request information


West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Learn about West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Read about its admission info, financial aid, and degree and certificate programs to make an informed education decision.

About West Chester University of Pennsylvania

The 4th largest university in the greater Philadelphia area, West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a public, 4-year institution. The university was founded in 1871, and 4 buildings from the academic quad are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Music and education classes, which are among the university's most popular areas of study, have been taught since the university was established.


West Chester has 5 colleges that offer more than 40 areas of study. The university awards bachelor's and master's degrees as well as certificates. West Chester has an honors program that is specifically geared toward developing a student's ability to lead and enact change. The university also offers distance learning via online courses, including some online degree and certificate programs.

The university is home to the Frederick Douglass Institute, which is named after the historical figure who was an author, statesman and former slave. The institute works to promote multi-culturalism in the university's curriculum. West Chester's Language and Cultures Department offers study-abroad programs varying from short stays over breaks to year-long programs.


Prospective students are encouraged to apply online, although a paper application may be obtained from the admissions office. Along with the application form, applicants must submit high school transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, a personal statement, and the application fee of $45. Applicants must have completed prerequisites, including 4 years of English and 3 years of math, lab science, and social studies in high school.

Additionally, applicants to pre-medical, pharmaceutical product development, athletic training, and respiratory care programs are required to attend an interview, and applicants of the music and arts programs must attend an audition or provide a portfolio, respectively. Entering students who have taken the AP or CLEP exams, and whose subjects and scores meet the university's criteria, can have those scores sent to the admissions office to receive credit for them.

Tuition & Financial Aid

For the 2012-2013 school year, full-time tuition at West Chester was $3,214 per semester for state residents and $8,035 per semester for non-residents. Students taking fewer than 12 or more than 18 credits per semester paid per credit hour; for example, residents taking less than 12 credit hours paid $268 per credit, while those taking more than 18 credits paid $268 per credit hour for each extra credit in addition to the flat, full-time tuition rate. Students also must pay a general fee and an instructional technology fee plus room and meal plan charges for students living on campus.

The university has a payment plan for students who would like to pay their bill in installments, though this plan charges an enrollment fee of $35 per semester. Students may also apply for financial aid, which is available on the institutional, state, federal, and private levels. Students might receive offers for employment, grants, loans, and scholarships as part of their financial aid package. Students wishing to receive financial aid should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the priority deadline of March 1st.

School Type Public, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, certificates**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Large suburb**
Student Body 15,100 with 12,834 undergraduates in Fall 2011**
Student Housing Traditional dorms and on-campus apartments*
Schools and Programs 5 schools, more than 40 areas of study*
Student-Faculty Ratio 18 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Elementary education and teaching (249)
Master's: Counselor education/school counseling and guidance services (73)
Graduate certificate: Education/teaching of individuals with autism (6)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates Students starting in Fall 2003:
40% in 4 years
65% in 6 years
66% in 8 years**
Admission Rate 47% in 2011**
Entering Class Size 2,292 in Fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 86% of full-time students, 20% of part-time students (Fall 2010 to Fall 2011)**
Average SAT Score of Admitted Students 1075 in 2012*
Application Due Date Rolling admissions*
Decision Notification Date Rolling based on application reception; not later than mid-March*
Tuition (2012-2013) $3,214 per semester for PA residents, $8,035 per semester for non-residents*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving It) In 2010-2011: Grant or scholarship aid (42%), federal student loans (62%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 80% of full-time freshmen in 2010-2011**

Sources: *West Chester University of Pennsylvania, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS Data Center.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Undergraduate Admissions, Emil H. Messikomer Hall, 100 W. Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383
  • Phone: (610) 436-3411
  • Website:

Find Your Program:

Get Admission Info

Take the first step by getting admissions information directly from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Simply answer a few questions to get started.