Jump to content

List of earliest coeducational colleges and universities in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following is a list of mixed-sex colleges and universities in the United States, listed in the order that mixed-sex students were admitted to degree-granting college-level courses.

Many of the earliest mixed-education institutes offered co-educational secondary school-level classes for three or four years before co-ed college-level courses began – these situations are noted in the parentheticals below.

Earliest mixed-sex higher education institutes (through 19th century)[edit]

  • Schools that were previously all-female are listed in bold.
1837 Oberlin College (women were admitted to the "preparatory department" in 1833)[1][dead link][2][3]
1844 Hillsdale College[3][4][5]
1845 Franklin College (co-ed secondary-level classes began in 1842 at "Indiana Baptist Manual Labor Institute"; chartered as Franklin College in 1845)[6][7][3]
1847 Lawrence University

Baylor College (until 1851 Baylor offered "coeducation" in the same building, although in separate classes; after 1851 the school fully segregated the sexes until 1887)[3][8][9][10][unreliable source?][11]

1847 Earlham College[12]
1849 New-York Central College (disestablished 1860)[13]
Otterbein University[3][14]
1851 Waynesburg College[15]
1852 Westminster College[16]
1853 Antioch College[17]
Cornell College (originally Iowa Conference Seminary, co-ed classes start with founding 1853)[18]
Lawrence University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1849)[19]
Willamette University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1842)[20]
1854 Muskingum University[21]
Pacific University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1849)[22]
Urbana University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1850)[23][24]
1855 Eureka College (First school in Illinois and third in the nation to admit women on an equal basis with men at its founding) [25]

Bates College[26][27]
University of Iowa (first coeducational public or state university in the United States)[1][2]

1856 Baldwin University (now Baldwin Wallace University) (co-ed secondary classes began in 1845)[28]
University of Evansville (formerly Moore's Hill College)[29]
St. Lawrence University[30]
Wilberforce University (first coeducational HBCU in the United States)[citation needed]
1857 Alfred University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1836; it received its university charter in 1857)[31][32]
Hamline University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1854)[33]
1858 University of Mount Union (co-ed classes began in 1846; chartered as college in 1858)[34]
1859 Adrian College (four women enrolled as early as 1855 when Michigan Union College; Adrian itself was open to women from the onset under equal curriculum)[35]

Cooper Union (free college; enrollment open to all genders, races, religions, economic classes) [36][37]
Olivet College (co-ed secondary classes began in 1844; chartered as college in 1859)[38]

1860 Wheaton College (Illinois)[39]
1861 North Central College (as Plainfield College)[40]Grinnell College[41]
1862 Baker University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1858)[citation needed]
1863 Kansas State University[42][43]
1864 Swarthmore College[44]
1866 University of Wisconsin–Madison (women admitted to classes in the "Normal Department" in 1863 and all college classes about 1866, although separate Female College and separate graduation existed until 1874)[45][46]
1867 Carleton College[47]
DePauw University[48]
Hiram College (co-ed secondary classes began in 1850)[citation needed]
Indiana University[49][50]
Lebanon Valley College[51]
McDaniel College[52]
1868 University of Missouri[53]
Oregon State University (co-ed secondary classes began about 1858; chartered as college in 1868)[citation needed]

Wells College (Coeducational in 2005)

University of Minnesota[54]

1869 Berea College[55]
Boston University[56]
Iowa State University[57][58]
University of Kansas (co-ed secondary classes began in 1866)[59]
Northwestern University[60]
Ohio University[61]
Washington University in St. Louis[17]
1870 Allegheny College[62]
University of California, Berkeley[50][63]
Carthage College[64]
Cornell University[65][66]
University of Illinois[50]
University of Iowa Medical School[67]
Knox College[68]
Michigan State University[69]
College of Wooster[70]
1871 California Wesleyan College
Colby College[71] (until 1890, when women were resegregated into separate classes)[50]
University of Michigan[72]
University of Nebraska-Lincoln[50]
Pennsylvania State University[73]
Syracuse University[2]
University of Vermont
1872 Tusculum College[74]
University of Akron (at that time "Buchtel College")[citation needed]
University of Maine[50]
University of Washington (co-ed secondary classes began in 1861; the school was closed at various times between 1862 and 1869)
Wesleyan University (until 1912, when it became all male once again)[75]
1873 North Georgia College & State University (then North Georgia Agricultural College; since 2013 merged into the University of North Georgia)[citation needed]
Ohio State University[50]
Susquehanna University[76]
Texas Christian University[citation needed]
1875 Purdue University[77]
St. Olaf College[78]
1876 University of Oregon[50]
1877 University of Colorado at Boulder[50]
Ohio Wesleyan University[79]
1878 Hope College[citation needed]
1880 Bridgewater College (the first private liberal arts college in Virginia to be co-ed, and one of the first of its kind in the south)[citation needed]
Emerson College[citation needed]
University of Pennsylvania (women previously admitted to non-degree-granting programs in 1876)[80]
University of Southern California[citation needed]
Ursinus College[81]
1881 Coe College[citation needed]
Hendrix College[citation needed]
1882 University of South Dakota[citation needed]
1883 Bucknell University[66]
Florida State University (The school was a coeducational seminary beginning in 1851, and was chartered as a coeducational university in 1883. However, in 1905, a reorganization of the state's higher education system converted what was then Florida State College to a women's school, Florida State College for Women. It returned to coeducation in 1947, adopting its current name at that time.)[82]
Middlebury College[citation needed]
University of Texas[citation needed]
1884 University of North Dakota[50]
1885 University of Mississippi[citation needed]
1886 University of Nevada, Reno[50]
1887 Baylor University[citation needed]
Gallaudet University (at the time "National Deaf-Mute College)[83]
Occidental College
Pomona College[citation needed]
Stetson University (co-ed secondary classes began in 1883)
University of Wyoming[50]
1888 George Washington University
Guilford College (co-ed secondary classes began in 1837; it became a college in 1888)[84]
University of Kentucky
Tulane University Pharmaceutical School
1889 Elon University[85]
West Virginia University[86]
1891 University of Arizona[50]
George Fox University (at the time "Pacific College")
College of Idaho
Stanford University
1892 Auburn University
Greenville University
University of Chicago (women resegregated into separate classes in 1902 for their first two years)[50]
University of New Mexico[50]
University of Oklahoma[50]American International College[87]
1893 University of Alabama[50]
University of Connecticut
Johns Hopkins University Graduate School
Macalester College[88]
University of Tennessee
1894 Boalt Hall[89]
1895 Beloit College
University of Montana[50]
University of Pittsburgh
University of South Carolina
1897 University at Buffalo Law School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (graduate students)
1899 Eastern Michigan University (co-ed classes in the "Normal school" began 1852; chartered as college in 1899)


  1. ^ a b Slantcheva, Snejana. "Women in Education". Archived from the original on 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  2. ^ a b c May, A.J. "University of Rochester History".
  3. ^ a b c d e CMC What are America's first coed colleges? Although the integration of the sexes at CMC, and other liberal arts colleges, didn’t take place until the 1970s, many American universities started this process long ago in the 19th century, Retrieved June 17, 2016, "...But by 1861 ... there were more than 20 coeducational schools ... thanks to educational reformers fighting for access for women, black students, and minors, too...."
  4. ^ "Hillsdale College – History & Mission". Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  5. ^ Hillsdale College, 2016, Hillsdale College: 2015 - 2016 Catalog, Retrieved June 18, 2016, see page 101, first paragraph: "...In 1844, Hillsdale College was founded on the then truly exceptional precept of offering “all persons, irrespective of nationality, color or sex ... a literary and scientific education,” enrolling blacks, women ... two decades before the Civil War...."
  6. ^ "Franklin College Facts". Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  7. ^ Indiana Legislative Services Agency (1845), Indiana Code 1845-234-1, archived from the original on 2012-05-11, retrieved 2011-06-30
  8. ^ "Baylor Alumni Association: The Founders' Vision". Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  9. ^ Old Baylor Park
  10. ^ "Baylor History". Archived from the original on 2011-09-05. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  11. ^ Henrietta Baker Embree, Tennessee Keys Embree, Amy L. Wink Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2008 Tandem Lives: The Frontier Texas Diaries of Henrietta Baker Embree and Tennessee Keys Embree, 1856-1884, Retrieved June 18, 2016, "....Baylor College ... 1846..."
  12. ^ "Friends Collection and College Archives: Earlham Trivia". Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  13. ^ McGraw Historical Society, The New York Central College Archived 2016-08-05 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved June 17, 2016
  14. ^ "Otterbein University – History". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  15. ^ "Historical Sketch of Waynesburg University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  16. ^ "Women of Westminster" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  17. ^ a b "Women at Washington University: Introduction". Archived from the original on 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-01-26. (Women admitted to law school in 1869; first undergrad in 1870)
  18. ^ "History of Diversity at Cornell College". 26 June 2017. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  19. ^ "Lawrence University: The Class of 1857". Archived from the original on 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  20. ^ "Highlights from Willamette's History: 1834–1899". Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  21. ^ "About Muskingum". Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  22. ^ Miranda, Gary; Read, Rick (2000). Splendid Audacity: the Story of Pacific University. Seattle: Documentary Book Publishers. pp. 67, 126. ISBN 0935503307. The original 1849 charter specifies 'a Seminary of learning for the instruction of both sexes in science and literature.'
  23. ^ "History of Urbana University". Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  24. ^ 2011-2012 student Handbook, Urbana University, Urbana Urbana University, Retrieved June 18, 2016, see page 4, paragraph 2, "...Urbana was a coeducational institution from its beginning..."
  25. ^ "About Eureka College | Our Vision, Mission, Values & History".
  26. ^ Infoplease, Bates College, Retrieve June 17, 2016, "...Bates College, at Lewiston, Maine; coeducational; founded 1855 as Maine State Seminary, chartered as a college 1864. It was the first Eastern college to admit women students. The Edmund S. Muskie Archives are there...."
  27. ^ Sarah Connell, College Prowler, Inc, 2005, Bates College College Prowler Off the Record, Retrieved June 17, 2016
  28. ^ "History of Baldwin-Wallace College". Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  29. ^ "UE History - About UE". Retrieved 2024-02-25.
  30. ^ "Early College Women: Determined to be Educated". Archived from the original on 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  31. ^ Strong, Susan Rumsey (2008). Thought Knows No Sex: Women's Rights at Alfred University. ISBN 978-0-7914-7513-3.
  32. ^ "Milestones for Women at Alfred". Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  33. ^ Bloomberg, Kristin Mapel (2008). "Nineteenth-Century Methodists and Coeducation: The Case of Hamline University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  34. ^ "History of Mount Union". Archived from the original on 2012-12-15. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  35. ^ Stephanie Jass. "Laying the Foundation". Retrieved 2024-04-26.
  36. ^ R.Q. Topper. "Making Millions and Making A Difference: What We Can Learn From Peter Cooper" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  37. ^ "About Cooper Union : History". Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  38. ^ "The History of Olivet College". Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  39. ^ College, Wheaton. "College Profile | Wheaton". www.wheaton.edu. Archived from the original on 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  40. ^ Butler, Kimberly; Keating, Ann Durkin; Lebeau, B. Pierre (2011). North Central College: 150 Years. A Promising Start. Naperville, IL: North Central College. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-578-09482-3.
  41. ^ "Joanna Harris Haines 1865". Grinnell College. Retrieved 2023-12-17.
  42. ^ Willard, Julius (1940). History of Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. Kansas State College Press. p. 24. (First class at KSU in 1863 consisted of 52 students: 26 men and 26 women)
  43. ^ "Kansas State University: A Brief Chronology". Archived from the original on 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  44. ^ "Swarthmore College: A Brief History". Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  45. ^ Thwaites, Reuben Gold (1900). "History of the University of Wisconsin". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  46. ^ "Wisconsin Alumni Association: "When Women Were First Admitted"". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  47. ^ "About Carleton: Our History". Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  48. ^ "DePauw University: History and Traditions". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  49. ^ Jones, Christine. "Indiana University: The Transition to Coeduation" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Davidson Wright, Carol (1909). The New Century Book of Facts. The King-Richardson Company. p. 986. university of illinois coeducational 1870.
  51. ^ Wallace, Paul A. W. (1966) Lebanon Valley College: A Centennial History. Annville, PA: Lebanon Valley College Publishing.
  52. ^ "McDaniel College | Information | About | Mission & Vision | McDaniel College". www.mcdaniel.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  53. ^ "About the University of Missouri: History". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  54. ^ Wright, Carroll Davidson (1910). The new Century book of facts; a handbook of ready reference . University of Michigan. Springfield, Mass., Chicago [etc.] The King-Richardson company.
  55. ^ "History: About Berea College". Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  56. ^ "About Boston University". Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  57. ^ "History of Iowa State". Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  58. ^ "History of Iowa State: Student Life". Archived from the original on 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  59. ^ "Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History". Archived from the original on 2011-05-04.
  60. ^ "Documenting the Lives of Northwestern University Women". Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  61. ^ "Founders Day 2013". Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  62. ^ Giacomelli, Ellis. "Allegheny Spaces: Hulings Hall". The Campus. Retrieved 2020-09-16.
  63. ^ "History: 19th-Century Founding". Retrieved 2010-02-18.
  64. ^ "Carthage celebrates 150 years of educating women". Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  65. ^ "Cornell University". Retrieved 2010-02-18.
  66. ^ a b "Bucknell Timeline of Coeducation". Archived from the original on 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  67. ^ "Historical Highlights: 1855–1900". Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
  68. ^ "History of Knox: 1830 to 1899". Archived from the original on October 17, 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  69. ^ "Michigan State University: Diversity & Inclusion". Archived from the original on 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
  70. ^ "Wooster: History & Traditions". Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  71. ^ "A Brief History of Colby". Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  72. ^ "Suggested Research Topics – Gender and Social Space on the University Campus, 1870–1970". Bentley Historical Library. September 26, 2008. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  73. ^ "Penn State History". Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  74. ^ "The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture 2.0". Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  75. ^ "Wesleyan University:A Brief History". Archived from the original on 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  76. ^ "The Susquehanna Female College: The Voice of a Community". Susquehanna University. Archived from the original on 2023-04-07. Retrieved 2022-06-22.
  77. ^ "The Land Grant Act and the Birth of Home Economics at Purdue University". Purdue University. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  78. ^ I. F. Grose. The Beginnings of St. Olaf College (Volume V: Page 110). Archived from the original on 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2019-06-18 – via NAHA online.
  79. ^ "Ohio Wesleyan University". Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  80. ^ "Timeline of Diversity at Penn". Archived from the original on 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  81. ^ "History".
  82. ^ "About Florida State: History". Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  83. ^ "Agatha Tiegel Hanson". Gallaudet University. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  84. ^ "Quaker Heritage at Guilford College". Archived from the original on 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  85. ^ History of Elon University: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/about/elon_history.xhtml Archived 2013-09-17 at the Wayback Machine
  86. ^ http://wvuhistory.wvu.edu/historyofwvu/the_early_days_1867_1899 Archived 2012-03-02 at the Wayback Machine History of WVU: The Early Days
  87. ^ American International College, "History". {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  88. ^ "About Macalester: Macalester's History". Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
  89. ^ "Berkeley Law – History". Archived from the original on 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-03-05.