In 1834, Wake Forest University began as a manual labor institute known as Wake Forest Institute. It was originally located in Wake Forest, North Carolina and was rechartered as Wake Forest College in 1838. The Law School was established in 1894 and the School of Medicine in 1902, which was initially a two-year program. In 1935, the American Medical Association required all two-year medical programs to become four-year programs, causing the School of Medicine to align itself with a teaching hospital, Winston-Salem’s Baptist Hospital, located about 100 miles away from Wake Forest.
Wake Forest was a small town in the late 1930s and early 1940s with quaint storefronts and quiet streets. Those who attended the college in those days said that the town was small enough that everyone knew everyone else. When World War II broke out, Wake Forest was an all-male school and the war caused a significant drop in enrollment. In 1942, the college began to admit women in an effort to alleviate financial problems. In addition, the college leased space to the Army Finance Center to further reduce their financial burden while the law school merged with Duke University.
As veterans began to return home, the GI Bill tuition benefits increased enrollment at Wake Forest, but the college had limited capital to expand to meet the growing enrollment. Prominent citizens, such as R.J. Reynolds, the tobacco tycoon, noticed that the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, which is what Wake Forest’s medical school had been renamed, was an economic boon to Winston-Salem. The medical school was renamed in honor of Bowman Gray Sr., one of the founders of Wachovia Bank and CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. He was also a philanthropist who donated generously to the school of medicine. Gordon Gray, who became the University of North Carolina System President, requested assistance from the Reynolds family to move Wake Forest to Winston-Salem.
The Reynolds family, along with Charles and Mary Babcock, donated 300 acres of land and $350,000 per year in stipends under the stipulation that the college move to Winston-Salem. The move was also supposed to reunite the college and the medical school. In 1951, it was announced that the college would relocate to Winston-Salem, surprising many Wake Forest residents. The responsibilities of the move were handed to then-President Harold Tribble who recruited President Harry Truman to speak at the 1951 groundbreaking ceremony. Mr. Tribble felt that what President Truman said that day would go down in history as his “Wake Forest speech.” The new campus opened in 1956 and the building whose cornerstones were laid in 1951 still stand, including Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall.
Interestingly, the Bowman Gray School of Medicine did not become the Wake Forest University School of Medicine until 1997, although the campus where the school sits is still known as the Bowman Gray Campus. The old Wake Forest campus is now home to the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Today, Wake Forest University is a private, co-educational university with a liberal arts curriculum. There are over 4,800 students enrolled in undergraduate programs at the school and almost 2,800 graduate students.
Wake Forest University Accreditation Details
Wake Forest University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition, specific programs are accredited by specialized accreditation agencies as well.
Wake Forest University Application Requirements
Students must provide official transcripts showing high school graduation and for any college or university they have attended. SAT and ACT scores are not required but may be submitted. Transfer students must also provide a Dean’s Statement from each college or university attended.
Wake Forest University Tuition and Financial Aid
Annual tuition at Wake Forest University is an estimated $47,682 per year. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, work-study, scholarships and federal loans. In order to qualify for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form must be completed each year the student plans to attend the school.
Wake Forest University Online Degree(s) Available
Master of Arts in Counseling
Wake Forest University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling focus that is available online. The program prepares students to serve others as a counseling professional. The program is a rigorous course of study that promotes professional growth. Graduates are provided rich, diverse opportunities and alumni have worked in many different community agencies, mental facilities and schools. The program is deeply rooted in a spirit of service and is highly regarded as one of the best programs in the country. The program has twice been selected as the “Outstanding Counselor Education Program” by various counselor educator associations. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs as well as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Graduates have a 100 percent pass rate for those who take the National Counselor examination. The program has been ranked as 27th in the country as one of the Best National Universities and 35th for Best Value by U.S. News and World Report.
The program has a comprehensive and balanced curriculum and is designed to be completed in three years. Students are required to complete 12 credit hours in foundation courses, 18 credit hours in core courses and 12 credit hours in counseling-specific courses. Students who take the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track must also complete 18 credit hours in clinical mental health classes. Graduates of the program are qualified to sit for the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification examination. The program is focused on empowering and enriching graduates whose career goals include helping humanity.
Wake Forest University counseling faculty members have responded to crises that have an effect on human lives. Faculty members responded to the mental health needs of those affected by Hurricane Katrina, worked as part of the response team after the Virginia Tech shootings and offered support services in the aftermath of 9/11.
The Master of Arts in Counseling degree at Wake Forest University provides graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance in a current career, succeed in studies at the doctorate level or to move into a new career.