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Men's colleges in the United States


Men's colleges in the United States

Venable Hall at all-male Hampden–Sydney College

Men's colleges in the United States are primarily undergraduate, Bachelor's degree-granting single-sex institutions that admit men exclusively. The most noted men's colleges are traditional liberal arts colleges, though the majority are institutions of learning for those preparing for religious vocations.


  • History 1
  • Today 2
    • Counterparts and coordinates 2.1
    • Coeducational programs and services 2.2
  • List of men's colleges 3
    • Traditional institutions 3.1
    • Religious vocational institutions 3.2
      • Christian 3.2.1
      • Jewish 3.2.2
    • Non-College Board 3.3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Historically, many colleges in the United States were gender-segregated. Northwestern University and Washington University in St. Louis were some of the first men's colleges to begin admitting women, doing so in 1869.[1][2] However, mixed-sex education did not become the norm until much later. Notably, Wesleyan University began to admit women in 1872, but abandoned the practice in 1912, when it became all-male once again, and would not admit women again until 1972.[3]

By the 1960s, and particularly in 1969, most of the remaining male-only institutions began to admit women, including Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University (women had previously been admitted to graduate programs only), and Yale University. Columbia College of Columbia University held out even longer, and did not admit women until 1983, three years after Haverford College admitted its first female students. By that point, most men's colleges had already disappeared from the American academic landscape.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a prestigious engineering school in Terre Haute, IN began admitting female students in the undergraduate program in 1994, although they had females in their graduate program before that.

The most notable men's college to begin admitting women in recent years is the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), which had been sued by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1990 for discrimination. The Department of Justice argued that since VMI was a public institution, it could not prevent women from attending based on gender alone. Due to United States v. Virginia, VMI admitted its first female cadets in 1997.

Although most non-religious men's colleges now face the question of co-education, some new men's colleges have been proposed. One of the most frequently discussed is the Southern Military Institute, which has been proposed as a new men-only alternative to the now co-educational VMI and The Citadel, the latter of which admitted its first female students in 1993.


As of December 2008, there were three non-religious institutions in the United States that were most commonly recognized as four-year men's colleges. These are:

As of April 2006, the largest men's colleges were: Morehouse (3,029 undergraduates); Beth Medrash Govoha (2,034); Hampden–Sydney College (1,060); United Talmudical Seminary and Wabash College (869 each).

The smallest were Yeshiva and Kolel Bais Medrash Elyon (17 undergraduates), the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (20), the Talmudical Institute of Upstate New York (21), Rabbinical College Beth Shraga (36), and Wickliffe College of Telshe (36).

The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, which offers Associate's degrees, is not usually included on lists of traditional men's colleges, even though it enrolls no females, is an officially secular institution, and is not affiliated with any other institution. There is also Deep Springs College, a two-year liberal arts college in California that planned to begin admitting women for the class of 2013, but was later barred from doing so by a court decision citing the stipulations held within the college's founding trust that only "young men" would be allowed to attend.

Additionally, although many seminaries officially operate as men's colleges, some are also not frequently cited. These include The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California; the Saint Meinrad School of Theology in Saint Meinrad, Indiana; and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Counterparts and coordinates

Some universities separate their undergraduate students into individual, gender-conscious colleges. Yeshiva University oversees the all-male Yeshiva College as well as the Stern College for Women. The University of Richmond has Richmond College for men and Westhampton College for women.

At Tulane University, Tulane College was for men and H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College was for women. The two have now merged due to the financial devastation to the university after Hurricane Katrina.

In each of these cases, the individual colleges have their own residence systems, advisors, staff, student governments, and traditions separate from their male or female counterpart.

In a slightly different arrangement, Hobart College is all-male and is the "coordinate," or partner, college of William Smith College, a women's college. They are collectively known as Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Unlike the single-sex colleges at Yeshiva and Richmond, they are not considered to be two colleges within one larger university, but instead two independent colleges joined together in a partnership arrangement, much like the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Minnesota, which have a shared co-educational academic program, but with Saint Ben's enrolling women and Saint John's enrolling men.

Coeducational programs and services

As with many women's colleges, some men's colleges do have a limited number of coeducational programs and services. Saint Meinrad and Holy Apostles allow limited enrollment for lay women in specially-designated courses, while Master's operates a Seminary Wives Discipleship program on its campus for ten weeks each semester. Hampden–Sydney provides a female-only guest house on its campus for college visitors.

List of men's colleges

As of April 2007, the College Board lists 66 colleges in the United States as officially being men's colleges. These are mostly Orthodox Jewish Rabbinical colleges (yeshivas), with a large concentration of Rabbinical colleges being located in the New York City metropolitan area.

According to the College Board's statistics, at least 15,183 men in April 2006 were attending the following institutions that are not open to female enrollment, with 13 schools not reporting their enrollment figures:

Traditional institutions

Religious vocational institutions



Non-College Board

Although undergraduate institutions for men only, or admitting women only to special programs, these colleges are not officially listed as men's colleges by the College Board:

See also


  1. ^ "Documenting the Lives of Northwestern University Women". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  2. ^ "Women at Washington University: Introduction". Retrieved 2010-01-26.  (Women admitted to law school in 1869; first undergrad in 1870)
  3. ^ "Wesleyan University:A Brief History". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
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