Gender equity on university and college campuses began to take root in the early 1970s across the United States as a product of the feminist movement, despite political and social backlash. What often started out as experimental classes on gender 40 years ago have evolved into full-fledged departments offering majors, minors, graduate, and PhD programs in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, or some combination, thereof. These programs are always interdisciplinary and link gender and sexuality to other social constructs, such as race, class, nationalism, and ability, in order to encourage critical thought as to how to reshape these institutions.
Just as important as the classes and departments, are the women’s and gender centers that are also mainstays on many campuses today. These centers promote gender equity through awareness and advocacy of women’s issues still prevalent today, by encouraging women in leadership roles, and celebrating women’s accomplishments. Most centers strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all genders, and some have programs specifically designed to engage men in the dialogue around their role in supporting women’s rights and equality.
Our Methodology for This Ranking
This ranking accentuates universities that provide exceptional academic programs and thorough support services for women and individuals passionate about gender equality. We began with a base list of hundreds of regionally accredited schools who are ranked highly by the Women’s Choice Award for being top colleges for women. From there we ranked the schools according to affordability, financial aid awarded, female student satisfaction, return on investment, and academic reputation. We are confident that the list will provide a great launching pad for all looking for a quality school with thoughtful programming and services that promote gender equity. The tuition listed was taken from the National Center for Educational Statistics figure for 2015-2016. When applicable, the out-of-state tuition is listed.
College Choice Score: 100.00
The oldest university in the country, Harvard University was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts by a vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is a private research university made up of Harvard College and 11 other schools and institutes, including the former Radcliffe College, now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard served around 21 students in the 2015-2016 school year. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Notable alumni include eight U.S. presidents, Helen Keller, Yo-Yo Ma, and Tommy Lee Jones. Harvard’s library collection is the oldest in the country and the largest private collection in the world.
The current iteration of the Harvard College Women’s Center (HCWC) was founded in 2006, though it was borne out of years of history of women’s centers at Harvard and Radcliffe beginning in 1971. Its mission “is to promote gender equity by raising awareness of women’s and gender issues, developing women’s leadership, and celebrating women who challenge, motivate, and inspire.” The HCWC offers a range of programming, many of which are student-initiated, including dinner discussions, film screenings, and panels and performances supported by the Ann Radcliffe Trust/Women’s Center Community Fund, as well as a mentorship program, the Gender 101 workshop, and the Women’s Leadership Awards. Harvard also offers Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.
College Choice Score: 98.51
Opened in 1891 and known officially as Leland Stanford Junior University, Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, in California’s Silicon Valley. In the fall of 2015, 6,884 undergraduate students and 9,128 graduate students matriculated across seven schools. The university has a 4:1 student to faculty ratio. It is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Stanford’s community includes 20 Nobel Laureates, four Pulitzer Prize winners, and 31 Nobel Prize winners from Stanford’s faculty since the university’s founding.
The Women’s Community Center (WCC), through the Division of Student Affairs, was established in its current form in 1991, though it has a history dating back to the 1970s. It provides “space, support, and advising to Women’s Voluntary Student Organizations (WVSOs),” which include academic, service, performing arts, sororities, and pre-professional organizations. The WCC offers programming for women in STEM fields, is home to the annual Stanford Women’s Leadership Conference, and hosts Herstory Month in April each year. In an effort to create meaningful dialogue and action around gender at Stanford, the WCC is home to the Men’s Outreach Project. Academically, the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers an undergraduate major, a secondary major, a minor, an interdisciplinary honors program open to students in all majors, and a PhD minor.
College Choice Score: 97.58
The third-oldest institution of higher education in the country, Yale University was founded in 1701 in what was the Saybrook Colony as the Collegiate School. Today, Yale is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. In 2015, Yale was home to 5,453 undergraduate and 6,859 graduate and professional students. It has 288 registered undergraduate organizations and 35 varsity sports teams.
The Yale University Women’s Organization (YUWO), founded in 1965, seeks “to provide an opportunity for women of the Yale community to meet and pursue common intellectual and social interests” through education, recreation, and service. The Working Women’s Network aims to provide a community and advocate for policy improvements for women who work in all areas of Yale. This includes offering professional development and enrichment for women at Yale, support for women seeking a greater work-life balance, and developing relationships with other organizations with shared goals. Established in 1979, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Yale offers a variety of courses and a Bachelor of Arts degree.
College Choice Score: 97.41
Chartered in 1746, Princeton University is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. It is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. For the 2014-15 academic year, the university enrolled 5,275 undergraduate and 2,671 graduate students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1. It is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers 36 undergraduate degrees, concentrated into 34 majors within 15 broad fields of study. Princeton teams have won more Ivy League championships than any school over the last two decades.
In 1971, ten years after the first women graduate students enter the university, the Princeton University Women’s Center was established. The Center seeks to “recognize and redress historic and persistent gender inequality at Princeton and beyond.” It offers information and resources on everything from gender-free restrooms to a rape aggression defense course to religious life. Programming through the Center includes events like Take Back the Night, #BlackLivesMatter documentary screening, Women in STEM Seminar Series, and the Womanist Mystique Symposium. It offers a social justice training retreat, mentorship, and the Women’s Center Action Groups, which are semester-long student-led teams that develop two to three programs on gender-related themes. Princeton also offers a Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 97.38
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, commonly known as MIT, is a private research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861, MIT offers 46 undergraduate majors for the 4,527 undergraduate students enrolled in 2015. In addition to the Bachelor of Science degree, MIT also offers six Master’s degrees, a Doctorate of Philosophy, and a Doctorate of Science. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In the 2015-16 academic year, women made up 46% of undergraduates and 33% of graduate students. The campus houses state-of-the-art facilities including wind tunnels, linear accelerators, and robot test labs.
Through the Division of Student Life, [email protected] is a central location of information and resources for women students at MIT. It strives to provide MIT students information on the offices, departments, and organizations that exist to support and empower women students at MIT. It also provides a number of events and programs and oversight to the Margaret Cheney Room, MIT’s Women’s Community Center. Established in the mid-1980s, Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) at MIT is an interdisciplinary academic program which seeks to “educate MIT undergraduates on the importance of gender equity, and to promote a broad understanding of gender and its complex intersectionality with sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, ability, religious affiliation, and other categories of identity.” The program offers a degree concentration, minor, and major.
College Choice Score: 95.59
Duke University is a private research institution located in Durham, North Carolina. Originally established in 1838 as Trinity College, it became Duke University in 1924 through a philanthropic endowment. In the fall of 2015, Duke had 6,485 undergraduate and 8,465 graduate/professional students enrolled across its 9 schools and college. It has a student-faculty ratio of 7:1. Duke is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers 50 undergraduate majors and 52 minors. In an advancement of the university’s mission of ” knowledge in service to society,” more than 75% of students at Duke are engaged in service-learning opportunities in Durham and throughout the world.
The Women’s Center at Duke is “dedicated to helping every woman at Duke become self-assured with a streetwise savvy that comes from actively engaging with the world.” In line with this mission, the center has programs geared towards empowerment, such as Salary Smart; Education & Outreach, like Gender Violence Education; Building Community, with the Women’s Collective, Activism, through the Beautiful Project; and Civic Engagement with alternative school break options. It is also home to the Duke Men’s Project, which aims “to rework current narratives of masculinity for a healthier alternative; one that is inclusive, equitable and positive.” Duke also offers a Program in Women’s Studies, which includes programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to a certificate program, a variety of initiatives, and the Feminist Theory Workshop.
California Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 94.57
Located in Pasadena, California, the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, is a private university founded in 1891. It has a 3:1 student to faculty ratio and six academic divisions. In 2015, Caltech had 1,001 undergraduate students and 1,254 graduate students. The gender ratio was 33% female and 56% male across the university. The school’s global facilities include a jet propulsion laboratory, seismological laboratory, and an international observatory network across five states, Antarctica, and (in 2017) Chile. It is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Caltech provides a variety of resources for women, many with a focus on the advancement of women in science and engineering. These resources include career, academic, and personal mentorship, discussion groups, and various clubs and groups. The school has also established Parenting at Caltech as a resource for parents and caregivers, from information on parental leave to support groups for caregivers to lactation rooms on campus. The school’s WAVE Fellows program aims to foster diversity by increasing the participation of underrepresented students in science and engineering Ph.D. programs, including women.
University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 94.25
The University of Pennsylvania, commonly known as Penn, was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740 and is one of the country’s Colonial Colleges, established before American Revolution. It is an Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 89 undergraduate majors are offered, and the university holds a “One University” policy, which grants undergraduates access to courses in nearly all undergraduate and graduate schools, as well as allowing students to take courses at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore—an agreement known as the Quaker Consortium. With a student to faculty ratio of 6 to 1, in the fall of 2015 Penn had 10,406 undergraduate and 11,157 graduate students.
Founded over 40 years ago, Penn’s Women’s Center is one of the country’s oldest campus-based Women’s Centers. The center hosts programs on career development, stress management, parenting, violence prevention, health and wellness, in addition to events which highlight women and female-identified writers, activists, artists and political and professional leaders. It also works closely with Penn Violence Prevention to educate the campus community about dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault and provides crisis and options counseling. The center has a fully-equipped nursing room and a film and book library, meeting rooms, and lounge for meetings, workshops, and other projects. Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Penn is an interdisciplinary program offering over 50 courses, a major, a minor, and a graduate certificate.
College Choice Score: 93.55
12 miles west of Boston, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, sits Wellesley College, a private, women’s, liberal-arts college founded in 1870. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In 2015, Wellesley enrolled 2,344 students. The school offers 56 majors and has a student to faculty ratio of 7:1. Over 70 percent of students participate in an internship while at school and more than 150 student organizations are offered, along with cultural centers and multi-faith life on campus.
Coming out of the college’s mission to “provide an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world,” Wellesley has offered Women’s and Gender Studies since 1982. The program which examines “how the lives of individual women and men are shaped by broader structural forces in both historical and contemporary contexts . . .” The program offers both a major and minor with five different concentration options, from Global/Transnational Feminisms to Gender and American Cultural Studies. All majors are required to choose a capstone research experience. Women’s and Gender Studies also puts on a variety of events, including the annual Domna Stanton Lecture Series.
College Choice Score: 92.95
One of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution, Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League, research university in Hanover, New Hampshire. The college was established in 1769. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In 2014, Dartmouth had around 4,200 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. The undergraduate college offers more than 40 departments and programs. There are four graduate schools. Admission to the college is need-blind. About 60% of undergraduates take part in any of the 45 faculty-led off-campus opportunities in over 20 countries during their time at Dartmouth.
Founded in 1988, the Center for Gender and Student Engagement (CGSE) at Dartmouth seeks to “facilitate students’ development with a focus on gender exploration and social justice in a safe and inclusive space” and falls under the Office of Pluralism and Leadership. CGSE provides programming, events, advising, and individual engagement opportunities. The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality program offers a major, minor, and honor’s program. It also provides global opportunities for students to study in Hyderabad, India or take part in other international internships.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 92.41
Named after its benefactor, Johns Hopkins, an entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist, Johns Hopkins is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1876 and is considered America’s first research university. It is regionally accredited by the Middles States Commission on Higher Education. In 2015, more than 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in the university’s nine schools and Applied Physics Laboratory. The university offers more than 240 academic programs. 36 Hopkins researchers have earned Nobel Prizes. The school has 11 campuses spread across the world, from Baltimore to Nanjing, China.
Through its Diversity Resource Council, Johns Hopkins provides a variety of resources, positions, and programs specifically by and for women. These include the Women’s Network, the School of Medicine’s Women’s Leadership Council, Society of Women Engineers, and Women’s Pre-Health Leadership Society. Beginning in 1989-90, the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality offers an undergraduate minor, research fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students, and opportunities for graduate students to design and teach a course. The program also offers an undergraduate Seminar/Practicum, which combines “volunteer work in a local social service agency with a seminar that explores the connections between social justice and academic inquiry.”
College Choice Score: 92.13
Established in 1764, Brown University is a private, Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. It is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In 2015, Brown had 6,320 undergraduate, 2,230 graduate, and 523 medical students enrolled. The university offers around 2,000 courses in more than 40 academic department and undergraduates are responsible for designing individualized programs of study across multiple departments.
The Sarah Doyle Women’s Center (SDWC) was established in 1974 to “provide a comfortable yet challenging place for students, faculty, and staff to examine the multitude of issues around gender.” It offers program and services for all women in Brown’s community and shares staff and resources with the LGBTQ Center. In additional to a 4,000 volume library and art gallery, the center offers a list of resources including health services, sexual assault counseling and legal aid, and eating disorders. The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program offers a year-long advanced research seminar, conference and lectures, postdoctoral fellowships, and an undergraduate concentration, among other opportunities.
College Choice Score: 91.97
Commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, William Marsh Rice University is a private research university located in Houston, Texas. The university was founded in 1912 and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the fall of 2015, Rice had 3,910 undergraduate and 2,809 graduate students and a student to faculty ratio of 6:1. 53% of undergraduate students participate in research while at Rice. It offers more than 50 undergraduate majors across six divisions of study: Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.
The Vision of the Rice Women’s Resource Center is to “increase awareness of and sensitivity to gender issues in order to build a more supportive, dynamic atmosphere on campus.” This is done through educational and social events and programs such as Consent is Sexy Week, self-defense classes, and the Vagina Monologues. The Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice was established in 2006 and offers an undergraduate major in The Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, a minor in Poverty, Social Justice, and Human Capabilities, a graduate certificate program, a two-year postdoctoral fellowship program, the Feminist Research Group and the Sexuality Studies Working Group. In addition, it houses four different research clusters and the international journal Feminist Economics.
College Choice Score: 91.86
Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University is a private research university founded in 1873. It offers undergraduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education, and human development, as well as graduate and professional degrees. For the 2015-16 school year, 6,883 undergraduate and 5,722 graduate and professional students were enrolled. It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Vanderbilt offers more than 500 clubs and organizations, 15 sororities, and 19 fraternities. Six Nobel Laureates attended Vanderbilt, including former Vice President Al Gore and Muhammad Yunus.
The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, established in the 1970s, is “affirming space for all members of the Vanderbilt community that acknowledges and actively resists sexism, racism, homophobia, and all forms of oppression while advocating for positive social change.” Programs at the center around three major areas: Gender Matters Programs, such as the Cuninggim Lecture on Women in Culture and Society; Wellness Programs, like Vanderbilt [IM]Perfection Project; and Work, Power, and You Programs, including Work-Life Workshops. Vanderbilt Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program offering a major, minor, Honors track, and Graduate Certificate.
College Choice Score: 91.15
Outside Chicago sits Northwestern University (NU), a private research university in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851, classes began in 1855 with two faculty members and 10 students. Between the 12 schools and colleges, Northwestern enrolled 8,314 undergraduate and 12,641 graduate students in the fall of 2015. It offers 124 undergraduate and 145 graduate and professional degrees. Northwestern is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. In 2008, NU established a campus in Doha, Qatar, which offers undergraduate degrees in communication and journalism.
The mission of the Women’s Center at Northwestern is “to enhance the academic achievement, career aspiration, and personal development of women at NU and to help build an environment wherein women and men can work productively together.” The center offers programs and events on issues ranging from women’s health, finance, sexuality, and violence against women. The center also provides counseling, outreach to other campus organizations, resources and referrals for students, staff, mothers, faculty, and the LGBTQ community, and women’s leadership and empowerment. The Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS) Program at NU offers a major and minor for undergraduate. For graduate students, an Interdisciplinary Graduate Cluster, a Graduate Certification, Graduate Colloquium and Reading group, research and conference funding, teaching assistantships in GSS courses, and seminars are all options.
College Choice Score: 90.08
Founded in 1865 in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is both a private Ivy League university and one of three land-grant universities in the country. As of the fall of 2015, Cornell had 14,315 undergraduate students and 7,589 graduate and professional students across 14 colleges and schools. It is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Cornell has graduated 45 Nobel Laureates. It was one of the first universities in the Northeast to admit women and one of the first to have a Women’s Studies Program.
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a central hub for Cornell students seeking resources on women’s, gender and, sexuality issues. Resources offered include those on women’s health and sexuality, sexual assault, body image, alcohol and other drugs, and academic support. The WRC sponsors many programs and events, including workshops on finding internships, discussions around campus safety, Love Your Body Day, and The Vagina Monologues. The majors and minors offered by the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Cornell all include courses in three areas: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, the study of intersecting structures of oppression including race, ethnicity, and class, and global perspectives on feminism, gender, and sexuality. It also offers an Honors program.
University of California, Berkeley
College Choice Score: 89.92
The University of California, Berkeley, also known simply as UC Berkeley or Berkeley, is part of the University of California system. It is a public research university located in Berkeley, California and was founded in 1868. UC Berkeley is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Enrollment in the fall of 2014 was 27,126 undergraduates and 10,455 graduates across 14 colleges and schools. 73% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students and the student to faculty ratio is 17:1.
The Gender Equity Resource Center, or GenEq, has roots dating back to the 1970s. It is a campus community center for “students, faculty, staff and alumni connect with resources, services, education and leadership programs related to gender and sexuality.” It has programs and services centered around four main areas: Women, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT), and Hate Crimes and Bias Driven Incidents. The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at Berkeley offers, in addition to its research, an undergraduate major, two minors, a graduate program, and, as of the spring of 2016 is in the process of developing a PhD program.
University of Notre Dame
College Choice Score: 89.58
Founded in 1842 by a Catholic French missionary, the University of Notre Dame du Lac, or Notre Dame, is a research university located outside South Bend, Indiana. In the fall of 2014, Notre Dame enrolled 8,551 undergraduates students across its four colleges and School of Architecture, as well as 2,138 graduate and 1,593 professional students. 67 undergraduate bachelor degree programs are offered. It is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
The Gender Relations Center (GRC) “implements programs about healthy relationships, gender and sexuality consistent with the Catholic character of the University.” Its programming covers a range of topics, including competition and perfectionism, gender roles, sexism and stereotyping, sexual assault and harassment, and courtship and marriage. The Gender Studies program at Notre Dame is an interdisciplinary program offering undergraduate primary and supplementary majors and a minor, and a graduate minor, master’s track, and doctoral track, through the context of Catholic identity.
Washington University, St. Louis
College Choice Score: 89.11
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university and is accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. The university was founded in 1853. In the fall of 2014, the university had 14,503 students, both undergraduate and graduate, with an 8:1 student to faculty ratio. With over 300 academic programs, three out of four students pursue multiple majors and/or minors. Around 75% of undergraduate students participate in intramural sports, and there are around 320 undergraduate student groups on campus.
From over 350 student groups, the university has several student organizations specifically geared towards women. These include Women in Computer Science, Society of Women Engineers, Association for Women in Science, and the Women’s Panhellenic Association. In addition, the Association of Women Faculty “serves to foster professional and social interactions among women faculty, to defend campus-wide diversity and to advance the interests of women faculty at Washington University in St. Louis.” Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major or second major, internships, and graduate certificate for students in MA/PhD programs.
University of Chicago
College Choice Score: 88.80
Founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1890, the University of Chicago, or UChicago, is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois in the Hyde Park neighborhood near Lake Michigan. In the fall of 2015, 5,724 undergraduate and 9,588 graduate, professional, and other students were enrolled. The University offers 51 majors and 33 minors in the undergraduate college and five divisions and six professional schools for graduate work. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
UChicago offers the Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) in order to “promote healthy gender relations through dialogue and education and to work toward the elimination of sexual violence.” RSVP provides information on policies and resources, hosts educational workshops, collaborates with student groups, and trains students to become activists against sexual violence. Founded in 1996, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality offers an undergraduate major and minor, as well as a Graduate Certificate for PhD students who have completed the required coursework, written a research paper or thesis chapter, and participated in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop. The Center also sponsors workshops, lectures, and symposia and offers several fellowships, and occasionally research support.
University of California, Los Angeles
College Choice Score: 88.14
Founded in 1919, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is the second-oldest of the University of California campuses. Located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, UCLA offers over 125 undergraduate majors, almost 150 graduate programs, and is the most applied-to university in the country. In 2014 undergraduate enrollment was just under 30,000 students. It is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. UCLA has graduated 13 Nobel Laureates and over 140 companies have been created from technology developed at the university.
Established in 1984, UCLA’s Center for Study of Women (CSW) is part of the Division of Social Sciences’ commitment to gender equity and research parity at the university and is the “first organized research unit of its kind in the University of California system.” It administers research grants, organizes research projects and programming, and publishes policy briefs and blogs. The Department of Gender Studies offers an undergraduate major and minor, a Graduate Concentration for graduate students, and a highly selected PhD program.
University of Virginia
College Choice Score: 87.61
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819. Often referred to simply as Virginia, the University of Virginia is a public-private flagship and research university. It is made up of eleven schools in Charlottesville, North Carolina, and the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia. In the fall of 2015, 15,669 undergraduate and 6,316 graduate students were enrolled. It is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Academical Village, designed by Jefferson, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center offers a variety of free resources and programs, including Body Positive/Eating Disorders Education, counseling, a legal clinic, and the Men’s Leadership Project. Staff members also teach and mentor students through “learning and leadership opportunities that combine service work or interning with classroom study of gender equity and other social justice issues.” The Center also offers an internship program and publishes Iris Magazine. The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program is an interdisciplinary program offering an undergraduate major, distinguished major, and minor, as well as research and education abroad opportunities.
College Choice Score: 87.37
The oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher education in the United States, Georgetown University, is a private research university in Washington, D.C., founded in 1789. Often referred to as Georgetown, a total of 4 517 undergraduate, graduate, business, medical, and law students were enrolled in the fall of 2014 at the Georgetown campus. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides regional accreditation. Georgetown has over 200 co-curricular clubs and organizations. The school’s colors are blue and gray, representing the Union and Confederate sides of the country during the Civil War.
The United Feminists group at Georgetown puts on educational and awareness-raising programming and social events and advocates on behalf of issues relating to women’s rights. It helps promote networking among women’s and gender groups, organizations, and individuals active in the women’s and gender movement. Georgetown College offers a major and minor through the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the School for Foreign Service offers a certificate in the program, which is equivalent to a minor.
College Choice Score: 86.62
Founded as Elon College in 1889, Elon University, established in 2001, is a private liberal arts university located in Elon, North Carolina. The school is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. In the fall of 2015, it had 5,903 undergraduate and 728 graduate students, with a student to faculty ratio of 12:1. Elon offers over 60 undergraduate majors and eight graduate programs. 88% of undergraduates participate in volunteer work and 72% study abroad. Elon offers over 200 student organizations.
Sexual and Relationship Violence Awareness and Response at Elon University is “a comprehensive intervention, response and support strategy to address acts of interpersonal violence” coordinated by the Office of Health Promotion, along with the Sexual Assault and Gender Issues Committee (SAGIC). The program offers a survivor-centered response system, which includes a Violence Responder on-call 24/7, an on-campus confidential advocate, and health and counseling services. Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies (WGSS) offers a 20-credit minor as well as elective courses. WGSS also offers programming throughout the year, including a faculty/staff working group for those interested and engaged in WGSS-related scholarship, film/documentary screenings, and speakers.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 85.69
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington, also known as UW or U-Dub, is a public research university. The school’s main campus is in Seattle, Washington, with campuses in Tacoma and Bothell, Washington. UW is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Across all three campuses, the university had 55,767 students, both undergraduate and graduate/professional, in the fall of 2015. It offers over 1,800 undergraduate courses each quarter across 16 colleges and schools. The UW has more Pell Grant recipients than all Ivy League schools combined.
The University of Washington’s Women’s Center desires to “create a more inclusive and compassionate society by promoting gender equity and social justice through educational programs and services that allow all participants to succeed in life.” Programs include the Alene Moris National Education for Women’s Leadership Institute, the Anti-Human Trafficking Conference, and the Re-Entry Program, which provides assistance to women as they re-enter the academic environment, and in dealing with complex family and financial issues. The Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies offers “graduate and undergraduate programs in feminist studies that are interdisciplinary and relate gender and sexuality to other forms of social difference such as race, class, nationality, and ability.”
College Choice Score: 85.31
Founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1836, Emory University was named after a bishop with a vision for an American institution that emphasized character development as well as education. Coca-Cola is the official unofficial drink of the campus due to early financial support from the soft drink company in the early 1900s. Today the school is comprised of a 14,000-member student body, enjoys a small student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. A quirky fact about Emory lies in the mysterious question “Who is Dooley?” referencing a biology lab skeleton known to be a well-known feature of the school’s science department since 1899.
Featured at Emory University is the Emory Department of Women’s Studies (EDWS) which was established in 1986 under the name of the Institute for Women’s Studies and began by offering a minor in Women’s Studies and the university. The EDWS graduated its first Women’s Studies PhDs in the spring of 1995 and since has graduated over 40. The EDWS “has sought from its inception to connect the study of women and gender with race and class, and not to isolate gender as a single category of analysis.”
College Choice Score: 85.19
The four-year private Tufts University currently has nearly 11,000 students enrolled and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The main campus is located in Medford, Massachusetts, a community of 55,000 located just 3 miles northwest of Boston. Boasting a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, over 93% of the student body at Tufts is actively involved in extracurricular activities on the campus; many of which are within the 132 school-supported clubs and organizations. One beloved tradition at Tufts began when PT Barnum donated the stuffed hide of an elephant to the school. Jumbo the elephant stood on the campus for 86 years before being destroyed in a fire in 1975. The ashes currently reside in a peanut butter jar on the desk of the school’s athletic director and are picked up and shaken for good luck by coaches and players.
The Women’s Center at Tufts University was established in 1972 as “a space open to all students interested in topics and issues broadly related to the experience of women and gender; we particularly investigate gender at the intersections of other identities such as race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and citizenship status.” In addition to serving the undergraduates at Tufts, the Women’s Center offers resources, information, planned events, and opportunities directed at faculty and staff, grad students and parents. A student group named SAGE (Students Acting for Gender Equality) was created from the efforts of the Women’s Center. SAGE exists to “educate ourselves on gender and intersectional feminist issues while gaining the skills necessary to productively work towards gender and social justice at Tufts and beyond.”
College Choice Score: 85.00
Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Creighton University is a Jesuit college situated in Omaha, Nebraska, which offers programs ranging from under-a-year certificates to doctor’s degrees in professional practice. The school was established in 1878 with a staff of 5 Jesuits, 2 lay teachers and 120 students. It currently boasts over 8,000 students and in 2015 was named as the 3rd Most Innovative School in the Midwest Region by US News and World Report. In addition to having a higher number of female students than males, Creighton has been recognized for being a top school for military and graduate students.
In 1998 students and faculty of Creighton University came together to form the Eileen B. Lieben Center for Women. “While the Lieben Center is student-centered, it is a welcoming space for all members of the Creighton community and aims to improve the quality of life on campus through programming, education, and empowerment.” One exciting feature of the Lieben Center is the Wareham Program, which offers a 6-week long educational study of the history of women’s leadership, culture and the opportunity to hear from notable women leaders from Creighton and Omaha. The Wareham Program is offered to female sophomore and junior students.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
College Choice Score: 84.86
Boasting the title of the first state university in America and the only public university to award degrees in the 18th century, construction for the University of North Carolina began in 1793. UNC is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and currently offers 78 bachelor’s, 113 masters and 68 doctorate degrees for its almost 30,000 member student body. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, UNC has one of the most developed study abroad programs which features nearly 30% of its undergraduates study abroad in 325 programs offered in 70 foreign countries.
The mission of the Carolina Women’s Center (CWC) is to “create an inclusive education and work environment where gender is not a barrier to success, difference and diversity are celebrated, and everyone is safe to live, learn, teach, and work without the threat of harm or unequal treatment.” The programs offered by the CWC are divided into three sections: one-time events, ongoing programs and annual programs and events. The CWC offers many opportunities to grow and connect in each area including a program called HAVEN which educates staff and students over matters of sexual assault, stalking, and violence. An annual program offered is Women’s/Gender week which celebrates a unique theme tied to gender equality.
College Choice Score: 84.13
The smaller and private Oberlin University in Oberlin, Ohio consists of less than 3,000 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the campus lies 35 miles west of Cleveland and is known for its commitment to the arts by hosting over 500 concerts each year and featuring over 230 Steinway grand pianos within its buildings. The school’s academic reach is far and wide as 84% of its student body are out of state. A higher percentage of graduates from Oberlin go on to earn their doctorates than any other school in the nation.
Named in recognition of well-known African American sculptor, Mary Edmonia Lewis, the Edmonia Lewis Center for Women and Transgender People exists “transform existing systems of oppression based on sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, age, ability, size, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and language.” The Edmonia Lewis Center offers programs and resources throughout the calendar year as a support for faculty and students in order to create a safe space for acceptance and education. Each one of their programs is based on efforts that are founded in “anti-sexism, anti-classism, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, anti-heterosexism, and anti-transphobia.”
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 84.08
The University of Southern California first opened its doors in 1880 with 10 teachers and just 35 students. The school pre-dates electric lighting, the telephone and paved roads in sunny Los Angeles. The staff has grown to be the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles and the school boasts a student enrollment of 42,000. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, there are over 230 hours of motion picture film developed by the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. Popular and award-winning filmmakers Ron Howard and Robert Zemeckis are just two of the University of Southern California alumni who studied film there.
The on-campus Center for Women and Men (CWM) is offered to the students and faculty of USC 5 days a week and exists to “facilitate the success of students, faculty and staff by providing innovative opportunities for leadership and scholarship and by offering advocacy and confidential counseling to those who have experienced gender-related harm.” Their hope is to encourage healthy relationships by offering educational programming that prevents abuse of all kinds. The CWM is staffed by a Director, Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Psychologist and assistants.
Mount Holyoke College
College Choice Score: 83.93
Mount Holyoke College is a 4-year private women’s college, located in South Hadley, Massachusetts that offers its 2,200 students bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate certificate, and master’s degree programs. High academic standards are a priority at MHC as over half of incoming first-year students graduated in the top ten percent of their high school class. Diversity is also held in high regard for the school as 25% of the student body is comprised of international students while over 25% of domestic students identify themselves as ethnic minorities.
Holyoke College was founded in 1837, nearly 100 years before women gained the right to vote. Being an all-women’s university, Mount Holyoke College has always championed the rights and accomplishments of women in leadership and influence. This is apparent in all of the programs and resources made available through the Weissman Center for Leadership (WCL) located on the MHC campus. The WCL offers a variety of internships, courses, mentoring programs and networking opportunities through programs like Community Based Learning (CBL), Leadership and Public Service (LAPS), Speaking, Arguing and Writing (SAW), and Teaching and Learning Initiatives (TLI).
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
College Choice Score: 83.66
40 miles west of Detroit lies the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Home to the Wolverines, the school was originally established in Detroit by the name of “Catholepistemiad” in 1817 before being relocated in Ann Arbor in 1837. One of the oldest buildings on the university’s campus is the President’s residence which dates back to the mid 1800’s. Over 42,000 students are enrolled at the school yet they enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Michigan is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and its alumni include such innovators as the first American to walk in space and the co-founder of Google.
The Center for the Education of Women (CEW) at University of Michigan was founded as a pioneering women’s center in 1964 in order to serve women students with a three-prong approach for the priority of “service, advocacy and research.” Two main highlights of the CEW are the CEW Leadership Council and the Professional Development Network. The CEW Leadership Council consists of dedicated volunteers who serve as an advisory board for the Center while the Professional Development Network develops programs like the Women of Color in the Academy Project and the Women of Color Task Force. These groups work fervently within the student body and administration in order to raise awareness and support for women’s rights within school culture and policy.
College Choice Score: 82.40
With over 70 majors, minors and concentrations to choose from, the 5,000 students enrolled at Drake University are presented with as many academic options as they are extracurricular activities as seen by the 160 active student organizations on campus. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, the school receives its accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Drake Bulldogs compete at the NCAA Division I level and offer the student body excitement on the playing fields while Des Moines offers plenty of activities like kayaking, rock-climbing and skiing in the nearby state and sports parks.
Initiated in January 2016, the Director for Student Engagement, Equity & Inclusion was established at Drake University in an effort to offer programs and support that would cultivate an “inclusive campus climate” among students, faculty and staff. While the program is virtually still in its infancy, there is hope it will continue to be shaped into a quality resource for DU students based on the level of excitement and momentum it has experienced thus far. Some of the programs already underway are mentoring, advocacy, advising and training workshops. These programs are currently volunteer-led with the hope they will develop into paid staff positions in the future.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 81.17
The University of Florida, located in Gainesville, Florida, is no stranger to receiving national attention as their Gators have won the NCAA Division I national football championship three times, two of which were with quarterback Tim Tebow, one of the most popular college athletes in recent history. Even though UF boasts a whopping 50,000 enrolled student body, the school is able to keep its freshmen engaged and progressing indicated by its 97% retention rating. 66% of University of Florida students graduate with no student loan debt while 10 major corporations ranked UF among the top 10 universities to recruit new hires. With a rich history of traditions that began over 160 years ago, the school is proud of its past and excited about a future that includes generating over 160 startup companies in the past 12 years.
Much of the services provided for women’s well-being and health are run through the University of Florida’s police department and health services as opposed to a traditional women’s resource center or programming. One culturally-relevant feature available to the student body is the Gatorsafe App which is a “mobile safety application that provides students a ‘safety tool box’ to enhance their personal safety.” The department also sponsors the Rape Aggression Defense Program (RAD) designed specifically for women in an effort to educate female students and staff members in matters of “awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance” and empower them with training in hands-on self-defense against an attacker.
College Choice Score: 80.59
Nestled in the city of Claremont, California, just east of Los Angeles, Scripps College is home to just under 1,000 students, 98% of which are undergrads, at this women’s 4-year private school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded in 1926, the mission of the school is to “educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.” The average class size at Scripps is 16 and the students have 50 majors to choose from.
Scripps has streamlined its resources and support to students by forming the Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE) which exists to “build a community of people dedicated to enhancing and supporting inclusion at Scripps College and beyond through programming and advising within a social justice framework.” SCORE acts as a hub for information and communication among the various student organizations on campus. They also have a space on campus equipped with a kitchen, living room, and conference room that can be reserved for student use. SCORE offers a three-tier approach to utilizing their services which include the use of their space, participating in SCORE events or applying to work at SCORE in a student’s free time.
Case Western Reserve University
College Choice Score: 80.48
The 10,000 students currently enrolled at Case Western Reserve University enjoy a small student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1 and have many popular attractions and entertainment options available to them as the campus is conveniently located in the heart of University Circle, an area well-known for places like West Side Market, Playhouse Square and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other live music venues and shopping and dining locations. Established in 1826, the school is located just 5 miles from downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women was named after the most generous benefactress in the school’s history. In fact, CWRU was originally named after her. The Center itself began to get championed in the late 60’s when a fund was created for its development. Today the Center offers many programs for staff and students alike including such Signature Programs as Act III Roundtable: A Drop-in Discussion Group, the Mather Spotlight Series and Women of Achievement Luncheon (bi-annual event), Mather Salon Series, MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support), Lactation Rooms, Women’s History Month and Women of Color Series.
New York University
College Choice Score: 79.83
Originally holding classes near New York City’s city hall in lower Manhattan in 1832, New York University was originally located in Clinton Hill. Today, NYU has a student body of 49,000 proud “Violets” and boasts 5.9 million volumes within its 11 libraries throughout campus. The libraries are visited by over 10,000 users per day. Even though New York University employs 4 Nobel and Crafoord Prize Winners and 5 Pulitzer Prize Winners, a smaller student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1 is prioritized. NYU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
In 2015, NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) celebrated 15 years of facilitating “a broad interdisciplinary investigation of gender and sexuality as keys to understanding human experience.” The CSGS plans and promotes events including seminars, conferences and panel discussions which are “open to the public and provide a vital and lively meeting place where scholars, students, artists, and activists can discuss issues involving gender and sexuality, and their intersections with other social phenomena such as race, religion, nation, class, ability/disability, and ethnicity.”
College Choice Score: 79.13
Mills College is an independent liberal arts school established in 1852 in Oakland, California, just a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Mills offers bachelor’s degrees exclusively to women and a graduate and certification programs for both men and women. The college is ranked at 5th among colleges and universities in the west by the US News & World Report. Ethnic diversity is a hallmark of the school as over 50% of the 876 undergraduates are students of color.
As a college with an undergraduate enrollment comprised of 100% women, Mills has always championed leadership, academic preparedness, and professional support of women. Although the college does not offer a brick and mortar support and resource space for its women’s services, the school has established the virtual Gender and Sexuality Resources page on its website “where students, alumnae/i, staff, and faculty can locate resources and information related to gender and sexuality.” The site includes links to organizations mostly linked to the LGBT community, academic programs the school offers like Women’s Gender and Sexuality, Queer and Ethnic Studies, Religion and Spirituality organizations and on-campus wellness programs.
Texas A&M University
College Choice Score: 78.93
Home to such beloved traditions and cultural events like the Corps of Cadets, Yell Practice, Aggie Bonfire, Elephant Walk, the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and the mascot Reveille, Texas A&M University has an excellent alumni network with many supporters around the globe. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, A&M is located in College Station, Texas and was established in 1876 as the first public institution of higher learning in the state. Today the student body is 60,000 strong and although they are in different conferences, A&M and the University of Texas still foster a healthy rivalry that dates back to 1915.
During the fall of 2001, the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) was established on campus in order to “enhance the campus climate for women through visibility, advocacy, support and programming.” The Center advocates for women by educating students, faculty, and staff about women’s issues. It also functions as a resource and referral center. Some of the programs offered are Breastfeeding Welcomed Here Campaign, Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshops, and the Women’s Progress Awards.
College of William and Mary
College Choice Score: 77.36
Situated in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the College of William and Mary is a unique institution. Chartered by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1693, it is the second oldest institution of higher learning in the nation and yet as a “Public Ivy” school offers a top-tier education utilizing progressive research at a lower-than-expected tuition rate. The almost 8,500 students hail from 49 states in the US and 68 foreign countries. The College of William and Mary offer 40 undergrad programs and manage a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1.
Operating as a unit within the Division of Student Affairs, the Center for Student Diversity (CSD) “strives to foster inclusion, collaboration, and relationship-building within our campus community.” Although the CSD offers programs and resources for a multitude of demographics from racial minorities and the LGBT community to women and minority religious groups, the Center welcomes all people in a spirit of unity and equality. They have an open invitation for all of their events but also highlight their SPAN program for mentoring new students and have work opportunities with paid and volunteer positions available.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
College Choice Score: 76.73
Home of the Golden Gophers, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities has enjoyed a storied past of athletic success including a stint of five national football champion teams between the years of 1934 and 1941. The University receives its accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, dates all the way back to 1851 and is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 30,000 undergraduate students are enrolled at the school and have a plentiful choice of programs from over 180 majors. Notable alumni include former vice president Walter Mondale, writer Garrison Keillor and NFL Super Bowl champion coach Tony Dungy.
The Women’s Center at the University of Minnesota operates as an extension of the school’s Office for Equity and Diversity. The Women’s Center mission statement states it “increases connections for women’s success, cultivates socially responsible leaders, and advocates for organizational culture change toward excellence for all.” The Center plans and provides events for students and staff throughout the calendar year in addition to offering scholarships and grants. Students can stay informed of all programs and resources through the e-newsletter produced by the Center.
University of Delaware
College Choice Score: 76.27
The University of Delaware can trace its beginnings all the way back to 1743 when Rev. Francis Alison had a desire to open an institution for educating clergy in New London, Pennsylvania. In 1765, the school relocated in Newark, Delaware where it resides today with a student body of over 22,000. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, UD’s official school colors are blue and gold. This choice was no coincidence as Delaware was settled by Swedish colonists. The school mascot is the Fightin’ Blue Hens; a nod to the state’s official bird. The bird is so loved by the school that the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources department breeds and keeps Blue Hen Chickens on campus.
Although the University of Delaware lacks a formal meeting space for women’s issues, they have formed an organization called the Sexual Assault Prevention & Education (SAPE) group which administers programming and makes resources available for both staff and students of UD. Recent highlighted events include speaker series entitled “Yes Means Yes: Battling Rape Culture and Moving Towards a Positive Sexuality” and “Sex(ism), Identity, and Intimacy in a Pornographic Culture.” SAPE is led by a committee of students, staff and volunteers who create programs that prevent gender-based violence and educate the campus community about issues of gender inequality.
Saint Mary’s College of California
College Choice Score: 75.35
Referring to itself as a Lasallian college, the Catholic St. Mary’s College of California “holds that students are given to its care by God and that teachers grow spiritually and personally when their work is motivated by faith and zeal.” With a student body of 4,000 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1, SMC is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The beautiful and historic campus sits just 23 miles to the east of San Francisco in Moraga, CA. The school has been recognized by several organizations for having stellar study abroad programs, quality of education and value of education.
Located on the campus of Saint Mary’s College and open every weekday, the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is well-staffed with positions like a Director of Sexual Assault Prevention, Director of Women’s Resources and a Body Positive Coordinator among others. The Center coordinates many events and programs on the school campus that have a high visibility for the student body at large. The mission statement for the WRC states they are “dedicated to creating a campus environment that empowers women and men to envision and engage in a life that maximizes their academic, personal, and spiritual growth.”
College of Saint Benedict
College Choice Score: 75.02
While students of all faiths are welcome at the private College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, it is noteworthy that 54% of the 2,000 students identify themselves as being members of the Catholic church. Over 60 fields of study (37 majors and 40 minor programs) are offered at the liberal arts institution that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. CSB enjoys a high retention rate as 80% of students go onto graduate; 90% of them within 4 years. The school prides itself on being well-connected in technology by having all of its residence halls equipped with high-speed internet access and Wi-Fi throughout the entire campus.
The Sister Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership began to be constructed on the CSB campus in 2004 and was dedicated to Dr. Sister Nancy Hynes in the fall of 2007. Unlike many campuses featuring staff-directed women’s centers, the Institute for Women’s Leadership is led by a student intern. “Guided by a dynamic advisory board made up of faculty and administrative staff, students are ultimately in charge of the direction that the Institute takes throughout the year—what programs are put on, what themes programs center on, and how to further advance the Institute and its role on campus.” The Institute is open for advisement and support each weekday afternoon.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 74.68
Located in the epicenter of the nation’s capital is George Washington University, comprised of 25,000 students partaking in everything from associate’s degree programs to doctorates in professional practice. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, GWU was originally established as an act of Congress in 1821. The school is proud to have students from every state in the US enrolled and offer the opportunity to excel in academia just 4 blocks away from the White House. GWU seeks to “provide an environment where knowledge is created and acquired and where creative endeavors seek to enrich the experiences of the global society.”
George Washington University launched the Global Women’s Institute in 2012 as a “university-wide initiative to advance gender equality through interdisciplinary research, education, and policy and outreach.” Working in tandem with GWU’s Women’s Study Programs, the Institute desires to be a catalyst for change and development in women’s issues by coordinating with international and global organizations. Their programs and support networks are in place in order to help women at the local level as well as influencing policies and economies in foreign nations. Being planted in the economic and political center of the country, the Institute boasts an impressive list of events and speakers on a yearly basis.
College Choice Score: 74.56
The 2,000 students enrolled at the small 4-year exclusively undergraduate Spelman College experience a smaller student-to-faculty ratio of only 10 to 1 while no doubt also enjoying the amenities within the context of a larger southern city like Atlanta, Georgia. Originally founded as Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary in 1881 and currently accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Spelman was ranked as a top 10 women’s college in 2015 by BestColleges.com. The most popular programs at Spelman are Biological and Biomedical Sciences, English, Physical Science, Psychology and Social Sciences.
After being awarded a grant in 1981, Spelman began construction of what became the Women’s Research and Resource Center (WRRC). The purpose of the WRRC is to “provide an academic unit of the College that focused on curriculum development in Women’s Studies, research by and about women of African descent, and community outreach.” Spelman was a trailblazer in women’s issues as the Center was the first to offer a women’s studies major and the first research center at a historically Black college. The WRRC holds regular events, which highlight and advocate for women’s rights and leadership within the context of culture, business, and leadership.
Southern Methodist University
College Choice Score: 74.17
Receiving its accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Methodist University is located in the large metropolitan city of Dallas, Texas. SMU is home to the Mustangs and over 11,000 students; almost 7,000 of which are undergraduates. Originally founded in 1911 by what is now known as the United Methodist Church, the school describes itself as “nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.” The school’s 9 libraries house the largest private collections of research materials in the Southwest. In addition to other accolades, US News and World Report put Southern Methodist in the top quarter of their “best national universities” in 2015.
In order to give a “voice for women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, with purpose to eliminate barriers, diminish prejudices, and create a supportive climate and space for all,” SMU organized the Women and LGBT Center on their campus as a support and resource center for their students and staff. Although there are regular events held and highlighted through the Women and LGBT Center, it is a greater priority for the organization to offer itself at the more casual and familiar level by holding regularly accessible hours and creating a space for conversations, study and relaxation to take place. One course offered through the Women and LGBT Center is “Discovery: Fitting Into a World of Difference.”
University at Buffalo
College Choice Score: 73.00
Founded in 1846, the University of Buffalo has a larger student body of almost 30,000 students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school offers over 100 undergraduate degrees, 205 masters and 84 doctoral programs. Located in the city of Buffalo, New York, the school is planted in what’s called the Buffalo Niagara region that advertises affordable living, a four-season climate and a family-friendly community with plenty of activities in an active culture. Named by Times Higher Education as “one of the world’s best universities,” Kiplinger called UB one of the Best Values in public higher education.
In 2017, the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender will celebrate 20 years of serving the staff and students at the University of Buffalo. The Center’s main priority is to provide research and education relevant to the needs of women and the LGBTQ community. Each year the Institute awards scholarships, grants and achievement awards to those who advocate and lead out in women’s and equality issues. Some of the flagship programs offered at the Center include Black/Women’s History Matters, Feminist Research Alliance, and Gender Across Borders.
University of Tulsa
College Choice Score: 72.75
Home of the Golden Hurricanes, the University of Tulsa has a winning tradition in softball with 8 appearances in the NCAA Championship series. The story of TU began in 1882 when the school was known as Henry Kendall College. Today there is a student body of just over 4,500 on the 200-acre campus and the university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Though known for several well-established and long-standing traditions, none are as fun as the Toilet Bowl celebrated each spring as a flag football game by residents of John Mabee Hall (aka “The John”).
First formed in the 1980’s, the Advocacy Alliance is an “interdisciplinary, interdepartmental committee, which seeks to prevent and intervene with interpersonal violence on The University of Tulsa’s campus.” The Alliance is comprised of representatives from various other school organizations in an effort to promote healthy relationships and to stop violence in its various forms campus-wide. Events held throughout the calendar year include Student Leader trainings, New Student Orientation programming on sexual violence prevention, and required online courses for all students related to sexual violence prevention and education.