BU began as an academy for classical education in 1839 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. It became the State Normal School in 1869. Up until the early 1920s, the Normal School emphasized secondary and college preparatory courses for special teachers. In 1927, the College earned accreditation to grant Bachelor of Science in Education degrees.
The school began to expand its focus when it added a degree in business education and later a U.S. Navy V-12 Officer Training Program. A Division of Special Education was added in 1957.
By 1960, the school had greatly expanded its facilities, faculty, and student enrollment, and in that year it its current name. It began awarding Bachelor of Arts degrees for students of the humanities, sciences, and mathematics. Graduate programs in education and a doctoral program in clinical audiology were established in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Today, the university is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, formed in 1983. Its president was the system’s first chancellor. The school continues to grow and expand as a member of the state system, adding new programs, facilities, and activities that complement its current offerings.
Academic programs encompass bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a number of different fields. There are 54 undergraduate degree programs with 45 minors. Graduate can choose from 19 master’s programs or pursue a doctorate in audiology.
Classes are organized into four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Science and Technology. Students are encouraged to take courses that interest them and lead to successful and fulfilling careers. Students can personalize their degree programs by majoring in one subject and minoring or concentrating in another related or separate subject.
Students are also encouraged to enhance their education through internship programs in their chosen industries. Internships are excellent ways for students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in their future jobs while earning credit for school. Internship programs can also help students narrow down their career focus or discover a new industry. The internship website and office on-campus will help students seek out and apply for relevant internships in a wide range of industries.
The Honors Program is for exceptional students who demonstrate particularly high academic ability and potential. Honors students enjoy smaller class sizes, closer relationships with professors, the opportunity to participate in independent study or field trips, and more. To apply for the Honors program, students should have a combined SAT score of at least 1730 and have ranked in the top 20% of their graduating class. Students can apply online by filling out an application form and including a short essay, a creative work sample, a copy of a high school transcript, and a letter of recommendation.
Students seeking financial aid should begin by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is available online at fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is the standard form that determines eligibility for federal aid in the form of student loans, work-study programs, and grants. It is also frequently required as a supplementary material for third-party loans and scholarship applications. Nearly 80% of full-time students receive financial aid of some kind.
Students can also apply for merit-based scholarships through third-party sponsors and the university itself. There are more than 500 scholarship opportunities for its students, and these competitions are often sponsored by individuals or departments. Students should visit the Scholarships page of the Financial Aid page for information about the different scholarship eligibility requirements and application procedures.
Bloomsburg enrolls nearly 12,000 students with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Nearly 50% of students live in on-campus housing and participate in the dining hall meal plan program. Living on campus makes it easy for students to get involved in campus activities, meet new people, walk to classrooms and dining halls, or participate in hall events. On-campus residents also benefit from the maintenance and cleaning staff and have access to extensive housing and facilities support services. The campus is 100% wireless, so on-campus residents will have access to email and the internet at all times through their laptops, smartphones, and computers.
The lower campus is home to academic buildings, residence halls, a library, and student services. The upper campus houses three apartment complexes, athletic facilities, and a unique outdoor adventure complex with a climbing wall and a ropes course. Students can sign up to use these special facilities with a class or in a group at any time.