Mississippi University for Women, also known as MUW or simply the "W" is a four-year coeducational public university located in Columbus, Mississippi. It was formerly known as Industrial Institute and College (II&C) and later Mississippi State College for Women (MSCW) . Men have been offered admission to MUW since 1982.
History and mission
Upon its establishment in 1884, Mississippi University for Women became the first public women's college in the United States. Then known as the Industrial Institute and College, the institution was created by an act of the Mississippi Legislature on March 12, 1884, for the dual purposes of providing a liberal arts education for women and preparing them for employment. The first session began October 22, 1885, with an enrollment of approximately 250 students on a campus formerly occupied by the Columbus Female Institute, a private college founded in 1847.
The name of the institution changed to Mississippi State College for Women in 1920 to reflect an emphasis on collegiate, rather than vocational, education. In 1971 Mississippi State College for Women won the national intercollegiate women's basketball championship (the third ever held).
In 1974 the name was changed to the Mississippi University for Women to reflect the expanded academic programs, including graduate studies. All other Mississippi state colleges were also designated universities at this time.
In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan that the nursing school's single-sex admissions policies were in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Following this decision, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ordered the university to change its policies to allow the admission of qualified males into all university programs. In 1988, the Board of Trustees reaffirmed the mission of MUW as an institution providing quality academic programs for all qualified students, with emphasis on distinctive opportunities for women.
On August 10, 2009, the university president Dr. Claudia Limbert announced that a new name for the institution, Reneau University, would be presented to the state college board and state legislature for approval. This proposal has been opposed by some current students and alumni, many of whom fear the loss of the university's long-standing women's mission. The name "Reneau University," chosen from dozens of proposed names, honors Sallie Reneau, who was instrumental in encouraging the Mississippi State Legislature to establish a public women's college in the state in the mid-nineteenth century. The Mississippi State legislature did not approve the change.
The University offers academic programs in more than 50 areas of study.
In 2006 MUW awarded 481 undergraduate degrees. The following were the top ten degrees awarded and the percentage of the graduates that came from that program:
The remaining degrees awarded were in the following subjects: Art Education, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Culinary Arts, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Studio Arts, Theatre, History, Health & Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Sport Management, Mathematics, Microbiology, Music, Physical Science, Political Science, Spanish, Speech-Language Pathology /Audiology and Pre-professional degrees. MUW offers Pre-Professional degrees in Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medical Technology, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Veterinary.
In 2006 MUW awarded 81 Master's degrees from its eight different graduate programs. The following are the percentages of graduates that came from each program:
 student organizations Brotherhood of Beta Kappa Tau, Xi Delta Omega
Total Enrollment: 2428
Freshman: 587 Sophomores: 353 Juniors: 487 Seniors: 834 Graduate Students: 148
Average Faculty Salary: $46,184 Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Total Faculty: 207
Average Age of Students: 25
Female: 79% Male: 21%
Full-time: 83% Part-time 17%
White: 64% Black: 32% Other: 4%
Mississippi Resident: 91.56% Other United State Resident: 7.66% International: 0.78%
Number of freshman applicants: 1381 Number of freshman admitted: 683
ACT minimum score: 16 ACT mean score: 21.5
Colleges and schools
MUW’s College of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. Business majors in the 2006-2007 school year represented 8% of the total MUW student body
The MUW College of Education and Human Sciences is divided into three departments, the Department of Education, the Department of Psychology and Family Studies, and the Department of Health & Kinesiology.
The MUW College of Nursing and Speech Language Pathology offers undergraduate and Master's degrees.
The MUW College of Arts and Sciences is divided into six departments; those departments are Sciences and mathematics, Music and theater, Art and design, Languages, literature, and philosophy, Communication, and History, political science, geography, and paralegal.
The MUW Culinary Arts Institute offers a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and a minor in Culinary Arts.
Alumni of MUW are known collectively as "The Long Blue Line." Notable MUW alumni include: