Best Women Colleges. The results of the most reputable college rankings plus hundreds of actual student ratings from across the web are combined to create the ranking of the Best Women’s Colleges. Young women looking for a comprehensive overview of an all-supportive, women’s college’s welcoming environment, including its energizing academic offerings and strong alumni associations. Prospective students can feel confident that their decision rates as the best option overall.
While almost all other colleges and universities are now coed, women’s colleges are still thriving, outstanding, and crucial to higher education. We witness the effects of the lack of female leadership at the highest levels of government, business, entertainment, and technology every day. Women’s colleges allow young women from all socioeconomic levels the chance to study in a supportive environment alongside some of the most accomplished and powerful women in the world. The Best Women’s Colleges ranking is a comprehensive view of the women’s college landscape for women searching for a women’s college to develop the knowledge, expertise, abilities, and confidence to face the 21st century.
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15 Best Women Colleges
In Wellesley, Massachusetts, there is a private, nonprofit liberal arts institution for women called Wellesley College. Wellesley is the fourth best-ranked women’s college in the US and has the biggest endowment. The institution is a founding member of the Seven Sisters Institutions, according to News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Wellesley was founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, and its first students arrived in 1875. Some of Wellesley’s most renowned alumnae include Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Soong Mei-ling, Cokie Roberts, and Diane Sawyer.
The school is committed to educating women “who will make a difference in the world.” Wellesley University is situated in a charming New England town northeast of Boston on a lovely 500-acre campus that has stunning natural landscapes including Lake Waban, evergreen and deciduous woodland, and open meadows.
More than 50 majors are available at Wellesley, including interdepartmental majors in American Studies, Biochemistry, Cinema and Media Studies, Environmental Studies, International Relations, Peace and Justice Studies, and Theatre Studies. The university also grants baccalaureate degrees in a number of disciplines. In addition to the roughly 30 departments that make up Wellesley, there are further departments for women’s and gender studies, computer science, education, English, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, and music.
Along with Babson and Olin Colleges, the college is a member of the Three-College Alliance, which encourages interdisciplinary cooperation. Additionally, cross-registration between Wellesley students and Brandeis and Massachusetts Institute of Technology students allows for even more academic opportunities. The Albright Institute, Knapp Social Science Center, Davis Museum, The Newhouse Center for the Humanities, and internationally renowned Wellesley Centers for Women are just a few of the prestigious institutions that call Wellesley home. This enviable campus environment draws scholars from all over the world and aids students in their pursuit of knowledge.
A private women’s liberal arts college and one of the original Seven Sisters, Bryn Mawr College is situated in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, eleven miles outside of Philadelphia. According to Joseph W. Taylor’s will, a physician who wanted to build a college “for the advanced education of girls,” the college was established in 1885. Bryn Mawr, which was once a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), voted to become non-denominational as early as 1893, but it continues to uphold classic Quaker principles, such as the right to conscience freedom. In keeping with these principles, Bryn Mawr was a pioneer among colleges and universities in defending the rights of students.
It was also the first institution to refuse funding under the McCarthy-era legislation that would have jeopardized students’ freedom and privacy. During the Vietnam War, it was also the only institution to refuse funding rather than serve as an informant.
Bryn Mawr was the first women’s institution to provide graduate education up to the PhD level, offering both a liberal arts curriculum for women and a coed graduate program in the arts and sciences, social work, and research. More than 35 undergraduate majors and more than 40 minors are available at Bryn Mawr, allowing students to design their own academic programs. Anthropology, biology, child and family studies, computer science, education, environmental studies, Greek, Latin, and classical studies, Hebrew and Judaic studies, history, international studies, mathematics, physics, political science, psychology, and women’s studies are just a few of the more than 45 undergraduate fields of study available.
Chemistry, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Clinical Developmental Psychology, French, Greek, Latin & Classical Studies, History of Art, Mathematics, Physics, Social Work and Social Research are some of the graduate programs offered at Bryn Mawr.
Along with Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, Bryn Mawr is a member of the Tri-College Consortium. It has a long-standing relationship with the University of Pennsylvania that offers students a wide range of curricular opportunities. The Emily Balch Seminars, 360o, an interdisciplinary program, and Praxis, an immersive, community-based learning program, are just a few of the Special Academic programs offered at Bryn Mawr.
Founded in 1889 as a female alternative to the all-male Columbia University, Barnard College is a private, four-year institution that is both independent and an official member of the “Seven Sisters” (a group of seven women’s colleges in the Northeast: Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College). As the nation’s most exclusive women’s college, Barnard takes great satisfaction in this distinction. Some of the most significant women in history have graduated from Barnard; among them are Margaret Mead, Joan Rivers, and Martha Stewart.
Barnard College offers bachelor’s degrees in 20 programs across 28 departments and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Dance has granted Barnard accreditation. The most well-liked courses are offered in psychology and the social sciences (including economics and political science). The mission statement of the school, which works closely with Columbia University, reads as follows: “The Office of the Dean of Studies is committed to supporting the academic planning and success, academic integrity, and well-being of all students, as well as to supporting the teaching efforts of faculty members.
In order to achieve these goals, the staff members of the Office maintain open lines of communication with students and collaborate closely with all departments that answer to the Dean of the College, the Provost’s Office staff members who oversee International Programs, and the faculty who serve as mentors and teachers. Members of the office frequently collaborate with parents and other offices at Columbia University.
The first of the Seven Sisters Colleges, Mount Holyoke, is situated in South Hadley, Massachusetts, 12 miles north of Springfield. Originally known as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, this private, four-year institution is still only open to female students today. The 800-acre academic complex is home to both practical contemporary buildings and gothic structures with European influences. A Donald Ross-designed 18-hole championship golf course is also located on the grounds. Culturally and socially, Mount Holyoke and Dartmouth are sister institutions (in NH). In addition to Emily Dickinson, Mount Holyoke has produced a number of women who have made significant contributions to business, academia, and politics more recently.
The biggest women’s college in the US and an independent, nondenominational liberal arts college, Smith College is situated in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith College, which was founded in 1871, welcomed its first students in 1875, numbering just fourteen. The Seven Sisters, a loose coalition of seven historically women’s schools in the Northeast formed in the middle to late nineteenth century, include Smith College as its largest member. Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College are among the institutions that are members.
Due of the association’s similarity to the Ivy League men’s universities in 1927, it was given the appellation “Seven Sisters.” The Smith College’s primary goal and concentration is the education of women at the undergraduate level, even though both men and women are admitted to its graduate and certificate programs.
One of the first historically black colleges for women in the nation, Spelman College is a private 4-year institution with its headquarters in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Spelman is a member of the Atlanta University Center academic consortium. The institution, which was founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, is still related to Morehouse College (a Historically Black College for men). The small 39-acre campus has classic red-brick “collegiate” architecture and is located in the heart of the city. Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University are close by the institution. Actresses Keisha Knight-Pulliam and Esther Rolle are prominent graduates.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, there is a private liberal arts institution for women called Cedar Crest College. The College, which was founded in 1867, is historically connected to the United Church of Christ but academically independent. Through its School of Adult and Graduate Education, Cedar Creek College provides various traditional undergraduate programs for women as well as coeducational programs (SAGE). The campus of Cedar Creek College has a nationally designated arboretum with more than 130 different species of trees and is situated on a lovely, suburban, park-like environment of 84 acres. Cedar Creek College is conveniently situated in Allentown, one hour outside Philadelphia, less than two hours from New York City, and roughly three hours from Washington, D.C.
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The Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery established the College of Saint Benedict in 1913, but they had been active in the region for a long time before that. In order to meet the needs of the settlers, many of whom were German immigrants, the nuns of Saint Benedict’s moved to the Minnesota border from Pennsylvania in 1857 and started erecting schools, churches, and missions.
The College, which evolved from the earlier Saint Benedict’s Academy, has a special bond with the nearby Saint John’s University, a Catholic men’s college, despite being the only Benedictine women’s college in the world. Students from both colleges attend coed classes and share resources. U.S. has ranked CSB. among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country, according to News & World Report.
A green haven in the middle of the city, Simmons College is situated in the Back Bay Fens in downtown Boston, Massachusetts (not far from Fenway Park Baseball Stadium). Similar to this, the central quad at Simmons College provides a 12-acre haven of greenery amidst the surrounding skyscrapers. Simmons College is a private, 4-year women’s undergraduate (and co-ed graduate) institution that was established in 1899 thanks to a bequest from rich Boston clothing maker John Simmons.
Simmons College, along with 5 other institutions, is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway. The residential and academic campuses, which are divided by a section of the Emmanuel College campus, are each built around a semi-private quad. Rehema Ellis, a correspondent for NBC News, is among the notable alumni.
The sole Catholic university primarily for women in the western United States is Mount Saint Mary’s University, a private liberal arts college with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Over the past ninety-plus years of its existence, Mount Saint Mary’s University (commonly abbreviated MSMU), founded in 1925 by the sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, has graduated more than 17,000 students. The top American university “That Adds the Most Value” is MSNU, a university with a national reputation.
Nearly two-thirds of MSMU students have received the prestigious Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color, more than students at any other institution in the country. Nearly 70% of the University’s traditional baccalaureate graduates continue on to earn advanced degrees, either from MSMU or at other top colleges and universities across the country.
Private Catholic liberal arts university St. Catherine University is situated in Saint Paul, Minnesota. One of the earliest higher education schools in the Midwest created particularly for the education of women was founded in 1905 by the sisters of St. Joseph of Cardonelet. Today, St. Catherine’s provides graduate and associate degrees for both sexes, as well as bachelor programs that are only available to women.
The institution has two sites that it owns and manages; its main campus in Saint Paul has 110 acres of forested property and is situated in the Highland Park area, providing easy access to both the downtowns of the Twin Cities. The second campus of St. Catherine University in Minneapolis focuses on healthcare and human service programs at all degree levels and offers a city location that is close to numerous significant healthcare facilities.
12. Cottey College
Cottey College is the only college exclusively for women that is owned and supported by women, making it one of the most distinctive organizations in American higher education. Virginia Alice Cottey, an advocate for educational reform, founded the institution in 1884 with a commitment to serving the needs of young women. Cottey was inspired by Mount Holyoke’s founding and studied Mary Lyon’s life to learn how to establish a college. Cottey donated the college to the PEO Sisterhood in 1927 as she was nearing the end of her life. Today, Cottey is routinely included among the top women’s colleges, best national liberal arts colleges, and best small colleges in the US.
13. Meredith College
The largest women’s college in the Southeast is Meredith College. On 225 acres in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina, this private 4-year institution has a large front entrance flanked by stately oak trees (Raleigh is known as the “City of Oaks”). Baptist University for Women was established in 1891 and formerly known as Baptist Female University. Thomas Meredith, the creator of the Biblical Recorder, was honored by giving the institution the name “Meredith College” in 1909.
In 1924, the school relocated to its current site. The school is close to Research Triangle Park, a medical and technology hub in the state’s Piedmont region, as well as North Carolina State University, with whom it offers a degree program. Former NC State Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker is one of the school’s well-known graduates.
14. Converse College
Converse College, a private liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina, offers coed graduate, online, and adult education programs in addition to its residential undergraduate college for women. Converse was among the first fifteen women’s schools to be established in the US, having opened its doors in 1889. The Converse College Historic District, which consists of eight buildings built between 1891 and 1915, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The school is located on a 70-acre urban campus. One of the top heart researchers in the country, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a State Supreme Court Justice, Broadway performers, the deputy crew commander for Titan IV Rocket launches at Cape Canaveral, and the first female circuit court judge in South Carolina are just a few of Converse’s notable alumni.
15. Mills College
Oakland, California is home to the independent liberal arts and sciences college Mills College. The Young Ladies’ Seminary, which served as the forerunner to Mills, was established in Benicia, California, in 1852. The oldest undergraduate institution in the west and a pioneer in women’s education, Mills College upholds the custom of only offering undergraduate education to women. However, the institution has since grown to provide coed graduate and continuing education programs. For its degree of academic excellence in relation to the net cost of attendance, Mills has been named one of the tops “Great Schools, Great Prices,” and the university was ranked #6 in the West by U.S. World Report News.
FAQS on Best Women Colleges
What is the best college for women to go to?
1 Barnard College. Barnard College is an all women's college located in New York City. ... 2 Bryn Mawr College. ... 3 Meredith College 4 Mount Holyoke College. 5 Mount Mary University 6 Notre Dame of Maryland University 7 Scripps College 8 Simmons University 9 Smith College 10 Wellesley College.
Are there all-women’s colleges in the United States?
There are only a few highly selective all-women's colleges in the United States. The United States is a global leader in higher education, and women's colleges are no exception. The majority of them were developed at a time when educational opportunities for women were severely constrained, and they have a long history of being innovative and ahead of their time.
What is a women’s College?
Liberal arts programs are the norm in women's colleges. The curriculum at women's colleges therefore tends to be concentrated on the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences, and is typically small, undergraduate-oriented, and of a liberal arts nature. Individualized assistance and close communication with teachers are advantageous to students.
Are all-womens colleges all-female colleges?
However, there are all-institutions women's that don't just have female students and ones that support agendas other than those that are focused on advancing women only. However, there are also feminist institutions, and not all feminist colleges are exclusively for female students.
Today’s high school students have a wide variety of college options to choose from, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to big research universities. Attending a women’s college is another choice for female students who plan to go to college. Women’s colleges offer their students a variety of advantages, such as small, close-knit campuses, active alumni networks, and a dedication to the advancement and well-being of women. Additionally, students at women’s colleges are more than 1.5 times as likely to major in a STEM field as students at co-educational institutions. Another excellent reason to enroll in a women’s college is the fact that many of them are flourishing and rank among the top universities in the nation.
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