Light & Verity

Breaking barriers

When did your Yale school go coed?

Starting in the fall of 2019 and extending through 2020, the university has been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first women students at Yale. Here are the dates when each of Yale’s schools first went coed.

School of Art
(founded 1869)
Augustus and Caroline Street, who funded the School of Fine Arts (its
original name), required from the start that women be admitted as students.

School of Music
(founded 1890)
Courses in music for credit began in 1890. Four years later, the first bachelor of music recipients included three men and one woman.

Graduate School
(founded 1847)
In the year the Graduate School opened its doors to women, 20 enrolled in PhD programs. Two years later, seven of them became Yale’s first women PhDs.

School of Medicine
(founded 1810)
One hundred six years after its founding, the School of Medicine admitted women—but only after the father of Louise Farnam, one of the three pioneering students, pledged $1,000 to build a women’s restroom in the school.

School of Public Health
(founded 1915)
The first woman to earn a master of public health degree graduated in 1919, not long after a public health program was launched as a division of the School of Medicine.

Law School
(founded c. 1843)
The first woman to graduate from the Law School—and from the university—was Alice Rufie Jordan Blake 1886LLB, who gained admission with the lawyerly argument that the school’s catalogue did not expressly exclude women. Although Blake won her fight, the Corporation quickly moved to bar women from the school. The policy wasn’t reversed until 1919.

School of Nursing
(founded 1923)
Women were admitted to the School of Nursing at its start. They have made up the majority of its students ever since.

School of Drama
(founded 1925)
The drama school originated as a division of the School of Fine Arts, and therefore welcomed women from its beginning. There was no change when it was spun off to become a separate school in 1955.

Divinity School
(founded 1822)
The Divinity School first admitted women in 1932, the same year it moved up Prospect Hill to the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle.

School of Architecture
(founded 1916)
Yale’s professional architecture program began in 1916 as part of the coeducational School of Fine Arts, but no women were enrolled in the program until 1942.

School of Engineering
(founded 1852)
The first woman to earn an engineering degree from Yale, Consuela Hauser, arrived on campus with her fellow student and new husband Ray Hauser in the fall of 1951. They earned their master of engineering degrees the following year.

School of the Environment
(founded 1900)
The last of Yale’s all-male professional schools to go coed was originally named the School of Forestry. In 1966, it admitted Diana Starr (now Diana Starr Cooper), who earned her master of forest science in 1969.

Yale College
(founded 1701)
The college was the first school founded and the last to end male-only education.

School of Management
(founded 1976)
Yale’s newest professional school welcomed both men and women from the day of its founding as the School of Organization and Management.

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