Peirce College is a private college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The college focuses on adult learners.

Peirce College
PeirceCollege Logo2012.png
TypePrivate non-profit
Endowment$16.7 million[1]
PresidentMary Ellen Caro
Location, ,
United States


In 1865, Thomas May Peirce, a Philadelphia educator, founded the Union Business College. The curriculum was designed to provide returning Civil War soldiers a business-focused education in anticipation of post-war business growth and expansion. Different from many colleges and universities of the era, Union was co-educational at its founding.[2] Originally housed within Handel and Haydn Hall on Spring Garden Street, the college moved to its present location at 1420 Pine Street in 1915. In 1917, the school was renamed the Peirce School of Business Administration.

In 1964 Peirce School was renamed Peirce Junior College as it received approval to grant associate degrees. In 1997 the College was approved to grant Bachelor of Science degrees and was renamed Peirce College. In 2000 the College began offering online courses.

The Pine Street facilities have twice been awarded the General Building Contractors Association's Best Institutional Project in the under $5 million category; in 2001 for improvements made to College Hall, and in 2011 for the new Library.[3]


College Hall, Peirce College

Peirce currently has undergraduate programs in Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, General Studies, and Paralegal Studies. The college offers graduate programs in Healthcare Administration and Organizational Leadership and Management.[4]

Within the Business Administration degree concentrations are offered in accounting, entrepreneurship/small business, human resource management, marketing, and real estate management. The Information Technology degree offers concentrations in desktop applications for business, information security, network administration, network security, technology management, and programming and application development.

Peirce has specialized educational programs for those who wish to seek an accelerated education during the evening and weekend on campus, earn their degree online, or earn their degree while at work (The Peirce Corporate College). Most courses are in an accelerated 7-week format, with some general education and paralegal courses following a standard 14-week format. Peirce uses a 3 semester calendar (fall, spring and summer) with two 7-week courses or one 14-week course each semester.

The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[5]

The School District of Philadelphia and Peirce have a partner program which provides an off-campus general studies degree program for parents with children enrolled in Philadelphia public schools.[6]

In popular cultureEdit

Peirce's College Hall was used as the setting for St. Anthony's Academy for Boys in M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 film "The Sixth Sense"[7]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-29. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Fassl, Carl. Perice Means Business. Philadelphia: Peirce, 1990.
  3. ^ Chimenti, Vito. "New library gets kudos from General Building Contractors Association".
  4. ^ "Online Master Degree Programs in Philadelphia - Peirce".
  5. ^ accessed 5 Feb 2012
  6. ^ Peirce College (26 September 2011). "Peirce College and the School District of Philadelphia kick off year two of Parent University" – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Taking Education to the Student". 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  8. ^ "Charli Baltimore Biography - Murder Inc Online - #1 The Inc Records Fansite".
  9. ^ "About Me - Senator Christine Tartaglione".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 39°56′44″N 75°09′59″W / 39.9455°N 75.1663°W / 39.9455; -75.1663