Texas Woman's University

For the historical Texas Woman's College in Fort Worth, Texas, see Texas Wesleyan University.
Texas Woman's University
Type Public
Established 1901 (1901)
Chancellor Carine M. Feyten
Students 1,446 (Dallas)
12,416 (Denton)
1,273 (Houston)[1]
Undergraduates 9,443[2]
Postgraduates 5,725[3]
Location Denton, Texas, U.S.
Campus Suburban, 270 acres (1.09 km²)
Colors Maroon and White
Athletics NCAA Division IILone Star
Nickname Pioneers
Website www.twu.edu

Texas Woman's University (historically the College of Industrial Arts and Texas State College for Women, commonly known as TWU) is a co-educational university in Denton, Texas, United States with two health science center branches in Dallas and Houston. While male students are accepted into all programs, the school is better known as the largest state-supported university for women in the United States. TWU’s nursing doctoral program is the largest in the United States.[4]

TWU is one of only four public universities in Texas not affiliated with any of Texas' public university systems.


Old Main at night

Several Texas-based groups advocated for the creation of the school that would become Texas Woman's University. These groups included the Texas Press Women's Association, the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, the Grange and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.[5] Texas Woman's University was established in 1901 by an act of the Texas Legislature, and was originally named "Texas Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls of the State of Texas in the Arts and Sciences." [6] It became the Girls Industrial College, in 1903 and conferred its first degrees in 1904. The college changed its name in 1905 to the College of Industrial Arts and Sciences (CIA) and offered programs in a variety of liberal arts, fine arts, and science programs.

The school underwent another name change in 1934 to the Texas State College for Women (TSCW) to reflect its growing reputation as a premiere institution of higher education for women in the state.

In 1950, TSCW became the first-nationally accredited nursing program in the state. The nursing program opened at the original Parkland Hospital in 1954. In 1956 TWU opened first building dedicated solely to the instruction of library sciences. In 1957, the school changed its name for the fourth time to Texas Woman's University. The original Houston Campus opened in 1960.

In 1972, it began accepting men into its health sciences graduate school. In 1994, the school opened all of its programs to qualified men. Landon Dickerson became the first male to be elected student body president of Texas Woman's University in 2014.[7] Despite being a co-educational university, TWU is overwhelmingly female with approximately 90% of the student body identifying as such and continues to place a heavy emphasis on meeting the educational needs of women.[8]


The Texas Woman's University campus in 2015

The University has five conventional residence halls.[9] A record number of applicants is now requiring Student Life and the Department of University Housing to contract with nearby apartment complexes and hotels.[10] The housing shortage creates student wait lists and financial aid complications. Private rooms typically are not available even if a student is willing to pay significantly higher rates. Students seeking exemption from the living on campus requirement have to fill out and return paperwork.[11]


University rankings
Forbes[12] 573
U.S. News & World Report[13] RNP
Washington Monthly[14] 219
Texas Woman's University Houston Center

The school is presently divided into five colleges:

  1. College of Arts and Sciences encompasses the School for the Arts which supports programs in music, art, drama and dance and the School of Management, which confers business degrees including the M.B.A.. The bulk of the college is academic departments including English, Speech, and Foreign Languages, Psychology and Philosophy, History and Government, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Sociology and Social Work, Women's Studies and other liberal arts programs awarding undergraduate degrees through the college.
  2. College of Professional Education encompasses Departments of Family Sciences, Reading and Teacher Education, and the School of Library & Information Studies.
  3. College of Health Sciences is supported at the Houston and Dallas campuses and includes the Schools of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Programs in Health Care Administration and Nutrition are also included in this college.
  4. College of Nursing was established in 1954, and is the 5th oldest Doctoral program in Nursing in the United States. TWU’s College of Nursing is the largest in Texas and the 11th largest in the U.S. TWU’s nursing doctoral program is the largest in the world.[4] The College of Nursing offers programs on the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral level. In addition to the generic Bachelor of Science program for students with no prior degree, there is a weekend program for students who already have a bachelor's degree; the school also has a Registered Nurse to Baccalaureate program (RN to BS) and a Registered Nurse to Master's Program (RN to MS). The school is very competitive with the cut off GPA frequently at 4.0. The College of Nursing has campuses in Houston and Dallas.
  5. Graduate School functions as a separate unit of the university. It was originally established in response to the increased demand for woman's graduate education. The Graduate School processes graduate admissions to the university and subsequent academic affairs, including degrees in a variety of liberal arts programs.

The Woman's Collection and Women's Studies

The second floor of Blagg-Huey Library houses "The Woman's Collection". Established in 1932 by the Library at the suggestion of then-president L.H. Hubbard to inspire the women students, the collection now has 42,000 books, 3,000 manuscripts, 19,000 photographs, and 2,000 periodicals.

Highlights of the Woman's Collection include the WASP Archival Collection which features one of the largest repositories of women in aviation in the world, housing the history of Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, the Whirly-Girls International Helicopter Pilots, Women Military Aviators, and others. Other major archives include the cookbook collection which showcases culinary arts from around the world and is one of the largest collections in the United States, and the University collection containing history of the university. The Woman's Collection is the official repository for thousands of organizations, agencies, and conferences in Texas and the southwest concerned with women's rights, agency, and status.

The Woman's Collection also contains information on the 1981 exhibit about Texas women's history. Originally produced by the Texas Foundation for Women's Resources, the exhibit is permanently housed at TWU.

Many well known women regularly visit Texas Woman's University. Sarah Weddington has lectured and/or taught courses since the early 1980s. United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and United States Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson have participated in leadership conferences encouraging people to become more aware of women and their leadership issues. Currently, Ret. Major General Mary Saunders, who graduated from TWU in 1970 and became the highest ranking African-American woman in the United States Air Force, serves as director of the university's Leadership Institute. Recent guest speakers to the Denton campus have included Gloria Steinem, Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey who visited the campus in 1998 and 2005, and Khloé Kardashian in 2012, amid controversy.

Hubbard Hall, the former central dining facility, now contains the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. This state-established exhibit honors Texas women who make significant public contributions to the state.

Texas Woman's University is unique among Texas higher education institutions. It requires all undergraduates regardless of their proposed/intended degree to take three hours of multicultural women's studies in order to graduate. At the graduate level it offers both a M.A. and PhD in women's studies. The women's studies department makes excellent use of the library and other institutional resources, receiving full faculty encouragement throughout the university. The chair is Claire L. Sahlin.


Little Chapel in the Woods, Texas Woman's University, Denton

TWU Art Collection

The University Art Collection supports through annual acquisitions the work of TWU students, alumni, faculty and staff. The result is a rich display of artwork that can be toured online or when visiting the TWU campus.

Little Chapel-in-the-Woods

Built in 1939 and dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt, the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods was named one of Texas’ most outstanding architectural achievements. University students designed and created the building’s artwork, including stained glass windows, lighting, woodwork and flooring. The windows depict scenes of women ministering to human needs including nursing, teaching, speech, literature, dance and music. The Chapel has seen many weddings. The TWU original bridal book contains thousands of names of couples who were married between the years 1939 and 1979 in the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods. The Bridal Book is on display at the Blagg-Huey Library.

Texas First Ladies Historic Costume Collection

This exhibit is housed in the Administration Conference Tower. Within the collection there are replicated versions and original dresses worn to the Governor's Inaugural Ball. Each dress has been loaned or donated by various sources to the University. Most dresses come from local Texas chapters of Daughters of the American Revolution or directly from the First Ladies themselves.

Golf course

A need for updated facilities and expanded campus space required the University to reassess maintaining their golf course. It did not meet regulations for NCAA competitive sports. Less than 3 percent of enrolled TWU students utilized the golf course.[15] It was primarily used by the community. The University did not provide academic golf classes for students to enroll in which counted towards degree completion.

Chancellor Feyten convened a task force to study potential options. Both the University of North Texas and/or the City of Denton declined to co-operate the Golf Course.

The task force unanimously passed a resolution recommending the closing of the golf course[16] Housing, academic facilities and/or walkways will be eventually phased in.


The Pioneers soccer team in action against the Texas A&M–Commerce Lions in 2014

TWU Pioneers have NCAA Division II programs in basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, and gymnastics. The Pioneers compete in the Lone Star Conference, but only in most women's sports; the gymnastics team competes in the Division I Midwest Independent Conference.

The TWU Gymnastics squad has won the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships with a record nine team championships since 1993, with the most recent championship in 2008. The team finished second overall in 2010, in addition to squad members winning four out of the five individual titles.

Student publications and media

The Lasso is a student-produced weekly newspaper which was produced by the Mass Communications program and other interested students. Initially a daily, it switched to a weekly format in the 1990s. The Lasso moved from the School of Library and Information Studies to the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages in spring 2006. In summer 2011 the student-run newspaper moved to the Office of Student Life.

A yearbook, The Dadaelian, was published by the Mass Communications program until 1979. A 1986 attempt to reinstate yearbooks with The Pioneer failed. The Dadaelian is currently published on the Denton campus, this time as a literary journal. Students submit original short stories, artwork, photography and poetry.[17]

Energy efficiency

In 2009 the university started a campaign towards greater energy efficiency. The university installed utiliVisor to reduce energy spent air conditioning their facilities. Texas Woman's University now monitors and reduces their energy consumption in real time.[18]

Greek life



Notable alumni and academics


See also


  1. Rachel Mehlhaff (September 13, 2012). "TWU, NCTC report rise in enrollment". Denton Record-Chronicle. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  2. "TWU Fact Sheet, Fall 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2012.
  3. "TWU Fact Sheet, Fall 2012" (PDF).
  4. 1 2 "Patricia Holden-Huchton named dean of TWU's College of Nursing". Twu.edu. January 22, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  5. Thompson, Joyce (15 June 2010). "Texas Women's University". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  6. Sayles' Annotated Civil Statutes of the State of Texas, Title 86, Chapter 5a, 1908
  7. http://www.twu.edu/administration/brief-history-of-twu/
  8. http://www.forbes.com/colleges/texas-womans-university/
  9. http://www.twu.edu/housing/residence-halls.asp>
  10. http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20150820-twu-students-move-in-some-forced-off-campus-in-hotel.ece
  11. http://www.twu.edu/downloads/housing/Form-12-CLPA-022515.pdf
  12. "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016.
  13. "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
  14. "2016 Rankings - National Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  15. http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Texas-Womans-University-Denton-Discuss-Future-of-Campus-Golf-Course-322754561.html
  16. http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20160219-twu-decides-to-close-golf-coursee.ce[]
  17. http://www.twulasso.com/daedalian/
  18. TDSpirit (Winter 2009). "Texas Woman's University Cuts Utility Costs in Real Time With TD's utiliVisor®".
  19. "Candidate profile: Dr. Donna Campbell". texasgrizzlette.com. August 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  20. "Betty Heitman Is Dead; G.O.P. Leader Was 64, February 3, 1994". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  21. "Curriculum Vitae: Juan L. Maldonado" (PDF). senate.state.tx.us. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
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Coordinates: 33°13′30″N 97°07′41″W / 33.225°N 97.128°W / 33.225; -97.128

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