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Alvernia University


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Alvernia defines the community. It is a vibrant intellectual environment where students learn, discover, give, and grow as leaders with moral courage. Guided by Franciscan values and the ideal of "knowledge joined with love," and rooted in the traditions of the Catholic and liberal art, Alvernia is a rigorous, caring, and inclusive learning community committed to academic excellence and to being and fostering broadly educated, life-long learners reflective professionals and engaged citizens and ethical leaders with moral courage.
Through real-world learning, students discover their passions and turn what they love into lifetimes of career success and personal fulfillment, helping them make a positive difference in the world and others' lives. 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.
Since 1958, Alvernia has been making its mark, first as a small college serving the local community and now as a forward-thinking, comprehensive university attracting interest across the nation as one of only 24 Franciscan schools in the United States. The ideal of "knowledge joined with love" is integral to everything we do and is an ethic recognized in our graduates, students, and faculty.
Throughout your education at Alvernia University, you will be guided and encouraged to seek and achieve your potential through real-world learning while preparing for a lifetime of leadership and a positive impact on others' lives. We will help you discover your passion and develop what you love into lifelong professional success and personal fulfillment.
In 2018, Alvernia celebrated its 60th Anniversary. In more than a half-century, this small women's college, founded in 1958 by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters to prepare women religious for the mission of Catholic education, has become a regionally and nationally recognized comprehensive, competitive, multi-campus university. Under the leadership of a dynamic board and visionary president, Alvernia today remains a character-building institution that has remained true to the mission and vision of the founding sponsors, with a heritage and history that reflects the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi.
Alvernia's Mission Statement represents the ideal of a university education committed to academic excellence while developing lifelong learners who seek knowledge joined with love – a uniquely Franciscan perspective mirroring the intellection vision of a thirteenth-century Franciscan academic at the University of Paris, St. Bonaventure. Our core values, collegiality, contemplation, peacemaking, service, and humility, create a learning environment that is meant to be formative and transformative, committed to service and ethical leadership, doing well and doing good.
With several graduate degrees and certification programs, Alvernia University will help you get where you want to go, whether you have set your career sights higher or want to move in a new direction. Not sure which graduate program is right for you? Make an appointment with a graduate coordinator today. We will help you figure out which program is a match for your goals and interests. The degree and certification programs at Alvernia University are designed to fit around your busy schedule.
While getting a degree may be the catalyst you need to get ahead in life, it can be difficult for adults to find the time to attend classes while juggling a family and a career. Don't stop your life! Alvernia University has the flexibility you want and the degree you need to move ahead in a demanding world. Alvernia offers flexible scheduling with weekend and night classes, personal attention from a caring and supportive faculty, and convenient locations in Reading (main campus), Schuylkill, and Philadelphia.
We are the area's leader in adult education, helping thousands of working adults realize their professional goals and offering convenience and excellence in education since 1999. Whatever your goals and dreams, they are attainable. Our faculty and staff are here to help you every step of the way with getting your degree. Also, all of our programs are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Our scenic 121-acre main campus in Berks County is three miles from the heart of historic Reading, Pa., and a comfortable car ride from Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. With about 3,000 students, a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, and an average class size of less than 20, Alvernia is the perfect size for students to develop and thrive.
As one of only 24 Franciscan institutions in the United States, Alvernia's values-based learning philosophy is guided by the idea of "knowledge joined with love," shaping our educational philosophy and the healthy campus community. Our emphasis on developing ethical leaders with moral courage is blended with a commitment to serve locally and internationally.
With hundreds of community connections in Greater Reading and beyond, students benefit from real-world learning opportunities that put classroom knowledge into action. Study abroad, internships, domestic and international service projects, the Washington Center Experience, and research fellowships are just a few of the experiential learning opportunities available.
Alvernia offers the ultimate combination of personal faculty attention, hands-on knowledge application, leadership opportunities, and a serene campus environment to transform students into global citizens who create positive social change.

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