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Philadelphia University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research Philadelphia University. Learn about its admission information, degree programs, and financial aid in order to make an informed decision about your education.

About Philadelphia University

This private university is located in suburban Philadelphia near Fairmount Park, about 15 minutes away from center city. The main campus sits on 100 acres and includes roughly 50 historical and modern buildings. Another branch of the campus is located nearby in Bucks County, PA. Online courses are available, and students have the option of studying abroad in countries such as Britain, Italy or Mexico, among others.

The university began in 1884 as Philadelphia Textile School and was once affiliated with the Pennsylvania Museum. After undergoing several program and name changes, the school became known as Philadelphia University in July 1999.

Distinguished graduates include the creator of SKYY Vodka, Maurice Kanbar, and the winner of Project Runway's first televised fashion-design contest, Jay McCarroll. Philadelphia University was recently ranked #15 Best Value University - North Region by U.S. News & World Report based on its overall academic ranking for 2013 combined with the average actual cost for a student to attend during 2011-2012.


Philadelphia University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in around 60 fields of study within its three colleges. With 20 labs and studios, plus an off-campus research center, students can gain hands-on learning experiences. There are 400 faculty members, and the average class size is 18 students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and completed its most recent review in 2006.

The College of Architecture and the Built Environment prepares students for careers in several different fields, such as landscape architecture, construction management, and interior design. After graduating from a bachelor's program, students can pursue a master's in areas such as sustainable design and geodesign.

Students in the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce can choose from numerous majors and concentrations, including animation, mechanical engineering, and fashion merchandising. Several graduate programs are also available, including a Master of Business Administration and a doctorate in textile engineering.

The College of Science, Health, and Liberal Arts includes many fields of study, such as environmental sustainability, biochemistry, pre-med, law and society, and psychology. At the master's level, students can pursue a degree in occupational therapy, disaster medicine and management, midwifery, and physician assistant studies. Combined bachelor's and master's programs are also available. Additionally, the university's only associate's degree program, an occupational therapy assistant program, is offered through the university's continuing education department.


Students who want to attend Philadelphia University as undergraduates can apply starting in late October. Although applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for most majors, students who wish to enter the 5-year physician assistant program must generally apply by January 15. Anyone planning to transfer from another college or university is encouraged to apply by March 1 for Fall or November 15 for Spring. Admission decisions are usually made within 4 to 6 weeks.

As part of the application process, students must submit their high school transcripts, SAT scores, recommendation letters, and an essay. There is no minimum GPA or SAT score needed for acceptance since potential students are evaluated individually. Some majors require submission of a design portfolio, and candidates for the physician assistant program must be interviewed.

Approximately 65% of undergraduates are female and about 35% are male. The primary racial make-up is roughly 65% white, 11% black, 6% Hispanic, and 4% Asian. There are international students from close to 30 different countries.

Tuition & Financial Aid

The undergraduate tuition for out-of-state students is the same as for Pennsylvania residents - $31,874 per year or $15,938 per semester. A 10-month installment plan is available for students who want to spread out their payments. The tuition is comprehensive, which means it includes the use of most of the university's facilities, such as the gym, library, student center, and admission to on-campus sporting events and cultural programs. There are some additional nominal costs, such as the application fee ($40 per student) and the health center fee ($45 per semester). When calculating the total cost to attend, students must also factor in the cost of housing, meals, books, and supplies, which varies depending on individual circumstances.

All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid by submitting a form to FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and sending the results to the university between January 1 and April 15. More than 90% of Philadelphia University students receive some form of financial assistance, and the average cost reduction is $14,500 per year.

School Type Private, not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctorates*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting City**
Student Body 3,200 undergraduates and graduates (as of 2011)*
Student Housing On-campus housing required for first 2 years*
Schools and Programs 3 colleges; around 60 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 1 associate's degree program*
Student-Faculty Ratio 14 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Fashion Merchandising (75)
Master's: Business Administration and Management (63)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates Entering 2005:
43% in 4 years
58% in 6 years**
Admission Rate Approximately 72%*
First-Year Retention Rates 71% from Fall 2010 to 2011**
Average SAT Score of Admitted Students Most scores range from 960 to 1150*
Application Due Date Applications accepted on a rolling basis for most majors starting end of October*
Decision Notification Date Approximately 4 to 6 weeks*
Tuition $31,874 per year (2012-2013; doesn't include room, board, books, and supplies)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2011: Federal grants (31%), Pell grants (31%), other federal grants (31%), state and local grants/scholarships (20%), institutional grants/scholarships (98%), federal student loans (74%), other student loans (8%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid More than 90%*

Sources: *Philadelphia University, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Contact Information

  • Address: 4201 Henry Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144
  • Phone: (215) 951-2700
  • Website:

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