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Catholic Colleges in Pennsylvania

Catholic colleges are available all over the state of Pennsylvania and offer students a lot of diversity in terms of program types, size and other factors. Find out more about a few of these Catholic schools and what makes them stand out.

The state of Pennsylvania offers over 25 colleges that are affiliated with the Catholic faith. These schools vary in a number of factors, including size, location and tuition rates. Here we discuss a handful of some of the larger (more than 1,000 undergraduates) Catholic schools in the state.

School Comparison

Pennsylvania has many different 4-year, private Catholic institutions scattered throughout the state. In the table below, you can compare a few of the larger Catholic schools' undergraduate tuition rates.

School Name Institution Type Location Tuition (2017-2018)*
Alvernia University 4-year, private not-for-profit Reading, PA $33,640
Carlow University 4-year, private not-for-profit Pittsburgh, PA $28,596
Gannon University 4-year, private not-for-profit Erie, PA $30,932
Marywood University 4-year, private not-for-profit Scranton, PA $33,940
Villanova University 4-year, private not-for-profit Villanova, PA $51,284
Seton Hill University 4-year, private not-for-profit Greensburg, PA $34,660

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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Description of Catholic Colleges in Pennsylvania

With no shortage of Catholic colleges to choose from in Pennsylvania, students considering these schools may need to figure out which school is best able to meet their educational and spiritual needs. Learn more about a few of the Catholic schools in Pennsylvania, including their size, spiritual development opportunities and unique characteristics.

Alvernia University

According to the NCES, Alvernia University has an undergraduate population of about 2,300 students. The school offers a variety of spiritual services through its campus ministry as well as NCAA Division III sports, including ice hockey, lacrosse and women's equestrian. Students can pursue associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in a wide range of subjects. Most graduate degrees are in the fields of healthcare, education and business, but undergraduate degree programs also include areas like biology, communications, criminal justice, religious studies, social work and drama.

Carlow University

The magazine Money included Carlow University in its list of Best Colleges for 2017-2018. The school offers certificate programs in addition to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. The school has a unique master's degree program in financial forensics and fraud investigation but also offers study in a wide range of subjects, like math, psychology, fine art, creative writing, biology and business. The school has around 1,400 undergraduates, per the NCES, and provides students with numerous leadership, service, academic and professional clubs as well as recreational and culture organizations.

Gannon University

Gannon University offers over 100 academic programs at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and/or doctoral degree levels in areas like computer science, engineering, athletic training, environmental science, philosophy, theology and political science. The school has about 3,100 undergraduate students, according to the NCES. It is unique in that it also has a campus in Ruskin, Florida, as well as distance learning programs. Students can participate in over 130 different clubs and organizations, a unique Transforming Residents Abroad Via Engaged Learning (T.R.A.V.E.L.) program and campus ministry.

Marywood University

Marywood University has a little over 1,900 undergraduate students, according to the NCES. Students wishing to grow in their spiritual lives while serving can participate in various community service opportunities, national and international service trips and/or the school's unique partnership with the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) that helps build sustainable communities. The school's 115-acre campus is home to over 100 species of trees, and sustainability is a core value of the school. Students can pursue certificates, bachelor's, master's and/or doctoral degree programs in various areas, such as architecture, broadcast journalism, dietetics, aviation management, education and the arts.

Villanova University

Villanova University may be a more well-known institution, as its men's basketball team took home the 2018 NCAA National Championship. The school has around 7,000 undergraduate students (per the NCES) and offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs as well as certificate programs. Students can pursue study in many different subjects, including engineering, foreign language, law, math, astronomy, public administration, theology, economics and business. Villanova's rich campus ministry provides Catholic worship and spiritual retreats as well as opportunities for service tied with social justice issues and advocacy opportunities. The campus ministry department also offers leadership roles in the form of internships where graduate students help lead weekly small groups.

Seton Hill University

Students at Seton Hill University can pursue an undergraduate or graduate certificate as well as bachelor's or master's degree programs. The school offers study in areas like speech, computer science, business, education, creative writing, criminal justice, math, religious studies and the arts. According to the NCES, the school has about 2,000 undergraduate students, and the school was recognized by Colleges of Distinction for 2017-2018. Seton Hill is celebrating its 100th year and provides each full-time undergraduate with an iPad and MacBook for mobile learning. Students can attend Mass, worship and prayer sessions, service outreach activities and/or faith and learning programs, such as faith sharing and Bible studies.


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