Spelman College

2014 Quick Stats
350 Spelman Lane SW

Atlanta, GA 30314-4399

Phone: (404) 681-3643
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
Feb. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#65 Overall Score: 62 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Spelman College is a private institution that was founded in 1881. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,145, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 39 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Spelman College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 65. Its tuition and fees are $24,634 (2013-14).

Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, Spelman College is the oldest historically black college for women in America. Located just five minutes outside of downtown Atlanta, Spelman is part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the largest association of historically black institutions of higher learning in the world. First- and second-year students are required to live on campus. There are more than 60 organizations for students to choose from, including Greek life, which constitutes the largest group of students on campus. Spelman College does not compete in intercollegiate athletics; instead, it offers a wellness program for all students.

As part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Spelman partners with Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine. The consortium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality education for African-Americans and other students of diversity. Spelman's Women's Research and Resource Center is the first of its kind on a black college campus devoted to a women's studies curriculum. Stepping, which is a series of movements involving beats, rhythms, calls and chants, is performed by the Greek organizations on campus, and step shows are a popular occurrence among the Atlanta University Center colleges. Notable alumni of Spelman include Audrey F. Manley, the former surgeon general of the United States, and Maj. Gen. Marcelite J. Harris, the first African-American female general of the U.S. Air Force. Alice Walker, author of "The Color Purple," attended Spelman College as well.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Spelman College is a highly selective, historically Black college that inspires women to change the world. We provide an educational experience unlike any other, embracing a long-standing and life-changing commitment to academic rigor, career development, leadership opportunities, community involvement, and positive social action. Our signature offerings include The Spelman MILE (My Integrated Learning Experience); African Diaspora and the World Program; Gordon-Zeto Center for Global Education; the SpelBots Robotics Team; the Spelman College Glee Club; and the Women's Research and Resource Center,the first such center and the first to offer a women's studies major at an HBCU. During the academic year, the College hosts Cosby Distinguished Chair Professors such as creative writer, Tananarive Due and distinguished lecturers such as Angela Davis and Melissa Harris-Perry. Each of these prominent women exemplify the high intellect, creativity, independent thinking, and courage of convictions that the College works to cultivate in our students. Each Spelman student develops an electronic portfolio to capture her journey through The Spelman MILE, our unique combination of curricular and co-curricular experiences. Each student is encouraged to study abroad during her college years, and all students complete internships or undergraduate research projects in the major. Specialized courses, such as First Year Experience, Sophomore Year Experience, and the Major Capstone help to define the Spelman education as one that reflects a strong foundation in the liberal arts that runs through the entire curriculum; strength and depth within the discipline; and interdisciplinary perspectives on "Big Questions" confronting our world. The programs of the College are created with the expectation that the community and society at large will benefit from a student educated in the liberal arts. We know that employers value that preparation: intellectual and skill flexibility; intercultural experiences and competencies; excellent writing and communication skills; and quantitative and strong critical thinking skills.

General Information

School type private, women's college
Year founded 1881
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $309,138,907


When applying to Spelman College, it's important to note the application deadline is February 1, and the early action deadline and the early decision deadline are November 15 and November 1, respectively. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due May 1. The application fee at Spelman College is $35. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 38 percent and an early acceptance rate of 60.3 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 38.0%
Application deadline February 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by May 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Spelman College is 11:1, and the school has 60.3 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Spelman College include: Psychology; Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; English Language and Literature/Letters; and Physical Sciences. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 88 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 11:1
4-year graduation rate 64%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Psychology 25%
Social Sciences 22%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 13%
English Language and Literature/Letters 12%
Physical Sciences 3%

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Student Life

Spelman College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,145, with a gender distribution of 0 percent male students and 100 percent female students. At this school, 65 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 35 percent of students live off campus. Spelman College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,145
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Spelman College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Spelman College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Spelman College, 20 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at Spelman College.

Students who have cars on campus 20%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Spelman College, 81.8 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $14,060.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $24,634 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,945 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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