Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania


Slippery Rock University (SRU) was first established as Slippery Rock State Normal School in 1889. The first session served 168 students and taught teacher education, striving to provide qualified educators for the public schools of Pennsylvania. From this, the school evolved into a four-year teacher’s college and later a certified four-year institute with more extensive academic options. It was first accredited to award undergraduate and graduate degrees in 1960 and became a full university in 1983.

Today, SRU enrolls nearly 9,000 students and offers a wide variety of degree programs. It has a strong health and wellness department that confers degrees in physical therapy, exercise science and more from the baccalaureate level to the doctoral level. The school has become increasingly more selective in the 21st century, and GPA and class rank averages have increased significantly since the 2000-2001 school year. The campus also continues to expand and renovate, approving more than $250 million in new construction over the past 15 years.


Information Summary

Ranks 39th in Pennsylvania and 477th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 87.0
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $25,147
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 25 / 1170
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 21 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 81% / 100%
Enrollment Total (all students) 8,803


SRU offers over 60 academic programs in a variety of subject areas. Most of SRU’s degree programs are tailored to match the employment needs of local and global industries, so classes are designed to teach students relevant skills that will help them in the workforce. Major programs at SRU are broken into four colleges: Education; Business, Information Science and Social Sciences; Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts; and Health, Environment and Science.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in the subjects of arts, fine arts, music, science, business administration, and education. Master’s degrees are conferred in education and science. A doctorate degree is offered in physical therapy. Each of these subject areas offers dozens of majors and minors that let students further specialize their degree within their discipline. Affiliation programs also allow students to take special programs and earn graduate degrees beyond SRU’s regular offering.

Internships and co-curricular experiences also help students learn their chosen area of study more quickly. These are recommended to students of almost every discipline, and, in the case of teacher education, are required. Teacher education students must spend at least one semester of their senior year as a student teacher in local school districts or even overseas. Internships are extremely useful tools that teach on-the-job skills through an active learning environment. They are also helpful in landing employment opportunities after graduation. Be sure to talk to the career or internship advisor to find out more about opportunities in your chosen career path!

Special Affiliation Programs

The University offers many accelerated programs that allow students to take specific undergraduate coursework that leads directly into a graduate level or professional degree. The Doctor of Physcial Therapy program lets students earn their doctorate in only six years (three years of undergraduate work and three years of graduate work). Other options inlude a partnership with the Lake Erie College of Medicine for doctorates in osteopathy and pharmacy, as well as partnerships with the Logan College of Chiropractice and Pennsylvania State, Youngstown. With these accelerated programs, students can finish their degree programs much more quickly than normal, sometimes in as little as five years.

Most Popular Fields of Study


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Old Main :: Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Unique Programs

SRU has an extensive study abroad and exchange program that allows students to learn and study in over 20 different countries. The Institute for International Education ranked SRU’s international studies program 35th in the nation for the number of students participating in its study abroad opportunities.


Most students at SRU are traditional college students, meaning that they enter as freshmen after graduating from high school. On average, they have taken AP courses, scored above a 1000 on the SAT or a 20 on the ACT, and graduated from high school with a 3.30 GPA or better.

On-campus residences are a big part of student life at SRU. Over 95 percent of first-year SRU students live on campus, and more than 35 percent of the total undergraduate population lives in university residence halls of some kind. Living on campus makes it easy for students to walk to classes, meet up with friends, eat at dining halls, and participate in on-campus events.

Clubs and organizations are a great way for all students to get involved on campus. There are over 150 special interest, academic, and social clubs. Many SRU students choose to volunteer through community service organizations or become better leaders through programs like the Compass Leadership Program. These experiences help students develop into more well-rounded individuals who can participate on a higher level in their other activities.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Local Community

SRU is located on a 660-acre campus in Butler County, Pennsylvania, a green and hilly area in the westernmost part of the state. The campus is surrounded by forests, farmlands, and glacial lakes, which offer educational and entertainment opportunities for student groups and environmental classes. The campus itself is home to historic and modern buildings that have been renovated or updated to better serve the needs of modern students.

Additional campuses are located at Wallops Island Marine Science Center, which offers marine science summer school sessions; the McKeever Environmental Learning Center; the Center for Lifelong and Community Learning; and the Regional Learning Alliance. These centers are spread throughout Pennsylvania and the area surrounding Butler County, making the college accessible to more students and to more diverse areas for research and study.


Every class at SRU is taught by a professor; students are guaranteed the opportunity to learn from their faculty rather than a teaching assistant. The student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1, and more than 80 percent of classes have 40 students or fewer. The RWU faculty is also well-qualified, with over 90 percent of full-time or tenure-track faculty holding a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in their fields of expertise. In addition, nearly 20 percent of the faculty identifies as minority members. SRU has been named “One of the Best Colleges to Work At” by the Chronicle of Higher Education for three years in a row, and its faculty, staff, and students tend to develop strong relationships rooted in the school’s community atmosphere.


  • Slippery Rock University. Slippery Rock University An Overview. Print.
  • Slippery Rock University. Slippery Rock University Home. Web. 23 Sept. 2011

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