Since it was founded in 1885, Goucher has been firmly committed to excellence in liberal arts and sciences education. The college was selected for the second Phi Beta Kappa chapter in Maryland and was among the first colleges in the nation to introduce independent study, field work, early admissions, accelerated college programs, and individualized majors. Goucher developed one of the first political science internship programs in the country and later expanded the internship program to all academic areas. Originally named the Woman’s College of Baltimore, Goucher was founded by the Reverend John Franklin Goucher, after whom the college was renamed in 1910. When it was established, Goucher was located in downtown Baltimore, on land deeded by Reverend Goucher to the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By the early 1920s, the college’s trustees had decided to move the campus from the increasingly congested city to a newly purchased tract in Towson, eight miles north of the city. The Depression and then the advent of World War II postponed construction of the new campus. Finally, in 1953, the move to the new campus was complete. Goucher has been coeducational since 1986. In 2006, Goucher became the first college in the nation to implement a study-abroad requirement into its curriculum.
Goucher is a college of about 1,500 undergraduates from 45 states and 29 countries and 820 students in a thriving graduate program. In his book, Colleges That Change Lives, education expert Loren Pope has described Goucher as “one of the best kept secrets of the top-quality coed colleges.”
Goucher provides a diverse array of educational opportunities. For undergraduates, the college offers majors in 18 departments and five interdisciplinary areas and gives students the option of designing their own majors. Goucher has expanded educational opportunities through collaborations with the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering (BA/BS) and the Monterey Institute (BA/MBA). Since 1990, the college has added graduate programs, and now its Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies offers master’s degrees in education, teaching, historic preservation, arts administration, cultural sustainability, digital arts, and creative nonfiction, as well as a post-baccalaureate premedical program that prepares college graduates for medical school. A Goucher education integrates thought and action, combining a strong liberal arts curriculum with hands-on learning in the world beyond the campus. Classes are small and students receive close, personal attention from skilled faculty. Off-campus experiences are an essential component of a Goucher education. Students take part in internships and study abroad, as well as conduct independent research and study off campus.
The major cultural, political, and economic centers of the East Coast are within easy striking distance—a fact that many students use to their advantage in finding internships while they’re here and jobs after they graduate. Goucher is about an hour’s drive from Washington, DC, an hour’s train ride from Philadelphia, and less than an hour away from Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland. New York City is just three hours away by car or train. Goucher is also a member of the 15-college Baltimore Collegetown Network, which further contributes to academic and social opportunities on campus and in the surrounding area.
About three-quarters of Goucher’s alumnae/i go on to graduate, medical, business, or law school within five years of graduation. They study at Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and many other of the nation’s finest graduate and professional schools. Goucher students have won the prestigious Fulbright and Mellon fellowships for graduate study and Goucher faculty have garnered Guggenheim and Newberry fellowships, among others. Goucher’s graduates have gone on to careers and lives of distinction in a wide range of fields.
Goucher’s 287-acre wooded campus is home to impressive facilities in technology, the sciences, and the arts. Goucher was one of the first colleges in the nation to introduce computer courses as part of the undergraduate curriculum and to require computer literacy of all graduates. The college’s network of technology resources includes a scientific visualization laboratory, a computer music studio, a technology learning center, and a state-of-the-art digital language lab. The campus is fully wired for electronic telecommunications, providing access to the Web and cable television as well as to internal campus networks.
Students in the sciences benefit from well-equipped teaching laboratories and research space, an observatory, a greenhouse, and core facility rooms in biology, chemistry, and physics for sophisticated instrumentation such as the highfield nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer in the Hoffberger Science Building. Modern theater and studio arts facilities are located in the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Arts Center, and practice and performance spaces are included in the 1,000-seat Kraushaar Auditorium, Mildred Dunnock Theatre, and Todd Dance Studio. For students in the social sciences, the Hughes Field Politics Center offers internships on Capitol Hill, along with numerous other programs with federal, state, and local officials.
The Athenaeum, completed in Fall 2009, is a 103,000-square-foot building that is open 24 hours a day and features a new, technologically superior library; a spacious open forum for performances, public discussions, and other events; a café, art gallery; a center for community service and multicultural affairs programming; and spaces for exercise, conversation, and quiet reflection and relaxation. The Goucher College Library in the Athenaeum includes a collection of nearly 300,000 volumes, audiovisual materials, and 1,200 periodical subscriptions in paper, along with extensive access to Web-based journals. There are several special collections in the Rare Book Section, including the Mark Twain and Sara Haardt Mencken collections, one of the world’s largest depositories of material by and about Jane Austen, as well as the college’s archives and a growing collection of political memorabilia.
A member of NCAA Division III, Goucher’s Gophers compete in basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, track and field, cross country, swimming, field hockey, and lacrosse. The college also offers a varsity equestrian team and a variety of intramural sports. In recent years, Goucher’s Gophers have won conference championships in field hockey, women’s lacrosse, and men’s basketball, and student-athletes routinely earn prestigious awards for their combined athletic and academic achievements.
The Decker Sports & Recreation Center (SRC) features a large gymnasium, a brand new cardio-fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, racquetball and squash courts, a training room, classrooms, and a multipurpose room used for aerobics and other activities. A new, lighted, all-weather turf field was recently installed, as was an expanded weight room. Other facilities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, five playing fields, a new track stadium, and five miles of hiking, riding, and jogging trails.
Goucher College embraces the international, intercultural, and ecological dimensions of every discipline at every level, and connects the intellectual community with the communities around it in substantive, meaningful ways, and comprehensively prepare students to participate in the world of the 21st century as true global citizens.
Goucher’s vision of transcending boundaries is rooted in the belief that in the future, every academic inquiry and intellectual endeavor must have a global context—and Goucher’s study-abroad initiative is a crucial part of realizing that vision. A Goucher education broadens perspectives in all areas of study, engaging in heightened, intensified discourse that emphasizes international citizenry and intercultural perspectives. The college community encourages intellectual and imaginative efforts that transcend boundaries not only between disciplines, but also among individuals, cultures, and nations worldwide.
Goucher College is also committed to increasing diversity in its faculty, staff, and student body. Through an expanded consciousness of what diversity means and how it may be attained, the community works toward an environment of inclusiveness and mutual respect, emphasizing the discussion and critical evaluation of every point of view in order to reach a balanced understanding of the common challenges we face. And, in order to sustain, invigorate, and expand the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the campus community, Goucher draws on the resources and experience of its vital extended community, including its more-than 11,000 valued alumnae/i.
Goucher College is dedicated to a liberal arts education that prepares students within a broad, humane perspective for a life of inquiry, creativity, and critical and analytical thinking.
The college’s principal objectives are to help each student master significant areas of knowledge and skills while developing an appreciation for individual and cultural diversity, a sense of social responsibility and a system of personal and professional ethics.
Goucher believes these goals are best achieved in an environment that responds to students both as individuals and as members of multiple groups. Accordingly, education at Goucher is based on an expanding sense of community— a community where discourse is valued and practiced, where students attend small classes and interact closely with faculty and one another, and where students can participate in and lead extracurricular programs.
In undertaking this mission, Goucher recognizes the centrality of four curricular and extracurricular themes:
- Scholarship and academic excellence in traditional disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences/ Mathematics, and the Arts.
- An interdisciplinary approach to important areas that cross or transcend the boundaries of traditional disciplines, including world peace, the environment, and the nature of knowledge.
- An international outlook extending liberal arts education beyond Western cultures to encompass the perspectives and achievements of other members of the world community.
- Commitment to experiential learning on and off campus as well as abroad, requiring students to apply and extend what has been learned in the classroom.
Who We Are
Goucher College is a community of individuals who value learning, self-expression, and diversity. We, the students, staff, and faculty of the Goucher community, support one another even as we recognize our differences. Each community member contributes to and, in turn, is enriched by
- the Goucher community,
- the communities of metropolitan Baltimore,
- our home communities, and
- the communities of the world
Our Commitments to One Another
While working, studying and traveling on behalf of Goucher, we recognize that we represent the Goucher community, and we will conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects the following commitments:
Respect: We will treat everyone within our community with respect and learn from our differences. When conflicts arise, we will work together to come up with mutually beneficial resolutions. We also commit to respect and protect the environment on our campus and in the world.
Inclusion: We will acknowledge and embrace the unique gifts and differences of our community members. Furthermore, we seek to include those who may feel excluded.
Communication: We will communicate with the intent to listen and learn from others while placing a premium on maintaining a safe space for those involved. We will create opportunities for dialogue so that a variety of voices can be heard.
Service and Social Justice: We value active participation in bettering the Goucher community as well as those communities beyond the college where we live,work, and serve. In addition, we seek to understand the issues of privilege and oppression that exist in these communities.
Responsibility: We understand that we are accountable for our own actions, opinions, and beliefs, and for ensuring that our actions are conducive to the safety and well-being of others.
Who We Are Becoming
As members of a dynamic community that is constantly in transition and continuously seeking improvement, we strive to live out the commitments that make us a community and to foster the potential we see in each other.