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, individualized majors, and a study abroad requirement. 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 current campus was complete. Goucher has been coeducational since 1986.
Goucher is a college of approximately 1,500 undergraduates from 44 states and 42 countries and 800 students in a thriving graduate program. In the most recent edition of well-known guide Colleges That Change Lives, education writer Hilary Masell Oswald describes Goucher as “liberal arts college of the first magnitude.”
Goucher provides students with a broad-based education and helps them develop skills that will last a lifetime. Students learn how to think creatively and critically, how to process new information and experiences, and how to use these skills to solve problems and be an effective lifelong learner. These skills also prepare students for the jobs of the future. One way the college helps its students achieve their goals in school and in life is by focusing on the 3Rs: relationships, resilience, and reflection. Goucher understands faculty and peer relationships are a prerequisite for learning, resilience is a stronger predictor of success than intelligence, and students must be able to reflect on how they learn best in order to continue acquiring knowledge after graduation. In Fall 2014, Goucher College became the first college in the nation to create an application option requesting student-submitted videos as the decisive factor for admission. The Goucher Video Application was developed to simplify the college admissions process and to increase access to underserved populations.
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, environmental studies, management, and creative nonfiction, as well as a post-baccalaureate 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 high-field nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer in the Hoffberger Science Building. The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Arts Center includes modern theater and studio arts facilities, and the 1,000-seat Kraushaar Auditorium, Mildred Dunnock Theatre, and Todd Dance Studio provide both practice and performance spaces. 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.
In May 2015, the college will break ground to begin an ambitious new project that will transform the residential life experience for its students. This project will include overhauling multiple residence halls, creating more on-campus faculty housing, enlarging green spaces for community-building, and consolidating dining in the heart of campus.
The Sanford J. Ungar Athenaeum is a 103,000-square-foot building that is open 24 hours a day and features a technologically superior library; a spacious open forum for performances, public discussions, and other events; classrooms; a café; an 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 540,000 print, electronic, and audiovisual materials, as well as access to 125 online databases and membership to more than 70,000 electronic 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.
In Fall 2013, the college completed the renovation of the 62,000-square-foot former Julia Rogers Library into a multidisciplinary academic hub. The Academic Center at Julia Rogers offers technologically enhanced classrooms, laboratories, and offices for the social sciences and the physical sciences; an international commons; the Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies; the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE); two passenger elevators and improved accessibility; and a new, formal entrance plaza on the building’s Loop Road side.
A member of NCAA Division III, Goucher competes in basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, track and field, cross country, swimming, field hockey, and lacrosse. The college also offers one of the region’s top equestrian teams 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, as well as multiple regional and zone equestrian championships. Goucher 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.
A Bold Perspective
Goucher College embraces the international, intercultural, and ecological dimensions of every discipline at every level; connects students with the communities around them in substantive, meaningful ways; and comprehensively prepares 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 19,000 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:
1. Scholarship and academic excellence in traditional disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences/ mathematics, and the arts;
2. 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;
3. An international outlook extending liberal arts education beyond Western cultures to encompass the perspectives and achievements of other members of the world community; and
4. 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.
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.