VUnited Scholars Program









The VUnited Scholars Program is a two year residential certificate program offered through Villanova's College of Professional Studies. This program merges the following four elements: academic knowledge, social and psychological development, independent living skills, and career and vocational skills.

Pursuing this program in an Augustinian, Catholic, valued-centered, residential environment provides students a meaningful and unique college experience. The program allows students to explore and realize both their learning potential and maximize their personal growth, while preparing students for future, meaningful employment.

Targeted to highly motivated young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, the program consists of a combination of academic coursework and supervised employment and career development opportunities. The focus of the program is to prepare students for careers in Business and Human Services. View admissions information.

Through VUnited Scholars, students will:

  • Develop a variety of skills essential for independent adulthood through practical courses and field placements.
  • Learn adaptive life skills through a full on-campus experience, living and learning in a traditional college environment.
  • Have a significant field experience in off-campus employment and will acquire the necessary skills to thrive in the workplace.
  • Learn to structure their independent leisure activities and free time under the safety net of the VUnited Scholars Program.
  • Have a full Catholic college experience and have access to campus ministry worship and service opportunities.
  • Participate in campus activities, clubs, and special events.
  • Learn fitness and healthy living choices through structured, supervised activities.
  • Eat in campus dining halls and improve social skills through peer to peer interactions with the greater student body.
  • Learn the rules of good judgement and safety and abide by all the rules and regulations as set in the Villanova Student Handbook.




The program involves two years of classroom instruction, internships, group and individual advising, mentoring, and support. Each semester typically consists of four academic class days and one day that is an internship.

Living on Campus

Students will reside in a campus residence hall. As full time Villanova students, they will have access to the same extensive facilities for dining, recreation, study, and worship as do traditional Villanova students. 


The VUnited Scholars program promotes the advancement of skills and knowledge in the following areas: Academics; Career Development; Independent Living; and Community Participation. The academic components include the opportunity to enroll in specialized VUnited Scholars Seminar courses detailed below.

Support and Mentorship

Person-centered planning guides the development of a student’s program of study, including course selection, internship placement, and engagement in student activities and other aspects of campus life.  Students in the VUnited Scholars Program will be supported and mentored by a variety of peers, faculty and staff to ensure students are comfortable and thriving in all aspects of their Villanova experience.


To earn a Certificate in Community and Professional Development, students complete the following:

Academic Coursework:

  • VUnited Scholar Seminars (~6 hours/week). Topics include:

Adjusting to College Life
Nutrition and Wellness
Foundations of Literacy
Theology & Spirituality
Healthy Relationships
Voice Class, Public Speaking, and Performance
Video Production
Principles of Art & Drawing
Personal Health

  • A selection of audited and/or for credit Villanova Undergraduate and Professional Education courses and workshops (typically, 3 hours per week, determined through the advising process)


Career Development and Vocational Experiences:

  • Students will receive career planning, application, coaching and placement in an internship.


Campus and Community Engagement:

  • Student Life programs, clubs, and events
  • Campus Ministry
  • Residence Hall programming
  • Special Campus Events (Lectures, St. Thomas of Villanova Day, MLK Day of Service, etc.)
  • Recreational Activities



Application dates 


Application Opens


Deadline to Apply with all Materials

Early April

In-Person Interviews for Final Candidates (virtual interviews to be scheduled March 28-April 1)

Late April

Decisions Released

Early May

Accepted Students' Day


Deposit Due


TUITION 2022-2023: $27,500 (Incoming students)*
Room & Board 2022-2023: ~$11,000 (Incoming students)

*Tuition rate is the same for year 1 and year 2 in the program.  In year 2, the room & board rates increase due to the program length of 15 weeks. Click here for applicable rates.

The VUnited Scholars Program is a certificate program, not a degree granting program. However, Villanova University is an approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program.  This designation affords students the opportunity to receive funding from the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study Programs.  Students complete a FAFSA to determine eligibility.

View additional information about funding opportunities for students with an intellectual disability.

College of Professional Studies

800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Vasey Hall, Room 103
Villanova, PA 19085

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