Wake Forest University is characterized by its devotion to liberal learning and professional preparation, its strong sense of community and fellowship, and its encouragement of free inquiry and expression.

Wake Forest Institute was founded in 1834 by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The school opened its doors on February 3 with Samuel Wait as principal. Classes were first held in a farmhouse on the Calvin Jones plantation in Wake County, North Carolina, near which the village of Wake Forest later developed. 

Rechartered in 1838 as Wake Forest College, Wake Forest is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state. The School of Law was established in 1894, followed by a two-year medical school in 1902. Wake Forest was exclusively a college for men until World War II, when women were admitted for the first time.

In 1941 the medical school moved to Winston-Salem to become affiliated with North Carolina Baptist Hospital and was renamed the Bowman Gray School of Medicine.

In 1946, the trustees of Wake Forest and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina accepted a proposal by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to relocate the College to Winston-Salem, 100 miles to the west. Charles and Mary Reynolds Babcock donated much of the R.J. Reynolds family estate as the site for the campus and building funds were received from many sources. From 1952 to 1956, the first 14 buildings were constructed in Georgian style on the new campus. The move to Winston-Salem took place in the summer of 1956; the original, or “old” campus, is now home to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Following the move, Wake Forest grew considerably in enrollment, programs, and stature and became a university in 1967. The School of Business Administration, first established in 1948, was named the Charles H. Babcock School of Business Administration in 1969 and admitted its first graduate students in 1971. In 1972, the school enrolled only graduate students and the name was changed to the Charles H. Babcock Graduate School of Management; departments of business and accountancy and economics were established in the College. In 1980, the Department of Business and Accountancy was reconstituted as the School of Business and Accountancy; the name was changed to the Wayne Calloway School of Business and Accountancy in 1995. On July 1, 2009, the Wayne Calloway School of Business and Accountancy and the Charles H. Babcock Graduate School of Management officially merged under the name Wake Forest University Schools of Business (now named Wake Forest University School of Business).

The Division of Graduate Studies, established in 1961, is now organized as the Graduate School and encompasses advanced work in the arts and sciences on both the Reynolda and Bowman Gray campuses. In 1997, the medical school was renamed the Wake Forest University School of Medicine; its campus is now known as the Bowman Gray Campus. The School of Divinity was established in 1999. 

Wake Forest honors its Baptist heritage in word and deed. The University will fulfill the opportunities for service arising out of that heritage. Governance is by an independent Board of Trustees; there are advisory boards of visitors for Wake Forest College and each professional school. A joint board of University trustees and trustees of the North Carolina Baptist Hospital is responsible for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, which includes the hospital and the medical school.

The College, the School of Business, the School of Law, the Graduate School, and the School of Divinity are located on the Reynolda Campus in northwest Winston-Salem. The Wake Forest University Charlotte Center, located in that city's acclaimed uptown business district, is home to select graduate business programs. The Wake Forest School of Medicine is four miles away, near the city’s downtown. The University also offers instruction regularly at Casa Artom in Venice, at Worrell House in London, at Flow House in Vienna, in a newly opened facility in Washington, D.C., and in several other places around the world.

The College offers courses in more than 40 fields of study leading to the baccalaureate degree. The School of Divinity offers the master of divinity degree and joint degree programs in law, education, counseling and sustainability in conjunction with other divisions of the University. 

The Wake Forest School of Business offers a four-year bachelor of science degree, with majors in accountancy, business and enterprise management, finance, and mathematical business (offered jointly with the Department of Mathematics); and three graduate degree programs: master of science in accountancy (MSA), master of arts in management (MA), master of business administration (MBA), and master of science in business analytics (MSBA).

The School of Law offers the juris doctor and master of laws in American law degrees. The school also offers a joint JD/MBA degree with the School of Business. 

In addition to the doctor of medicine degree, the Wake Forest School of Medicine offers, through the Graduate School, programs leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in biomedical sciences. The School of Medicine and the School of Business offer a joint MD/MBA program. 

The Graduate School confers the master of arts, master of arts in education, master of arts in liberal studies, and master of science degrees in the arts and sciences and the doctor of philosophy degree in biology, chemistry, and physics. The Graduate School also offers an MFA in documentary film and dual degree programs with the School of Medicine and the School of Business.

The Undergraduate Schools

The undergraduate schools, Wake Forest College and the Wake Forest School of Business, are governed by the Board of Trustees, the University administration, and by their respective faculties. Responsibility for academic administration is delegated by the president and trustees to the provost, who is the chief academic officer of the University. The deans of the schools report to the provost and are responsible for academic planning and administration for their schools.

The Higher Education Act requires that institutions of higher education make available by October 15 of each year a copy of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act annual report to any student who requests one. Please contact the Athletic Department to request a copy of this document.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Wake Forest University is committed to diversity, inclusion and the spirit of Pro Humanitate. In adherence with applicable laws and as provided by University policies, the University prohibits discrimination in its employment practices and its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status.

The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the University’s non-discrimination policies:

Tanya Jachimiak
Title IX Coordinator
Reynolda Hall – Suite 2
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Angela Culler
Assistant Vice President, HR Services
Section 504/ADA Coordinator
2958 Reynolda Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Deputy Title IX Coordinators have also been designated and represent various University schools/divisions. Contact information for each Deputy Coordinator can be obtained from the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

Inquiries concerning the application of anti-discrimination laws may be referred to the individuals listed above or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education. For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm for the address and phone number of the U. S. Department of Education office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.