4.5 out of 5 Stars
Villanova is a liberal arts school, so every major must complete a core curriculum of classes to graduate. This core involves classes like Philosophy, English, etc. This is extremely valuable for incoming students; I am a Biology major, but I realized my huge interest in Sociology when I had to take the Intro class to fulfill one of my core requirements. Having a core curriculum allows the student to expand his or her horizons academically and often figure out what discipline he or she is truly interested in!
Academic advisors are invaluable at Villanova. My academic advisor is a professor I have grown extremely close with over the last three years, and I honestly would have been lost without her! The advisors reach out to you from the moment you are accepted - I received a phone call the summer before my freshman year so my advisor could get to know me a little better and talk to me about my options for classes for the upcoming semester. Advisors help you not only choose classes for each semester, but they give advice on research opportunities, graduate school, and anything else you could imagine! They are especially helpful because they are professors within your major. Since they only have a couple of students per year, they get to know you extremely well, and they really watch out for you during your undergraduate studies.
Class sizes are small generally, with most classes having about 20 students. Classes get smaller as the courses become more specialized, with some classes having less than 10 students! The largest class a student will ever be in is an intro class, such as General Chemistry, but even these classes only have about 60 students. Any time there is a large class, the class will meet an extra day a week in smaller sections, often for going over homework problems. No matter what class you take, the teacher will know your name and a little bit about you! Teachers are extremely approachable. Teachers are required to have office hours at least once a week, so they must be in their office if you have questions or just want to stop by and chat. Every teacher I've had has made it extremely clear, however, that they are open to appointments at any time; the teachers at Villanova have your interests as a top priority, and they make a huge effort to make themselves available to anyone even thinking about needing some assistance.
Research opportunities are available to students as soon as they arrive on campus! Students in the science department get started in labs as early as first semester freshman year, all that is needed is an email to a faculty member to get you started! Professors work closely with students to get them comfortable in the lab, and many students run their own projects, receive grants, and present their findings as a senior thesis before they graduate!
Villanova takes academics seriously, so it is competitive in that sense. Every student is so supportive of each other, however, and big study groups are common when people are preparing for big tests!
The amount of grades will vary from class to class based on teacher preference (whether there are just essays, only a midterm and a final, a couple practicals, etc.), but these will always be outlined in the syllabus before the semester begins. Grades are computed on a standard letter basis, with the resulting GPA out of a 4.0 (there are no A+).
Study abroad is widely available, and many students take advantage of the programs offered at Villanova; one business program allows students to study abroad spring semester of freshman year! The study abroad office works closely with students to help them choose a program. Students can study abroad in any credited program, it does not have to be directly through Villanova.
The workload is what you would expect in an academically challenging university, but Villanova does want its students to be well-rounded, so it is completely manageable!Quality of Life
Life is good at Villanova!! Housing is guaranteed three years; senior year most students live off campus in the surrounding area. Students generally live in the same area, so it's like living at school, but it also provides an excellent opportunity to start living in the "real world." Students live in the same area of campus as their peers, and there are always options depending on your preferences! Freshman year doubles are assigned, but students can choose to live in a double, single, or triple from that point forward! Junior year, most of the students live in apartments on campus (I'm living in one right now, and they are beautiful!). The staff that maintains the buildings are so friendly and they do an excellent job to make sure everything is clean (and they clean every day). The maintenance staff is extremely responsive - any problem you have will be answered within a day, whether you need new air conditioning or an extra chair! There is a form online that students can fill out whenever there is a problem, or you can call their hotline with any emergencies.
The cost of living in terms of housing is listed online. Everything that you could need money for can be covered with your Wildcard, which is the Villanova ID card. It can be used as a credit card in association with the Wells Fargo bank, and it holds your meal plan and money that can be used anywhere around campus! You get very used to being able to use your Wildcard for anything, especially since most of the restaurants and even some stores in the surrounding area accept it!
Campus is beautiful, with stone buildings and a lot of grassy areas for playing frisbee, pick-up football games, or studying. It is a small campus, but buildings are fairly spread out across the property.
The library is a place I spend a lot of time at, and it's a great building. Villanova has a 24-hour lounge with coffee, muffins, etc, so there is always a place to study if you need to! In addition, the library's levels are used for varying levels of quietness for studying; the higher the level in the library, the quieter the floor is. The first floor is where you'll find a lot of your friends, especially during finals week, but the quietness arrangement makes getting work done very easy when you need silence.
There are so many options in terms of food around campus. On each campus (South, which houses Freshman, Main, which is the bulk of campus, and West, which houses juniors), there is a large dining hall in an all-you-can-eat buffet style. In addition, there are several other dining options on Main campus that are more specialized where you choose and pay (with your meal plan) for a particular meal. There are also markets on all campuses so you can pick up anything you would need from a grocery store without having to leave campus! All of the eating facilities on campus, including the many coffee shops (called Holy Grounds) can be paid for using your meal plan.
The neighborhood surrounding Villanova is extremely receptive to its students. Restaurants and stores often cater to Villanova students, and they always participate in fundraisers that different organizations hold on campus.
I can honestly say, as a female, that I have always felt safe at Villanova. The community in this area is extremely safe, and so is the campus. Public Safety officers are always available in case of an emergency or even if you just don't feel comfortable walking back to your dorm alone. Officers are more than willing to drive students where they need to go at any hour - they make sure students always feel safe. There are stations with Public Safety officers at the entrance to each campus to monitor the individuals entering campus (in terms of visitors to campus). There are also Blue Lights around campus, which are emergency stations with a button to press in a dire situation - if that button is pressed, an officer will be present almost immediately.Admissions
The application process involves completing the Common Application and a Villanova supplement, which includes an essay question related to the mission of Villanova University and its Augustinian history. You can be accepted either early action or regular decision: early action involves an earlier application and acceptance deadline, but attendance at Villanova is not mandatory as a result of acceptance, while regular decision has a later application and acceptance deadline.
Scholarship opportunities are available based on merit, and the Presidential scholarships are awarded after early action acceptances. Individuals are nominated by their teachers/guidance counselors in addition to maintaining particular test score and GPA requirements. Nominees have an interview on campus - although only a few are chosen for the full scholarship, all of the nominees receive partial scholarships. There are also other merit scholarships that can be attained based on test scores and GPA.
The standard financial aid forms must be filled out to be considered for financial aid, but these are made readily available by the Villanova offices. Many students that fill out this paperwork receive substantial assistance!Level
There is a pretty substantial core. Students are required to take classes is philosophy, theology, ethics, history, English, and fine arts. Class sizes are small, with even the biggest classes capped at 30 students. Many classes are seminar style and are capped at 15. Faculty are really accessible and genuinely care about teaching undergrads. No TAs teach classes.Quality of Life
Villanova students genuinely love Villanova. The campus is beautiful, academics are excellent, and the sports programs are unparalleled.Admissions
Villanova uses the Common Application but requires a supplement. The supplemental essay requires the prospective student to think about Villanova, its Augustinian tradition, and how the applicant would fit in. Villanova is an early action school without binding early decision.Level
Villanova has a core curriculum that all majors must complete in addition to the usual major classes to receive a degree. These are an amazing opportunity to expand your horizons and decide what career path you really want to take - withoutAdmissions
The admissions process involves a supplemental application in addition to the Common Application with an essay question that focuses on the mission of Villanova and how the applicant has applied that mission to his or her own life. Villanova has two rounds of acceptance, early action and regular decision. I personally applied early action, which means that you apply early (by November) and find out your acceptance early (in December), but that acceptance is not binding! The other application option is the regular decision, which has a later deadline and acceptance date.
Upon acceptance, students are offered scholarship opportunities based on scores and teacher recommendations. The most prestigious of these, the Presidential Scholarship, involves an interview process to determine who will receive the full merit scholarship. Other scholarships are received based on SAT/GPA, etc.
The financial aid paperwork is made available during the application process.Level
teachers are very approachable and professional. academics are strong and prepare you well for post-collegeLevel
There is a strong core course requirement but this helps students explore their interests and these classes are also very dynamic and interesting. Class sizes are small, between 20 and 30 students, and are very discussion based. The professors are very passionate about the topics they are teaching and this makes it easy for students to get excited about what they are learning.Level