female students studying

by Jennifer Simons, former admissions officer at Tufts University

Women’s colleges offer something for all women. They are diverse, engaging places focused on a multitude of facets of education and the human experience. Some have a particular niche, however, and it is incredible to think of all the students these colleges are able to serve. All women’s colleges are special but these are specialized…

Are you a female engineer? Consider Sweet Briar or Smith College. Some women’s colleges partake in 3-2 programs with co-ed colleges. These programs are opportunities for women to get a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from their home institution and a Bachelor’s of Science in engineering from a partner school.  However, Sweet Briar and Smith are the only women’s colleges to have their own ABET-accredited engineering programs. Sweet Briar is especially interesting to me because, like Mills before it, it successfully fought the push to go co-ed. It also has a world-class equestrian program.

Are you an artist? Consider Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. Established in 1948 as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, it is it the first and only visual arts college for women in the country. Moore College provides a career-focused education in the arts with the promise of empowering women to achieve financial independence. You will certainly want to visit their impressive contemporary art galleries and, until you can visit in person, do look at the student thesis projects online.

Current and future writers should consider Hollins University, a women’s college in Virginia known for its Pulitzer Prize and Man Booker award winning alumnae and faculty. Students from other institutions can spend a visiting semester in the Rubin Intensive Creative Writing Semester, but that will just give them a taste of what the renowned department offers with its unique approach. Hollins writers cherish their college’s multi-disciplinary, multi-genre approach in which they develop a deep knowledge of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-serving institution, Alverno College, is lauded as one of the first to build a curriculum around career-focused skills. Alverno’s Eight Abilities core curriculum encompasses learning in communication, problem solving, social interaction, effective citizenship, analysis, valuing, aesthetic engagement, and global perspective. In addition to receiving a top-notch academic education, Alverno women are prepared for the workplace from their first day of college.

“Choose to Lead” is the motto of Brescia University College in London, Ontario. As the only women’s university in Canada, it certainly lives up to those words. Affiliated with Western University, one of the largest universities in Ontario, Brescia students benefit from the small, supportive atmosphere of a women’s college while taking advantage of the resources of a major research university. Founded in 1919 by the Ursuline Sisters, Brescia students are committed to social justice, community service, and the development of women from all faiths.

These are only some examples of the colleges dedicated to educating women for lives in the arts and sciences, and to become leaders today and tomorrow. If you identify as female, consider attending a women’s college; it will expand your options and, regardless of what you intend to study, you will be well poised to achieve in the world that awaits your specialized experience.

Read the previous posts in this series: 

The Secret about Women’s Colleges, Part I

The Secret about Women’s Colleges, Part II: Outside the Seven Sisters

Getting the Most Out of a College Visit

Written by Jennifer Simons
Jennifer Simons is a member of the College Coach admissions team and a former college admissions officer from Tufts, Barnard, and more. Visit our website to learn more about Jennifer Simons.