Mary Baldwin University: About Us

Founded in 1842, Mary Baldwin University has a proud legacy of innovating to best serve our students as the world changes. Our namesake, Mary Julia Baldwin, became principal of a boarding school for young women struggling to remain open during the Civil War and transformed it into a thriving, prestigious community of learning.

Today, MBU is a small, coeducational university offering a range of degree programs from bachelor to doctoral. We serve a vibrant student population on our main campus in historic Staunton, Virginia, named one of the “20 Best Small Towns in America” by Smithsonian Magazine. A cutting-edge health sciences campus in Augusta County, programs for online study, and regional advising centers throughout Virginia are also part of the university.

With 176 years of excellence, MBU offers unique opportunities for our students to become leaders in the classroom, community, workplace, and in their own lives. In 1977, Mary Baldwin was the first college in Virginia to create a program for women and men to earn their degrees later in life. With the opening of our college of health sciences in 2014, we established one of the first dozen doctoral programs of occupational therapy in the nation. In 2017 we expanded on our long tradition of student-centered excellence to welcome our first residential men to campus.

MBU also offers special residential programs open only to women, including the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted — in which brilliant young women can start college several years early — and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership — the first and only all-female cadet corps in the U.S.

We’re seeking bold, forward-thinking women and men to join us at Mary Baldwin University in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Together, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni create a community dedicated to bringing out the best in small, private education.


Mary Baldwin empowers leaders to pursue lives of purpose in a changing world.

As a distinctive small university committed to its rich heritage as an inclusive, women-centered liberal arts college, Mary Baldwin fulfills its mission by providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional education to a diverse population of women and men. It emphasizes high ethical standards and the development of critical, creative, and reflective reasoning as the foundation for fulfilling, engaged, and meaningful lives.

Honor and Distinctions

Mary Baldwin University holds membership in the following national honorary societies: Alpha Kappa Delta (sociology), Alpha Lambda Delta (freshmen), Alpha Phi Sigma (criminal justice), Alpha Sigma Lambda (adult students), Beta Beta Beta (biology), Iota Sigma Pi (chemistry), Kappa Delta Pi (education), Lambda Pi Eta (communication), Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics), Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership), Phi Alpha (social work), Phi Alpha Theta (history), Phi Beta Kappa (the nation’s oldest and most respected society honoring the liberal arts; membership is held through the Lambda of Virginia Chapter), Pi Alpha (physician assistant), Pi Sigma Alpha (political science), Pi Theta Epsilon (occupational therapy), Psi Chi (psychology), Sigma Beta Delta (business, management, and administration), Sigma Pi Sigma (physics), Sigma Tau Delta (English), and Upsilon Phi Delta (healthcare administration).

Mary Baldwin University: The Four Colleges

MBU’s academic structure comprises four colleges through which curriculum (both undergraduate and graduate) is developed and taught: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Professional Studies, College of Education, and the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.

Major (M)
Minor (m)
All majors (M) offer a bachelor of arts (BA)
* Bachelor of science (BS) also offered
** Bachelor of social work (BSW)

College of Arts and Sciences

Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, while also providing a clear pathway from college to career, the College of Arts and Sciences offers the degrees of bachelor of arts and/or bachelor of science in a wide variety of majors and minors. A foundation of rigorous academics enables arts and sciences students to harness intellectual curiosity, critically analyze evidence and think through conclusions, and clearly communicate their thoughts. The breadth (experiencing a wide range of knowledge, ideas, and traditions) and depth (gaining expertise in a single field through a major or minor) of a liberal arts education primes students to navigate and thrive in a world in which knowledge and professions change rapidly.

Undergraduate Studies
African-American Studies (m)
Anthropology (m)
Art History (m)
Art — Studio (M, m)
Arts Management (M)
* Biology (M, m)
* Biochemistry (M)
* Chemistry (M, m)
Clinical Laboratory Science (M)
Creative Writing (m)
* Economics (M, m)
English (M, m)
Exercise Leadership (m)
Film (m)
Francophone Studies (m)
Global Poverty and Development (m)
History (M, m)
History — Public (m)
International Affairs (M)
Leadership Studies (m)
* Mathematics (M, m)
* Mathematics — Applied (M)
Music (m)
Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution (m)
Performing Arts (M)
Philosophy (m)
* Physics (M, m)
Political Science (M, m)
* Psychology (M, m)
Religious Leadership and Ministry (m)
Religious Studies (m)
Sexuality and Gender Studies (m)
Sociology (M, m)
Theatre (m)
U.S. Poverty Analysis (m)
Women’s Studies (m)

Graduate Studies
BA/MS in Applied Mathematics (with the University of Virginia)
BA/MS in Engineering (with the University of Virginia)
BA/MLitt in Shakespeare and Performance
Master of Letters in Shakespeare and Performance
Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Performance

College of Business and Professional Studies

The College of Business and Professional Studies comprises the business, social work, and health care administration programs leading to bachelor of arts and bachelor of social work degrees. Offering students a solid knowledge-base in the theory of their chosen field, the college stresses applying that intellectual foundation to address society’s needs and problems. About one-quarter of all MBU undergraduates earn their degrees in these majors.

The business program approaches business strategy and business education with a curricular emphasis on sustainability and the “triple bottom line” (harnessing benefits that are economic, social, and environmental). The Susan Warfield Caples Social Work Program encourages students to solve social problems and become advocates for vulnerable, disenfranchised, and marginalized populations. Criminal Justice provides students with thorough knowledge and strong applied components as well as internships in which they will work with crime agencies and police departments. The Carpenter Health Care Administration program — the only endowed undergraduate program of its kind in the United States — is led by experienced faculty and offers solid networking opportunities to jump start students’ careers in the rapidly evolving, in-demand field of health care.

Undergraduate Studies
* Business (M, m)
* Business Economics (M)
Communication (m)
Criminal Justice (M, m)
Health Care Administration (M, m)
Human Resource Management (m)
Management (m)
Marketing (m)
Marketing and Communication (M)
Public Health (m)
** Social Work (M)

Graduate Studies
Master of Business Administration

College of Education

The College of Education offers professional programs designed to prepare students to enter a wide variety of educational careers, including teaching, higher education administration, advanced behavior analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other non-teaching professions. Undergraduate students interested in teaching at the middle or secondary level major in the area in which they intend to teach and minor in education, while the Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies major leads to licensure for elementary education. With a focus on developing confident leadership skills, the college creates a collaborative environment of inquiry and innovation, while helping individuals find personal pathways to achieve their goals. The College of Education offers a variety of programs of study: paths to Virginia teacher licensure as well as non-licensure and/or non-degree opportunities for professional development.

Undergraduate Studies
Education (m)
Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies (M)
Teacher Licensure Program (multiple majors and subject areas)

Graduate Studies
BA/MAT in Teaching
BA/MEd in Education
Master of Arts in Teaching
Master of Education
Master of Science

Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences

Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences is setting the standard nationally for superior interprofessional preparation of health care professionals. Its innovative programs have a state-of-the-art home on the Mary Baldwin University branch campus in Fishersville that provides sophisticated technological aids to learning that complement faculty expertise and keep students up to date in an ever-evolving field. The college’s location in a regional health corridor provides students many opportunities for clinical/educational practicums and research. The college of health sciences offers doctoral and master’s programs, as well as studies on the undergraduate level.

*Health Sciences (M)
Nursing (RN-to-BSN, post-licensure)

Graduate Studies
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Master of Science in Nursing
Master of Science in Physician’s Assistant
Master of Healthcare Administration

Dual Degrees
Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration
Master of Nursing/Master of Healthcare Administration
Master of Nursing/Master of Business Administration

*For the most current accreditation information concerning Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, reference

Mary Baldwin University: Points of Entry for Students

Students enter Mary Baldwin University through one of six entities: the College of Education, Mary Baldwin College for Women, MBU Online, Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, Shakespeare and Performance, or University College. This structure allows the university to support the educational needs and styles of a wide variety of students in different programs, giving them academic and administrative assistance as they earn their degrees, and career guidance for what comes after graduation. From the time a student first decides to come to Mary Baldwin, faculty and staff work to create an environment centered upon community and collaboration that will foster both academic and life-long success.

College of Education

The College of Education (COE) offers co-educational undergraduate and graduate programs in education and education-related fields, teacher licensure, and professional development and certificate programs. Headquartered on the main campus in Staunton, COE extends its reach through MBU’s regional centers and offers many classes online. All COE offerings develop leadership skills, encourage inquiry and reflection, integrate theory and practice, and provide opportunities for exploration and innovation.

Mary Baldwin College for Women

One option for the undergraduate residential experience at MBU, Mary Baldwin College for Women (MBCW) offers opportunities to develop women-centered leadership skills. What does the college mean by that? Students in MBCW will learn and live a vision that has the leader not at the front of a line, but in the middle of a circle — making connections, championing compassion, insisting upon inclusivity. Women leaders open doors and encourage others to join them in building a better world. Since Mary Baldwin’s founding in 1842, women’s leadership has been at its core. College for Women students also live in female-only residence halls, and MBCW includes two unique programs: the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, for very young women of exceptional ability, and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, the nation’s only all-female corps of cadets.

MBU Online Programs

The co-educational MBU Online Programs offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates in top programs that lead to rewarding careers. With online, on-site, and hybrid options, the program is designed to be flexible and affordable, streamlining the path to degree or certificate completion, and it holds physical classes on the main campus in Staunton as well as through regional centers across the state.

Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences

Recognizing that quality health care is best achieved when practitioners work collaboratively across disciplines, Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) is interprofessional by design, both through its pioneering curriculum and award-winning health sciences campus in Fishersville. This commitment to collaboration ensures that MDCHS graduates will be ready to serve patients well in a changing health care environment. Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences offers doctoral programs in physical therapy (DPT) and occupational therapy (OTD), master’s degrees in physician assistant (MSPA), nursing (MSN) and healthcare administration (MHA), as well as an online RN-to-BSN program and undergraduate health sciences major. MDCHS is committed to fostering the education of future health care professionals who are knowledgeable, competent, compassionate, and ethical, with a strong commitment to human service.

*For the most current accreditation information concerning Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, reference

Shakespeare and Performance

An internationally recognized graduate program, Shakespeare and Performance (S&P), offered in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center, offers a Renaissance approach to scholarship and performance. S&P offers an initial graduate degree, the master of letters (MLitt), and students may then choose to pursue the master of fine arts (MFA), whose one-of-a-kind company model prepares graduates for a wide range of roles in theatre and education.

University College

Another option for the undergraduate residential experience at MBU, University College offers students a clear path to any of MBU’s more than 50 majors and minors. It is open to men and women, who live in co-ed residence halls on campus. If students already know what their academic passion is, University College also offers special focus in healthcare and medicine, education, Shakespeare and performing arts, and business. Added benefits in these areas include dedicated advisors, collaborative living-learning community, first-year field experiences, professional networking, and optional four- or five-year master’s degree.