Longwood University is a public, four-year, coeducational institution of higher education located in Farmville, Virginia. Longwood has been recognized as a top-ten public university in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the best colleges and universities in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. Established in 1839 as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, the college was renamed several times during the first part of its history. In 1949 the school became Longwood College and in 1976 was a fully coeducational institution. In 2002 the school was granted university status by Gov. Mark Warner who signed legislation designating Longwood as a university.
Longwood University’s vision is to be “an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of citizen leaders who are prepared to make positive contributions to the common good of society.” The University’s mission statement continues, “Building upon its strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, the University provides an environment in which exceptional teaching fosters student learning, scholarship, and achievement. As the only four-year public institution in south central Virginia, Longwood University serves as a catalyst for regional prosperity and advancement.” Longwood University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1927.
Longwood University offers more than 100 majors, minors and concentrations as well as graduate programs in the areas of business, education, English, sociology and communication sciences & disorders. The University is divided into four colleges, including the Cook-Cole College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business & Economics, the College of Education & Human Services, and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies. An internship or research project is required of every student regardless of their major. In addition, Longwood University offers students the opportunity to participate in a study abroad trip through its short- and long-term programs.
Longwood University has a total enrollment figure of more than 5,000, including well over 4,500 undergraduate students. The majority of students live on or nearby the university’s scenic, rural campus which includes 154 acres near the downtown area of Farmville, VA. Ruffner Hall is the University’s signature building with its famous rotunda; the hall dates back to the 1880s though it needed to be rebuilt in 2001 after a fire destroyed part of it.
Longwood University recognizes more than 125 campus organizations including active programs in sports and the arts, and a vibrant, service-oriented Greek system which includes four national sororities which were founded at Longwood. These and other activities and events provide students opportunity to interact with one another outside of the classroom and to develop valuable leadership skills. Longwood University’s varsity teams compete in the NCAA at the Division I-AAA level in the Big South Conference. Longwood is among the 50 oldest institutions in the country among Division I schools.