Back to School: Eight Unique Women’s Colleges


CO-ED COLLEGES aren’t for everyone. While some people might cringe at the idea of going to a gender-specific school, still, there are numerous benefits of attending an all-women’s college. Studies have cited that students attending gender-specific schools benefit from improved self-esteem, develop better classroom leadership skills, and experience greater satisfaction academically, developmentally, and personally. Also, it turns out that the more friendships with members of the opposite sex you have, the higher the chance that your GPA will be adversely affected. I guess riding in cars with boys isn’t the only thing that can get you in trouble. If you or someone you know is considering a women’s college for higher education, here is a guide to a few of the top schools. Whether you prefer sunny California or the East Coast, an extensive sports program or the creative arts — there is definitely something for everybody on this list.

Just Like the Movies

Established in Pennsylvania in 1885 as a college “for the advanced education of females, ” Bryn Mawr became the first school in the U.S. that offered Ph.Ds to women. With 36 majors and 41 minors offered to over 1300 undergraduates who hail from 62 different countries, it’s definitely a major meting pot. Fun fact: You might recognize the campus from several films, among them Tenure, The Sterling Chase, and Wide Awake.

Historical Tradition

One of the most famous women’s educational institutions in the United States, Wellesley College in Massachusetts is deeply rooted in its tradition and values. It’s one of the original Seven Sisters Colleges, the all-female version of the Ivy League back when it only accepted male students. It offers degrees in over 50 majors, and is the picture-perfect college campus with 500 impressive acres that include a golf course, storybook meadows and paths, and a private lake where students can study or simply relax.

Most Entertaining

In sunny California, there are equally-sunny academic opportunities, among them the beautiful, historic Mount Saint Mary’s University. With 30 clubs and organizations to choose from, opportunities to perform service and outreach to the community, as well as exciting nearby attractions like Hollywood and the beaches, students are never left without anything to do.

Most Scenic

Dubbed “the most beautiful in the nation” by Princeton Review, Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts (which was also the first women’s college in the United States) is aesthetically-pleasing with two lakes, an arboretum, and sprawling green lawns. With over 5,000 course selections and 86% of graduating students employed or attending grad school within eight months of graduation, this is an institution for success.


Moore College of Art and Design is the first and only visual arts college for women in the United States, offering 10 Bachelor of Fine Arts programs that include Curatorial Studies. Located in Philadelphia’s hip Parkway Museum District, it’s the perfect place to be visually inspired on a daily basis.

Most Athletic

Designed for the woman who wants to go big and never go home, Ursuline College in Ohio aims to challenge its students to “do something, get moving, risk new things, stick with it, then be ready for big surprises.” With ten athletic programs as part of NCAA Division II sports, there’s no doubt about it that the ladies of Ursuline are all destined for big things in the world.

The Animal Lover

Stephens College in Missouri has 200 years of tradition to back it up. It has an extensive creative arts department with an award-winning theater program, fashion design, and more. It pairs classroom study with real-world experiences to prep students for success after graduation. Bonus: it’s a pet-friendly campus, so you can bring Fido to college with you.

Intimate Setting

Sweet Briar College in Virginia ensures that the focus is on the students, with an average class size of 11. The other reason this campus feels like home is because it was the former estate of Indiana Fletcher Williams, a wealthy Victorian socialite who had it turned it into an educational institution in memory of her daughter Daisy.

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