Arcadia University

Arcadia University is a private university in Glenside, Pennsylvania. The university enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate, master's, and doctorate students.[2] The 76-acre (310,000 m2) campus features Grey Towers Castle, a National Historic Landmark.

Arcadia University
Arcadia Official Seal.png
Former name
Beaver College
Established1853; 167 years ago (1853)
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment$82.7 million (2019)[1]
PresidentAjay Nair
ProvostJeff Rutenbeck
Administrative staff
Students4,000 (2,400 undergraduate)
Location, ,
United States

40°05′31″N 75°09′56″W / 40.0920°N 75.1655°W / 40.0920; -75.1655Coordinates: 40°05′31″N 75°09′56″W / 40.0920°N 75.1655°W / 40.0920; -75.1655
Campus76 acres (0.31 km²)
Division III (MAC Commonwealth conference)
ColorsScarlet and Grey
MascotKnight (formally named Sir Castor)
Arcadia-Logo-Fnd1853 PMS201.jpg


Arcadia University was founded in Beaver, Pennsylvania in 1853 as Beaver Female Seminary. By 1872, it had attained collegiate status, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was named Beaver College. The school admitted men from 1872 to 1907, then limited enrollment to women until 1972. In 1925, Beaver College moved east to Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and changed its religious affiliation to Presbyterian Church (USA). In 1928, the school acquired the Harrison estate in Glenside, including Grey Towers Castle, the location of the current campus. The college operated both the Jenkintown and Glenside campuses until 1962, when it consolidated all activities to the Glenside campus. Some significant changes came in 1973, when the college launched its first graduate programs and began admitting men again. The rise of the internet, with systems designed to filter out sexually explicit material, repeatedly blocked access to the college's website. Research conducted by the institution found that, because of its name, the institution appealed to 30% fewer prospective students. In June 2001, trustees voted to apply for university status and to change the name.[3] In July 2001, upon attaining university status, Beaver College officially changed its name to Arcadia University.[4]

Today, Arcadia University operates on the main Glenside campus, at academic centers and offices around the world, and in Christiana, Delaware, where the university's Department of Medical Science opened a campus in 2006.[5]

There has been a series of leadership changes at Arcadia over the past decade. In May, 2011, Carl "Tobey" Oxholm III was named president of Arcadia. Less than two years later he was suddenly fired without explanation by the board of trustees.[6] From 2013 to 2017, the university was led by Nicolette DeVille Christensen, Ph.D., who was appointed as the university's 21st president on Oct. 11, 2013.[7] Christensen left after less than four years on the job, and in August, 2016, ten board members resigned or stepped down. In December, 2017, Dr. Ajay Nair, vice-president at Emory University, was named the 22nd president.[8]


Undergraduate programsEdit

Grey Towers castle at Arcadia University

For the fifth consecutive year, Arcadia University is ranked among the Princeton Review’s “Best in the Northeast” in its “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”[9] This prestigious list ranks Arcadia among nine schools in the greater Philadelphia area—and 49 in Pennsylvania—that are “academically outstanding and well worth consideration.” In total, there are 224 schools listed in the “Best in the Northeast” region, and 656 among the five United States zones.

The Princeton Review notes the University’s small classes and personalized attention as hallmarks of an Arcadia experience. Remarks from students highlight the individualized research opportunities with faculty, global learning experiences through a variety of study abroad programs, and an overall environment where people “share their love of learning.”

The university offers more than 80 fields of study[10] in its undergraduate programs. Undergraduate majors are offered in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Health Sciences, School of Education, and School of Global Business.[11] There is also an option for students to propose self-designed majors and minors, which may consist of courses offered in Glenside and through study abroad.[12]

Graduate programsEdit

Graduate and professional studies at Arcadia University range widely, from liberal arts to primarily professional, doctoral level to workshops. Arcadia's international perspective is reflected in programs such as its Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and its Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Arcadia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is in the top 10 percent of nationally ranked programs, according to U.S. News and World Report, ranking at 24th in the country and receiving top placement among Philadelphia area programs.[13] DPT provides international opportunities for pro bono work in locations such as England, Jamaica, Guatemala, and Peru.[14] Additionally, there are clinical sites offered across the country, mainly in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.[15]

Arcadia's Master's program in Forensic Science is accredited by FEPAC, and faculty are certified by the American Board of Criminalistics and the American Board of Forensic Toxicology.[16]

International programs and Study AbroadEdit

The university is nationally ranked by US News and World Report for its quality study abroad programs. For nine consecutive years, the Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education ranked Arcadia No. 1 in the nation for the percentage of undergraduate students participating in study abroad experiences at a master's level college or university.[17]

Arcadia University is known for its pioneering first-year study abroad programs. Since its inception in 1994, Arcadia's unique Preview program is a two-credit, spring semester course for first-year and new transfer students at Arcadia University, offering a weeklong international experience over spring break and is greatly subsidized by the institution to make it affordable.[18] The First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) enables invited first-year students to participate in a semester-long study abroad program in London, England. The University announced a Second-Year Study Abroad Experience (SYSAE) in 2018 to give students the opportunity to participate in semester-long study abroad programs around the world during the fall semester of their second year as well.

In addition to sending a high percentage of its own students abroad, the university runs a number of programs that are open to students of other universities. The College of Global Studies, which was given the status of a college in 2009, runs over 130 programs, which serve students from over 300 universities yearly. Arcadia programs operate in Australia, Chile, Cuba, England, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, and Wales.[19] Arcadia maintains classrooms and administrative services in Arcadia centers in eight countries including Athens, Barcelona, Cape Town, Dublin, Edinburgh, Granada, London, and Rome.[20]

In affiliation with the American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy (AGSIRD), Arcadia University also offers a two-year Master's program in International Relations and Diplomacy, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and located in Paris.[21]

Student lifeEdit


Arcadia University teams compete in the NCAA Division III within the MAC Commonwealth of the Middle Atlantic Conferences.[22]

Arcadia competes in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Rocket League.

Men's sports teams include ice hockey, track and field, baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. Women's sports teams include ice hockey, track and field, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.[23]

Beginning in Fall 2019, Arcadia University launched a co-educational esports program as a varsity sport where gamers compete as part of Arcadia’s athletic programs. In a newly renovated 1,500-square-foot central competition arena, Arcadia competes in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Rocket League.[24]

Student organizationsEdit

As of spring 2018, Arcadia University has more than 60 active governing, academic, sport, cultural, media, religious, and service clubs and organizations.[25]

Notable peopleEdit


Faculty and administrationEdit

  • Hank Brown, U.S. Senator from Colorado and interim President of Arcadia University
  • Cynthia S. Burnett (1840–1932), educator, lecturer, temperance reformer, and newspaper editor

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  2. ^ Arcadia University Fact Book Arcadia University Fact Book Archived January 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Beaver College to change its name". BBC. November 2000. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  4. ^ "Arcadia University Student Handbook: History of Arcadia University". Arcadia University. August 2013. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  5. ^ "Physician Assistant Campuses". Arcadia University. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  6. ^ Susan Snyder (3 April 2013). "Fired Arcadia president says he was "banned" from campus". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen Named President of Arcadia University". The Bulletin. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  8. ^ Tiffany Pennamon (10 December 2017). "Dr. Ajay Nair Selected as Next President of Arcadia University". Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  9. ^ "2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region Northeast".
  10. ^ "Arcadia University - Rankings and Excellence". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Academics at Arcadia". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Arcadia University - Bachelor's Degrees and Programs". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Best Physical Therapy Programs Ranked in 2020, part of Best Health Schools". 2020.
  14. ^ "International Experiential Learning Opportunities for DPT Students". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Physical Therapy- Arcadia University". Arcadia University. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Master's Degree in Forensic Science".
  17. ^ "Arcadia Again Ranked First in Nation by IIE for Study Abroad Participation | Arcadia University". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  18. ^ "Preview FAQs | Arcadia University". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  19. ^ "About Us: The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University". Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Arcadia Centers". Study Abroad | Arcadia Abroad | The College of Global Studies. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  21. ^ "AGS Partnerships". American Graduate School in Paris. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Middle Atlantic Conference Members". Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  23. ^ "Arcadia Athletics". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Game On! Arcadia University Launches Esports Program for Fall 2019 | Arcadia University". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  25. ^ "Fast Facts About Arcadia | Arcadia University". Arcadia University. Retrieved 31 January 2017.

External linksEdit