- This article concerns Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut; there is also a Wesleyan University in the Philippines and a number of other colleges and universities whose names include Wesleyan.
Template:Infobox American Universities Wesleyan University founded in 1831, is a private, liberal arts university in Middletown, Connecticut. Founded by Methodist leaders and residents of Middletown, Wesleyan was the first university to be named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and it shares a common Methodist heritage with about twenty other U.S. colleges and universities also named after Wesley.
With a class size of slightly over 700, Wesleyan accepts just 28% (class of 2008) of those who apply, making it one of the most selective colleges in the US (giving it a Princeton Review Admissions Selectivity Rating of 97 on a scale from 60 to 99). It was ranked 9th in the top Liberal Arts Colleges in the country by the US News. Wesleyan is well known for the diversity of its student population with students from 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 45 foreign countries. 22% of the class of 2004 identified themselves as students of color.
Wesleyan is also famous for its activism, especially for its feminist and gay-rights organizations, and as such it was the main inspiration for the 1994 movie PCU, which satirized an exaggeratedly "Politically Correct University."
Wesleyan was founded as an all-male Methodist college in 1831. In 1872 it became one of the first universities to attempt a coeducational environment, allowing a small number of female students to attend the university, a venture known as the "Wesleyan Experiment". Many of Wesleyan's male alumni believed that coeducation lowered Wesleyan's standings compared to its academic peers, so from 1912 to 1970, Wesleyan returned to being an all-male university. By the time the university began reintegrating women in 1970, many female scholars had already found their place at the all-female Connecticut College in nearby New London, founded by Wesleyan alumni in 1911.
Wesleyan became fully independent of the Methodist Church in 1937, after ties to the church waned throughout the early 20th century.
Wesleyan offers Bachelor of Arts, the Master of Arts and the Ph.D. Wesleyan offers over 900 courses in 39 departments and 44 major fields of study. No minor specialisms are offered. The university is also highly supportive of interdisciplinary programs and custom-made majors, known as University Majors. Almost all classes at Wesleyan are small, with the most frequent class size being between 11 and 19 students.
Wesleyan's graduate programs are mostly limited to the sciences and mathematics, although they also offer graduate programs in Music and Ethnomusicology and in Psychology.
Departments and majors
The following is a list of departments as of 2004. Except as noted, each department also has a single corresponding major (although the official names of majors do not include the word "program" found in some department names).
- African American Studies
- American Studies Program
- Archaeology Program
- Art and Art History
- Art History
- Art Studio
- Asian Languages and Literatures
- (No separate major, see East Asian Studies)
- Center for the Humanities
- (No corresponding major)
- Classical Studies
- Classical Civilization
- College of Letters
- College of Social Studies
- Earth and Environmental Sciences
- East Asian Studies Program
- Film Studies
- German Studies
- Latin American Studies Program
- Less Commonly Taught Languages
- (No corresponding major)
- Computer Science
- Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
- Medieval Studies Program
- Neuroscience and Behavior
- Physical Education
- (No corresponding major)
- Romance Languages and Literatures
- French Studies
- Italian Studies
- Romance Studies
- Spanish Literature
- Russian and East European Studies Program
- Russian Languages and Literatures
- Science in Society Program
- Women's Studies Program
Wesleyan's certificate programs are "designed to bring coherence to programs of study that include courses from many departments and programs." They are:
- Certificate in Environmental Studies
- Certificate in Informatics and Modeling
- Certificate in International Relations
- Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies
2004 has seen a resurgence in activism at Wesleyan, after several years of decline. In December, over 250 students took over South College, the building housing President Bennet's office, to protest the lack of student voices in administrative decision making. The building occupation was followed by a forum the next day, in which President Bennet promised to respond to student demands in January 2005. 
Another current controversy as of December 2004 is the status of the campus radio station, WESU, founded in 1939 as the second college radio station in the United States (KUOA at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas was the first, in 1936). ,  Since 1988, WESU's format has been entirely free-form, with DJs having complete freedom to program what they will. The university is now considering some sort of affiliation with National Public Radio, which would require a drastic change in format. , 
Notable alumni of Wesleyan University include:
- Linda Brinen 1988 - Scientific and technical programs manager, Joint Center for Structural Genomics, Stanford University
- Gerald Holton 1941 - Professor emeritus, Harvard University, world's leading authority on life of Albert Einstein
- Beverly Daniel Tatum 1975 - President, Spelman College; author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
- Meredith Bergmann 1976 - Sculptor of Women's Memorial (Boston).
- Lyle Ashton Harris 1988 - Photographer, exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art
- Alan Shestack 1960 - Chief curator, National Gallery of Art
- Mark Steinmetz 1982 - Photographer, recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship
- Philip Trager 1956 - Photographer whose books include Villas of Palladio, Dancers, Persephone, and Changing Paris: A Tour Along the Seine
- Joshua Boger 1973 - President and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
- Majora Carter 1988 - Founder and executive director, Sustainable South Bronx
- Richard Cavanagh 1968 - President and CEO, The Conference Board of New York
- Alan Dachs 1970 - President, The Fremont Group (investment arm of Bechtel Corp.); chairman of Wesleyan's board of trustees
- Ronald Daniel 1952 - Former Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company.
- Charles Exley, Jr. 1951 - Former chairman and CEO, NCR Corporation
- Houghton Freeman 1943 - Former Vice Chairman, AIG; Founder of AIU.
- Charles James 1976 - Vice president and general counsel, ChevronTexaco Corp.
- Herb Kelleher 1953 - Founder, chairman, and former president and CEO, Southwest Airlines
- Matt Kelley 1902 - Founder, president and CEO, The Mavin Foundation
- Daphne Kwok 1984 - Executive director of the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies
- Eliza Leighton 1995 - Cofounder, Stand for Children
- John Lipsky 1968 - Chief economist and managing director, JP Morgan Chase
- Robert Patricelli 1961 - President and CEO, Women's Health, USA
- Anthony Richter 1984 - director of Central Asia and Middle East Initiatives of the Open Society Institute
- Tom Rogers 1976 - Chairman and CEO, Primedia
- Jonathan Schwartz 1987 - President and COO, Sun Microsystems
- David Skaggs 1964 - Executive director, Aspen Institute
- Laura Walker 1979 - President and CEO, WNYC
- Jeff Weitzen 1978 - Former president and CEO, Gateway 2000
- John Woodhouse 1953 - Senior chairman, Sysco Corp.
- Walter Wriston 1941 - Retired chairman, Citicorp
- Strauss Zelnick 1979 - Founder and president, ZelnickMedia
- Ezra Zilkha 1947 - President, Zilkha and Sons
- Miguel Arteta 1989 - Film director (Star Maps, Chuck and Buck, The Good Girl)
- John Perry Barlow 1969 - Lyricist for Grateful Dead, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Michael Bay 1986 - Film director (The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor)
- Jennifer Crittenden 1992 - Writer and/or producer for Seinfeld, The Drew Carey Show, and Everybody Loves Raymond
- Ed Decter 1979 - Screenwriter: There's Something About Mary
- Dana Delany 1978 - Emmy Award-winning actress whose credits include the television shows China Beach and Presidio Med and the films Tombstone and Fly Away Home
- Akiva Goldsman 1983 - Screenwriter for The Client, A Time to Kill, and A Beautiful Mind (Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar)
- The Highwaymen (David Fisher 1962, Steve Trott '62, Chan Daniels '62 [dec.], Steve Butts '62, and Bob Burnett '62) -- folk group with #1 single ("Michael" 1961).
- Jay Hoggard 1976 - Renowned jazz musician, vibraphonist
- David Kohan 1986 - Cocreator and executive producer of Will & Grace and Good Morning, Miami
- Laurence Mark 1971 - Producer of the films Jerry McGuire, As Good As It Gets, Finding Forrester
- Daisy von Scherler Mayer 1988 - Film director (Party Girl, Madeline, The Guru)
- Alix Olson 1997 - Performance artist and award-winning slam poet
- Paul Schiff 1981 - Producer of the films My Cousin Vinny and Rushmore
- Stephen Schiff 1972 - Screenwriter for Lolita, True Crime, and Unfaithful
- Stephen Trask 1989 - Composer and lyricist for the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch
- Jon Turteltaub 1985 - Film director (Cool Runnings, Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping, National Treasure)
- Paul Weitz 1988 - Director (with brother Chris Weitz, American Pie, About a Boy)
- Joss Whedon 1987 - Creator, producer, director, and writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly; screenwriter for Speed and Toy Story
- Bradley Whitford 1981 - Emmy-winning actor in television drama The West Wing
- David White 1970 - Executive director, producer, and founder of the Dance Theater Workshop
- Mike White 1992 - Screenwriter for Chuck and Buck, Orange County, and The Good Girl
- Dar Williams 1989 - Folksinger
- Christopher Wink 1983 - Founder of the Blue Man Group
- Frank Wood 1984 - Tony Award-winning actor (Side Man)
- Russell Hardin 1964 - Attorney, Hardin, Beers, Hagstette & Davidson, and lead Houston attorney for Arthur Andersen's defense against lawsuits brought by Enron shareholders
- Hon. Terry Hatter 1954 - Federal judge, Los Angeles
- Hon. Anthony Scirica 1962 - Circuit judge, United States Court of Appeals, Third District (Philadelphia)
- Theodore Shaw 1976 - Associate director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Hon. Stephen Trott 1962 - Federal Appellate Court judge, 9th Circuit
- Amy Bloom 1975 - Author of Come to Me, Love Invents Us, and A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You
- Robin Cook 1962 - Medical mystery writer whose books include Abduction, Chromosome 6, Coma, Shock, and many other bestsellers
- Ted Fiske 1959 - Educational writer, creator of The Fiske Guide to Colleges
- William H. Gass
- Daniel Handler 1992 - Author (under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket) of A Series of Unfortunate Events children's book series
- Sebastian Junger 1984 - Author of The Perfect Storm and Fire
- Robert Ludlum 1951 - The late writer whose books include The Bourne Identity, The Matarese Circle, and many others
- C. Richard (Rick) Nicita 1967 - Cochairman, Creative Artists Agency
- Charles Olson 1932 - modernist poet
- Dr. Michael Palmer 1964 - Medical mystery writer whose books include Side Effects, Flashback, Extreme Measures, and Natural Causes
- Sara Shandler 2002 - Author of Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self
- Dr. Herbert Benson 1957 - Founding president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute; author of The Relaxation Response
- Dr. Laman Gray, Jr. 1963 - Artificial heart surgeon
- Dr. Jay Levy 1960 - AIDS researcher and educator; professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
- Emelie Marcus 1982 - Editor of the scientific journal Cell.
- Eric Asimov 1979 - Restaurant columnist and editor, The New York Times; nephew of Isaac Asimov
- William Blakemore 1965 - Correspondent, ABC News
- Ethan Bronner 1976 - Assistant editorial page editor, The New York Times
- Dominique Browning 1977 - Editor-in-chief, House & Garden Magazine
- Jane Eisner 1977 - Columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Alberto Ibargüen 1966 - Publisher, The Miami Herald, Chair of PBS Board of Directors
- Brooks Kraft 1987 - Nationally recognized photojournalist whose pictures of the White House and President Bush have appeared in Time Magazine.
- Alex Kotlowitz 1977 - Journalist, activist, author of There Are No Children Here
- Caroline Little 1981 - COO of Washington Post.Newsweek Interactive
- Randall Pinkston 1972 - Emmy Award-winning television journalist
- C. Sumner (Chuck) Stone 1948 - Professor of journalism at University of North Carolina; former editor, Philadelphia Daily News
- Michael Yamashita 1971 - Photographer, National Geographic
- John Yang 1980 - Correspondent, ABC News
- Gerald Baliles 1963 - Former governor of Virginia
- John Hickenlooper 1974 - Mayor of Denver, Colorado.
- Robert E. Hunter 1962 - Former United States ambassador to NATO, now president of the Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Bill Belichick 1975 - Head coach, New England Patriots, winner of 2002, 2004, and 2005 Super Bowls
- Ambrose Burfoot 1968 - First collegian to win the Boston Marathon; executive editor, Runner's World Magazine
- Jeff Galloway 1967 - Celebrated runner and author of Galloway's Book on Running
- Bill Rodgers 1970 - Renowned runner, winner of four New York and four Boston marathons