From the School

Alvernia’s Franciscan heritage includes a rigorous intellectual tradition that recognizes and values the importance of diversity of thought, faiths and cultures. We challenge our students to shape the world and transform it as working professionals, concerned citizens and caring community members, consistent with the principles and teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Alvernia Core Values

The mission statements of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and Alvernia University are the sources of the five core values from the Franciscan tradition. All members of the Alvernia community including trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and students embrace Alvernia’s core Franciscan values which are:

  • Service
  • Humility
  • Peacemaking
  • Contemplation
  • Collegiality

Our Franciscan Identity

"Knowledge Joined with Love"
"To Learn, To Love, To Serve"


From The School

Discover Alvernia!

We have many different ways to welcome you to our campus in Reading, Pennsylvania and you can choose what's important to you during your visit whether you wish to sit in on a class, meet students, spend the night or enjoy a sporting event. Get the full Alvernia experience!

Here are a few links to help you design your visit. You can also email us if you prefer.
  • An Individual Visit experience allows us to tailor a one-on-one visit specifically to your needs.
  • Information Sessions and Open Houses are offered throughout the year and are opportunities to experience AU in a small group format.
  • Students who have applied for Admission can spend even more time on campus by doing an Overnight Visit during the school year experience a day (and night!) in the life of an Alvernia student.
  • If you'd like to experience a day as an AU student, you can request a Shadow Visit, during which you'll be matched with someone already enrolled in the academic major that you're interested in...and you can go to class with them for the day.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49
1.00 - 1.99

Need to boost your grades? We can help.

Learn More

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
420 - 520
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
420 - 530

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

Other Admission Factors


Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores

Selectivity Rating

Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

Learn More


From The School

Academic Programs

Alvernia offers a range of academic programs with a learning approach grounded in the real world. With a foundation in the liberal arts tradition, the curriculum and instruction is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and explore their own ideas. This approach produces well-rounded individuals who are ready to succeed no matter what path they choose.

Qualified students may participate in the Honors Program, which assists students of outstanding intellectual promise and high motivation that seek a more challenging program and are interested in pursuing future graduate or professional studies. The program encourages students to achieve, often letting them work at their own pace. It facilitates a stimulating exchange of ideas and information between students' varied interests and different disciplines.

In order to earn a bachelor's degree from Alvernia, students must complete a minimum of 123 credits, with 54 credits in the liberal arts. Additional requirements vary by major.

Majors and Degrees Offered

  • Athletic Training
  • Behavioral Health♦
    1. Addiction Studies
      Child Welfare
      Mental Health
  • Biochemistry#
  • Biology♦#
  • Biology-Medical Laboratory Science
  • Business♦
    1. Accounting
      Healthcare Administration
      Human Resource Management♦
      Sport Management ♦
  • Chemistry♦
  • Communication♦
    1. Corporate
      Film, Culture and Creative Arts
      Media Design and Production
      Public Relations and Advertising
      Theatre Studies
  • Criminal Justice Administration♦                
  • Education
    1. Early Childhood (PreK-4)
      Early Childhood (PreK-4) & Special Education (PreK-8)
  • English♦
  • Environmental Biochemistry
  • Exploratory Studies
  • Forensic Science♦
  • General Science♦   
  • Healthcare Science#
  • History♦
  • Liberal Studies
  • Mathematics♦
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Philosophy♦
  • Political Science♦
  • Psychology♦#
  • Social Work
  • Theatre♦
  • Theology♦
Additional Minors
  • Art
  • Community & Environmental Sustainability
  • Computer and Information Studies
  • Digital Media
  • Economics
  • Gerontology
  • Information Studies
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Women’s & Gender Studies
Pre-professional Programs
  • Pre-Dental
  • Pre-Law
  • Pre-Medical
  • Pre-Pharmacy
  • Pre-Veterinary

* concentration
♦ minor available
# May be used to track toward application for Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Program (currently a candidate for accreditation status).

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Alvernia’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program is a terminal degree program that paves the way for BSN graduates to seamlessly complete advance nursing practice clinical coursework and DNP requirements in one combined effort. The program of study emphasizes the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze and improve clinical environments; healthcare organizations and systems; translate evidence gained through nursing research to support improved practice; and meaningful use of clinical data to measure outcomes of patient groups, populations, and communities.

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other
  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General
  • Marketing, Other
  • Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General

  • Education

  • Biology Teacher Education
  • Chemistry Teacher Education
  • Education, Other
  • Elementary Education and Teaching
  • English/Language Arts Teacher Education
  • Mathematics Teacher Education
  • Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education
  • Social Studies Teacher Education
  • Special Education and Teaching, General

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Health and Medical Administrative Services, Other
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
  • Nursing/Registered Nurse (RN, ASN, BSN, MSN)
  • Occupational Therapy/Therapist
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling

  • History

  • History, General

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Biological and Physical Sciences

  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

  • Health and Physical Education, General
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Chemistry, Other

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions

  • Social Work

  • Security and Protective Services

  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration

  • Social Sciences

  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Social Sciences, General


Post-Bachelor's certificate
Post-Master's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Linda Ludgate J.D.
Berks County Judge

Charles Barbera M.D.
President of Berks Count Medical Society

M. Lewandoski
Consulting Firm Owner

Mark Piazza M.D.
Resident Elect of PA Medical Society

Jonathon Encarcion M.A.
Director of Hispanic Center

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

Please visit this page for more information:

Financial Aid

Ninety-eight percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Financial aid is offered to students whose personal and family resources are insufficient to meet the full cost of an education. Aid usually comes in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study arrangements. Depending upon their academic record, incoming first-year students may be eligible for one of three merit-based scholarships: the Presidential Scholarship ($17,500), the Trustee's Scholarship ($15,500), and the Veronica Founder's Scholarship ($15,000). Applicants interested in financial aid should submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1.


Application Deadlines
May 1
Notification Date
Feb 10

Required Forms


Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
FFEL Subsidized Stafford Loans
FFEL Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender


From The School

More than 50 student organizations complement 24 men and women’s athletics teams, including a new varsity football program, launching fall 2018. The university has made 33 appearances in NCAA Championships.

The Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement at Alvernia helps students discover their passion through real world experiences, so that graduates can turn what they love into lifetimes of career success and personal fulfillment, while making a positive difference in the world. Alvernia’s approach to real-world learning combines hands-on educational opportunities through internships, field experiences, co-ops, clinical assignments, research projects, community service and study/service abroad programs, roles in student organizations and other creative and relevant campus experiences.

Real-World Experience Awards are available to financially assist students for a variety of experiential opportunities, without reducing the amount of financial aid a student already has been awarded.

94% of our students are happy graduates
100% of our students receive real-world learning experiences
97% of our students are employed within six months of graduation
93% of our students are happy with Alvernia
98% of our students receive financial aid
100% of our students participate in some form of community service

Alvernia also has a 12:1 student to professor ratio, so they are able to receive the benefit of smaller class sizes.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented


70% female
30% male
14% are out of state
78% are full time
22% are part time


From The School


Situated on a scenic 121-acre suburban campus, Alvernia is bordered by a park that features hiking trails, a picnic grove, and a nine-hole disk-golf course. When students want to explore big city life, Philadelphia (60 miles), New York, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. are all just a short drive away.

Campus Facilities & Equipment

Alvernia’s fully networked campus is constantly investing in upgrades. Recent campus advancements include a new laser laboratory supporting science programs, state-of-the-art learning suites developed for our criminal justice and counseling programs, a theater and recital hall, with an art gallery, music studios and rehearsal spaces, an educational technology center and media suite, a healthcare science wing with multiple labs, an expanded library learning commons and a physical therapy center to support the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. On-campus housing includes traditional residence halls, apartments, suites, and town houses. Our award-winning residential facilities are clean, spacious and equipped with laundry, cable TV, and phones with voice mail.

A new student-designed Campus Commons building houses a two-story fitness center, a dance/aerobics studio, and a campus "living room," complete with a fireplace for leisure activities, study, and programs.

Alvernia recently announced to build an innovative Recreation, Wellness and Health Sciences Complex (“The PLEX”), as the highlight of a new East Campus at the university’s Reading, Pa., location. This expansion is the largest, most ambitious in university history, adding more than 100,000 square feet of academic and recreation space and 15 acres to Alvernia’s campus.

Students have wireless access from their residence hall rooms, as well as from other campus locations including classrooms, the library, and labs. All students may connect personal computers through the university's secure system. Network access and Alvernia email accounts are available to all students.

Off-Campus Opportunities

The Washington Center experience is a popular way for students to expand their education beyond the classroom. Earning college credit while spending a semester in Washington D.C., students serve as interns in a congressional office, government agency, major corporation, newspaper, news network, or nonprofit groups, or an agency devoted to legal affairs, international relations, or business and economics.

Global Study opportunities are constantly expanding at Alvernia. Global partnerships allow students to study in Austria, Belgium, China, Ecuador, England, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine and Spain!

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division
Division III

Men's Sports (Crusaders)
7 Sports

Cross Country
Women's Sports (Crusaders)
9 Sports

Cross Country
Field Hockey

Student Services

Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Lehigh University


Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors


Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Christa McCusker
Director of Admissions

400 Saint Bernardine St.
Reading, PA 19607



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Student Center
Crusader Cafe
Residence Hall Lounge

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Shopping at outlets
Reading Phillies Baseball Park
Soveriegn Center for music events
Hershey Park
Great Resturaunts

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

throughout the year

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
taxis, buses, Reading has its own airport

Local Accommodations
Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn, Sheraton

Articles & Advice