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Longwood University

United States
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Institution type Public

About Longwood University

Founded in 1839 as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, the institution had a series of names over its early history, becoming Longwood College in 1949 and turning fully co-educational in 1976. In 2002, Gov. Mark Warner signed legislation designating Longwood a university. In 2007, Longwood began competing in NCAA Division I athletics. Among Division I schools, Longwood is among the 50 oldest institutions in the country. The university is a member of the Big South Conference.

Longwood students are known for their commitment to campus leadership in extracurricular life. There are more than 125 campus organizations, including active programs in sports and the arts, and a vibrant, service-oriented Greek system (four national sororities were founded at Longwood). Most students live on or close to the university’s bucolic central campus, which – combined with the relatively small scale of about 1,100 students in each entering class – contributes to the look and feel of a private college with the cost and scope of a public institution. Underscoring its commitment to affordability, in 2014 Longwood announced a 2.1 percent tuition increase, it’s lowest in 14 years. Reaffirming that commitment, in 2015 Longwood approved a second consecutive increase of less than 3 percent—by far the smallest two-year price increase seen at any Virginia public university since 2001-02.

Campus information

Longwood’s students, faculty and alumni enjoy a distinctive camaraderie, deeply rooted in a sense of place tied to the campus in historic Farmville, Virginia – one of America’s oldest two-college communities (Hampden-Sydney College is nearby). The university’s signature building, Ruffner Hall, with its famous rotunda, dates to the 1880s and was rebuilt after a 2001 fire that took place in the midst of a $12 million renovation. Eight paintings on the interior of the rotunda dome, created in 1905 by the Italian-born artist Eugene D. Monfalcone of Richmond, had been removed for restoration prior to the fire and were later returned to the reconstructed building. An historic statue of Joan of Arc, affectionately known to generations of alumni as "Joanie on the Stony," was also recently restored and returned to its place of honor on the main floor beneath the rotunda.


The campus was transformed by the 2004 opening of Brock Commons, a park-like pedestrian promenade that replaced what had been a street running through the heart of campus, providing a focal point for campus while eliminating traffic and safety hazards. Other signature spaces on campus include Lancaster Hall; the Cole Gallery, featuring a collection of more than 500 pieces of 19th-century Bohemian glass; Blackwell Hall; and the state-of-the-art Chichester Science Center, which opened 2005 and includes 23 classrooms and laboratories.

Longwood’s campus continues to evolve and improve with echoes of the classical style of foundational buildings such as Ruffner and Blackwell. Recently constructed buildings also include the 75,000-square-foot Health and Fitness Center, featuring an indoor track, basketball and racquetball courts, climbing wall, workout rooms, juice bar and the latest training equipment. The 2009 Center for Communication Studies and Theatre features a 174-seat "black box" theater and a smaller studio theater, along with a scene shop, costume shop and drafting lab. There are currently $150 million in active capital projects underway at various stages of planning and development, including a new University Center that will become the central spoke of student life, a new Student Success Center and a new academic building.

Just a few steps from campus on Farmville’s Main Street are the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, one of just a few dozen nationally accredited university art museums in the country, and the Robert Russa Moton Museum for Civil Rights in Education. One of the remarkable facts of Longwood’s history is its close connection to two transcendent historical events. The Civil War ended practically at one end of campus, with some of the last fighting of the Civil War taking place at High Bridge, a few miles outside town. On April 7, 1865, General Lee held one of his final meetings of the war in Farmville, a few blocks from campus, while trying to provision his retreating Army, but was quickly forced to continue his retreat. General Grant arrived with Union forces just a few hours later and he reviewed his troops from a hotel just a few blocks away. Two days later, with Lee’s surrender a few miles west at Appomattox, the war came to an end. Today, High Bridge is the centerpiece of High Bridge State Park, a 31-mile "rails-to-trails" pathway for bicycling, hiking and horseback riding that runs across Farmville’s Main Street and is easily accessible from campus.

Nearly a century later, the modern civil rights movement arguably began, also just a few steps from campus, with the strike by students at Moton High School against conditions at their segregated school. Those students eventually became one of five groups of plaintiffs in the Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit, and were the only group led by schoolchildren, rather than parents. Today, Moton is a National Historic Landmark and award-winning museum. Through coursework and service learning opportunities, hundreds of Longwood students visit Moton each year, and the level of co-operation in education and scholarship is poised to expand as the university and museum are in the process of negotiating a formal affiliation.

Longwood is located in the heart of Virginia in Farmville, a dynamic two-college town, with the campus of Hampden-Sydney College less than 10 miles away.


Fall 2016 residential new freshmen, transfer and readmitted students must complete a housing and meal plan application through the student housing gateway.  Students will have the opportunity to submit their housing application at summer orientation.  New student housing assignment information will be sent to students in early July.  Residential and Commuter Life does not begin to assign students until the final orientation process is completed.  Therefore, the orientation session that each student attends does not impact when they are assigned to housing.

On the housing application, students will have the opportunity to preference at least 3 building preferences, select a meal plan, and submit roommate information.  Students may choose to answer a roommate survey and be paired with another student by the RCL office or students can mutually select a specific roommate.

Residential and Commuter Life will attempt to honor each student's housing preferences, but it is not possible for every student to receive his/her preferred building preference. 


Courses available 10

Accounting & Finance 3 Applied, Pure Sciences 2 Business, Management 2 Computer Science, IT 1 Humanities & Social Sciences 1 Mass Communication & Media 1


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