A guide to the best women’s colleges

Back in the 1960s, women’s colleges peppered the U.S. and were a welcoming and safe space for women stepping into the professional world for the first time. In fact, at one point, there were over 200 women’s colleges across the country, and now, that number is less than 40. 

But women’s colleges are still unique and sought after for several reasons — including their focus on leadership, confidence building, and most importantly, learning to speak up. Plus, women’s colleges are an excellent starting point for women who want to graduate with a strong network of other women and mentors behind them. 

For women who would be happy at smaller liberal arts colleges focusing on education, a women’s college might be the perfect fit. Here are some of the top-ranking women’s colleges in the country. 

Top Ranking Women’s Colleges in the U.S.

According to a recent list from U.S. News, below are the country’s top-ranking women’s colleges. For the complete list, visit the U.S. News ranking of Best College.

Wellesley College

A Wellesley education fosters the highest standard of readiness for the “real world” in its graduates in terms of the ability to think, act, and contribute meaningfully and effectively in their chosen areas of interest.

Fall Enrollment Size: 2,519

Annual Tuition: $58,448

Smith College

Smith College’s world-class faculty of scholars are fully engaged in your intellectual development, and an open curriculum encourages you to explore many fields of knowledge.

Fall Enrollment Size: 2,894

Annual Tuition: $56,114

Barnard College

Barnard College aims to provide the highest-quality liberal arts education to promising and high-achieving young women, offering the unparalleled advantages of an outstanding residential college in partnership with a major research university.

Fall Enrollment Size: 2,631

Annual Tuition: $56,610

Bryn Mawr College

In Bryn Mawr’s diverse, close-knit community, with its strong student government and deep traditions, students build lifelong friendships and connections. A vibrant faculty of scholar-teachers and a talented staff support students in their educational journey.

Fall Enrollment Size: 1,719

Annual Tuition: $56,610

Scripps College

The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.

Fall Enrollment Size: 1,719

Annual Tuition: $56,610

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke’s mission is to provide an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts and sciences through academic programs recognized internationally for their excellence and range.

Fall Enrollment Size: 2,3000

Annual Tuition: $54,618

Whatever you decide, each one of these women’s colleges is dedicated to academic excellence and women’s upward mobility. To learn more, visit their websites and talk to an academic advisor.