About The W


The W was founded on the idea that higher education is for everyone. Today, the mission is the same. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity, and social mobility by U.S News & World Report. Washington Monthly names The W as one of America’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges. National rankings, small class sizes, and unique programs- like culinary arts, nursing, music therapy, and speech pathology- create a university that empowers you to BE BOLD. Maybe that’s why our students’ say, “It feels like home.”

Founded in 1884 as the first public college for women in the United States, The W is a tradition-rich university that has been home to such noted personalities as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty, among others. Forty years ago, The W opened its doors to men.

Today we offer men and women a distinctive education that features:

  • class-sizes designed to make education personal - almost 68% of our classes have fewer than 20 students;
  • professors who are committed to mentoring students,
  • a curriculum that stretches intellect and instills leadership,
  • and a community that is as energetic as it is welcoming.

Our university features more than 70 outstanding majors and concentrations. Outside of class, more than 60 campus organizations make campus life dynamic, interesting, and fun.

We know, like our students, faculty, and staff, you'll find it’s a place where you can BE BOLD.

woman holds diploma outside after graduation

University Mission

Excellence, Leadership, Personalized Learning


Building on its long tradition of excellence in liberal arts and professional education, as well as its historic focus on academic and leadership development for women, Mississippi University for Women will continue to be a university that prepares both women and men for successful lives by providing a high-quality education in a personalized learning environment.


Mississippi University for Women provides high quality undergraduate and graduate education for women and men in a variety of liberal arts and professional programs while maintaining its historic commitment to academic and leadership development for women. Emphasizing a personalized learning experience, the University engages in a variety of instructional methodologies to provide educational opportunities in a diverse and inclusive environment. The institution promotes research, scholarship, and creativity to enhance student development and achievement as a platform for lifelong education and growth.

Revised October 21, 2021

Guiding Principles

MUW provides high-quality instructional programs that emphasize teaching and learning. With faculty and staff of the highest caliber, MUW is dedicated to providing a campus environment that encourages lifelong learning, strong career preparation, and personal growth. Graduates are expected to have skills in communication, technology, and critical thinking, as well as an awareness of self, gender-related issues, cultural diversity, and responsible citizenship.

MUW is student oriented. MUW provides small classes and emphasizes personalized student attention, so that each student will have the opportunity to succeed. MUW offers a student-life program that stimulates learning and leadership development.

MUW values research, scholarship, and creativity. While MUW is primarily a teaching institution, the university supports research, scholarship, and creativity to enhance the professional development of faculty and staff in order to better prepare students.

MUW is committed to diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. The faculty, staff, and students of MUW represent the global society in which we live. MUW believes that diversity allows students to grow in their understanding of self and others.

MUW endorses sound organizational principles and is committed to operational efficiency, collaborative strategic planning, institutional effectiveness, and creative problem solving.

MUW meets regional, state, and national needs for higher education. The University responds to the needs of the local community by providing cultural activities; programs for intellectual, professional, and social development; and by assisting in economic development. MUW extends its outreach to the state and nation using multiple delivery methods, including the internet and other advanced systems.

MUW is committed to public service. MUW forms partnerships with businesses, as well as with educational, governmental, public service, and charitable organizations, to create opportunities that provide economic and social advantages for the institution, community, and region.