Smith College

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Smith College is a distinguished liberal arts college committed to providing the highest quality undergraduate education for women to enable them to develop their intellects and talents and to participate effectively and fully in society.

The college was founded in 1871 by Sophia Smith, who decided to leave that leaving her inheritance to found a women’s college was the best way for her to fulfill a moral obligation. Smith has changed much since its founding. But throughout its history there have been certain enduring constants: an uncompromising defense of academic and intellectual freedom, an attention to the relation between college education and the larger public issues of world order and human dignity, 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 the new intellectual needs of today’s women—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.

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Location

Northampton, Massachusetts

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At Smith, your individual exploration and education come first. The focus is on making the most of who you are and what you want to become. The world is your campus, preparing you to live, work, and lead across global borders.

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Bryn Mawr College

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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.

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Location

Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Points of pride

Bryn Mawr College is a highly selective women's college right outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A close-knit community of about 1,350 undergraduate students, Bryn Mawr is renowned for its academic excellence and engagement with the world.

On Bryn Mawr’s historic campus, students find challenging courses and research opportunities; strong bonds with faculty, students, and alumnae/i; and innovative programs that connect study with action. Students, faculty, and staff work together to build a community that is inclusive and welcoming. Through a holistic curriculum, the country’s oldest Self-Government Association, and a student-owned honor code, Bryn Mawr encourages original thinking.

Critical, creative, and collaborative, Bryn Mawr students and alumnae/i are agents of change and forever members of a community founded on the respect for individuals.

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1885

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Cedar Crest College

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Since its founding in 1867, Cedar Crest College has taken a bold approach to education - creating a college and a curriculum designed for women who want to achieve at the highest levels!

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Location

Allentown, Pennsylvania

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Recognizing the multi-dimensional nature of students, Cedar Crest College is dedicated to the education of the next generation of women leaders by preparing the whole student for life in the global community. At Cedar Crest, you will become a leader for life.

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1867

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Mount Holyoke College

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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.

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Location

South Hadley, Massachusetts

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Mount Holyoke provides an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts and sciences through academic programs recognized internationally for their excellence and range. The college draws students from all backgrounds into an exceptionally diverse and inclusive learning community. The famous words of Mount Holyoke's founder Mary Lyon—"Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do"—continue to inspire Mount Holyoke students.

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Sweet Briar College

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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.

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Location

Sweet Briar, Virginia

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Sweet Briar is a private liberal arts and sciences college for women of consequence with an ABET-accredited engineering program and a core curriculum focused on leadership in the 21st century. Reduced tuition, a new academic calendar and research funding for experiential learning opportunities make it one of the nation’s Most Innovative Schools (U.S. News). The College’s unique community and campus life foster strength and resilience in every student by surrounding her with excellent faculty, coaches and staff who challenge her to bring her best self forward — and to own it with confidence, courage and grit.

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1901

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Barnard College

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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.

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Location

New York, New York

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Barnard College provides a singular educational experience, as a world-renowned college focused on excellence across the arts and sciences, with all the academic resources of Columbia University and the City of New York as an extended classroom.

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Converse College

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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.

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Location

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Points of pride

The Converse College commitment to creativity and the development of adaptable individuals with clear vision, wise decision and just action is guided by seven core values: excellence, integrity, exploration, diversity, respect, community and progress.

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Simmons University

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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.

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Location

Boston, Massachusetts

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Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons is a private university, home to a respected women’s undergraduate program and coeducational graduate programs in fields that advance the common good. Simmons has established a model of higher education that other colleges and universities are only recently beginning to adapt: the combination of education for leadership in high-demand professional fields with the intellectual foundation of the liberal arts. The result is a Simmons graduate prepared not only to work, but to lead in professional, civic, and personal life - a vision of empowerment that Simmons calls preparation for life’s work.

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1899

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Wellesley College

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Wellesley College was founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, who were passionate about the higher education of women. Wellesley’s first president, Ada Howard, and nearly all of the College’s early educators and administrators were women.

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Location

Wellesley, Massachusetts

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Wellesley's motto is "Not to be ministered unto but to minister." Smart, serious women choose Wellesley because the college believes in making a difference; disciplined thinking; pragmatic leadership; valuing diversity; and service.

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Notre Dame of Maryland University

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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.

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Location

Baltimore, Maryland

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Notre Dame of Maryland University educates women as leaders to transform the world. Embracing the vision of the founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the University provides a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition, encouraging students to strive for intellectual and professional excellence, to build inclusive communities, to engage in service to others, and to become socially responsible citizens. 

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1895

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