Alvernia University

Reading, PA

Alvernia University

Reading, PA

Explore Alvernia University's Featured Profiles:

Undergrad Science & Engineering Catholic

Alvernia University is a private liberal arts university guided by Franciscan values that serves more than 3,000 students of diverse backgrounds from all over the country.

Its main campus operates on 191 acres in Berks County—three miles from the heart of historic Reading, Pennsylvania—and is an easy car ride to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.

Alvernia offers a unique blend of a rigorous liberal arts core education for development of the mind, strong technical training in many high-demand majors, experiential learning opportunities through study abroad and internship experiences, and engagement with the community through our Franciscan-based community service model. We call our model of transformational education the Alvernia Advantage, and we believe this style of education transforms students into ethical leaders with moral courage. The Alvernia Advantage has resulted in a superior track record of career placements and graduate school opportunities, with 95% of students either employed or enrolled in a graduate program within six months of graduation.

Alvernia is one of only 22 Franciscan institutions in the country with an exceptional education that’s rooted in a commitment to caring for one another and the world around us. Our service learning component seeks to serve all people in the community, particularly people who are impoverished, marginalized, and disempowered.

Alvernia offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors uniquely combined with a strong liberal arts foundation as well as five-year master’s degrees in Athletic Training and Occupational Therapy.  The University also boasts advanced master’s degrees in Business, Counseling, Education, Leadership, Nursing, and Social Work, plus doctoral degrees in Leadership, Nursing, and Physical Therapy.

Alvernia University ranks in the top 100 among “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report from the more than 1,500 colleges and universities in the Northeast region of the US. Alvernia is also recognized as a College of Distinction for 2020–2021.



Recognized as a 2020–2021 College of Distinction, with specific badges in Catholic, Business, Education, Nursing, Career Development, Military Support, and Equity & Inclusion


Ranked in the top 100 among “Best Regional Universities in the North” | U.S News & World Report, 2020

CollegeTowne and the O’Pake Institute

Alvernia’s new Reading CollegeTowne initiative, along with the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, plays a pivotal role in educating students for participation in a global economy. CollegeTowne is a strategic enabler that redefines Alvernia’s academic programs and expands its deep roots in the community, while the O’Pake Institute serves as a catalyst for our educational and business expansion. A student-centered business incubator in downtown Reading will provide experiential learning opportunities for all disciplines. This initiative allows students to create, collaborate, and lead while they provide hands-on support to new ventures and entrepreneurs in the community. 

An Inside Look

What students are saying about us...

  • “I’m happy to be someone kids can look up to. Hopefully, I can inspire students to do what they want to do in life. Participating in service teaches me to be humble and appreciate what I have.”

    • Justin Abreu-Castro ’21
  • “My internship helped me realize how useful it is to look at each patient from an ethical standpoint. I’m learning that people make choices for reasons I can’t explain, and obviously, they aren’t my choices to make for them.”

    • Collin Welteroth ’20
      Pre-med & Biology
  • “I don’t feel like I got involved enough in high school. So my goal in college was to experience everything and just try it. Now as a senior Residence Assistant, I tell others if they’re bored, they aren’t doing enough!”

    • Chloe Gletow ’20
      Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • “Obtaining my master’s degree in five years provides me the ability to pursue a job right after graduation with the skills needed for a wide variety of career options. My plan is to continually learn, challenge myself, and progress in my career as a certified athletic trainer.”

    • Kelly Ryan ’21
      Master of Science in Athletic Training