Mississippi University for Women

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Mississippi University for Women
Mississippi University for Women logo.jpg
Other name
The W
Former names
Mississippi State College for Women
Industrial Institute and College
Columbus Female Institute
Motto A Tradition of Excellence for Women and Men
Type Public state university
Space-Grant university
Established 1884
Academic affiliation
Endowment $43.8 million (July 2017)
President James B. Borsig
Provost Thomas C. Richardson
Academic staff
208 (Fall 2017)[1]
Administrative staff
201 (Fall 2017)[2]
Students 2,789 (Fall 2017)[3]
Location Columbus, Mississippi, United States
33°29′35″N 88°25′7″W / 33.49306°N 88.41861°W / 33.49306; -88.41861Coordinates: 33°29′35″N 88°25′7″W / 33.49306°N 88.41861°W / 33.49306; -88.41861
Campus Rural
Colors W (dark) blue and Welty (light) blue
Nickname Owls
Sporting affiliations
Mascot Ody the Owl
Website http://www.muw.edu

Mississippi University for Women, also known as MUW or "The W", is a four-year coeducational public university located in Columbus, Mississippi, United States. It was formerly known as Industrial Institute and College (II&C) and later Mississippi State College for Women (MSCW). Men have been admitted to MUW since 1982 and currently make up 19% of the student body today.

History and mission[edit]

Upon its establishment in 1884, Mississippi University for Women became the first public women's college in the United States. Then formally titled the Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls, the institution was created by an act of the Mississippi Legislature on March 12, 1884, for the dual purposes of providing a liberal arts education for women and preparing them for employment.[4] The first session began October 22, 1885, with an enrollment of approximately 250 students on a campus formerly occupied by the Columbus Female Institute, a private college founded in 1847.

The name of the institution changed to Mississippi State College for Women in 1920 to reflect an emphasis on collegiate, rather than vocational, education. In 1971 Mississippi State College for Women won the intercollegiate women's basketball national championship (the third ever held).[5]

In 1974 the name was changed to the Mississippi University for Women to reflect the expanded academic programs, including graduate studies. All other Mississippi state colleges were also designated universities at this time.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan that the nursing school's single-sex admissions policies were in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Following this decision, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ordered the university to change its policies to allow the admission of qualified males into all university programs. In 1988, the Board of Trustees reaffirmed the mission of MUW as an institution providing quality academic programs for all qualified students, with emphasis on distinctive opportunities for women.

In a 1997 article in Innovative Higher Education, the journalist Dale Thorn describes MUW's successful attempt to avoid a merger with another institution and to remain a separate entity.[6]

In 2009, President Dr. Claudia Limbert announced the possibility of changing the university's name to "Reneau University". The Mississippi State legislature did not approve the change.[7]


The university offers academic programs in more than 50 areas of study.[8]

In 2006 MUW awarded 481 undergraduate degrees. The following were the top ten degrees awarded and the percentage of the graduates who came from that program:[9]

The remaining degrees awarded were in the following subjects: Art Education, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Culinary Arts, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Studio Arts, Theatre, History, Health & Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Sport Management, Mathematics, Microbiology, Music, Physical Science, Political Science, Spanish, Speech-Language Pathology /Audiology and Pre-professional degrees. MUW offers Pre-Professional degrees in Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medical Technology, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Veterinary.

In 2006 MUW awarded 81 master's degrees from its eight different graduate programs. The following are the percentages of graduates who came from each program:[9]

Campus demographics[edit]



Total enrollment: 2428

  • Total undergraduate enrollment: 2280
  • Total graduate enrollment: 148
  • Freshmen: 587
  • Sophomores: 353
  • Juniors: 487
  • Seniors: 834
  • Graduate students: 148[when?]


  • Average faculty salary: $46,184
  • Student to faculty ratio: 12 to 1

Total faculty: 207

  • Administrative: 9
  • Full-time faculty: 132
    • Male full-time faculty: 49
    • Female full-time faculty: 83
  • Part-time faculty: 66

Faculty rank

  • Professor: 30
  • Associate professor: 16
  • Assistant professor: 35
  • Instructor: 51

Student demographics 2006–2007[edit]

  • Average student's age: 25
  • Female: 79%
  • Male: 21%
  • Full-time: 83%
  • Part-time 17%
  • White: 64%
  • Black: 32%
  • Other: 4%
  • Mississippi resident: 91.56%
  • Resident of other state: 7.66%
  • International: 0.78%

Freshman admissions[edit]

  • Number of freshman applicants: 1381
  • Number of freshmen admitted: 683
  • ACT minimum score: 16
  • ACT mean score: 21.5

Colleges and schools[edit]


MUW’s College of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.[12] Business majors in the 2006-2007 school year represented 8% of the total MUW student body.[13]

Education and Human Sciences[edit]

The MUW College of Education and Human Sciences is divided into three departments: the Department of Education, the Department of Psychology and Family Studies, and the Department of Health & Kinesiology.[14]

Nursing and Speech Language Pathology[edit]

The MUW College of Nursing and Speech Language Pathology offers undergraduate and master's degrees.

Arts and Sciences[edit]

The MUW College of Arts and Sciences is divided into six departments: Sciences and Mathematics; Music and Theater;, Art and Design; Languages, Literature, and Philosophy; Communication; and History, Political Science, Geography, and Paralegal.

Culinary Arts Institute[edit]

The MUW Culinary Arts Institute offers a Bachelor of Science and a minor in Culinary Arts.

Notable alumni[edit]

MUW alumni are known collectively as "The Long Blue Line."[6]

Notable MUW alumni include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MUW 2017-18 Fact Book" (PDF). Mississippi University for Women Institutional Research and Assessment. February 15, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018. 
  2. ^ "MUW 2017-18 Fact Book" (PDF). Mississippi University for Women Institutional Research and Assessment. February 15, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018. 
  3. ^ "MUW 2017-18 Fact Book" (PDF). Mississippi University for Women Institutional Research and Assessment. February 15, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018. 
  4. ^ Pieschel, Bridget Smith. "The History of Mississippi University for Women". HistoryNow. Retrieved 2014-11-30. 
  5. ^ "Pre-NCAA Statistical Leaders and AIAW Results" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved 31 Oct 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Dale Thorn, When a Trial Threatens to Merge Small Universities: The Role of Litigation Public Relations in a Federal Desegregation Case, Vol 22, No. 2 (February 1997), pp. 101-115". academic.research.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ "MUW name change: Research sheds new light on Reneau's history". Cdispatch.com. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  8. ^ "Mississippi University for Women Admissions: Degrees". Archived from the original on 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  9. ^ a b Degreebook: AY2003-AY2006 Degrees Awarded and Top Ten Degrees & September 2006 Program Inventory. Jackson, MS: Board of Trustees State Institute of Higher Learning. p. 8. 
  10. ^ "Mississippi's Universities". February 24, 2007. 
  11. ^ Mississippi University for Women Fact Book 2006-2007. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University for Women. 2006. 
  12. ^ "Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs". Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  13. ^ Office of Institutional Research (2006). Mississippi University for Women Fact Book 2006-2007. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University for Women. 
  14. ^ "MUW - College of Education and Human Sciences". Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  15. ^ "CNN/AllPolitics.com - Election 2000 - The Democratic National Convention". Archived from the original on December 22, 2006. 
  16. ^ http://womenslegalhistory.stanford.edu/articles/CarlossHelen032834.pdf
  17. ^ "Kennedy Center: ACTF - National Student Playwriting Award Description and Winners". 
  18. ^ "Racial Desegregation - History - Those Who Dared - MUW". www.muw.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-22. 
  19. ^ "Hall of Fame Inventor Profile, Elizabeth Lee Hazen". Archived from the original on 2009-03-15. 
  20. ^ Golden Days: Reminiscences of Alumnae, Mississippi State College for Women - Mississippi University for Women. Southern Women's Institute, Bridget Smith Pieschel. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  21. ^ "Valerie Jaudon on artnet". 
  22. ^ "Washingtonpost.com: Politics Evelyn McPhail Dies at Age 68". The Washington Post. 1999-01-04. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  23. ^ "Chief Justice Lenore Prather Supreme Court of Mississippi". 

External links[edit]