There’s no way around it — Bryn Mawr is a women’s college. No men attend Bryn Mawr as full-time undergraduate students. There are no football games or fraternity parties (or fraternities, for that matter). You’ll see guys on campus — Penn, Haverford, or Swarthmore students taking courses via our consortium or those pursuing a graduate degree. But our undergrads are still all female. Out of nearly 4,000 colleges in the U.S., only about 50 are dedicated to educating women; we know that for some students this difference can provoke many questions. Over the next few months, we’ll have an ongoing discussion on the admissions blog about attending a women’s college. You’ll hear from Bryn Mawr students about their experiences and you’ll get a glimpse of life on campus. Let’s start the conversation by dispelling some of the most prevalent myths about women’s colleges:
A women’s college is like a finishing school.
Fact: Forget anything you saw in the movie Mona Lisa Smile; we love Ginnifer Goodwin and Kirsten Dunst, but the movie isn’t a primer for the modern Bryn Mawr experience. You won’t see anyone wearing white gloves or taking etiquette courses for credit. You will, however, find your peers wearing lab coats or spending a semester abroad.
Lots of women together= Drama.
Fact: This, unfortunately, is a cultural narrative around women. Women “can’t get along” and if you watch enough reality TV, you might actually believe this (we’re looking at you, Real Housewives). Bryn Mawr has a close knit community and Honor Codes that promote collaboration and personal empowerment over competition. We believe the only woman you should compete with is yourself and that your peers should inspire and encourage you.
A women’s college won’t prepare me for the real world.
Fact: We can’t think of a better place to help get you ready to make your mark on the world. The lessons you learn here will guide and inform you long after graduation. At Bryn Mawr, you will take an active role in creating or changing campus policies through our Self Governance Association by drafting resolutions based on what’s important to you. In the classroom, you will be challenged and challenge others. You can start clubs or take on experiential learning opportunities in the Philadelphia region through a Praxis placement. The skills acquired at Bryn Mawr — assertiveness, initiative, leadership, and using your voice for change — will undoubtedly serve you well.
There’s no social life at a women’s college.
Fact: At Bryn Mawr, we’ll provide the options and you’ll decide what to do with them. Any academic, extracurricular, or social opportunity you’d have elsewhere, you’ll have here. Bryn Mawr women take pride in being unique — there’s no one type of student here. We value diversity; women here represent every political view, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, race, and social interest. Bryn Mawr’s campus is filled with bold, bright, and unabashedly true- to-themselves women. With a student body like ours, you’ll have a rich community to embrace you. Take note from Class of 1928 alumna, Hollywood legend, and style icon Katharine Hepburn — be absolutely fabulous in your own way and on your own terms.