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Undergrad Profile

Messiah College is a nationally ranked private Christian college with a student body of 3,305 undergraduate and graduate students.

Undergraduate students who come to Messiah join a Christian community coming together from many different places and many different Christian backgrounds to learn, worship, and live together. They discover a hospitable campus where seemingly opposite ideals such as faith and intellect, work and play, discipline and imagination, and harmony and difference coexist.

The College is situated on 471 scenic acres just 12 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, and approximately two hours from the major urban centers of Philadelphia; Washington, DC; and Baltimore. Recognized for its ongoing sustainability initiatives by The Princeton Review, the US Building Council, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the campus has a distinctive suburban, residential atmosphere; 83% of students live on campus. 

80+ majors
Messiah College awards degrees in more than 80 majors in the liberal and applied arts and sciences. It also offers six pre-professional programs, extensive off-campus study, individualized majors, independent study, undergraduate research, service learning, internships, allied programs in partnership with other institutions, a flourishing College Honors Program, and several graduate programs. Teacher certification is available in many disciplines.

Messiah College is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #4 Best Regional College in the Northeastern United States and in the top 10 in its region as a “Great School, Great Price.”

The College operates on a two-semester academic calendar, with a January Term between the fall and spring terms. During January Term, students take one intensive three-week course of study with cross-cultural travel programs among the innovative courses offered during this term. A three-week May Term immediately follows the spring term and is exclusively for cross-cultural studies. Messiah offers extensive study abroad opportunities in more than 40 countries and is ranked 18th in the United States by the Institute of International Education for institutions sending students to study abroad.

The College selects its educators for their Christian commitment as well as their proven teaching ability. They are outstanding scholars, authors, artists, and experts in their chosen fields. Every Messiah professor signs a statement of faith as an indication of his or her commitment to the mission of the College. Eighty-one percent of the College’s 192 full-time faculty have earned the terminal degree in their field. All classes at Messiah College are taught by professors rather than teaching assistants. The student-faculty ratio is 12:1.

The College’s Career and Professional Development Center is nationally recognized for excellence in training students for today’s workforce and has been instrumental in the consistently high post-graduation placement rate of graduates. A survey by the College’s Career Center found that 97% of Class of 2015 respondents were employed or in graduate/professional programs within nine months of graduation.

Financial aid
One-hundred percent of first-year students received some form of financial aid in the 2015–2016 academic year. The average first-year student aid package was $27,719 (including PLUS and alternative loans).

Campus life and activities
Students can participate in more than 70 student groups and organizations, including theatre and music groups, recreational sports, and a student-produced radio station. The College’s Student Government Association (SGA) represents the student body and develops students’ leadership skills.
Students have many opportunities to grow in faith at Messiah College, including chapel and worship services,
Bible study and discipleship groups, ministry outreach teams, community service, mission trips, and a variety of other special programs.

Community engagement
Recognized for its focus on service learning and civic engagement, Messiah College teaches students to engage their Christian faith to build community, serve as agents for peace and reconciliation, and champion the rights of the poor and dispossessed.

The College has been widely recognized for this effort, earning top honors from many notable organizations. Since 2012 Messiah has been a member of the National Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge, an initiative of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives and Neighborhood Partnerships. Messiah was also named to the national President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with Distinction, and was awarded the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s prestigious Community Engagement Classification for Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships.

Messiah students come from 38 states, 34 countries, a full spectrum of cultures, and many different Christian faith traditions. Thirteen percent of students are from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, and 4% are international students.

To encourage students to think critically and emphasize that Christians can disagree and still be kind, the College often hosts groups whose views differ from many within its own community, with the goal of honoring one another’s differences while sharing a common love of Christ.

Sports and varsity athletics
Messiah College competes in 22 intercollegiate sports and maintains one of the most successful NCAA Division III athletic programs in the nation. Messiah athletes have garnered 25 national championships and regularly achieve national rankings and conference titles. Messiah athletes have been recognized as All-Americans and have been featured in Sports Illustrated and USA Today and on national network television. Several coaches have received national coaching awards.

Admission requirements
Messiah seeks students with demonstrated academic promise who wish to share in the College’s Christian community and encourages transfer, home-schooled, international, and minority students to apply.

Selective in its admission policy, the College considers academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership skills, and Christian service. The average SAT composite score is 1130 (old version), and the average ACT score is 25. In recent years, Messiah has produced graduates who have distinguished themselves as Rhodes, Fulbright, Carnegie, Boren, and Truman Scholars.




• Accounting
• Adventure Education
• Applied Health Science
• Applied Health Science (BS)/MSOT in Occupational Therapy 3+2—Thomas Jefferson University
• Art (Business)
• Art History
• Athletic Training
• Biblical and Religious Studies
• Biochemistry (ACS certified)
• Biochemistry (BA)/Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) 3+4—University of the Sciences
• Biology
• Biopsychology
• Biopsychology(BS)/MSOT in Occupational Therapy 3+2—Thomas Jefferson University
• Broadcasting and Media Production
• Business Administration
• Chemistry (ACS certified)
• Chinese Business
• Chinese Studies
• Christian Ministries
• Communication
• Computer and Information Science
• Criminal Justice
• Dance
• Digital Media
• Economic Development
• Economics
• Education with Dual Teaching Certification in Grades PreK-4 and Special Education
• Education with Teaching Certification in Grades PreK–4
• Education with Teaching Certification in Grades 4–8
• Engineering
- Biomedical
- Civil
- Computer
- Electrical
- Environmental
- Mechanical

• English
• Environmental Science
• Ethnic and Area Studies
• Film and Media Arts
• French
• German
• History
• Human Development and Family Science
• International Business
• Journalism
• Marketing
• Mathematics
• Molecular Biology
• Music
• Music (Business)
• Music (Music & Worship)
• Music Performance
• Musical Theatre
• Nursing
• Nutrition and Dietetics
• Peace and Conflict Studies
• Philosophy
• Physics
• Politics and International Relations
• Politics and International Relations (BA)/MS in Public Policy and Management 3+2—Carnegie Mellon University
• Psychology
• Public Relations
• Social Work
• Sociology and Anthropology
• Spanish
• Spanish Business
• Sport Management
• Studio Art
• Sustainability Studies
• Theatre
• Theatre (Business)

Teaching certification programs
• Art Education (K–12)
• Biology (7–12)
• Chemistry (7–12)
• Chinese Studies (K-12)
• Education with Dual Teaching Certification in Grades PreK–4 and Special Education
• Education with Teaching Certification in Grades PreK–4
• Education with Teaching Certification inGrades 4–8
• English (7–12)
• Family and Consumer Sciences Education (K–12)
• French (K–2)
• German (K–12)
• Health and Physical Education (K–12)
• History/Social Studies (7–12)
• Mathematics (7–12)
• Music Education (K–12)
• Physics (7–12)
• Spanish (K–12)

Pre-professional programs
• Pre-allied Health
• Pre-dental
• Pre-law
• Pre-medical
• Pre-physical Therapy
• Pre-veterinary