Historically Women’s Colleges with Trans-Inclusive Admissions Policies

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22 historically women’s colleges have formal policies that admit at least some trans students:

Agnes Scott College: admits “students who were assigned female at birth, as well as those who were assigned male or female at birth, but who now identify as female, transgender, agender, gender fluid or non-binary.”

Alverno College: admits “students who live and identify as female regardless of biological sex” and students assigned female at birth “who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming.” “Students who begin their college experience at Alverno identifying as female but at some time begin identifying as male, non-binary or gender non-conforming are invited to remain enrolled through graduation.”

Barnard College: “will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth.” Applicants assigned female at birth who identify as male, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming are not eligible for admission. Individuals assigned female at birth who self-identify as men or as nonbinary while at the institution are able to continue to earn a degree there.

Bay Path University: “welcome[s] applications from any qualified student who was born female or who identifies as a woman.”

Bennett College: “admits self-identified women and people assigned female at birth who do not fit into the gender binary . . . Bennett College does not accept applications men. Those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission.”

Bryn Mawr College: accepts applications from “all individuals who have identified and continue to identify as women (including cisgender and trans women), intersex individuals who do not identify as male, individuals assigned female at birth who have not taken medical or legal steps to identify as male, and individuals assigned female at birth who do not identify within the gender binary.” Individuals assigned female at birth who self-identify as men while at the institution are able to continue to earn a degree there.

Cedar Crest College: “Applicants to the traditional undergraduate program who self-identify as women are eligible to apply for admission. We do not require government issued or medical documentation for purposes of identifying an applicant’s gender identity. Once admitted, a student who completes the College’s baccalaureate requirements will be awarded a Cedar Crest degree regardless of gender identity or expression.”

College of Saint Benedict: “will consider for undergraduate admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. . . . This admission policy does not affect students who transition while enrolled at the College of Saint Benedict. Once admitted, every student will receive the individualized support that is an essential part of the Bennie experience.”

College of Saint Mary: accepts applications from individuals who identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth (personal communication, 12/7/21).

Hollins College: “will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. Enrolled students who transition during their time at Hollins may graduate.”

Moore College of Art & Design: “Undergraduate admission is open to otherwise qualified applicants: (i) assigned female at birth; or (ii) who self-identify as women, trans women, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming individuals, at the time of application.”

Mount Holyoke College: “welcomes applications from female, trans and non-binary students” (i.e., it will consider anyone, except someone who is assigned male and who identifies as male).

Mount Mary University: “At the undergraduate level, all individuals who identify as women (including cisgender and transgender women), intersex individuals who do not identify as male, and non-binary individuals are eligible for admission to MMU. . . . Once admitted, the University will continue to support students regardless of changes in their gender identity and/or gender expression.”.

Notre Dame of Maryland University (becoming “co-ed” in Fall 2023): accepts applications from individuals who identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth (personal communication, 12/7/21).

St. Catherine University: “will continue to consider all individuals who identify as women for admission to our undergraduate College for Women regardless of gender assigned at birth, as well as non-binary and genderqueer students . . . Should a student undergo gender transition while enrolled in the College for Women, individualized support and resources are available to assist that student in discerning best options for degree attainment. The student will be welcome to remain in the College for Women.”

Scripps College: “will consider all applicants who indicate their legal sex as female submitted through the Common Application, in addition to applicants who self-identity as women. Therefore, an applicant assigned male at birth who self-identifies as a woman is eligible to be considered for admission. Applicants who indicate their legal sex as male submitted through the Common Application and who self-identify as men are not eligible to be considered for admission.” Individuals assigned female at birth who self-identify as men while at the institution are able to continue to earn a degree there.

Simmons College: “All applicants to the undergraduate program who were assigned female at birth and/or applicants who self-identify as women are eligible to apply for admission. . . . Once enrolled, any student who completes the University’s baccalaureate requirements will be awarded a Simmons degree regardless of gender identity or expression.”

Smith College: accepts applications from individuals “who were assigned male at birth but identify as women . . . . Those assigned female at birth but who now identify as male [or as genderqueer or nonbinary] are not eligible for admission. . . . The admission policy does not affect students who transition during their time at Smith. Once admitted, every student has the full support of the college and this includes trans men. And any student who completes the college’s graduation requirements will be awarded a Smith degree and welcomed into the Alumnae Association of Smith College.”

Spelman College: “will consider for admission women students, including students who consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth  . . . Spelman does not admit male students, including students who self-identify and live consistently as men, regardless of gender assignment at birth. . . . Once admitted, any student who fulfills the College’s graduation requirements — regardless of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation — will be awarded a Spelman degree.”

Stephens College: will “admit and enroll students who were not born female, but who identify and live as women; those students will need to provide legal documentation that they are legally women or that they are transitioning to female..” “The College will also continue to admit and enroll students who were born female but who identify as nonbinary.”

Wellesley College: “will consider for admission any applicant who lives as a woman and consistently identifies as a woman; therefore, candidates assigned male at birth who identify as women are eligible to apply for admission. Those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for consideration for admission.” Individuals assigned female at birth who identify as nonbinary are eligible to apply if they “feel they belong in our community of women.” Individuals assigned female at birth who self-identify as men while at the institution are able to continue to earn a degree there.

Wesleyan College: “will consider for admission all applicants who consistently self-identify and live as women. Application materials must support this self-identification, and our admission counselors will help guide prospective students who need assistance with this process. This admissions policy reflects the College’s commitment to maintaining a diverse, academically talented, and well-rounded community of learners in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation of differences, and it does not affect students who transition during their time at Wesleyan. Once enrolled, any such students may continue their education at Wesleyan with the full support of the College.” 

 

Four historically women’s colleges have formal policies that prevent most trans women from being admitted:

Cottey College: “As a women’s institution, Cottey College considers for admission those applicants who indicate a legally-assigned sex of female on their application.”

Saint Mary’s College: “In the areas of undergraduate admission, academic year housing, and varsity athletics, Saint Mary’s College will remain exclusive in respect to sex.”

Salem College: Admits only students whose legal documents indicate that they are female. “As a women’s college, Salem College admits only female students in its traditional-age undergraduate program as permitted by law.”

Sweet Briar College: Applicants must have birth certificates that indicate that they are female (personal communication, 12/7/21).

In addition, Meredith College and Trinity Washington University do not indicate their policies toward trans students, but likely discriminate against trans women applicants because neither includes “gender identity” in its nondiscrimination policy.

 

Two historically women’s colleges have formal policies that explicitly ban trans men from remaining at the institution:

Bennett College: “If a student decides to self-identify as a male, the student will no longer be eligible to receive a degree from the College.”

Stephens College: “the College will stop admitting and enrolling students who were born female but who now identify as men or who are transitioning from female to male. . . . A student whose sex or gender identity transitions after enrollment such that it is no longer consistent with the College’s policies will be allowed to remain at the institution only to complete the current semester. Evidence of such transition may include self-identification as a man; change of legal name with the intent of identifying as a man; or physical transition to male associated with hormone therapy or a surgical process.”

 

Historically Men’s Colleges:

Morehouse College: “Once admitted to the College, all students are expected to self-identify as men throughout their education at Morehouse. If a student transitions from a man to a woman, that student will no longer be eligible to matriculate at Morehouse.”

Saint John’s University: “will consider for undergraduate admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as men, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. . . . This admission policy does not affect students who transition while enrolled at Saint John’s University.  Once admitted, every student will receive the individualized support that is an essential part of the Saint John’s experience.

 

Last updated 12/9/21

 

Meet the Clearinghouse Coordinator

Genny Beemyn, Ph.D., is the director of the UMass Amherst Stonewall Center, the campus LGBTQIA+ center. They have published and spoken extensively on the experiences and needs of trans college students, including writing some of the first articles on the topic in the 2000s. Among the books Genny has written are The Lives of Transgender People (2011); A Queer Capital: A History of Gay Life in Washington, D.C. (2014); and the anthology Trans People in Higher Education (2019). With Abbie Goldberg, they edited The Encyclopedia of Trans Studies (2021). They are currently writing Campus Queer: Addressing the Needs of LGBTQ+ College Students with Mickey Eliason for Johns Hopkins University Press. In addition to being the coordinator of the Clearinghouse, Genny is an editorial board member of the Journal of LGBT Youth, the Journal of Bisexuality, the Journal of Lesbian Studies, and the Journal of Homosexuality. They have a Ph.D. in African American Studies and master’s degrees in African American Studies, American Studies, and Higher Education Administration. More about Genny can be found on their website: www.gennyb.com.

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