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History of Queens

Queens University of Charlotte is a coeducational, comprehensive university that has served Charlotte and the Southeast for more than 150 years. The university prides itself on a strong foundation including a Presbyterian heritage, outstanding faculty, innovative curricula and creative programs.

Our Name

Founded in 1857 as the Charlotte Female Institute, the college was originally located at the intersection of College Street and 9th Street near the center of the city. From 1891-1896, it was called the Seminary for Girls. In 1896, chartered by Concord and Mecklenburg Presbyteries, the seminary merged with the Presbyterian Female College. In 1912, it became Queens College, and in 1914 the college relocated to its present campus in Myers Park. The name Queens College was adopted for three reasons: at the request of the Alumnae Association to disarm prejudice in deference to other Presbyterian colleges which claimed an equal right to the denominational name; to commemorate Queen's Museum, a classical school established in Charlotte in 1771; and to honor Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg.

In 1930, Queens College became related to the Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina through a merger with Chicora College in Columbia, SC. The motto from Chicora College, Non ministrari sed ministrare - Not to be served, but to serve - was adopted as the motto of Queens College. Over the years, Queens' growing graduate programs led to its reclassification by the Carnegie Foundation as a master's level university and in 2002, Queens College became Queens University of Charlotte.

Becoming Coeducational

In the aftermath of World War II, Queens admitted its first male students in a non-residential status. In addition, a coeducational evening college was established in 1948 to provide instruction for adults. This was the forerunner of the Hayworth College undergraduate program for adult learners, inaugurated in 1979 as New College. In 1987, Queens College became fully coeducational.

Our Schools

In 1993, the McColl School of Business was created to join the original undergraduate program known as the College of Arts and Sciences. The school achieved AACSB Accreditation in 2007, the highest level given to business schools.

In 2004, Queens merged its nursing program with Presbyterian Hospital's program to create its second school, the Presbyterian School of Nursing. This merger expanded Queens' campus to include a nursing facility on 5th Street near Presbyterian Hospital. In 2007, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of the Cato School of Education. In 2008, the School of Communication (renamed the Knight School of Communication in 2010) was created. Also in 2010, the Andrew Blair College of Health was created to expand the university's offerings in the growing field of healthcare. It houses the Presbyterian School of Nursing.

Graduate Programs

Queens has provided graduate education since 1980 when the inaugural graduate program, the Master of Business Administration, admitted its first class. Throughout the years, other programs have been added:

  • 1983 - MA in Education
  • 1992 - MA in Teaching
  • 1998 - MS in Nursing
  • 1999 - MA in Organizational & Strategic Comm. (Today, this is the MA in Communication) 
  • 2001 - MFA in Creative Writing  
  • 2008 - MS in Organizational Development
  • 2009 - MA in Educational Leadership (This became a fully online program in 2013)
  • 2011 - MS in Executive Coaching
  • 2012 - MA in Music Therapy
  • 2013 - MA in Interior Design

Grounded in the Liberal Arts

In 1989, the College of Arts and Sciences adopted the innovative Foundations of Liberal Learning program, which is now known as the Core Program in Liberal Arts and is required of all students. The four-course program encourages robust class discussions, helping students develop stronger critical thinking skills, explore ethics and morality, learn to articulate their values and ideas and become responsible global citizens. This shared experience builds community at Queens and alumni often say Core became a key component to their personal development.

International Experience

The International Experience Program, which became the John Belk International Program after a generous gift from the Belk family, was established in 1989. The program allowed rising seniors to participate in three to four-week faculty led study tours in Europe, Asia, Central America and Africa.  Today students can choose from a variety of international experiences, from study tours to language immersion programs to international internships to semester and year-long exchange programs. 

Internships and Career Development

In 1996, the Internship and Career Development Program began requiring a minimum of six credit hours for all students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences. Today it boasts 100 percent participation from the university's student body. 

Online Degrees

Beginning in 2013, Queens began offering fully online programs including the MA in Communication; the MS in Nursing with a Clinical Nurse Leader track; the MA in Educational Leadership; and the Master of Business Administration.

Our Future

Queens has provided transformational educational experiences to students from all walks of life for more than a century. We are committed to continuing our tradition of excellence in education while becoming a leading university of the Southeast and the world at large.

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