Villanova University’s beautiful 254-acre campus is located twelve miles west of Philadelphia, in
the famed “Main Line” suburban area. VU is the oldest and largest Catholic university
in Pennsylvania, and was founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine
believed in a commitment to community, and to the connections between the mind and the
heart, and between truth and love. The Augustinian values stated on our university seal—
Veritas, Unitas, Caritas—(translated as truth, unity, and love) still guide “’Nova Nation” today. Villanova is home to students of all faiths, and tends to attract students who are dedicated
to social responsibility, volunteer work, and contributing to the greater good.
The most distinctive aspect of this school is its sense of community, since
this is the aspect of the university that permeates all others and in many ways
defines what it means to be a Villanovan. The care that people show for one
another, both on our campus and across the world, is tangible and on display
constantly. This community focus is central to everything—from coursework to
social events to volunteer opportunities. It even flows through our 90,000-strong
alumni community. As a recent alumna, I’ve already gone back to VU for
several events and I would like to maintain a strong connection to the university
for many years to come. During my four years there, I was helped by countless
alumni in all different facets of life and I would like nothing more
than to give back as much as I have received.
VU’s scenic campus, a designated arboretum, has more than sixty buildings—
including twenty-six residence halls and a library with more than 800,000 volumes. In addition
to offering more than forty rigorous academic programs, this institution provides students
with a wide range of opportunities to study abroad and to participate in more than 130 campus
organizations. Student services are excellent—from the VU Laptop program to
the Student Health Center to the dining halls and “Holy Grounds” coffee shops to Career
Extracurricular opportunities definitely appeal to a broad
range of student interests. Throughout my four years as an undergraduate, I
served as a VU School of Business peer advisor, an ambassador,
a liturgical minister, and president of the National Society of Leadership and
Success. I was also involved in intramural sports, including basketball, soccer,
and club Frisbee. I led a group of 12 students on a service trip to San Jose, Costa
Rica, during my senior year, and spent a summer studying and working abroad
VU is also home to the new Davis Center for Athletics, along with many intramural
and varsity sports teams, including the nationally recognized Wildcat’s men’s basketball
team, which generates a lot of excitement and community spirit on campus.
This university is one of only five schools to have advanced to the NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16”
in three of the last four seasons.
Villanova University. Whenever the topic of my alma mater is raised, I
could speak about the rigorous academic experience, the challenging coursework,
and the world-class professors who encourage students to expand their
horizons every day. I could speak about the incredible opportunities outside of
the classroom, with the hundreds of student organizations that exist on campus.
I could talk about the wonderful opportunities afforded to students
through our internship, community service, and international studies programs.
But the most distinctive aspect of VU is its sense of community,
and the genuine care that people show for one another.
My experience can be summed up in four words, taken from a
speech the university President Father Peter Donohue gave to a group of
students during my senior year: ‘Take Villanova with you.’ Father Donohue was
speaking about the challenges facing us as we prepared for the next stage of our
lives. He encouraged us to reflect upon our time at VU—upon the many
experiences that shaped us, helped us mature, and forced us to go beyond our
comfort zones. He then challenged us to take VU with us. This school provided
me with the opportunity to do just that, through an education, experience,
and community of mentors and friends who will shape the rest of my life.
This school offers degree programs through four colleges: the Villanova School of
Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the
College of Nursing. Graduate degree programs are also offered through the Villanova School
of Law. All Villanova colleges are recognized for their academic quality and technological
resources, and all are focused on the education and well-being of the whole person—intellectually,
emotionally, spiritually, culturally, socially, and physically.
The Villanova School of Business, one of the top-ranked business programs in the United
States, offers majors in accounting, economics, finance, management, management
information systems, and marketing. The school also offers a business honors degree, an
international business co-major, and minors in entrepreneurship, real estate, and business law and corporate governance. VSB is home to the
Applied Finance Lab, which provides students with
many of the real-time technological resources
available to Wall Street traders. Bartley Hall, with
its light-filled, three-story atrium, class- and study
rooms, and common areas includes the Bartley
Exchange dining hall. The two most popular special
programs among VSB students are international
experiences and service learning. Nearly half of the
student body participates in international academic,
internship, and volunteer experiences.
Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—one
of the few colleges in the country that offers an
undergraduate degree in astronomy and astrophysics—
provides a wide array of degree programs,
concentrations, and majors, along with interdisciplinary
majors in the humanities, international
studies, comprehensive science, and environmental
science. This school is one of only eighteen Catholic
colleges or universities in the nation to have a chapter
of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious liberal arts
In 2008, this university celebrated the “Year of
Mendel” in honor of the famous scientist Gregor
Johann Mendel, a friar in the Order of Saint
Augustine, whose experiments with the hybridization
of pea plants led him to discover the laws of
heredity which now bear his name: the law of segregation
and the law of independent assortment.
School Snapshot: Undergraduate Majors
- Art History
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Business Administration: Economics,
Finance, Management, MIS, Marketing
- Engineering: Chemical, Civil, Computer,
- Classical Studies
- Comprehensive Science
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- French and Francophone Studies
- Global Interdisciplinary Studies
- History Honors Program
- Human Services
- International Business
- Italian Studies
- Mathematical Sciences/Applied
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
- Secondary Education
- Spanish Studies
- Theology and Religious Studies
The College of Engineering, ranked among the best engineering programs in the nation,
offers degree programs in the disciplines of chemical engineering, civil and environmental
engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.
The college is home to three research units: The Center for Advanced Communications, The
Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control, and The Villanova Center for the Environment—
a joint effort with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The college’s home, the Villanova
Center for Engineering Education and Research, houses state-of-the-art instructional and
research labs. Additional engineering-related facilities can be found on campus in White Hall,
John Barry Hall, Tolentine Hall, and the 10,000-square-foot Structural Engineering Teaching
and Research Laboratory.
A small but very special group on campus is the student body of the College
of Nursing. A manifestation of the Augustinian spirit of caring in action,
nursing students have opportunities to work closely with community members in need
while completing their rigorous coursework.
The College of Nursing is housed in brand-new Driscoll Hall. Unveiled in 2008, this
beautiful 75,500-square-foot building offers resources including:
- a 200-seat auditorium and a 200-seat lecture hall
- future-oriented clinical simulation labs for health assessment, adult health, maternal/
child health, anesthesia, and critical care
- simulation labs for standardized patient observation and testing
- a center for nursing research and scholarship
- space for prayer and reflection
- space for global health studies and international student activities
- space for student, faculty, and alumni events and social interaction
The technological resources available to students are outstanding. In recent
years, the school has installed an intelligent/multi-purpose classroom design with
enhanced audiovisual, Web, and podcasting and video conferencing options. It has also
integrated eportfolio, Wimba, iTunes, and Respondus with the Blackboard Vista LMS platform.
A Microsoft Exchange e-mail and calendar platform is now used across campus.
VU is standardized on the TaskStream e-Portfolio for faculty and students to share,
store, and collaborate on various learning artifacts and coursework. They have upgraded
Internet bandwidth to 475 Mb, which includes a 25-Mb Internet 2 connection. This school
provides all undergraduate students with laptops that have access to an Internet-based
backup and vaulting product, U-Vault. They have also launched an upgraded emergency
notification system, Nova Alert, a Web-based laundry reservation system, a basketball lottery
system, and a student tracking system.
With the help of the Career Services Office, students develop their professional
skills and gain access to a wide variety of career options. The support resources provided
to students include career fairs, career counseling, graduate school counseling,
career library, practice interviews, resume critiques, workshops, and seminars.
I was challenged by my professors to use my undergraduate accounting
degree to pursue an internship with Deloitte & Touche in Manhattan in the
spring of 2007. My internship was a phenomenal extension of my classroom learning, and
upon concluding my four months in New York, I accepted a job offer from Deloitte
& Touche. I am now enjoying my Deloitte & Touche job tremendously, and am
grateful to this school for providing me with the education that has allowed me to
arrive at this point in my life.
More than 1,700 companies post positions on Villanova’s job boards; the median
starting salary for graduates is $50,000. More than ninety-five percent of
graduates become full-time employees or enroll in graduate school within six months of their degree completion. Internships are also an
important source of professional development opportunities
for students. Over 400 internships are posted
on campus each year, and internships often lead to
full-time job offers.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission is challenging. In addition to looking for academically talented,
well-rounded students, VU looks for applicants who have “compassionate
minds”—in other words, those who want to transform the world and make it a better place.
This school is a Common Application member institution.
In addition to the Common Application,
prospective students are required to complete a
VU Preliminary Application for Undergraduate
Admission and to submit an official high school transcript
and Common Application School Report.
This school requires applicants to have their standardized
test scores (SAT or ACT) reported
directly to VU by the College Board or ACT.
High School Performance
In the admissions process, high school
performance is an extremely important selectivity
factor. Each student’s high school record, GPA, and
class rank, along with each student’s demonstration
of character and personal abilities, are carefully considered. Extracurricular and volunteer
activities, in addition to outstanding academic work, are helpful to applicants in this regard.
Personal Essay and Recommendations
Another very important factor in the admissions process is the personal essay.
Since VU doesn’t interview applicants, the essay is a crucial vehicle through
which prospective students can explain to the school who they are, and why they should be
selected to become Villanovans. Recommendations are also carefully considered.
Non-U.S. prospective students are warmly welcomed to apply for admission.
Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must take the Test of English as a
Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems
(IELTS) test and have scores reported directly to Villanova from the College Board. The International Student Services Office supports enrolled international students in
areas including immigration rights and responsibilities; educational, social, and personal
counseling; cultural adjustment issues; and campus and community activities.
Transferring to Villanova is possible, but selective. Students applying to transfer to
VU must complete a transfer application and submit official transcripts from each
postsecondary school attended and a completed Dean of Students Transfer Evaluation form.
The Office of Financial Aid breaks the application process down into five
straightforward steps for students and parents to follow:
- Step 1: Completion of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the form
by which you declare your family’s financial profile
- Step 2: Completion of the VU Institutional Financial Aid Application
- Step 3: A comprehensive check of the numbers using the SAR (Student Aid Report) and
the EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
- Step 4: Receipt of award letter, detailing all funding offered to you by the federal and/or
state government and VU, and payment of the balance due
- Step 5: Finishing up with a twenty-five-minute interview, which may be done online with
the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency or in person at the
Office of Financial Aid. This interview is a counseling session that provides information
about managing student loans, both during and after college.
Student Financial Aid Details
Villanova Snapshot: Student Body
- Minority Students: 18%
- In-State Students: 25%
- Students Living on Campus: 70%
- Students Affiliated with the Greek
- Students Involved in Varsity or Club
- Students who Pursue Graduate/
Professional School after Graduation:
- Number of Official Extracurricular
Student Organizations: 250
- Number of States Represented 45
- Number of Countries Represented: 48
This school is a fun, close-knit, caring academic
and social community. Filled with endless opportunities
to meet new friends, discover new interests, and
enjoy campus life, the undergraduate experience at
VU is most often warmly remembered by alumni
as “some of the best years of our lives.” In the Augustinian tradition, mutual love, respect, and
compassion are paramount values, and VU leaders expect these values to guide all
interactions among students outside the classroom. More than 1,300 diverse students are
members of the school’s ten fraternities and nine sororities, all with national affiliations.
To help students transition from high school to college, incoming freshmen have the
opportunity to be part of a school’s Learning Community. Through Learning Communities,
students form close friendships as they live together in specially designated residence halls
and learn together in courses and cocurricular programs. Learning Communities available
to resident freshmen include:
- The Leadership Experience
- Citizenship for a Diverse World
- Healthy Living
- Environmental Leadership
- Global Community
- Justice: From Adam to Eve
- Performers and Artists
- Politics of Freedom
My VU experiences provided me with a unique opportunity to
learn about myself and others in my community—whether they were my roommates,
my professors across campus, the first-graders in West Philadelphia we
tutored after school each week, or the host families with whom we stayed in Costa
Rica. I accomplished things that I’d never imagined I could when I
first set foot on campus as a freshman. What I tell incoming students is that you
may come to this school thinking you know a great deal about yourself and the
world, but what you realize by the time you leave is how much you
truly have left to learn! My experience taught me that it is never
enough to settle for what is good right now; our VU education instead
demands that we constantly strive to be better, in the classroom, at work, in our
families, in our communities, and in our world.
An example of the Augustinian tradition in action is the fall service break, which
enables students to take part in volunteer work. This university offers a limitless range of
service opportunities to students, many of which also serve as social events—from Habitat
for Humanity to Campus Ministry to the VU Rays of Sunshine program. This school also
hosts the largest student-run Special Olympics in the United States.
In fact, local and global community-mindedness and outreach are so important that all students must participate in one of the following 0-credit activities as a
- Habitat for Humanity
- Study Abroad
- Special Olympics
- Villanova Freedom School/Martin Luther King Day Activities
One program that sets this school apart and truly illustrates the university’s
sense of community is the Pennsylvania Special Olympics Fall Festival,
which has been held on campus every November for over two decades. During my
freshman year, I was encouraged by my hall-mates to volunteer during the
course of the weekend. The experience was so rewarding that I continued to stay
involved each year until my graduation. In my senior year, I served as registration
chair and recruited my sister, Shannon, a VU sophomore at the time,
to join the effort.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
VU has a very strong academic tradition in both men’s and women’s sports. The college is part of the NCAA and the Big East Conference. Students can participate as Wildcats in many sports. This school fields men’s teams in baseball, basketball, cross country running, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field. The university fields women’s teams in basketball, cross country running, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo.
Basketball is the crown jewel of VU athletics, the men’s basketball team advanced to the Final Four in 2009, but did not win the championship. The last championship win for the team was in 1985, in one of the most heralded upsets in college basketball history.
The football team also enjoys great success. In 2009 the team was NCAA division 1-AA champions. The team has been invited to join the Big East Conference, and university adminsitrators are considering the offer.
The women’s cross country team is another standout, winning NCAA National Championships in 2009 and 2010 under the direction of Coach Gina Procaccio.
The Catholic tradition runs deep here. The most prominent feature on campus is the St. Thomas of Villanova Church, the tallest structure on campus, which was built in 1883. Masses held at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and are fairly popular among the students.
Each year, the university holds an annual St. Thomas of Villanova Day Parade in the fall, which is a major event for students and alumni. Another important annual event is the NovaFest, which is held at the end of each academic year.
However, the university isn’t all prayer and no partying. The sights of Downtown Philly aren’t too far away, and a major rite of passage for many students when they reach the legal drinking age is going to a bar called Brownies.
Also important in VU lore is the Connelly Student Center, known by the unique black and white sculpture outside of it nicknamed “The Oreo” by students.
Also well-known is the university’s seal, which symbolizes the university’s roots among the Augustinians. The seal is seen throughout campus and is an ever-present symbol of the university.
This university is fortunate to have an extremely
loyal network of alumni, parents, and friends who are
dedicated to the university and return to visit often.
There are many “Villanova families,” worldwide—
those in which several generations or siblings have
attended the university, and in which husbands and
wives met as students here. There are also many
lifelong friendships formed as well.
- Maria Bello, 1989, Golden Globe-
- Daniel Brestle, 1967, Vice Chairman
and President, The Estee Lauder
Companies, North America
- Rear Admiral Christine Bruzek-Kohler,
1974, Director, United States Navy
Nurse Corps; Chief of Staff, Navy
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
- Jim Croce, 1965, Recording Artist
- Rev. Peter Donohue, OSA, 1975, 32nd
President of Villanova University
- Justin Gmelich, 1990, Managing
Director, Goldman Sachs
- John L. Hennessey, III, 1973,
President, Stanford University
- Nnenna Lynch, 1993, Olympian and
- Gerald Marzorati, 1975, Author and
Editor of The New York Times
- Robert J. McCarthy, 1975, President,
North American Lodging Operations,
- Robert Moran, 1972, President and
Chief Operating Officer, PetSmart
- James V. O’Donnell, 1963, CEO,
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
- Dianna Sugg, 1987, Pulitzer Prize
Recipient for Journalism, Baltimore
- Brian Westbrook, 2001, NFL,
- General Anthony Zinni, 1965, USMC
(retired), former Commander-in-Chief,
US Central Command and US Peace
Envoy in the Middle East
The student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. The university’s 571 full-time faculty
members—ninety percent of whom hold the highest degree in their field—teach
classes that average twenty-two students. This facilitates faculty accessibility and the personalized,
community-focused educational experience for which this school is known.