Mississippi University for Women Information

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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 for the Education of White Girls
Columbus Female Institute
MottoA Tradition of Excellence for Women and Men
Type Public state university
Space-Grant university
Academic affiliation
Endowment$43.8 million (July 2017)
PresidentNora Miller
Vice-presidentMark Ellard
ProvostDr. Scott Tollison
Academic staff
208 (Fall 2017) [1]
Administrative staff
201 (Fall 2017) [1]
Students2,789 (Fall 2017) [1]
Location, ,
United States

33°29′35″N 88°25′7″W / 33.49306°N 88.41861°W / 33.49306; -88.41861

33°29′35″N 88°25′7″W / 33.49306°N 88.41861°W / 33.49306; -88.41861
Campus Rural
ColorsW (dark) blue and Welty (light) blue
Sporting affiliations
MascotOdy the Owl
Website http://www.muw.edu

Mississippi University for Women (MUW or "The W") is a coeducational public university in Columbus, Mississippi. It was formerly the Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls and later the Mississippi State College for Women. Men have been admitted to MUW since 1982 and currently make up 19% of the student body today.

History and mission

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. [2] 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. Richard Jones was selected by the State Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees as the university's first president.

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 1966, three local women from Hunt High School became the first black undergraduates at MUW. They lived off campus, as the dormitories remained segregated until 1968. At the same time, three teachers from Hunt became the first graduate students at the school. The students were known collectively as The Fabulous Six. [3] [4]

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]

As of 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked The W 11th as a best value among public Southern regional universities and tied at 20th among best public regional universities in the South. The W also appeared in U.S. News’ Best Colleges for Veterans in Southern regional universities at No. 40.

On February 1, 2019, Nora Roberts Miller, was inaugurated as the first alumna president of Mississippi University for Women. [8] She was named the 15th president on September 15, 2018 by the State Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees. [9]


The university offers academic programs in more than 50 areas of study. [10]

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: [11]

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: [11]

Campus demographics

[12] [13]


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

  • 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

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

Colleges and Schools

Arts, Sciences, & Education

From art to women's studies, you can choose from more than 30 majors and emphasis areas in nine departments. For many Arts, Sciences, or Education programs, you can also earn a minor. In addition to all of the major programs, the College offers additional minors in American Studies, Art History, Film Studies, French, International Studies, Philosophy, Medieval Studies, and Religious Studies.

Our students study with teaching faculty known internationally for their scholarship and creative achievement. Their graduate degrees are from a wide range of universities, such as Alabama, Chicago, Cincinnati, Duke, Emory, Edinburgh, Penn State, Purdue, Saskatchewan, State University of New York, Tennessee, Texas, UNC Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt, Washington State, and Wisconsin, as well as the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

They have written numerous books and journal articles in their fields; they exhibit their art in such highly-competitive shows as the Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial; they conduct scientific research on topics ranging from genomics to herpetology. Two faculty members recently have been awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholarships for research and teaching abroad. Faculty research often involves students directly in the process and always benefits students in the classroom.

The current Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education is Dr. Brian Anderson.

Business & Professional Studies

The College of Business and Professional Studies offers students the opportunity to pursue an exciting and financially rewarding career, with degree programs in accounting, business administration, culinary arts, legal studies, and professional studies.

The W's College of Business and Professional Studies offers many exciting degree opportunities. Choose from a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, General Business, Management, Management Information Systems, or Marketing), a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts, or a Bachelor of Science (or Arts) in Legal Studies. In addition, students meeting admissions guidelines and holding an A.A.S. degree may transfer up to 43 hours of career / technical credit into a Bachelor Applied Science in Business Administration degree (with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, General Business, Human Resource Management, Legal Administration, and Management Information Systems).

The current Dean of the College of Business & Professional Studies, serving in the interim capacity, is Dr. Marty Brock.

Nursing & Health Sciences

The purposes of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences are reflected in the philosophies and outcomes of each program. The college provides high quality undergraduate and graduate professional programs in nursing and speech-language pathology.

The College offers the following degree programs: Associate of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Health Education, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Nursing, Public Health Education, or Speech-Language Pathology, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing or Speech Language Pathology, and Doctor of Nursing Practice. The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology offers options in Exercise Science, Physical Education and Pre-Physical Therapy. Minors are available in Exercise Science and Public Health Education. The Department of Health and Kinesiology also houses the Pre-Occupational Therapy program.

Students and graduates have received numerous local, state and national awards and recognition including the National Spirit of Nursing Award, the National Pfizer Advanced Nurse Practitioner Award for exceptional contributions to health care, and the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing Educator Award.

The current Dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences is Dr. Tammie McCoy.

Ina E. Gordy Honors College

MUW was very fortunate to advance its longstanding commitment to honors education through a generous endowment from Ina E. Gordy, a Scott County native who graduated from the university in 1929.  A recipient of the MUW Medal of Excellence, Gordy bestowed the gift on MUW in 2005 at the age of 100.  Because of her dedication to student learning and achievement at MUW, the Gordy Honors College is able to provide an enhanced learning experience that will continue to benefit students throughout their lives.

Offers high-achieving, motivated students a more intensive, innovative learning experience and a strong sense of academic community.  By fostering intellectual curiosity, extensive faculty-student interaction, and undergraduate research, the Honors College equips students to get more out of their university education and excel beyond graduation.

The current director of the Ina E. Gordy Honors College is Dr. Kim Whitehead.

Notable alumni

Notable MUW alumni include:

See also


  1. ^ a b c "MUW 2017-18 Fact Book" (PDF). Mississippi University for Women Institutional Research and Assessment. February 15, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Pieschel, Bridget Smith. "The History of Mississippi University for Women". HistoryNow. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  3. ^ "Barbara Turner Bankhead and Laverne Greene Leech". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Desegregation 2016: 50th Anniversary of the Desegregation of The W". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Pre-NCAA Statistical Leaders and AIAW Results" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved 31 Oct 2012.
  6. ^ "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. ^ "MUW installs first graduate as president". The Clarion Ledger.
  9. ^ "Trustees name Nora Miller named 15th president of MUW". The Clarion Ledger.
  10. ^ "Mississippi University for Women Admissions: Degrees". Archived from the original on 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-03-01.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Mississippi's Universities". February 24, 2007.
  13. ^ Mississippi University for Women Fact Book 2006-2007. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University for Women. 2006.
  14. ^ "CNN/AllPolitics.com - Election 2000 - The Democratic National Convention". Archived from the original on December 22, 2006.
  15. ^ [1][ dead link]
  16. ^ "Kennedy Center: ACTF - National Student Playwriting Award Description and Winners".
  17. ^ "Racial Desegregation - History - Those Who Dared - MUW". www.muw.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  18. ^ "Hall of Fame Inventor Profile, Elizabeth Lee Hazen". Archived from the original on 2009-03-15.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Valerie Jaudon on artnet".
  21. ^ "Washingtonpost.com: Politics Evelyn McPhail Dies at Age 68". The Washington Post. 1999-01-04. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  22. ^ "Chief Justice Lenore Prather Supreme Court of Mississippi".

External links