Founded in 1924 as Harding College in Morrilton, Arkansas, Harding University is a four-year, private Christian institution of higher learning committed to the tradition of liberal arts and sciences. The school is named after James A. Harding, an early prominent leader in the Churches of Christ, and is today located in Searcy, Arkansas. The main campus spans over 300 acres and is home to over 40 buildings. Each year, thousands of domestic and international students come here to earn various degrees and learn the important values of life.
Apart from the main campus, Harding also operates satellite campuses in North Little Rock and Bentonville. It has international campuses in London, England; Vina del Mar, Chile; Florence, Italy; Brisbane, Australia; Porto Rafti, Greece; France; and Zambia, Africa. Harding also operates Harding Academy in Searcy; Camp Tahkodah in Floral, Arkansas; and the Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee.
Harding offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in diverse areas of study, such as communication management, biochemistry, health care management, mechanical engineering, and web design & interactive media. Undergraduate degree programs include Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Science. Graduate degree programs include Master of Education, Master of Science, and Master of Ministry. Harding also offers doctoral degree programs like Doctor of Education and Doctor of Pharmacy.
There are several on-campus organizations that help students with their academic and career goals. TRIO Student Support Services offers academic assistance, career & major development, personal counseling, and cultural enrichment opportunities. The Academic Resources Center (ARC) is a nationally certified program that provides a variety of information and services required by students to attain academic success. The Career Center offers career-related guidance; those seeking jobs can also get help from the Career Center staff.
The university is composed of the following academic units: College of Business Administration; College of Communication; College of Education; Honors College; College of Nursing; Center for Adult & Extended Education; College of Business Administration; College of Communication; College of Pharmacy; and Graduate School of Religion.
Harding provides an online MBA degree that students can earn entirely via the Internet. This online program provides an added advantage to professionals who wish to earn an MBA degree while working. The online format is academically equivalent to the traditional on-site program and is highly valued by employers across the world.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Harding welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 53 foreign countries. Freshman students seeking admission to the university must take either the ACT or SAT test and send the scores along with the complete online application form. The tests are important, especially for those planning to apply for scholarships. Harding enrolls nearly 200 international students each year. International students (whose native language is not English) must take either the TOEFL or IELTS test apart from ACT/SAT.
Harding offers financial assistance to nearly 90 percent of students. The school offers financial aid to deserving students through several mechanisms. Students must first complete the online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be considered eligible for scholarships and grants. Some of the popular forms of financial aid include:
- Federal Grants
- Arkansas Scholarships
- Veterans Benefits
Federal grants offered by the University include the Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant); Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG); National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant); Institutional Grants; and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
Harding offers the following scholarships to students: National Merit Scholarship; Trustee Scholarship; Academic Achievement Scholarship; and Transfer Student Scholarship. Several types of fee waivers and discounts are also provided, such as Christian College Employee Discount; Christian Ministers Discount; Christian School (K-12) Discount; Christian Missionary Discount; Tuition Exchange Discounts; and Orphan Discount.
The work-study programs help students earn money while studying and so bear a portion of their own educational costs. Harding generally places students in jobs in their areas of interest and expertise. Federal student loans are available as well, but this kind of monetary assistance has to be repaid with interest.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students at Harding not only gain excellent academic skills, but also get a rich college life experience. Each weekday morning, the students attend chapel for a 35-minute devotional gathering. The presentations are usually led by the students or faculty, but on special occasions guest speakers do the honor.
There are several student-managed on-campus clubs and organizations. Some of these organizations include Academic Quiz Team; Alpha Chi Malachi; Bisons for Christ; College Democrats of Harding; The Dyssack Trainers; Harding Dietetics Club; Kappa Delta Pi; The Roosevelt Institution; and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE).
Harding provides several opportunities for the students and faculty members to see the world and gain rich experiences. Some of the international programs include HUA (Harding in Australia); HUE (Harding in London, England); HUF (Harding in Florence, Italy); and HUG (Harding in Athens, Greece).
Though Harding doesn’t have any local chapters of national fraternities and sororities, it sponsors social clubs that provide a similar kind of networking function to the Greek system. There are more than ten women’s social clubs and twelve men’s social clubs at the university. Some of the honor societies are Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Beta Lambda, Pi Sigma Alpha, Sigma Tau Delta, Delta Mu Delta, and Kappa Pi, the international honorary art fraternity.
Spring Sing is a musical production held each year during Easter Weekend. It features performances by the social clubs, which are widely attended by current and future students, alumni, and community residents. As many as 10,000 people attend the much-awaited show each year.
Media and Publications
Harding Magazine is a student-run publication that is released three times a year. The Link is a student-operated campus newsblog that provides the latest information and news about happenings at the university. The radio station KVHU 95.3 (The Voice of Harding University) is a commercial FM station serving central Arkansas with an assorted mix of classic hits from different genres and generations.
The more than forty buildings on campus house a variety of academic departments and administrative offices. The George S. Benson Auditorium, at the heart of the campus, is where daily chapels are hosted. Brackett Library, located in the American Studies Building, includes a wide variety of academic books and manuals. The campus also has a testing lab, computer labs, multimedia center, and technology classrooms. Being strategically located in east central Arkansas, life at Harding offers students access to the entertainment and cultural opportunities of urban areas without sacrificing the unique charm of small-town living.
Housing and Dining
Harding provides excellent housing facilities to all students. There are several men’s and women’s residence halls spread throughout the campus. Each room has a separate connection for the campus DormNet system and one cable television connection. The traditional residence halls for women are Cathcart, Kendall, Pattie Cobb, Sears, Stephens, Searcy, Pryor, and Shores.
Men’s residence halls at Harding are Allen, Armstrong, Graduate, Harbin, Keller, Cone, and West Apartments. Freshman students stay in Armstrong and Harbin residence halls. Allen, Graduate, and Keller are for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. West Apartments houses the juniors and seniors. Special approval is needed to stay in Cone Hall.
Harding also has five apartment complexes available to families or single individuals eligible for off-campus housing. The complexes include Village Apartments, West Apartments, Stafford Apartments, Pleasure Oak Apartmenta, and Center Place Apartmenta. University guests and tourists can stay comfortably in the Heritage Inn hotel situated on the campus.
Charles White Dining Hall brings world-class dining options right to campus. Students can choose from the wide variety of entrees, traditional foods, vegetarian selections, and much more. Other lip-smacking destinations include The Grille, The Comfort Station, Healthy Options Station, Deli Bar, Omelet Bar, Dessert Station, and Produce Market.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Harding’s athletic department fields men’s and women’s sports teams in varsity sports such as baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and track and field. The sports teams are nicknamed the Bison and Lady Bison, and the school colors are Black and Gold. Harding is a member of the Gulf South Conference, NCAA Division II. The sports facilities at Harding include First Security Stadium (football), Ganus Athletic Center (training), Jerry Moore Field (baseball), and Rhodes Field House.
Harding University’s intramural athletics program is designed to provide an opportunity to partake in an assortment of recreational activities. There are men’s and women’s clubs, which organize several events and recreational programs throughout the academic year. The interclub competitions involve the following sports: volleyball, basketball, softball, flag football, swimming, track and field, and soccer. There is something for all students, faculty members, and staff to enjoy.
Harding graduates have earned noteworthy reputations in diverse fields. Some of the notable alumni include Stephen Mark Brown, opera star; LaMar Baker, eminent businessman; Granville Sewell, notable mathematician; David Slater, Star Search champion; Roxanne Beck, actor formerly known as Ann Ulrey; Ed Madden, activist and professor; George S. Benson, conservative activist; Elwin “Preacher” Roe, former Major League Baseball pitcher; and Kenneth Starr, eminent lawyer and professor.
Additional School Information
U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” issue ranked Harding as one of the best regional universities in the South, along with such esteemed institutions as Loyola University, James Madison University, and The Citadel. It has maintained its rank for 17 consecutive years. In the 2011 edition, Harding was regarded the highest-ranked Arkansas school and was also named a “best value” institution.
The Princeton Review includes Harding in its list of top 146 schools and honors the university with the “Best Southeastern College” designation.