Why a Women's College?

You are a woman who loves to be challenged, has a commitment to academics, wants to have a purpose in life and has a desire to make a difference in the world — for those reasons you deserve a women's college. You deserve an education that meets your needs and matches your ambitions.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is the oldest, premier Catholic liberal arts college for women in the United States, founded in 1840 -- eight years before the first women's rights convention. Before women fought for equal pay, before women secured the right to vote, before the women’s rights movement even began, there was Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

You deserve an education that meets your needs and matches your ambitions.

Although much has changed for women since 1840, SMWC remains dedicated to the education of women, empowering them to emerge as strong leaders prepared for life’s opportunities. By choosing a women’s college, you have the opportunity to participate more fully in and out of class, pursue more leadership positions, develop higher levels of self-esteem and achieve more success in your future career. By choosing Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, you will Aspire Higher.

A Women's College Education ...

  • Creates leaders, communicators and persuaders. Speaking out and speaking up – key components of leadership and civic engagement – are capacities actively developed at women’s colleges. Women’s college alumnae report more in-class experience with making presentations than their peers at other institutions and are more likely to gain leadership experience in student government and campus media.

  • Develops critical skills for life and career. As studies repeatedly underscore the need for critical thinking, global knowledge, intercultural competence, and real-world abilities, women’s colleges surpass all public and private colleges in helping students learn to think analytically, bring social and historical perspective to issues, work as part of a team, write and speak effectively, make sound decisions, gain entry to a career, prepare for career change or advancement, and be politically and socially aware.

  • Enables students to engage with top faculty and resources. Women’s college graduates attribute their success to interaction with “a high quality teaching-oriented faculty.” They report strong benefits from mentoring, small classes and personal interaction with professors. At women’s colleges, all of the resources, from sophisticated research equipment to preeminent athletics facilities to internship and fellowship funding, are focused on and available to women students.

  • Proves its value over a lifetime. Graduating from a women’s college, versus a co-ed public or private college or university, significantly increases a woman’s chances of earning a graduate degree. Women’s college graduates succeed in entering a range of career fields and graduate programs, regardless of their undergraduate major. More than 95 percent of women’s college alumnae believe the financial investment in their education was worthwhile and that the intellectual and personal capacities they gained are still extremely important to them.

Did You Know?

In the annual National Survey of Student Engagement report, far more students at women's colleges report with greater frequency that their colleges helped them learn more about themselves, hone their quantitative analysis skills, and develop a desire to help their communities.

Studies have found that by attending women's colleges, women ...

  • Have more opportunities to hold leadership positions and are able to observe women functioning in top jobs (90% of the presidents and 55% of the faculty are women). 
  • Report greater satisfaction than their coed counterparts with their college experience in almost all measures: academically, developmentally and personally. 
  • Develop measurably higher levels of self-esteem than other achieving women in coeducational institutions. After two years in coeducational institutions, women have been shown to have lower levels of self-esteem than when they entered college. 
  • Are more successful in careers; that is, they tend to hold higher positions, are happier and earn more money.

Source: Women's College Coalition