Founded as a women’s college more than 125 years ago, Notre Dame of Maryland University will begin admitting men into its traditional undergraduate program next fall.
The Board of Trustees at the private Catholic institution in Baltimore made the decision to turn coeducational after forming a task force to examine enrollment trends at women’s colleges as well as national undergraduate data. Fewer than 2 percent of female students enroll in private, nonprofit women’s institutions every year, according to the university’s press release. At the same time, men graduate college at lower rates than women nationwide.
“The board recognized that in order for NDMU to flourish for years to come, we needed to expand our mission to admit women and men who want a coed college experience,” said board chair Patricia McLaughlin. “NDMU will continue to educate women and men together to make a difference in the world.”
In 1895, NDMU became the first Catholic college to offer four-year degrees to women. Eighty years later, it established a “weekend college” for adult undergraduates, opening enrollment to men for the first time.
The latest move goes one step further.
“By going coed, Notre Dame of Maryland University is uniquely positioned to deliver on its mission to advance inclusive and transformational education to more women and men and to equip them to realize their goal of attaining a college degree,” said NDMU president Marylou Yam.