Alvernia combines the personal touch and attention of a small private college with many of the opportunities of a much larger university, complete with specialized professional programs, experiential learning, internships, and a variety of leadership opportunities.
Education with a purpose
Alvernia offers a range of academic programs with a learning approach that is grounded in the real world. With more than 600 courses and 50 majors and minors in nearly every field, including pre-professional programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Pharmacology, and Veterinary Medicine, an Alvernia education will prepare you for the career you want.
Study abroad, internships, domestic and international service projects, our unique Washington Center Experience, Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement, and the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service are just a few of the opportunities at Alvernia that make classroom learning come alive. Through these hands-on experiences, our students are exposed to real-world lessons that help develop successful professionals and engaged global citizens.
Here you’ll get a personal learning experience in a secure setting to discover, grow, and develop your own strengths. With about 3,000 students, a 14:1 student-faculty ratio, and an average class size of less than 20, Alvernia is the perfect size for students to develop and thrive.
Alvernia offers a rich campus life that provides hands-on experiences with more than 55 clubs and organizations, including intramural sports, student government, academic societies, and much more. While students are here, they’ll build their self-confidence as they learn to solve problems, make important decisions, and develop critical-thinking and leadership skills. Whatever your extracurricular interests, Alvernia will help you live your whole life—mind, body, and spirit.
A charming campus
Our beautiful 121-acre campus in historic Berks County is three miles from the heart of Reading, Pennsylvania, and just a short drive away from Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.
When it comes to on-campus living, Alvernia is second to none. Our student housing, which includes traditional halls, suite-style apartments, and townhouses, is well known for offering spacious and clean accommodations that make living on campus ideal. Our multimillion-dollar Village Apartments feature contemporary-style housing and offer the latest amenities, including gas fireplaces in atriums and business centers for student use. Alvernia also offers special-interest housing options for like-minded students.
Alvernia is located in a quiet residential neighborhood just minutes from downtown Reading, Pennsylvania. Reading offers a mix of cultural and entertainment destinations, such as:
• GoggleWorks Center for the Arts
• Reading Public Museum
• Outlet shopping
• Minor league sports (Reading Fightin Phils, Reading Royals, and Reading United)
• Concerts at the Santander Arena
You will also have plenty of opportunities for community involvement, internships, and field work experience at many local agencies and organizations.
The beautiful Blue Marsh Lake is close to campus and offers biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and more. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, French Creek State Park, and plenty of great golf courses are also nearby.
A Franciscan heritage
As one of only 24 Franciscan institutions in the United States, our values-based learning philosophy is guided by the idea of “knowledge joined with love” that shapes both our educational philosophy and strong campus community. Our emphasis on developing ethical leaders with moral courage is blended with a commitment to service in a campus environment that provides our students the ideal setting to grow and develop.
Alvernia measures success by graduates’ personal and professional satisfaction and by the many ways they contribute to the greater good in all areas of society. Graduates work in education, health care, social services, large and small businesses, the media, law firms, law enforcement, all levels of government, and in many other professions and fields. No matter what your aspirations and dreams, we’ll give you the tools and support to help you succeed.
“As an Alvernia professor, I am reassured that what we’re doing at this university matters.”
— Di You, PhD
Assistant Professor of
• Enrollment: With about 3,000 students, a 14:1 student-faculty ratio, and an average class size of less than 20, Alvernia is the perfect size for you to develop and thrive.
• Faculty: Our professors are actively engaged in their fields of study through scholarly research and direct professional experience. Students will benefit from a breadth of opportunities that put classroom learning into action through real-world applications.
• Student Activities: More than 55 student groups, including intramural and intercollegiate sports, academic clubs, honor societies, student government, and service clubs, deliver an out-of-the-classroom approach to hands-on learning.
• Financial Aid: An Alvernia education is affordable, and about 98% of undergraduates receive some type of aid.
Programs of Study
Continuing a proud athletic tradition, Alvernia is a member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Corporation (MAC), a highly competitive NCAA
Division III conference.
• Football (fall 2018)
• Ice Hockey*
• Track & Field
* Club sports
• Dance Team*
• Equestrian (fall 2018)
• Field Hockey
• Track & Field
Majors & Minors
• Athletic Training
• Behavioral HealthC
• Biology—Medical Laboratory Science
• BusinessC(optional five-year MBA, choose a major below)
- Healthcare Administration
- Human Resource Management
- Sport Management
• CommunicationC (choose a track below)
- Film, Culture & Creative Arts
- Media Design & Production
- Public Relations & Advertising
- Strategic Communications
- Theatre Studies
• Criminal JusticeC
- Early Childhood (PreK-4)
- Early Childhood (PreK-4) & Special Education (PreK-8)
- Secondary (7-12) Certification
• Environmental ScienceC
• Forensic ScienceC
• General ScienceC
• Healthcare Science#
• Liberal Studies
• Occupational Therapy (five-year master’s degree)
• Physical Therapy (six-year doctoral degree)
• Political ScienceC
• Social Work
• Community & Environmental Sustainability
• Community Engagment
• Cultural Studies
• Digital Media
• Women’s & Gender Studies
C Minor available
# May be used to track toward application for Doctor of Physical
Therapy Graduate Program (currently a candidate for accreditation status)