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Catholic Profile

Ignite Change. Go Nova.


Founded in 1842 by the Order
of St. Augustine, Villanova is
the oldest and largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania. St. Augustine believed in a commitment to community and in the connection between heart and mind. These beliefs guide Villanova’s educational approach, making the Villanova experience not just about outstanding academics but about each student’s growth as a whole person. 

Villanova—a picturesque 260-acre campus located 12 miles west of Philadelphia—is home to students of all faiths and tends to attract students who are dedicated to social responsibility and volunteerism. Villanova offers more than 50 rigorous academic programs through four undergraduate colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing. Interdisciplinary concentrations are offered in a variety of areas, including Africana Studies, Arabic Language and Culture, Asian Studies, Augustine in Dialogue With Faith and Culture, Chinese Language and Culture, Cognitive Science, Counseling, Creative Writing, Ethics, Irish Studies, Japanese Language and Culture, Military Science, Naval Science, Peace and Justice, Public Service and Administration, Russian Area Studies, Russian Language and Culture, Statistics, Sustainability Studies, Theatre, and Writing and Rhetoric. 

Full-time undergraduate enrollment at Villanova is approximately 6,500, while total University enrollment—including graduate programs, continuing and part-time studies, and the Villanova School of Law—is more than 10,000.
At Villanova you will find proven
scholars, not graduate assistants, at the head of your classes. With an average class size of 22 and a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, you are ensured close interaction with your professors—more than 90% of whom hold the highest degree in their field. 


Academic excellence
Incoming students with a strong record of academic achievement and cocurricular leadership are invited to apply to the Honors program upon their acceptance to the University. The Honors program is a comprehensive four-year program that offers seminars, research opportunities, service projects, and cultural and social events designed to bring together highly motivated, talented students with dedicated faculty.

Villanova also offers a robust, competitive Presidential Scholarship program as it seeks to attract young leaders from diverse intellectual, social, racial, and economic backgrounds, including those from families in which few or no members have attended college. This renewable scholarship covers tuition, general fees, room, board, and the cost of textbooks for eight consecutive semesters. It is awarded to students for their demonstrated academic achievements and active participation in their schools and broader civic communities.

In addition, first-year students are encouraged to join a themed Learning Community to live and learn among friends. Students in these communities live in the same residence halls, take the Augustine and Culture Seminar (a first-year requirement) together, and participate in tailored cocurricular programs such as lectures, plays, and trips. 


Student life
Villanova is a fun, close-knit, and caring community. There are more than 265 student organizations and 36
national honor societies—including chapters of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi—at Villanova. Service to others through volunteerism and service-learning projects is a fundamental part of the Villanova experience, and Villanovans provide more than 249,000 hours of community service each year. 

Semiannual service breaks enable students to choose projects of special personal significance (Habitat for Humanity is especially popular), and Villanova’s Special Olympics Fall Festival is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world. In addition, the annual Day of Service matches thousands of Villanova volunteers with service sites across greater Philadelphia.

Housing is guaranteed for three consecutive years, and 70% of students live on campus. When students are hungry for a meal or snack, Villanova’s award-winning Dining Services offers a wide variety of options with 18 eateries—three dining halls and 15 à-la-carte venues. 

Athletic opportunities for Villanova students abound. Nearly 20% of the student body participates in 24 varsity teams and 30 club sports, and each year approximately 3,000 students participate in 13 intramural sports. In 2009 the men’s Division I basketball team advanced to the NCAA Final Four, and men’s football won the national championship in FCS Division I football. In 2010 the women’s cross-country team won their ninth NCAA national championship. The University has also produced nearly 60 Olympians in its history, and Villanovans have participated in every Summer Olympics since 1948. 

The Villanova Center for Multicultural Affairs provides a welcoming atmosphere for students and exemplifies the University mission of respecting individual differences and adhering to the principle that mutual love and respect should animate every aspect of University life. 

Study abroad
More than 40% of the senior class spent at least a summer abroad. Nearly 800 students studied in more than 37 locations around the world, from Singapore to Valparaíso and London to Melbourne, to name a few. The University was ranked third among the nation’s top 40 master’s institutions for total number of study abroad students by the Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors Annual Report. 


Career services
This past year nearly 60% of students participated in an internship, with many of these leading to a full-time job offer. Additionally, more than 6,500 job opportunities were posted on Villanova’s job boards; 99% of recent Villanova graduates become full-time employees or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation, and the average starting salary for Villanova graduates is $54,345. 



Founded: 1842

Institutional Control: Private

Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic, Augustinian

Location: Suburban

Overlap Schools: Boston College, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Lehigh University

Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,554

Underrepresented Minorities: More than 25%

Male/Female: 48%/52%

In State/Out of State: 23%/77%

Freshman Retention Rate: 96%

Applicants: 16,198

Accepted: 47%

Enrolled: 23%

SAT Range (25th–75th Percentile): 1300–1430/1600

ACT Composite Range (25th–75th Percentile): 30–33

Top 10% of High School Class: 72%

Tuition: $46,696

Room and Board: Approximately $12,500 (can vary by accommodation and meal plan selection)

Books and Supplies: $950

Financial Aid: 98% of those who apply for need-based aid are eligible to receive some type of assistance; 81% of those eligible for need-based assistance receive Villanova Grants. The average grant award is $27,521. The average assistance package for students with demonstrated financial need (combining grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment) is $36,981.