Timeline of women's colleges in the United States

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The following is a timeline of women's colleges in the United States . These are institutions of higher education in the United States whose student population comprises exclusively, or almost exclusively, women. They are often liberal arts colleges. There are approximately 35 active women's colleges in the U.S. as of 2021. [1]

Contents

The colleges are listed by the date when they opened to students.

First and oldest

Many of the schools began as either school for girls, academies (which during the late 18th and early 19th centuries was the equivalent of secondary schools), or as a teaching seminary (which during the early 19th century were forms of secular higher education), rather than as a chartered college. During the 19th century in the United States, "Seminaries educated women for the only socially acceptable occupation: teaching. Only unmarried women could be teachers. Many early women's colleges began as female seminaries and were responsible for producing an important corps of educators." [2]

The following is a list of "oldest" and "first" schools, by the date that they opened for students:

Timeline

Colonial-era schools

Moravian College, originally the Bethlehem Female Seminary Moravian College Bethlehem Gates 2521px.jpg
Moravian College, originally the Bethlehem Female Seminary

1780s–1820s

1830s

Mount Holyoke College (Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837 Mount Holyoke in 1837.gif
Mount Holyoke College (Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837

1840s

Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia Cocke building, Hollins University.jpg
Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia

1850s

Mills College at Northeastern University in Oakland, California Mills Hall Horizontal.jpg
Mills College at Northeastern University in Oakland, California
Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina Peace-College-20080321.jpeg
Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina

1860s

1870s

Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts Smith College.jpg
Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts

1880s

Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia Agnes Scott College - Buttrick Hall.jpg
Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia
Barnard College in Manhattan, New York BarnardMilbank01.jpg
Barnard College in Manhattan, New York
Pembroke Hall at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania Pembroke Hall at Bryn Mawr.jpg
Pembroke Hall at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania

1890s

1900s

1910s

1920s

Mount St. Mary's College, Doheny campus 052607-011-DohenyMansion.jpg
Mount St. Mary's College, Doheny campus
Scripps College in Claremont, California Scripps campus.jpg
Scripps College in Claremont, California

1930s

1940s

1950s to 1980s

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

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The Seven Sisters are a group of seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Wellesley College are still women's colleges. Vassar College is currently a coeducational college and Radcliffe College was absorbed in 1999 by Harvard College and now offers programs in advanced study.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mixed-sex education</span> System of education where males and females are educated together

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Normal school</span> Educational institution to train teachers

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Women's college</span> Undergraduate college consisting entirely or predominantly of women

Women's colleges in higher education are undergraduate, bachelor's degree-granting institutions, often liberal arts colleges, whose student populations are composed exclusively or almost exclusively of women. Some women's colleges admit male students to their graduate schools or in smaller numbers to undergraduate programs, but all serve a primarily female student body.

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The Ursulines, also known as the Order of Saint Ursula, is an enclosed religious order of women that in 1572 branched off from the Angelines, also known as the Company of Saint Ursula. The Ursulines trace their origins to the Angeline foundress Angela Merici and likewise place themselves under the patronage of Saint Ursula. While the Ursulines took up a monastic way of life under the Rule of Saint Augustine, the Angelines operate as a secular institute. The largest group within the Ursulines is the Ursulines of the Roman Union.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Women's colleges in the Southern United States</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Women's colleges in the United States</span> Single-sex institutions of higher education

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Men's colleges in the United States</span> College in United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">University of Mary Hardin–Baylor</span> Christian university in Belton, Texas, US

The University of Mary Hardin–Baylor (UMHB) is a private Christian university in Belton, Texas. UMHB was chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 as Baylor Female College, the female department of what is now Baylor University. It has since become its own institution and grown to 3,914 students and awards degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. It is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Florida State University</span>

The history of Florida State University dates to the 19th century and is deeply intertwined with the history of education in the state of Florida and in the city of Tallahassee. Florida State University, known colloquially as Florida State and FSU, is one of the oldest and largest of the institutions in the State University System of Florida. It traces its origins to the West Florida Seminary, one of two state-funded seminaries the Florida Legislature voted to establish in 1851.

In the early colonial history of the United States, higher education was designed for men only. Since the 1800s, women's positions and opportunities in the educational sphere have increased. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, women have surpassed men in number of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees conferred annually in the United States and women have continuously been the growing majority ever since, with men comprising a continuously lower minority in earning either degree. The same asymmetry has occurred with Doctorate degrees since 2005 with women being the continuously growing majority and men a continuously lower minority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the University of Florida</span>

The history of the University of Florida is firmly tied to the history of public education in the state of Florida. The University of Florida originated as several distinct institutions that were consolidated to create a single state-supported university by the Buckman Act of 1905. The oldest of these was the East Florida Seminary, one of two seminaries of higher learning established by the Florida Legislature. The East Florida Seminary opened in Ocala 1853, becoming the first state-supported institution of higher learning in the state of Florida. As it is the oldest of the modern University of Florida's predecessor institutions, the school traces its founding date to that year. The East Florida Seminary closed its Ocala campus at the outbreak of the American Civil War and reopened in Gainesville in 1866.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Female seminary</span>

A female seminary is a private educational institution for women, popular especially in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when opportunities in educational institutions for women were scarce. The movement was a significant part of a remarkable transformation in American education in the period 1820–1850. Supporting academic education for women, the seminaries were part of a large and growing trend toward women's 'equality'. Some trace its roots to 1815, and characterize it as at the confluence of various liberation movements. Some of the seminaries gradually developed as four-year colleges.

Chappell Hill Female College was a private college in Chappell Hill, a rural community in Washington County, Texas, United States. It was founded in 1850 as part of the coeducational school Chappell Hill Male and Female Institute. First chartered by the Texas Legislature in 1852 as a non-denominational preparatory school, the charter was amended to affiliate the school with the Methodist Church in 1854, and was rechartered as a women's college after the male department was spun off as Soule University in 1856. It was closed in 1912 and the building became a public school until a replacement was built in 1927 that preserves the college's bell. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

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