Villanova’s suburban Philadelphia campus gives students the best of both worlds: a lush, traditional campus with quick access to a big and bustling city. The SEPTA commuter train station is right on the Villanova campus, and the ride into Center City Philadelphia takes about 25 minutes. The train would pass Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore on the way into the city, with Philly rivaling Boston with regard to the number of colleges and college students in the area.
Villanova is a Catholic institution in the St. Augustine tradition. Students here are passionate about community service; 80% of students participate in community service activities. The campus hosts the largest student-run Special Olympics program in the country. Habitat for Humanity is huge on this campus, and Villanova has its own soup kitchen in Philly. Students continually work on food and clothing drives. The admissions office is definitely looking for students who are not just “checking the box” when they do their community service, but who actually invest themselves into it with passion.
There are a few unique facets of Villanova’s top-ranked undergraduate business program:
- All business students get Bloomberg-certified as freshmen, making them highly employable early in their business education;
- Students can take all required courses to complete a minor in business during one summer, through Villanova’s Summer Business Institute;
- First-year business students have the opportunity to go abroad to Villanova’s programs in Hong Kong or London in the spring of their freshman year.
Villanova’s Engineering school is consistently ranked in the top 15 nationwide; they offer civil, electrical, mechanical, computer and chemical engineering majors, as well as minors in biomedical, bioengineering and entrepreneurship in engineering. Known as the most rigorous program on campus, all first-year engineers take the same foundation classes, so they are not locked into their major from the beginning. Mechanical and chemical are the most competitive majors. Some engineering classes operate with a “flipped classroom” – students do their homework and problem sets in class, with the professor there, then go home and watch videotaped lectures.
The four undergraduate colleges include Business, Engineering, Nursing, which is the smallest school, and the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Villanova requires students to apply directly into one of the colleges, although they can be undecided within the college. It’s difficult to transfer to a different college once enrolled.
Villanova is a medium-sized school, with 6,500 undergraduates, and an outrageous amount of school spirit! My tour guide only mentioned the men’s basketball team’s 2016 national championship three times, but signs plastered all over campus ensured that you remember. There are over 260 clubs and activities, and about 30% of students join fraternities and sororities (there are no Greek organization houses).
Villanova promises personal attention from faculty, and an active alumni network, helping students network and find jobs.
Debbie and Evelyn toured Villanova in spring, 2016, and even though classes were over for the semester, the campus still buzzed with activity. With its great location, strong academic programs and focus on community service, Villanova is a great option for students to consider. You can see all of our photos of Villanova here.
Our tour guide Danny spoke about how he felt here and why he chose Villanova: