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Coeducation is the integrated education of males and females at the same school facilities. The opposite situation is described as single-sex education. Most older institutions of higher education restricted their enrollment to a single sex at some point in their history, and since then have changed their policies to become coeducational.

Co-ed is a shortened adjectival form of co-educational, and the word co-ed is sometimes also used, in the United States, as a noun to refer to a female college student. The word is also often used to describe a situation in which both genders are integrated in any form (e.g. "The team is co-ed").

Mixed schools in the United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Further information: Education in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the usual term is mixed,[1] and today most schools are mixed. In England the first public mixed boarding school was Bedales School founded in 1893 by John Haden Badley and coeducational since 1898. The Scottish Dollar Academy claims to be the first mixed boarding school in the UK (in 1818). Many previously single-sex schools have begun to accept both sexes in the past few decades; for example, Clifton College began to accept girls in 1987.

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Coeducation in the United States[edit | edit source]

The first coeducational institution of higher education in the United States was Franklin College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, established in 1787. Its first enrollment class in 1787 consisted of 78 male and 36 female students. Among the latter was Rebecca Gratz, the first Jewish female college student in the United States. However, the college began having financial problems and it was reopened as an all-male institution. It became co-ed again in 1969 under its current name, Franklin and Marshall College.

The longest continuously operating coeducational school in the United States is Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, which was established in 1833. The first four women to receive bachelor's degrees in the United States earned them at Oberlin in 1841. Later, in 1862, the first African-American woman to receive a bachelor's degree (Mary Jane Patterson) also earned it from Oberlin College.

The University of Iowa became the first public or state university in the United States to admit women, and for much of the next century, public universities, and land grant universities in particular, would lead the way in higher education coeducation. Many other early coeducational universities, especially west of the Mississippi River, were private, such as Carleton College (1866), Texas Christian University (1873), and Stanford University (1891).

At the same time, according to Irene Harwarth, Mindi Maline, and Elizabeth DeBra, "women's colleges were founded during the mid- and late-19th century in response to a need for advanced education for women at a time when they were not admitted to most institutions of higher education" [1]. A notable example is the prestigious Seven Sisters. Of the seven, Vassar College is now co-educational and Radcliffe College has merged with Harvard University. Wellesley College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Bryn Mawr College, and Barnard College are still women's colleges.

Other notable women's colleges that have become coeducational include Ohio Wesleyan Female College in Ohio, Skidmore College, Wells College, and Sarah Lawrence College in New York state, Goucher College in Maryland and Connecticut College.

In U.S. slang, "Coed" is an informal and increasingly archaic term for a female student attending a formerly all-male college or university (or any university).

U.S. institutions of higher education coeducational from establishment[edit | edit source]

Years U.S. educational institutions became coeducational[edit | edit source]

Schools that were previously all-female are listed in italics.
1860University of Wisconsin-Madison
1867DePauw University
Indiana University
1868University of Iowa Law School
1869Northwestern University
Ohio University
1870Michigan State University
University of Michigan
Washington University in St. Louis (First women admitted to the law school in 1869)
Cornell University
1871Colby College
Pennsylvania State University
1872Wesleyan University (Until 1912, when it became all male once again.)
1876University of Pennsylvania
1877Ohio Wesleyan University
1878Hope College
1883Bucknell University
Middlebury College
1885University of Mississippi
1888George Washington University
Tulane University Pharamaceutical School
University of Kentucky
1892Auburn University
1893Macalester College
University of Connecticut
Johns Hopkins University Graduate School
University of Alabama
University of Tennessee
1894Boalt Hall
1895Beloit College
University of Pittsburgh
University of South Carolina
1897University at Buffalo Law School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (graduate students)
1900Denison University
University of Rochester
University of Virginia (nursing only)
1902Miami University
1909Tulane University School of Dentistry
1914Tulane University Medical School
University of Pennsylvania Medical School
1917Georgia Tech (until 1934)
1918College of William and Mary
University of Georgia
1920University of Virginia (graduate students)
1922Northeastern University School of Law
1926Centre College
1930Roanoke College
1931Seattle University
1933Furman University
1941St. John's College
1942Clark University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Wake Forest University
1944Bard College
1946James Madison University (de facto)
1947Florida State University
University of Florida
1952Lincoln University
1953Georgia Tech (some programs)
1953Harvard Law School
1963University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (all programs)
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
1964Texas A&M University
1964University of San Francisco
1966James Madison University (official)
Sarah Lawrence College
1968Georgia Tech (all programs)
Virginia Tech
1969Connecticut College
Elmira College
Franklin and Marshall College
Georgetown University
Kenyon College
La Salle University
MacMurray College
Princeton University
Siena Heights University
Trinity College (Connecticut)
University of the South
Vassar College
Yale University
1970Boston College
Colgate University
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
Pitzer College
University of Mary Washington
Union College
University of Virginia (all programs)
Williams College
Bowdoin College
Brown University
Robert College
Skidmore College
Stevens Institute of Technology
1972Davidson College
Dartmouth College
Harvard College - Harvard University
Radford University
Texas Woman's University
University of Notre Dame
Washington and Lee University Law School
Wesleyan University
1973California Maritime Academy
1974Fordham College
United States Merchant Marine Academy
1975Amherst College
1976Claremont McKenna College
United States Air Force Academy
United States Coast Guard Academy
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy
1978Hamilton College
1980Haverford College
1982Mississippi University for Women
1983Columbia College at Columbia University
1985Washington and Lee University
1991Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
1993The Citadel
1997Virginia Military Institute (last state institution of higher learning to become coeducational)
2001Notre Dame College
2002Hood College
2004Immaculata College
2005Lesley College of Lesley University
Wells College
2006Valley Forge Military College
2007Randolph-Macon Woman's College

Coeducation in Canada[edit | edit source]

Years Canadian educational institutions became coeducational[edit | edit source]

1884McGill University
1980Royal Military College of Canada

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Coeducation in mainland China[edit | edit source]

The first coeducational institution of higher learning in China was the Nanjing Higher Normal School which was renamed National Central University in 1928 and Nanjing University 1949. For thousands of years in China, education, especially higher education, was the privilege of men. In the 1910s women's universities were established such as Ginling Women's University and Peking Girl's Higher Normal School, but coeducation was still prohibited.

Tao Xingzhi, the Chinese advocator of coeducation, proposed The Audit Law for Women Students (規定女子旁聽法案) on the meeting of Nanjing Higher Normal Institute held on December 7th, 1919. He also proposed for the university to recruit female students. The idea was supported by the president Guo Bingwen, academic director Liu Boming, and such famous professors as Lu Zhiwei and Yang Xingfo, but opposed by many famous men of the time. The meeting passed the law and decided to recruit women students next year. Nanjing Higher Normal Institute enrolled eight coeducational Chinese women students in 1920. In the same year Peking University also began to allow women students to audit classes. One of the most notable female students of that time was Jianxiong Wu.

In 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded. The government of PRC has provided equal opportunities for education since then, and all schools and universities have become coeducational. In recent years, however, many female and/or single-sex schools have again emerged for special vocational training needs but equal rights for education still apply to all citizens.

Co-education in Hong Kong[edit | edit source]

St. Paul's Co-educational College was the first co-educational secondary school in Hong Kong. It was founded in 1915 as St. Paul's Girls' College. At the end of World War II it was temporarily merged with St. Paul's College, which is a boys' school. When classes at the campus of St. Paul's College were resumed, it continued to be co-educational, and changed to its present name.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Template:UK SI, Schedule 6, regulation 11, clause 5(b).

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