Founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a renowned Philadelphia philanthropist and financier, the university originally came into being as Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry. It was established to realize Anthony J. Drexel’s vision to create an institution of higher learning for young men and women from all walks of life. A new tradition of innovation came into existence with this institute, and this tradition is still upheld today by Drexel University.
Drexel started offering bachelor’s of science degrees in 1914. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted it the permission to award the master’s of science degree in 1927 and the doctorate of philosophy degree in 1965.
In 1936, Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry became Drexel Institute of Technology; the institution adopted its current name in 1970. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The academic programs are accredited by their top qualified accreditation bodies, which include the ABET (Engineering), AACSB (Business), CEPH (Public Health), ALA (Library Science), and NLNAC (Nursing).
This private research, non-sectarian institute has come a long way, evolving into a full-fledged university offering an array of educational opportunities. The 74-acre main campus is located in the University City District of Philadelphia, close to the Center City and Philadelphia’s vibrant downtown neighborhood. It has four other auxiliary campuses:
- Center City Hahnemann Campus
- Queen Lane Medical Campus in East Falls
- Drexel University in South Jersey
- Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, California
Every year Drexel enrolls more than 1,500 full-time undergraduates and over 7,000 graduate and professional students. It offers an array of programs leading to associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, plus certificates, post-bachelor’s certificates, and post-master’s certificates through its notable colleges and schools.
Drexel’s extensive programs, courses and curriculum are specifically designed to groom students for vital issues in science, health sciences, technology, information science, media arts, business, and the humanities, to shape the next generation workforce.
Drexel is famous for its co-operative education program, started in 1919 to prepare students for their chosen career. Since its introduction, the program has become an integral part of the university’s educational experience. Drexel was among the first institutions to offer co-operative education programs for students. Through this program, students are placed in over 1,500 companies across 27 states and 12 countries.
Schools and Colleges:
With the establishment of the Earle Mack School of Law in 2006, Drexel became the first major research university in the United States to start a new law school in 25 years. Research also plays an important role at Drexel; research hubs include the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (BIOMED), Drexel University College of Medicine, the College of Information Science and Technology (The iSchool at Drexel), and the College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Other important schools and colleges are College of Arts and Sciences, Bennett S. LeBow College of Business, Goodwin School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Public Health, Pennoni Honors College, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and Goodwin School of Technology and Professional Studies.
Since 1996, Drexel has been providing online degrees, and in 2002, it established a complete online education curriculum, offering accredited programs to students across the world. The online bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs are available in psychology, information systems, communication, project management, clinical research, nursing, public health, and more.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Drexel operates on a rolling admission basis. Students seeking admission must apply online and provide a well-written essay on the topic related to his/ her intended major. Students must also take either the SAT or ACT test to be eligible for undergraduate admission. Students seeking admission into graduate programs must appear for one of the following tests: GRE, GMAT, MAT etc.
The student population at Drexel boasts a good percentage of international students. International applicants must produce score reports from at least one of the following: SAT, ACT, TOEFL, or IELTS. The latter two are designed for those for whom English is not their native language.
Drexel offers financial aid in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships to students. Every student is encouraged to apply for such aid by completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Students who receive full tuition scholarships from Drexel cannot apply for other scholarships and grants. Undergraduate grants and scholarships include the Dragon Alumni Scholarship; Dragon Family Scholarship; Dragon Trustee Scholarship; Drexel Legacy Scholarship; Presidential Scholarship; and A.J. Drexel Scholarship.
Graduate fellowships and grants include Drexel Dean’s Awards and Fellowships; Drexel-Kaplan Graduate Degree Advantage Program; Drexel Grad Grant; and Teaching, Research, and Graduate Assistantships.
There are also some additional state grants and scholarships, federal grants, private scholarships, and private funding for medical students.
Student Financial Aid Details
Drexel boasts an active and vibrant student life to support the overall development of the students. It helps to build a supportive and educational environment where students can dream big, explore their skills, and achieve new heights. Student organizations form an integral part of college life, allowing students to come together, interact, and excel.
Students can participate in over 300 academic, honorary, club and sports, law, media, political, and cultural organizations. Some of the organizations include the American Chemical Society, Drexel Student Affiliates (ACS); American Medical Student Association, Drexel Chapter (AMSA); Club Water Polo; Drexel Badminton Club (DBC); Drexel Ki No Kawa Aikido Club; Buzzing for Change; Drexel Model United Nations (DMUN); 8 to the Bar (8bar); Chinese Graduate Dancing Club (CGDC); Amateur Radio Club; and Drexel Filmmakers’ Society (DFS).
Nearly 10% of Drexel’s student body comprises international students from over 95 foreign countries. The Office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) strive to make Drexel a pleasant experience for the international students. It encourages significant interaction between American students and those from around the world. ISSS staff provide useful advice and guidance for international students regarding scholarships, immigration, financial, cultural, academic, and personal issues.
The Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP) promotes multi-cultural programs to instill in students a respect for different cultures. Drexel’s Federal College Work-Study program is designed to help students in need of financial support to work part-time and defray college fees during the academic year.
Commuter, Graduate and Transfer Student Programs and Services (CGTSPS) is a student body that helps existing or future commuter students steer their way through the Drexel experience. Commuter students constitute nearly 79% of the undergraduate student body, and this organization help commuters deal with the various challenges of commuting daily.
Student life in Drexel presents a commendable Greek scene with several fraternities and sororities, managed by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council (PHC), and Multi-cultural Greek Council (MGC). Nearly 10% of the student population is a part of the Greek organizations, which include:
- Alpha Chi Rho (AXP)
- Alpha Epsilon Pi- Delta Rho (AEPi)
- Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity, Inc. (DEP)
- Delta Zeta (DZ)
- Theta Chi (OX)
- Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sigep)
- Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. (Sigma Psi Zeta)
Media and Publications:
WKDU is the student operated FM radio station of Drexel. It offers membership to all undergraduate students. DUTV is the Philadelphia cable television station run by Drexel students.
Drexel owns several publications produced by the student body as well as the university. The Triangle has been the university’s newspaper since 1926. Other university publications include MAYA, a literary magazine; D&M Magazine, a magazine by Design & Merchandising students; Drexel Daily Digest, a daily university newspaper; Drexelink, a monthly newsletter; Greek Columns, an e-newsletter about Greek life in Drexel; and The Drexelist, a blog and fashion news source since 2010.
The university offers on-campus housing for freshmen as well as sophomores. There are 9 modern residence halls that offer double occupancy and suite-style rooms.
Students can benefit from the three campus libraries — W.W. Hagerty Library, Hahnemann Library, and Queen Lane Library.
Nightlife at Drexel:
Students at Drexel can enjoy the vibrant and lively nightlife of Philadelphia. You don’t have to be 21 to enjoy the fun as many clubs let in 18-year-olds, but they won’t serve drinks to anyone under 21. Some of the clubs worth checking out are Bob & Barbara’s; Brasil’s; La Terrasse; Rouge; Suede; Fat Tuesday; and White Dog. Many clubs at the University often rent rooms to throw parties for fundraising.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Students at Drexel activity participate in an array of men’s and women’s sports. The school mascot is a dragon called “Mario the Magnificent,” named after Mario V. Mascioli, an alumnus and ex-member of the Board of Trustees. The dragon has been the mascot for Drexel since the 1920s, and the school colors are blue and gold.
Drexel hosts around over 30 active club teams, including triathlon, squash, and cycling. Other club teams include rugby, field hockey, soccer, baseball, and roller hockey. The Club Sports Council and the Recreational Sports Office manages the many club teams. The sports teams are nicknamed the ‘Drexel Dragons.’ They participate in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, and the NCAA’s Division I.
Intramural sports at Drexel encourage students to compete with their peers in sports and tournaments. Some of the intramural sports include basketball, flag football, floor hockey, soccer, softball, and volleyball. The University is an active member of National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), Pennsylvania Intramural-Rec Sports Association (PIRSA), and the Philadelphia City 6.
At Drexel, there is a popular tradition of students rubbing the toe of the bronze “Waterboy” statue situated in the main building atrium in the hopes of getting good grades on exams. Even today, the toe shines like new while the rest of the statue has developed a dark brown coating.
Drexel’s graduates have earned fame in diverse fields, such as computer science, humanities, business, politics, and sports. The university takes pride in its long list of alumni which includes Violet Oakley, an artist of repute; Frank Schoonover, an illustrator; Paul Baran, one of the founding fathers of Internet; Norman Joseph Woodland, inventor of barcode technology; Michael Anderson and Malik Rose, professional basketball players (NBA); Raj Gupta, CEO of Rohm and Haas; and many more.
Additional School Information
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Drexel among its “Best National Universities – Top Schools” list. The Princeton Review named Drexel as one of America’s “Top 25 Most Connected Campuses.” According to the recent Times Higher Education ranking, the university secured its place among the top 200 world’s best universities.
Drexel has been in the limelight for several good reasons. The university has been featured in numerous movies, soaps, and serials. It served as the setting for ABC Family’s reality show “Back on Campus.” In 2007, the school hosted the Democratic Presidential candidate’s debate in Philadelphia. In 2008, it hosted the US Table Tennis Olympic Trials.