A sister school is usually a pair of schools, usually single-sex school, one with female students and the other with male students.[1] This relationship is seen to benefit both schools.[2] For instance, when Harvard University was a male-only school, Radcliffe University was its sister school.[3] The sister school concept as a single-sex school began to change as several institutions adopted coeducational environments starting in the 1970s due to the increasing awareness or consciousness about sex bias and discrimination.[4]



The term sister school (or brother school) has several alternate meanings:

  • a definite financial commerce between two colleges or universities
  • two schools that have a strong historical connection
  • two schools which have social activities involving students from both schools
  • two schools under the same management
  • two schools built using the same floor plan/layout
  • two schools in different nations that have established a collaborative international partnership.


  1. ^ Brody, Celeste; Fuller, Kasi Allen; Gosetti, Penny Poplin; Moscato, Susan Randles; Nagel, Nancy Gail; Pace, Glennellen; Schmuck, Patricia (2005-08-12). Gender Consciousness and Privilege. Routledge. ISBN 9781135699031.
  2. ^ "UNESCO Center for Peace » Sister Schools/Universities". www.unescocenterforpeace.org. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  3. ^ O'Connor, Karen (2010-08-18). Gender and Women's Leadership: A Reference Handbook. SAGE. ISBN 9781412960830.
  4. ^ Datnow, Amanda; Hubbard, Lea (2013). Gender in Policy and Practice: Perspectives on Single Sex and Coeducational Schooling. London: Routledge. p. 197. ISBN 9781136703775.