Founded in 1889 as an independent, residential, liberal arts college for women in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Converse is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top college and best value among colleges and universities in the South. Converse has also been named one of the Best 201 Colleges for the Real World. Throughout its history, Converse has produced strong leaders and thinkers who have used their Converse experience to expand women's roles in society and have significantly contributed to the advancement of the U.S.
Converse strengths range from the sciences, education, and interior design to music, politics, and theater. Nearly forty academic majors are offered in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Petrie School of Music–the nation's only comprehensive professional school of music within a liberal arts college for women.
In the coeducational graduate program, Converse offers master's degrees in education, the liberal arts areas, and music. Education specialist degrees are also available in marriage and family therapy, administration and supervision, and curriculum and instruction.
Small classes with individual attention are hallmarks of a Converse education, with the average undergraduate student–teacher ratio being an uncommon 9:1. The intimate classroom setting allows professors to challenge students through spirited and interactive discussions. Converse professors not only teach and advise, they know their students–as individuals.
Located in the upstate region of South Carolina, Spartanburg is a city full of beautiful scenery, historically significant sites, and friendly people. Mixing Southern culture and hospitality with diverse traditions and cultures of other countries, Spartanburg is South Carolina's melting pot.
More than 100 international firms–including German automaker BMW–make Spartanburg an international and cultural center. The city offers a multitude of internship and job placement opportunities. In fact, many local and regional companies visit the campus each year to recruit Converse graduates.
Spartanburg's proximity to the North Carolina mountains,
the South Carolina coast, and major cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte
make it a very attractive place to live. Greenville-Spartanburg International
Airport is served by six major airlines.
The academic calendar consists of two 14-week terms and
a four-week January term. During January term, students can take classes
on campus or take advantage of the many opportunities for off-campus study
programs, including internships and study travel.
Preprofessional programs include Army ROTC, arts management, predentistry, prelaw, premedicine, preministry, prenursing, prepharmacy, and publication and media.
Depending on the student's major and course of study, she can earn a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, or a Bachelor of Music degree.
The Individualized Major allows students to design an
interdisciplinary degree program that links academic interests from at
least three departments.
Facilities and Resources
Phifer Science Hall is a new 26,000-square-foot facility designed for instruction in the natural sciences. Phifer contains cutting-edge laboratories, multimedia teaching technology, and computing equipment that allow faculty members to utilize new teaching methods and technology. Science majors are provided space for upper-level research.
The Sally Abney Rose Physical Activity Complex houses a soccer field, tennis courts, a multipurpose practice field, and the Weisiger Center–a 29,000-square-foot complex housing basketball and volleyball courts, fitness training rooms, locker rooms, coaches' offices, and physical education offices.
Blackman Hall houses the Petrie School of Music. It features more than thirty practice rooms–most with baby grand pianos–soundproof classrooms, faculty teaching studios, an electronic piano lab, and a music media lab with twenty-two iMacs and the latest in music software. Daniel Recital Hall is a 340-seat auditorium cited in Chamber Music America as an exemplary performance facility.
Milliken Fine Arts Building is home to the Department of Art and Design. Faculty studio lofts overlook classrooms, allowing students greater interaction with the work of faculty artists. The building houses a CAD and graphic design lab, darkrooms, ceramic kiln and sculpture yards, bronze casting, and a historic preservation studio. A permanent collection of fifty-two prints, includes works by Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Helmut Newton, and Andy Warhol. Milliken Art Gallery is filled with works by a wide variety of professional artists.
Wilson Hall houses the College's administrative offices, the Office of Admissions, Gee Dining Hall, Hazel B. Abbott Theatre, and the Laird Studio Theatre. The five towers on the front are named for the values held dear to Converse: friendship, loyalty, honor, service, and reverence. On display in the lobby of Wilson is the Converse Honor Pledge, signed by every new student.
Twichell Auditorium is home to Petrie School of Music performances and other campus events and also to community groups such as the Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic and Ballet Spartanburg. Built in 1899 and renovated in 1989, this 1,500-seat auditorium houses a fifty-seven-rank Casavant Freres organ with more than 2,600 pipes and is known for its outstanding acoustics. The auditorium has hosted such famed artists as Chet Atkins, George Burns, Duke Ellington, Burl Ives, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma. It is named as a historic John Philip Sousa site.
The fully automated Mickel Library contains more than 180,000 books and subscriptions to more than 700 periodicals, the Gwathmey Music Library (one of the largest music libraries in the Southeast), and the Writing Center.
Two arts and sciences classroom buildings, Kuhn Hall and
Carmichael Hall, complete the academic faculties on campus.
Each year, Converse awards $5 million in scholarships
in academics, athletics, leadership, music, theater, and visual arts.
These awards are not based on financial need, so the FAFSA is not required.
The awards are renewable for three additional years.
Transfer students are accepted each semester from accredited institutions. Limited scholarship programs are available to transfer students.
To begin the application process, students must send a
completed application for admission, a $35 nonrefundable application fee,
an official transcript of at least six semesters of secondary school,
and official SAT I or ACT scores for freshmen, a teacher recommendation
form, and a graded writing sample.