Founded in 1840
Bridgewater State University was founded by Horace Mann, the father of American education, driven by his belief in education as the great equalizer for all citizens. Today, Bridgewater State University has over 10,000 current students and over 75,000 alumni in all 50 states.
Located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts:
39 buildings on 278 acres
10th largest four-year college or university in Massachusetts
11 residence halls and 1 student apartment on campus. (Housing available for undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students.)
Satellite campuses in Attleboro, Cape Cod and New Bedford
Behind the Names
Have you ever wondered why there's a Hunt Hall or Moriarty Pool? In this story series, we'll introduce you to people who have left an indelible mark on Bridgewater State University, stretching all the way back to the institution's founding in 1840.
average students per class
full-time faculty holding a doctoral or other terminal degree
average male/female faculty ratio
Bridgewater State University is a student-centered university focused primarily on excellence in teaching. Through faculty development, we aim to establish and sustain a community of teacher-scholars and a university culture that values, promotes and rewards meaningful professional growth.
BSU has approximately 3,000 courses in more than 100 areas of study, and is recognized as one of the best universities in the nation for outstanding undergraduate research offerings. Undergraduate researchers have a 100% acceptance rate to graduate and professional school — often with full funding and at some of the top programs in the country. In 2020, BSU was ranked among Money's Best Colleges. These accomplishments show Bridgewater can match the learning experiences students have at private universities.
BSU also offers over 200 study abroad programs in more than 50 different countries. Over 2,000 students participate in internships, field experience or practicum experiences each year; and 92% of BSU graduates secure jobs or enroll in graduate school within six months to a year after graduation.
Student Life at BSU
School Colors: Crimson and White
Mascot: Bristaco the Bear
Over 90 Student Clubs and Organizations
Bridgewater State University student athletes compete at the NCAA Division III Level and are members of ECAC, MASCAC, and the Little East
- 22 NCAA Division III teams for men and women
- 10 club sports
- 14 intramural sports
A Great Place to Live and Learn
BSU is ranked fourth in a 2020 survey of the top 25 safest college campuses in America, based on a new analysis of FBI and Department of Education data. 28% of all BSU students live on campus.
Our Commitment to Equality
- BSU ranks among the top 36 four-year, public higher education institutions in the nation on how it serves black students, according to a University of Southern California Race and Equity Center study.
- BSU has been recognized for rising rates of graduation for Bridgewater students overall, and for closing achievement and opportunity gaps for students of low-income, Pell Grant-eligible families, students of color and male students.
- BSU was ranked by Education Reform Now as the second leading university in Massachusetts for making a social mobility impact on students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and identities.
- BSU has been ranked among the top 40 Best Colleges for LGBTQ students by College Choice.
students of color
openly LGBTQ+ students
average male/female student ratio
- Undergraduate students: 8,369
- Graduate students: 1,573
- Total Enrollment: 9,942
*Fall 2021 numbers
*Fall 2021 numbers
Bachelor’s degrees: 1,470
Undergraduate certificates: 18
Master’s degrees: 427
Education Specialist degrees: 15
Post Baccalaureate certificates: 39
Post-Master’s certificates: 11
Graduate certificates: 37
Total degrees awarded: 2,484
*Fall 2021 numbers
Six-year undergraduate completion rate: 71%
Want more facts?
Bridgewater State University Factbook, 2021-2022
The Factbook is a profile of Bridgewater State University — a snapshot of official census counts, taken four weeks into the Fall semester. The link below pertains to the most recent Factbook (Academic Year 2021-2022).
“Students were forbidden to fraternize with the opposite sex; the consequence was expulsion. Slavery was legal. Women couldn’t vote. Martin Van Buren was soon to lose his bid for re-election to the presidency....Into this world view, in a small town in Southeastern Massachusetts, a band of pioneers set their sights on educational reform. One name, in particular, stands tall. It was his vision, his drive, his perseverance and his belief in education as the great equalizer for all citizens that spearheaded the launch of the commonwealth’s normal schools—Horace Mann, the father of American education. From humble beginnings, the Bridgewater Normal School evolved from a one-room schoolhouse located in the old town hall with 28 students to Bridgewater State University with its 270-acre campus serving more than 10,000 students."
Source: Not to be Ministered Unto, But to Minister: Bridgewater State University 1840-2010 by Thomas R. Turner