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. 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.
  • 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.




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 Seminars (6 hrs/wk)
    • Academic Experiences with Traditional Students (minimum of 3 hrs/wk):
      •  Students are required to participate in an academic experience with traditional students for a minimum of three hours per week.
      • These can include formal learning experiences such as:
        1. An audited and/or credit-bearing Villanova undergraduate course from the Academic Catalog;
        2. Professional Education courses and workshops offered through the College of Professional Studies;
        3. Non-credit-bearing leadership training or other courses at the University. 
  • 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    

View the VUnited Scholars Program Curriculum within the Non-Credit Academic Supplement.



Fall 2025 Cohort Application dates 

September 2024

Application Opens

January 31, 2025

Deadline to Apply with all Materials

20-21, 27-28,

Final Candidacy Day - Selected students will shadow a current VUnited Scholars student and have lunch. The Admissions Team will meet with parents/guardians while students are shadowing.

March 21, 2025

Decisions Released

April 11, 2025

Accepted Students' Day

May 1, 2025

Deposit Due


Occasionally space may become available over the Summer, please inquire if the application is re-opened.


TUITION 2024-2025: $33,250 per year
Housing & Meals 2024-2025: ~$18,000* 
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.

*Rates vary based on selected meal plan.

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

Maps & Directions to Campus

The VUnited Scholars Program seeks new partners who believe in expanding inclusive access to higher education.