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West Chester University of Pennsylvania College Portrait

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West Chester University of Pennsylvania is the largest of the 14 public institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the fourth-largest university in the Philadelphia area. According to U.S. News & World Report, WCU is one of the top regional universities in the north.West Chester also is one of only three Pennsylvania schools ranked in the top 100 Kiplinger “best buys” in American public higher education.

The University offers more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, business and public affairs, the social sciences, visual and performing arts, health sciences and teacher education. In fall 2013 the University began offering its first doctorate, the doctorate of nursing practice.

Industry-specific programs include the Pharmaceutical Product Development program, pre-medicine and pre-law. Interdisciplinary areas of study include a computer security certificate, ethnic studies, Honors College, Latin American studies, and Russian studies. The campus also boasts a 100-acre natural area for environmental studies. West Chester University was ranked the eight best university in the nation for cybersecurity courses and degree programs in a survey of about 2,000 certified IT security professionals.

Undergraduates can take part in experiential learning opportunities ranging from internships with area businesses to collaborative research with faculty members—some of it in other countries. In 2014, WCU will launch a Summer Undergraduate Research Institute that will provide even more undergraduates with the chance to pursue significant research.  Service learning is an integral component of many courses at West Chester and the keystone of the Honors College. In 2013, WCU students provided more than 400,000 hours of volunteer service, in Chester County and as far away as South Africa.  WCU has been classified by theCarnegie Foundation as a Community Engaged University.

The University’s strategic plan, Building on Excellence, calls for greatly expanding distance education offerings. Current online programs include an MBA, graduate certificate in health care management, a master’s in special education and the doctorate in nursing practice. The University also is expanding its presence outside of West Chester. A new Philadelphia location offers bachelor’s and master’s programs in criminal justice and social work, a master’s in special education and a graduate business certificate.                                                                      

The University sponsors the largest varsity program in NCAA Division II - 24 intercollegiate men's and women's sports.Recently, over a two-year period, WCU teams won three national NCAA championships – two in women’s field hockey and one in baseball.  During this same time, club sports won two national championships – women’s ice hockey and men’s lacrosse. In addition, for the first time in our history, WCU won the Dixon Trophy for overall athletic performance. 

Facilities that serve the local community as well as the campus include speech/hearing and reading clinics; a planetarium; a library; and an extensive music library. Another way that WCU is a good neighbor is by providing unrivaled cultural opportunities to the residents of Chester County and beyond. In 2013, 80,000 attended music, theater, dance, art and other cultural events on campus.

Living in the Golden Rams Community

West Chester University is committed to providing access to the best educational preparation in today’s global society. To that end, students are exposed to an educational experience that encourages leadership and growth through a variety of rigorous academic and extracurricular programs, including more than 225 student clubs and organizations and 24 men’s and women’s athletic teams. Faculty are dedicated to teaching and excellence in their fields; our classes are taught by professors, not by teaching assistants. Many faculty members enhance classroom experiences with service learning. Undergraduates receive hands-on training on current technology in the sciences and other fields in state-of-the-art facilities on campus and off campus via internships. Undergraduates can conduct collaborative research with faculty members—some of it in other countries. Students also are encouraged to be involved in their community and explore its many cultural opportunities. From Learning Communities, where students live and learn in small groups that foster relationships and critical thinking, to extensive library holdings and accessible faculty and administrators, West Chester is an educational experience that prepares its students for a successful future.