Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut, USA, founded in 1831. Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and sciences, also provides graduate research in many academic disciplines, and grants PhD degrees primarily in the sciences and mathematics. Wesleyan is the second most productive liberal arts college in the United States with respect to the number of undergraduates who go on to earn PhDs in all fields of study.
Founded under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church and with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, the now secular university was the first institution of higher education to be named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. About 20 unrelated colleges and universities were subsequently named after Wesley. Wesleyan, along with Amherst College and Williams College, is a member of the historic Little Three colleges and is known as one of the Little Ivies.