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 60 active women's colleges in the U.S.

Colleges are listed by the date in which they opened their doors to students.

First and oldest

Main article: Timeline of women's colleges in America historically for black students
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Many of the schools began as either schools 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."[1]

The following is a list of "oldest" and "first" schools:


Colonial–era schools

Moravian College, originally the Bethlehem Female Seminary founded in 1742



Mount Holyoke College (Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837


The Oread Institute was founded as a college in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1849





Bryn Mawr College's Pembroke Hall






See also

Further reading


  1. The Rise of Women's Colleges, Coeducation
  2. "Our History | Salem College". www.salem.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  3. "A timeline of North Carolina colleges (1766–1861) - North Carolina Digital History". www.learnnc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  4. "Moravian College history". Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  5. "Mrs. Susanna Rowson's School & Myra Montgomery in Boston, 1805-1808". www.silkdamask.org. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  6. "The Litchfield Historical Society". www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  7. "Bradford College Alumni Association History". www.bradfordalumni.org. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  8. "The Ipswich Female Seminary". Stories From Ipswich and the North Shore. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  9. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18474187-good-catholics
  10. Mary Medley, History of Anson County, N.C., 1760-1976 (1976)
  11. "Columbia College History". Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  12. Virginia State Council of Higher Education. The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, January 1974, p. 140.
  13. "Ursuline College | The Leading Women's College in Ohio | Ursuline at a Glance". www.ursuline.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  14. "A Guide to the Hartshorn Memorial College Reunion Collection 1976–1980". Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  15. Photos
  16. "Mary Allen Seminary". Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  17. Savage, Cynthia. "University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society. Accessed September 2, 2015.
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