Mary Baldwin University Again Ranks in Top Tier of Master’s Level Universities

September 13, 2002

U.S. News & World Report again ranks Mary Baldwin University in the top tier of Best Universities – Master’s in the southern region. Mary Baldwin weighed in at No. 20 among 130 universities. This is the second year in which Mary Baldwin has been listed in the in the top tier of the master’s level universities category. Prior to 2001, Mary Baldwin was included in the southern liberal arts colleges grouping and spent eight years on the top 10 list in that category. Only two other Virginia schools ranked among the top 20 master’s level universities.

Mary Baldwin’s excellent academic reputation was a significant factor in the high ranking, as were its small class sizes and low student/faculty ratio of 10/1. Its relatively high alumni giving rate was also a factor. Other criteria were retention and graduation rates, student selectivity, and financial resources.

“This ranking is gratifying, particularly on the heels of this year’s record enrollments in on-campus undergraduate programs, as well as in both the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership and the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted,” comments Crista Cabe, Associate Vice President for College Relations. “Diversity and student selectivity are both increasing. Out of 905 students in our on-campus undergraduate programs, 30 percent are Americans of color. The average SATs of the entering class are 60 points higher than just two years ago. Our adult and graduate programs are stronger than ever. It’s great to have such a good ranking, which we hope will motivate prospective students to take a look and see how much Mary Baldwin has to offer.”

Mary Baldwin University qualifies for the master’s level universities category because of the strength of its graduate offerings. With the Master of Arts in Teaching degree, the college established its first graduate program in 1992. In 2001, Mary Baldwin inaugurated its second master’s program, the Master of Letters / Master of Fine Arts (M.Litt./MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, which is offered in partnership with Shenandoah Shakespeare.

U.S. News & World Report categorizes colleges and universities based on definitions used by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an independent organization that is a national and international center for research and policy studies about teaching. For information on this, see the foundation’s web site at

The rankings appear in the newsstand book, America’s Best Colleges, which contains all of the U.S. News college rankings and is slated to go on sale September 16. Many of the rankings and some of the articles from the book will be in the September 23 issue of U.S. News & World Report, which also goes on sale September 16. Full listings are also available on the web at

Mary Baldwin University, with a main campus in Staunton, VA and five regional centers, excels in providing leadership training, character development and career preparation with a strong academic foundation. A master’s level university, Mary Baldwin offers three undergraduate liberal arts programs for women – the Traditional Program for Women, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership – as well as coeducational, non-residential bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or the B.S. 31 majors, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with K-8 emphasis, the Master of Letters (M.Litt.) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, and post-graduate teaching licensure (PGTL). The oldest women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Mary Baldwin was founded in 1842 and was the first women’s college to be granted a circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. It is one of only 262 colleges and universities to shelter a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.