and social responsibility. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Online and hybrid graduate programs are offered in several in-demand fields.
Believing that women deserved an education comparable to that given men -- a radical view for that era -- the Moravians began a school for girls in 1772. In 1802, it became a boarding school for girls and young women; in 1866, it was renamed Salem Female Academy. Salem began granting college degrees in the 1890s.
Educator, publisher, and philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps dedicated her dreams as well as her resources to pioneering an innovative setting for women's education as an integral part of The Claremont Colleges. At ninety years of age, she still saw life in terms of possibility and spoke of the women's college that opened its doors in 1926 as her "new adventure."
Simmons College was founded in 1899 by Boston businessman John Simmons, who had a revolutionary idea — that women should be able to earn independent livelihoods and lead meaningful lives. It was this same spirit of inclusion and empowerment that produced the first African-American Simmons graduate in 1914, and made Simmons one of the only private colleges that did not impose admission quotas on Jewish students during the first half of the 1900s.
Founded in 1871, Smith College opened in 1875 with 14 students. Today, it is one of the largest women’s liberal arts colleges in the United States, educating women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, Smith enrolls 2,600 students from nearly every state and more than 50 other countries, providing opportunities for students to develop their passions and talents to effect meaningful change throughout the world.
Smith has changed much since its founding, but throughout its history there have been certain enduring constants: a dedication to providing both the educational offerings and practical experiences that enable students to make a difference in the world, a belief in the ability of education to address the world’s most pressing problems, and a concern for the rights and privileges of women.
Today the college continues to benefit from a dynamic relationship between innovation and tradition. And while Smith’s basic curriculum of the humanities, arts and sciences still flourishes, the college continues to respond to new and evolving disciplines—offering majors or interdepartmental programs in engineering, the study of women and gender, neuroscience, film and media studies, Middle East studies, statistical and data sciences and other emerging fields. Our students leave Smith to work as policy-makers, researchers, artists, engineers, writers, business leaders and scientists who push the world forward.
Spelman was founded in 1881 as Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles. The name was changed in 1884 to Spelman Seminary in honor of Mrs. Laura Spelman Rockefeller and her parents Harvey Buel and Lucy Henry Spelman, longtime activists in the antislavery movement.
St. Catherine University, or St. Kate’s as it’s commonly known, was founded in 1905. Grounded in the liberal arts and the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social teaching, St. Kate’s educates women to lead and influence. St. Kate’s offers associate, bachelor and advanced degree programs in four schools: the School of Business and Professional Studies; the School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health; and the School of Social Work. With more than 60 programs of study, the College for Women is among the largest private women’s colleges in the nation. The University also offers a range of programs for women and men in the Graduate College and College for Adults. At every degree level, St. Kate’s serves a diverse student population; developing ethical, reflective and socially responsible leaders. St. Kate’s president is ReBecca Koenig Roloff, a 1976 graduate of the University.
Founded in 1833, Stephens College is proud to be the second-oldest women’s college in the country and the first institution of higher education in Columbia, Missouri. From the beginning, Stephens has developed a tradition of cutting-edge educational programs that provide young women with classroom and experiential learning opportunities like no other institution in higher education. Stephens believes in the power of a women’s undergraduate education. We also believe in the power of education to change lives and offer co-educational graduate programs as well as a children's school and youth programs that celebrate and encourage lifelong learning.
Sweet Briar was established in 1901 in the will of Indiana Fletcher Williams. Williams founded the school in memory of her daughter, Daisy, who had died at age 16. The College opened in 1906 with 51 students. The A.B. degree was immediately recognized by graduate programs at leading universities — and three of the College’s first five graduates went on to pursue advanced degrees.
Founded in 1901, Texas Woman’s in 2021 transformed into a university system with campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. More than half of its graduates earn health-related degrees, making Texas Woman’s a significant economic driver for Texas. The university offers a comprehensive catalog of academic studies, including baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing, health professions, education, business and the arts and sciences. The university pioneered distance education and is recognized as a leader in delivering online instruction.
Over a century ago, Trinity College was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as the nation’s first Catholic liberal arts college for women. Beginning with the first graduating class of 1904, the mission of Trinity has been realized in the lives of her graduates.
Chartered in 1836, Wesleyan became the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. Since then, we’ve sent scores of women out into the world to do the impossible, the amazing, and the extraordinary, like the first woman to receive a Doctor of Medicine degree in Georgia and the first woman to argue a case before the Georgia Supreme Court.