Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,329
- 37 Majors; 43 Minors
- 12 Interdisciplinary Concentrations
- 17 combined B.A./M.A. and B.S./M.S. programs
- 47 Graduate Certificates
- 23 Master's programs
- 1 Ph.D program (Philosophy)
U.S. News and World Report has ranked Villanova University the No. 1 master's university in the North region for more than a decade.
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Special Honors and Designations
The College is a member of the nations’ two most prestigious honors societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. Villanova is home to one of only 18 Catholic institutions in the nation to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on its campus.
Recent Career Choices include:
- Area Congressional Campaign Coordinator
- International Market Analyst
- Marine Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
- Public Relations Manager
- Teacher, Secondary
Academic Centers and Institutes include:
- Arab and Islamic Studies
- Asian Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Liberal Education
- Peace and Justice Education
- Russian Area Studies
- Gender and Women’s Studies Resource Center
- Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies
- The Theology Institute
- Center for Excellence in Enterprise Technology
- Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
Recent Graduate School Enrollments include:
- Columbia Law School
- Harvard Graduate School of Education
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Thomas Jefferson University Medical College
- Yale University
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences exists to provide an atmosphere of responsible learning to a varied group of students who will be called to intellectual, moral, and professional leadership. To fulfill these goals, the College seeks to promote intellectual curiosity and rigor within the University; to instill the fundamentals of critical insight, mature judgment, and independent thinking in its students; and to awaken in its students a sense of the importance of values and the moral responsibility of caring for others and working for the betterment of society.
The College has developed a new Core Curriculum in concert with the University’s new strategic plan and the call of “Realizing the Augustinian Vision” through the strengthening of its undergraduate programs. The College is committed to smaller class sizes within foundational core course requirements, which include the Augustine and Culture Seminar, Ethics, Philosophy, and Theology and Religious Studies. In addition, writing is woven throughout the curriculum in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences because writing is writing enables students to reflect on things, organize ideas, and think them through; writing develops our students’ own thinking. It is a vital means of exploring issues, constructing arguments and lines of reasoning, and communicating.
The Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies fosters critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, and responsible global citizenship for students who elect to major in this highly rigorous and relevant course of study. As part of the major, students participate in a semester-long study abroad experience, which focuses on language and cultural immersion. Area Studies include Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Russian Area Studies, Irish Studies, and Arab and Islamic Studies. Critical Languages Studies include Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Russian Studies.
The Department of Geography and the Environment bridges and effectively integrates the social sciences and the natural/physical sciences in ways that embrace the liberal arts tradition of the College and of the University by integrating the disciplines of geography and environmental science in seeking to understand the spatial patterns of people and the natural environment, the physical and social processes that produce those patterns, and their interaction in specific places and around the world, and providing an interdisciplinary curriculum studying the interactions between humans and the environment. The Augustinian values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas (translated as truth, unity, and love) guide intellectual and social life at Villanova. In keeping with our Augustinian tradition, which emphasizes service to, and care for, one’s community, we integrate sustainability and respect for the earth into our curricula, scholarly research, academic and community events, and institutional policy and practice.
The College emphasizes interdisciplinarity and cross-college collaboration in many ways through joint sponsorship of academic programs and special, on-campus events, which are designed to heighten the intellectual experience for students and help them integrate their classroom studies with outside activities. In addition, the College has created new majors in Latin American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies, and Arab and Islamic Studies.
The University Honors Program, housed within the College, has undergone a major expansion of its facilities to better serve the Honors community thereby demonstrating the College’s commitment to intellectual excellence in the Augustinian spirit. Honors at Villanova stands at the forefront of Villanova’s long commitment to academic excellence. Our outstanding faculty educate our gifted students to be the transformative leaders our world needs. The College prepares Honors students for distinguished careers in law, politics, education, business, medicine, and many other fields. The College encourages Honors students to actively engage in the creation of culture, here at Villanova and beyond, and inspire them to connect their rich talents with a strong sense of their responsibility to lives of service. Students attend small, discussion-based seminars, undertake original research projects, and are mentored by nationally renowned scholars. Villanova is one of the nation’s premier Catholic universities, and in the Honors Program, students enjoy the best the University offers.
Intellectual and Cultural Life on Campus
The College continues to strengthen its role as the University’s leader in promoting cultural and intellectual life on campus through its hosting and sponsorship of major events, such as the Mendel Medal Lecture, Lore Kephart Lecture, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Partnership, Constitution Day Symposium, and many, many others throughout the academic year, demonstrating to students that learning takes doesn’t end when classes are over.
Graduate Programs in the College are committed to academic excellence, individual growth, and civic responsibility. Graduate Programs offer close guidance, affordability, flexibility, teaching opportunities, and research funding. Twenty-two (22) master degree programs, 45 pre- and post-master’s degree certificate, and one Ph.D. program (philosophy) are offered.
For the sixth year out of the last seven, The Chronicle of Higher Education cited Villanova as one of the top producers of Fulbright students in the United States. Villanova also ranks #2 in the nation for all master’s universities for its student participation in study abroad programs. The Office of International Studies and Overseas Programs fulfills the Villanova promise “to add its influence to the search for world peace and justice by means of its academic programs … it provides for the members of the community.”
Academic Advising and Professional Development
The Office for Undergraduate Students supports students as they transition into collegiate life and introduces them to academic possibilities and professional opportunities. Through Academic Advising, the College encourages students to reflect on their experiences, enabling them to make informed educational choices. Leadership and Professional Development empowers students to make connections between their educational pursuits and their possible professional directions through specially designed courses, workshops, and internships. Students explore, experience, and evolve.
Service Learning courses are three-credit courses that connect course objectives with opportunities to meet the needs of people in underserved communities, or work with agencies that advocate for the poor and/or care for the environment. Integration of theoretical knowledge and experiential learning in the community provides a context for critical and constructive thinking and action that promotes the common good. The community experience also provides a context for meaningful reflection, which is an essential component of service learning. Villanova students and faculty learn with people who face the challenges of poverty and marginalization and those who work to protect our environment. We transform one another through these relationships.
A Service Learning course is a concrete expression of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ commitment to values inherent in Catholic Social Teaching. The College continues to build partnerships with agencies and schools who serve the poor and our environment so as to live our mission to “prepare students to regard themselves as citizens living in a democratic society, as belonging to a world community, replete with communal responsibilities.”
Current community partnerships include the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness (PCEH), Microsoft School of the Future, Germantown High School, Project HOME, the Ronald McDonalrd House Charities, and many, many others.
Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society
The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI), housed within the Department of Communication in the College, was founded on the principle that the study and practice of communication requires attention to values, ethics, and social justice. Properly understood, communication is central to the creation of positive social change.
WFI promotes the study of this mission-driven communication, emphasizing ethical leadership, social justice and community, and the ability of those key influencers to create a more just world. Because of the greater emphasis placed on these factors, communication is best studied at Catholic universities, which is why WFI – the first institute of its kind – was created at Villanova.
Established in October 2010 through a generous gift from alumnus Lawrence Waterhouse Jr., ’59 A&S, founder and chairman emeritus of Waterhouse Investor Services, Inc., WFI represents a new vision for the Department of Communication. While the department always has approached the study of communication as more than vocational training, grounding its programs in the traditions of the liberal arts and sciences, the creation of WFI allows the department to more clearly highlight and promote the intrinsically ethical dimensions of communication as both a practice and field of study.
Learning Communities, and the College’s commitment to the first-year experience, have been nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report. Learning Communities for first-year students allow students to learn, grow, and form communities as they explore the questions Who Am I and Who Do I Want To Be both in and out of the classroom. Students experience close community in the residence hall, engaged classroom discussions, deep friendship, and academic and social skill development.
Villanova Theatre productions are reviewed by the Philadelphia media and supported by a yearly audience comprised of students, faculty, staff, Philadelphia theatre-goers, and more than 700 loyal subscribers. The Department of Theatre is an active member of many cultural organizations, including the American College Theatre Festival, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, which administers the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Since 1995, the department has received 49 nominations and six Barrymore Awards.
Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
Research provides a plethora of intrinsic benefits: gathering and creating new knowledge, learning the methods of one’s field, exploring new ways of thinking, and entering a field’s professional dialogue. But undergraduate research merits external rewards as well. It makes students more attractive to graduate schools, employers, and national fellowship committees, and it often provides students with professional and academic connections that last a lifetime. Villanova has an extensive community of researchers who have published various bodies of work across the disciplines and encourages all students to pursue research opportunities.
Since 1993, 520 Villanova students have applied for national fellowships. Of those, 139 advanced to finalist status and 75 received awards. Students have applied for – and been granted – the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshal Scholarship, Fulbright awards, the Gates Cambridge, Truman, Goldwater, National Science Foundation Grants, National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowships, the Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship, the Ford Pre-doctoral Fellowship, the Udall Scholarship, and many, many other prestigious national and international awards.
Excellence in the Sciences
Science majors and faculty at Villanova form part of a vibrant community that delights in discovery and inquiry. Villanova’s rich history of research and teaching in the sciences has been an integral part of Villanova academics since the University’s founding and are explored within the larger context of making the world a better – and healthier – place. One of the greatest advantages of scientific inquiry at Villanova is that classes are taught by professors, not by teaching assistants.
And faculty aren’t just present in the classroom and the laboratory: they’re accessible to students personally for discussion, mentorship, and research collaboration. Villanova faculty have gained international renown for their research in diverse areas of expertise, from analytical environmental chemistry to integrative biology.
Another advantage to studying science at Villanova is the strong liberal arts core curriculum, which helps students develop their writing and critical-thinking skills. Strength in these areas makes our graduates more well-rounded and desirable job or graduate school candidates, and helps our students cultivate their intellectual curiosities for a lifetime.
Student organizations include:
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Astronomical Society
- Chemistry Society
- Gamma Sigma Epsilon
- Math Club
- Pre-Med Club
- Villanova Environmental Group
Faculty Research and Scholarship
In a climate where federal funding for research has become increasingly competitive, Villanova continues to have nationally and internationally recognized scientists among its faculty, pursuing research in diversity of timely and important topics.
Villanova science faculty have received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and several other sources.
Villanova faculty, typically working with Villanova students, are studying climate change from a diversity of perspectives, including the role of vast boreal peat bogs in Canada and Siberia as sinks for atmospheric CO2, the effects of rising sea level and increasing salinity on freshwater and brackish marshes in the Delaware River estuary, and the potential for sea urchin population dynamics along the Pacific Coast of North America to provide insights into past, present, and future climates.
Other faculty have secured federal funding to study pollutant chemical transformations in Arctic snow and ice and implications for atmospheric chemistry, to examine the effects of acid rain created by oil sands development in northern Canada in the past 20 years on previously pristine ecosystems, and to study the spread of a major forest pest in the northeastern United States (the hemlock woolly adelgid).
Faculty have received federal funding in the exciting field of nanotechnology, and at the other end of the spectrum, to explore space, specifically focusing on binary stars. Other faculty receive funding in the area of conservation biology, with different groups focusing on geckos, salamanders, and birds in geographic locations around the world.
The College’s science faculty continue to publish research findings in top ranked national and international scientific and technical journals, frequently with undergraduate and graduate student coauthors. Faculty and students routinely travel to scientific conferences to present their research, and several science faculty serve on the boards of major scientific and professional societies.
Villanova science faculty are actively involved in the peer-review process as evaluators of papers submitted for publication and of proposals submitted for funding. Several science faculty serve on editorial boards of top scientific journals, and three have served terms as programs officers at the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Many Villanova students who receive undergraduate or master’s degrees have gone on to continue develop careers as scientists, a tradition that continues ever stronger today. The College’s science faculty, and its undergraduate and graduate students and programs, are held in high regard within and beyond Villanova University.