Admission to the Midwifery Program

Our admissions process provides you ample opportunity to consider whether this professional and educational pathway is the best fit for you, and provides us multiple ways to get to know you better. The process includes:

  1. A written application
  2. A personal interview
  3. Attendance at our annual Meet and Greet event

Details about the admissions process, including specific prerequisite requirements and descriptions of the three-step process, are listed in our Student Handbook and Catalog.

We strongly encourage you to read all admissions material carefully and contact us if you have any questions.


Prerequisites may be in progress at the time of application; however, they must be complete with documentation submitted to us no later than December 31st in order to begin in spring term.

More information can be found on the Prerequisites to the Midwifery Program page.

Application Deadline

Applications to the 2018 Midwifery Program were due October 15, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Midwifery Admissions

How can I strengthen my application to your Midwifery Program?

In general:

  • Answer all the essay questions as clearly as possible. Use details to fully illustrate your experiences, but keep the essays on topic and relevant to a college application.
  • Proofread and edit your essays for content as well as writing quality (grammar, punctuation, spelling, and conventions).
  • Ask your references to send personalized letters that speak to the skills you have which will lend to your success not just in this program, but also in this profession.

There are many opportunities to demonstrate your desire to pursue midwifery and your commitment to a Birthingway education:

  • Read as many birth, doula, and midwifery books and journals as you can.
  • Attend birth, doula, and midwifery conferences.
  • Join local birth, doula, and midwifery groups.
  • Take classes or workshops on midwifery-related topics.
  • Attend births as a labor doula.
  • Become trained in, and offer classes on, childbirth education.
  • Shadow a direct-entry midwife.
  • Take a direct-entry midwife out to dinner to learn about her experiences in the field.
  • Take a nurse midwife, naturopathic midwife or any other kind of midwife out to dinner to learn about their experiences in the field.
  • Spend time in the Birthingway community – meet with our Midwifery Program Coordinator, sit in on a class, take a course, or browse our library.

And then tell us about all these things you’ve done to learn about, decide on, and prepare for this path!

How competitive is the process?

We are able to accept 16 students into a matriculating cohort. In general, we receive about 30 applications for admission annually. We do create a wait list, and are often able to invite wait listed applicants.

How do I enter the midwifery program and when does it start?

Admission to our program is by application and we admit students once per year. The application deadline is October 15th, with the new class starting Spring term.

How do you decide who gets admitted?

Because there is very limited space for students, we take our application process very seriously. Student acceptance is determined by the Admission Committee, which is made up of current students, faculty, staff, including the Midwifery Program Coordinator. Applicants are chosen based on their answers to the application questions, their personal interview, their prior academic and life success, and the need for midwives in their area or culture.

If I am seeking a degree, when do I need to take the general education courses?

General education courses must be transferred in from another eligible institution but can be taken at any time.

  • You can complete some or all gen ed requirements prior to enrolling in the program.
  • You can complete some or all gen ed requirements while you are completing the other credit requirements for the program (Summer terms are a good time to do this).
  • You can complete some or all gen ed requirements while you are still enrolled in the program but after you have completed the other credit requirements for the program.
  • You can graduate with the certificate, complete any remaining gen ed requirements after graduation, and “upgrade” your certificate to the degree*.
    • *Must be completed within the specified timeframe for an “upgrade” to occur.
    • Check the program-specific requirements. Additional program courses may be required to complete an “upgrade”. Contact your Program Coordinator for questions about how this would work.
  • You could choose any combination of these options so long as you have completed all of the gen ed requirements prior to being awarded the degree.
If I get in, when will I start?

Birthingway’s academic year starts in the spring.

So, You Want To Be A Midwife?

An exciting workshop for prospective midwifery students!

Topics will include:

  • All about Birthingway College’s Midwifery Program
  • Paths to Midwifery: Direct Entry, CNM, and ND
  • Panel: Students discuss their experiences
  • Panel: Midwives tell their stories
  • Questions, conclusions, and feedback
  • Financial Aid Information (optional)

Visit the “So, you want to be a Midwife?” page to see when it will be offered next.

What happens after I submit my application?

You will be contacted after your application has been received by Birthingway; if anything is missing at this point, you will be asked to provide the missing documentation. We will also begin arranging an interview time at this point, and will set you up with a buddy, a current student who will be available to answer any questions or address any concerns you have during the admissions process.

What vaccines do I need to have to attend your college?

There is no requirement for receiving any vaccines. Students enrolling in the Midwifery and Lactation Consultation programs will need to submit proof of immunization to measles. Proof of immunization could include the dates of vaccination, certification of contracting measles, or the results of a titre test indicating immunity.

Students may also certify a nonmedical or medical exemption in lieu of proof of immunization.

Students enrolled in the Childbirth Educator, Labor Doula, and Postpartum Doula programs, as well as community students not enrolled in any program, are not required to submit any immunization information.

Please read our latest Student Handbook and Catalog for the most current Vaccine Policy.

When will I find out if I’ve been admitted?

We select our matriculating class in early January and notify all applicants as quickly as possible soon thereafter.

Types of Aid


Pell Grants are available only to students with significant financial need who have not previously completed a baccalaureate degree. The maximum award (for full-time, full-year students with a zero Expected Family Contribution ) is $6,095 for the 2018-19 award year. Pell Lifetime Eligibility is capped at six years of full-time study.

Some students may also be eligible for the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG), a state run aid program for Oregon residents without a baccalaureate degree. The maximum award (for full-time, full year students with a zero Expected Family Contribution) is $3,200 for the 2018-19 award year.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program has limited funds and only a small number of students receive awards. Birthingway awards Pell-eligible students with the highest need first. Awards are currently set at $600 per year.

Direct Loans

If, after grant and work-study awards have been made, you still have financial need and are attending at least half-time, you may be eligible for Direct Stafford subsidized loans. With a subsidized loan, interest is paid by the federal government while you are in school at least half-time, during the six-month grace period or in a deferment period. The annual award limit for subsidized loans varies between $3,500 and $5,500, depending on your year in school.

As of July 1, 2013, new borrowers are subject to new subsidized loan limits based on the number of years they borrow. Borrowers may only borrow subsidized loans for the first 150% of their program, as measured in years:

Program Name:Credential Type

Minimum Program Length


Midwifery Program:Certificate

3 years

4.5 years

Midwifery Program:Bachelor Degree

4 years

6 years

A “new borrower” is defined as a student:

  • with no federal student loan balance as of July 1, 2013 OR
  • who had a federal student loan balance on July 1, 2013, but who paid the balance in full prior to receiving a subsequent subsidized loan disbursements after that date.

Federal loan balance applies to both FFEL and Direct student loans.

Please see the Department of Education’s Student Aid website for more information on the new subsidized loan limitations.

In addition to subsidized loans, Direct Stafford unsubsidized loans are available. Unsubsidized loans are non-need-based aid. With an unsubsidized loan, unlike a subsidized loan, interest will begin to accrue immediately and will continue to accrue even when you’re not in repayment.

Unsubsidized loans are limited to the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the amount of other aid received. The annual award limit for unsubsidized loans varies between $3,500 and $12,500, depending on your year in school, dependency status, and the amount of subsidized loan received. You must attend at least half-time to receive an unsubsidized loan.

Parent PLUS loans are available to credit-worthy parents of dependent students. Students must be attending at least half-time for the parent to receive the loan. To request a PLUS loan, please contact the Birthingway Financial Aid Officer for an application and more information.

Other aid options

In addition to the Federal Student Aid programs, Birthingway is approved by the Oregon State Department of Education to train veterans and is listed as an eligible training provider with the Oregon Department of Workforce Development.

As a Title IV school, we are authorized to accept payment through Americorps.

Birthingway does not currently offer any institutional aid.

Birthingway does not currently offer any federal work-study placements.

Students who wish to borrow private or alternative educational loans should contact Birthingway’s Financial Aid Officer and read through our Title IV Loan Program Code of Conduct.

If you are in a Specialized Program or are a community student (any student not matriculated in the Midwifery or Lactation Consultation Program) and you are planning on paying for tuition and fees with external financial assistance, such as a scholarship, please complete the Community Student Financial Assistance form and submit with your registration.