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What are the advantages of going to an all women university?

I'm trying to figure out the pros and cons of going to either an all women school or a co-ed school but I'm not sure how to compare them since I've only ever gone to a co-ed school

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Sara’s Answer

Hi Eve,

I also have only attended co-ed schools so I cannot give a unbiased comparison but I'll do my best. It is important that your decision on a school is not based solely on this. Make sure to compare the programs, curriculum, maybe even professors. But if you happen to have looked at all that and the only difference that could help you decide is whether its co-ed or not then this is what I found.

There are studies that show students at women's colleges that started a mayor in math and hard sciences are far more likely to finish their degrees and get a job in that area of study, as opposed to the number that switches to a different mayor in co-ed schools. However, I haven't seen studies about what happens after joining a coed workforce.

Overall, from my research it seems that women's college provide a great environment for women to confidently pursue an area of study without feeling alienated or out of place like they would in a coed college due to the fact that math and hard sciences in co-ed colleges are male dominated fields. As a con, there is the fact that it doesn't prepare you for a coed work environment where you interact or work with men, now if that is a bad or a good thing is out of my expertise, but I'm guessing it will depend on the person. Maybe you will have nurtured a solid confidence that is not shaken by a new environment.

There have been great women who have gone to women's college as well as great women who have gone to co-ed colleges. At the end of the day it thought it would be a big factor in your life and who your are as a person, but it definitely wont define you. It is also possible to change your mind later and that is okay to do. You might go to a women's college and love it or decide it's not for you and transfer.

P.S. I realized this comes out to seem like I'm rooting for women's colleges, I'm neither in favor or against. I loved my co-ed school I made friendships and relationships (male and females) that I know will last a lifetime. It's just that truly when I looked for unbiased comparison the only real disadvantage to a Women's college was 'lack of men' that seemed redundant to me.

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Dr. Mesha’s Answer

I recommend focusing on the types of programs offered at the schools. I think this is the most important issue to focus on.

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Gloria’s Answer

I attended Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. I did not attend the school because it was a women's university, but because it was the best solution for finally completing my Bachelor's Degree. The school does admit men, however, you can guess that many men don't attend because of the name. I had never considered a focus on women an essential ingredient since I, like many who have replied, have had an entirely co-ed education experience. I actually felt better as a student with a mostly female peer group in classes. I liked that some of the core classes focused on women's studies which was an entirely new experience for me even in 2004 when I started my time at TWU. I felt very supported as a female, which did not always occur in my other educational experiences. I felt like I saw more of the overall female experience at this school, more pregnant women, married women, more older women than my other college experiences. Also the school focused on sports that women play, so no American Football. It was nice to feel like athletics were important but they didn't dominate the college experience. I went on to another school for my Masters Degree after TWU and I did notice the dynamics for women were different, including the focus on the school having a great football team. A note on my feedback here, I went TWU in my mid-30's so I was not "college age" at the time. I also did so after work since I had a full time job. I enjoyed my women's college experience, but like others, I would not consider it the primary reason to go a women's university.

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Elise’s Answer

Hello Eve,
Although I didn't go to an all women college, I went to an all girls' high school and definitely experienced some benefits to an all-women school in that they were really supportive in providing opportunities to women. Also it was nice to not feel like you needed to impress men that may have been in the room (so you're more encouraged to speak up in class). Hope this helps!