Salem College’s story began in 1772 when a group of Moravians, an early Protestant denomination, established a school for girls in the newly-built Salem village. They believed women deserved the same level of education given to men, a revolutionary view for the 18th century. Salem is the nation’s oldest educational institution for women and the 13th oldest college in the US.

The Single Sisters, Salem’s first teachers, walked to Salem from Pennsylvania. They were visionary educators and entrepreneurs. As Salem celebrates 240 years of excellence, we build on their bold vision, preparing women for the “New World” of the 21st century.

240 years young, Salem is recognized as a leader today:

  • Forbes ranks Salem as the top women’s college in the southeast.
  • Salem is one of the top “Character-building Colleges” in the nation as named by the John Templeton Foundation
  • Salem is recognized as a “College of Distinction” based on four key criteria: excellent teaching, engaged students, vibrant campus and successful outcomes.