Alvernia University

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Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania was founded in 1926 as a teacher’s seminary by the Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.  By 1958, the school had expanded into a four-year college, and it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008 - the same year it was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Alvernia is a private university with a suburban setting, and its campus sits on 121 acres of land.  It also received a ranking of Regional Universities (North), 111 in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges.

Student Life

There are presently 2,900 students enrolled at Alvernia.  Of those 2,900 students, 1,500 are undergraduates, 600 are continuing education students, and 780 are graduate students.  The ratio of male to female students is 28 percent to 72 percent.

There are 50 available undergraduate majors and minors at Alvernia, as well as pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, and medicine, to name a few.  Alvernia also hosts a master’s degree program in the disciplines of occupational therapy, business administration, and nursing, as well as community counseling, education, and liberal studies.  Students interested in pursuing a doctorate degree at Alvernia can do so as well in either physical therapy (a seven-year program) or philosophy.

The student-to-faculty ratio is 12 to 1, and the most popular majors include business, management, marketing, law enforcement, and education, to name a few.  The average freshman retention rate for the university is 72.5 percent.


Alvernia fosters a rolling admission process, which means that they are constantly accepting and reviewing applications based on openings available for specific majors.  They recommend that students apply as early as possible, even during their junior year of high school, and ACT and SAT scores are due by August 1.  Admissions will then notify the student of their decision within four to six weeks of receiving his or her completed application.

Students can apply either online or by mail.  The online application requires a personalized account, and the student does not need to complete it all at once but can return to it as necessary to make any edits he or she wishes to make before submitting the application.  Those who choose to apply by mail can do so after downloading and completing the Alvernia Undergraduate Admission Application, which is available as a PDF on the university website.

Costs and Financial Aid

Costs of tuition at Alvernia University are as follows (other fees will apply):

Full-time Undergraduate Students: $29,500 for 12-17 credits/semester

Part-time Undergraduate Students: $810/credit hour, plus a comprehensive fee and 2 percent of tuition

Graduate & Doctoral Students: Graduate Tuition: $680/credit hour; Online MBA Tuition: $795/credit hour; Ph.D. Tuition: $900/credit hour

Adult Education Students: $480/credit hour, plus comprehensive fee and 2 percent of tuition

There are a number of scholarships available at Alvernia for which students can apply, the details of which are more thoroughly presented on the university website.  85.4 percent of all full-time undergraduate students at Alvernia receive financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is close to $14,000.


Contact Information

Contact Details

400 St Bernadine St, Reading, PA 19607, United States
Phone: +1 610-796-8269

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