Salem College

Updated December 2, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Salem College. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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In 1766, the Moravians, an early Protestant denomination, established the village of Salem. The town’s early residents included 16 girls and women who walked from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, more than 500 miles, to join the new community. The Moravians believed that women deserved the same education provided only to men during that era, a radical view during that time in history. In 1772, they established a school for girls and, in 1802, it became a boarding school for girls and young women.

The school was named the Salem Female Academy in 1866 and they began awarding college degrees in the 1880s. It is the oldest female college in the country and the 13th oldest overall. In the beginning, the school was run by the unmarried women in the Moravian community, known as the Single Sisters. One of the first teachers at the school was one of those young women who walked 500 miles to join the new community. Elisabeth Oesterlein was only 17 when she arrived in Salem. She and the Single Sisters were economically self-sufficient, extremely unusual for women during the 18th century.

The school has never followed social norms as records indicate African-American girls had been taught there as early as 1785. In the 1820s, the daughter of a Cherokee Indian Chief attended the school. The girl did not graduate, however, as she left school to join the Trail of Tears.

Traditions that began under the early Moravian culture continue at Salem College. Students participate in Moravian Lovefeasts, a Christmas Candle Tea Celebration and Easter Sunrise Services. The school is still a four-year liberal arts school for women, although men are accepted to undergraduate programs through the Fleer Center for Adult Education and in teacher education programs offered through the graduate school. There are currently 1,100 students enrolled and the school has been named one of the top ten Best Buys for seven years in a row by Money Magazine.

Research indicates that women who attend colleges designed specifically for women are twice as likely to pursue careers and advanced degrees in sciences than those who attend co-educational universities. This research is upheld at Salem as science programs are among the most popular at Salem College.

Salem College Accreditation Details

Salem College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation indicates that the college meets or exceeds criteria set forth by the accrediting agency that indicate their programs are diverse and demonstrate excellence in education. In addition, the Department of Teacher Education and Graduate Studies is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Salem College has also been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1933.

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Salem College Application Requirements

Undergraduate students who have not earned college credits after high school graduation must complete both an application. The application may be an online application found on the school’s website, the Common Application or a downloaded and printed version of the application that may be mailed. Students may also request an information packet that include the application. In order to be considered for admission, students must meet the following high school requirements:

  • Four English credits
  • Three math credits which must include Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II
  • Three science credits
  • Two social studies credits that may include history, psychology, economics or government
  • Two foreign language credits with both obtained in the same language

Students must provide a teacher recommendation form and a personal statement as well. Students must also provide official SAT or ACT scores.

Students transferring from another college or university must provide a high school transcript that shows completion of the same courses as those required of undergraduate students who have not taken courses at another college or university. In addition, students must provide official SAT and ACT scores as well as information on extracurricular activities, personal qualifications and academic progress. Students must provide a transcript from each college or university attended, a Dean’s Release Form completed by the Dean of Students at the most recent college attended and a final transcript at the end of the semester attended at the previous university. In addition, students must have earned a GPA of 2.0 in all college-level coursework. Adults who wish to transfer to Salem College should discuss application requirements with an admissions counselor.

Graduate students must complete an application and sign the Salem Honor Code form. Students must provide a Candidacy for Professional Licensure statement and two recommendation forms. Official copies of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended must also be provided and one transcript must indicate the awarding of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Students must provide copies of teaching licenses and a professional writing sample.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition at Salem College is $500 per credit hour/$1,500 per course. Tuition for the full program is $24,000.

Financial aid is available for all students attending Salem College. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for financial aid. Aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and federal work-study programs.

Online Degree(s) Available

Online Master of Education in School Counseling

The online Master of Education in School Counseling at Salem College is designed for individuals who wish to make a difference in the lives of students. The program is research-driven and allows students to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as licensed school counselors. Students develop an understanding of advocacy, ethics, legal issues, assessment, evaluation, career counseling, personal development counseling as well as action research and program management.

The program is comprised of online classes, internship experiences and two weekend seminars at the Salem campus. The degree can be completed in as little as 36 months. The program is designed to meet the growing demand for highly-skilled school counselors. Graduates have found rewarding careers in educational institutions, providing support and guidance at all levels of the education process. They also are able to work with parents, teachers and other school personnel to encourage positive outcomes in the academic, personal and social development of children.

Salem College has been providing outstanding education to women for more than 200 years. The online Master of Education in School Psychology provides a flexible program that allows working professionals to meet their higher education goals while meeting social, family and work obligations.

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