15 Colleges With Coed Showers (Meaning, Pros & Cons, FAQs)

Coed Showers in College

Coed showers are shared shower facilities that allow individuals of any gender identity to use the same space to wash and freshen up.

Colleges with coed showers are a growing trend among universities and colleges in the United States.

Co-ed showers have been introduced to promote equality and inclusiveness and give students a sense of community in their living spaces.

This article will examine the pros and cons of colleges with coed showers.

What are coed bathrooms?

Coed bathrooms are bathrooms that both men and women can use.

Instead of having separate bathrooms for each gender, a coed bathroom allows everyone to use the same facility. These bathrooms often have private stalls to ensure privacy.

What are Co-ed showers?

Co-ed showers are shower facilities that can be used by both males and females rather than being separated by gender.

These showers are common in modern or progressive settings, like certain colleges or communal living spaces.

They are designed to be inclusive and often have private stalls for individual use to maintain privacy. The availability and design of co-ed showers can vary depending on the place and its policies.

Do colleges have Coed Bathrooms?

The availability of coed (co-educational) bathrooms varies from college to college and is often influenced by cultural, regional, and institutional factors.

Some colleges and universities offer coed bathrooms, particularly in more modern or recently renovated residential buildings.

These facilities are designed to be inclusive and may feature private stalls meant to accommodate all students, regardless of gender.

Other institutions may stick to gender-segregated bathrooms but offer “gender-neutral” options elsewhere on campus.

Some schools may not offer coed bathrooms due to tradition, logistical concerns, or the preferences of the student body or administration.

It’s best to check with specific colleges or universities for information on their bathroom facilities.

Are Communal Bathrooms Coed?

Communal bathrooms can be coed (used by both males and females) or separated by gender.

It depends on the specific place and its policies. Some modern or progressive settings might have coed communal bathrooms, but many places still have gender-segregated facilities.

Always check the rules or ask someone if you’re not sure.

Whether these communal bathrooms are coed (used by both males and females) depends on the institution’s policy or where you find them.

1. Coed Communal Bathrooms:

In some modern or progressive settings like certain colleges or communal living arrangements, communal bathrooms are coed. This means both men and women can use the same bathroom.

These bathrooms usually have individual stalls for privacy; sometimes, the showers have individual, lockable stalls.

2. Gender-Segregated Communal Bathrooms:

Many places, however, still have communal bathrooms separated by gender. In these cases, men and women have their own designated bathrooms, and these are usually clearly marked.

3. Gender-Neutral Bathrooms:

Some places offer a third option: gender-neutral bathrooms.

Anyone can use these, regardless of gender, but they are not necessarily communal. They are often single-stall bathrooms meant for one user at a time.

Pros Of Coed Showers in College

1. Promotes Equality

Co-ed showers in colleges promote equality and inclusivity.

By eliminating the gender divide, students from different backgrounds and genders can interact and form meaningful connections.

This helps to break down barriers and create a more inclusive environment.

2. Higher Convenient

Coed showers save time and effort as students can use them whenever they like without waiting in line for the male or female showers.

3. Reduces Stigma

Many students feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their bodies, and coed showers can help reduce this stigma by allowing students to see and appreciate diverse bodies.

This can help to increase body positivity and promote a more accepting culture.

Cons Of Coed Showers in College

1. Privacy Concerns

One of the biggest concerns of coed showers is privacy.

Some students feel uncomfortable showering with members of the opposite sex and may experience embarrassment or shame.

This can be particularly challenging for students who are shy or introverted.

2. Safety Concerns

Coed showers also raise safety concerns, as students of different genders may be at risk of sexual harassment or assault.

This can be especially concerning for female students who may feel uncomfortable or vulnerable in these environments.

3. Hygiene Issues

Coed showers may also raise hygiene concerns, as students may be exposed to infectious diseases.

This can lead to health problems for individuals and potentially spread illness to others.

Colleges With Coed Showers

Here are a few colleges that have implemented coed showers:

1. Harvard University

Harvard University was one of the first Ivy League schools to add showers for both men and women to their dorms 2018.

2. University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley has coed showers in its residence halls, part of the university’s efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.

3. Stanford University

The coed showers at Stanford are meant to encourage equality and give students a comfortable and easy way to shower.

4. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan has coed showers in its residence halls and apartments, offering students a choice between single-gender and coed showers.

5. Ohio State University

In the dorms at Ohio State University, there are showers for both men and women, with separate changing rooms and stalls for privacy.

6. The University of Wisconsin

This school has several residence halls that offer coed shower facilities.

However, the specific policies and amenities offered may vary from one residence hall to another, so students are encouraged to check the precise details of their housing arrangements before enrolling.

7. Wesleyan University

This university has offered gender-neutral housing options for first-year students for years, allowing them to make their own choices and live with anyone they choose, regardless of gender.

After their first year, students participate in a lottery to choose from the different housing options. This makes the process easy and fun.

Wesleyan University is one of the colleges with coed showers.

8. San Diego State University

There are two housing options for first-year students: traditional and suite-style.

In traditional housing, students share a bathroom with other students, while in suite-style housing, students have their private bathroom.

The housing is coed, meaning that students of different genders may live in the same building but will have separate rooms.

9. Colorado University

The university has 24 dorms and two apartment-style living halls on its 2-mile campus.

All the dorms have both male and female students living together and can be single or have multiple people in one room.

Most of the rooms have shared bathrooms with private showers for each person.

10. Cornell University

Cornell University has different places where students can live while they study. Most of the residence halls at Cornell are coed, meaning that both boys and girls live there.

The rooms in the residence halls can be for one person or two people. Some residence halls have even bigger rooms that fit three or four people.

11. Lawrence University

Lawrence University is a higher education institution that offers a variety of housing options for its students.

Most of the residence halls are co-educational, meaning that students of different genders live together in the same building.

This arrangement promotes a sense of community and encourages interactions between students from different backgrounds.

However, the university also recognizes that some students may prefer to live in single-gender environments, and therefore, some single-gender options are available.

These options are usually available for students who want a more private or cozy place to live.

Lawrence University is one of the colleges with coed showers.

12. Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is committed to providing all students a welcoming and inclusive environment.

To achieve this, the college offers a range of bathroom options in its residence halls, including gender-inclusive and gendered bathrooms.

Any student can use the facilities in gender-inclusive bathrooms, regardless of gender identity or expression.

This option provides a safe and comfortable space for students who feel uncomfortable using gendered restrooms.

In contrast, gendered bathrooms are designated as either “male” or “female” and are intended for use by students who identify with that gender.

There are also gender-neutral and gender-specific restrooms throughout the campus, providing students with various options to choose from.

13. University of Pennsylvania

In this college, students of all genders live together in the same room.

Students can request to live with a specific roommate if their request is mutual.

14. University of Southern Maine

The University of Maine System allows people to use the bathroom that fits their gender without discrimination.

The University of Southern Maine has different student housing options, including gender-inclusive rooms and bathrooms.

The bathrooms are labeled clearly and have private stalls for toilets and showers.

15. Hampshire College

The bathroom arrangements in the dorm halls at this college are intended to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the residents.

Each dorm hall has a single bathroom that all residents share.

The bathroom has toilet stalls with locked doors, ensuring privacy while in use.

Also, shower stalls come with private, locked changing areas, offering residents even more privacy while they get ready.

Students of any gender can use the bathrooms in the all-gender dorms, making them a safe and welcoming place for all residents.

What are the misconceptions about Coed Showers in College?

Some people think coed showers in college are not private or safe or that they’re uncomfortable for students.

But often, these showers have private stalls and locks to keep people safe and comfortable. Each college is different, so it’s best to check the specific setup if you’re concerned.

Here are some common misconceptions about coed showers in college:

1. Lack of Privacy:

Many people think coed showers offer no privacy, but most modern ones have individual, lockable stalls for showers and toilets.

2. Safety Concerns:

Some people worry that coed showers might be unsafe.

However, colleges with coed facilities often implement security measures like cameras in common areas (but not in the bathrooms or showers) and strict behavior rules to ensure student safety.

3. Discomfort or Awkwardness:

People might think using coed showers would be uncomfortable or awkward. While comfort levels can vary from person to person, many students quickly adapt to the new arrangement.

4. Mandatory Use:

Another misconception is that if a dorm has coed showers, students are required to use them. In reality, many colleges offer various options, and you can often choose a living arrangement that matches your comfort level.

5. Hygiene Issues:

Some believe that coed showers are less hygienic. However, the cleanliness of a shower facility depends more on how well it is maintained rather than who uses it.

6. Lack of Support for Gender Diversity:

People may think that coed showers don’t support transgender or non-binary individuals. However, the goal of coed facilities is often to be more inclusive, although the effectiveness can vary.

7. Everyone Prefers Coed:

While some students are comfortable with coed showers, that doesn’t mean everyone is. Colleges usually aim to offer a range of options to accommodate different preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Colleges With Coed Showers

Are coed showers mandatory in college dorms?

The administration typically makes the decision to have coed showers in college dorms and may vary from institution to institution. Some colleges may offer alternative arrangements, such as single-gender or private showers, for students who prefer them.

Are coed showers safe for students?

The safety of students is a priority for colleges and universities. While coed showers have potential safety concerns, most institutions have policies to prevent harassment or assault.

Can coed showers lead to harassment or bullying?

Coed showers have the potential to be a source of harassment or bullying. Colleges need clear policies and procedures to prevent and address any incidents that may occur.

Are coed showers hygienic?

Coed showers are subject to the same health and safety standards as single-gender showers. Coed showers should not pose a greater health risk if proper hygiene and cleaning practices exist.


The decision to have coed showers is complex and involves balancing privacy, safety, and inclusivity.

Colleges must provide a safe and supportive environment for all students while allowing for individual preferences and comfort levels.

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