West Chester University of Pennsylvania is the second largest of the 14 public institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the fourth-largest university in the Philadelphia area. While continuing its legacy of teacher education, West Chester University has adapted its programs and facilities to meet the needs of students and the region's businesses and industry.
The University offers more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, business and public affairs, the social sciences, visual and performing arts, and health sciences in addition to teacher education. Industry-specific programs include the Pharmaceutical Product Development program, pre-medicine, and pre-law. Interdisciplinary areas of study include a computer security certificate, ethnic studies, Honors College, Latin American studies, and Russian studies. The campus also boasts a 100-acre natural area for environmental studies.
In the Merion Science Center, undergraduates gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge scientific instruments. Students in a variety of majors participate in internships and field experiences while education majors complete their student teaching in 50 school districts in the Philadelphia area. Service learning is an integral component of many courses at West Chester and the keystone of the Honors College. Students annually volunteer more than 200,000 hours of their time.
The University sponsors the largest varsity program - 24 intercollegiate men's and women's sports - in NCAA Division II.
Facilities that serve the local community as well as the campus include speech/hearing and reading clinics; two theaters; a concert hall; music facilities with practice, rehearsal, and listening rooms; a library; and an extensive music library.
Each year, West Chester University hosts more than 150 free concerts, lectures, and programs open to the public. Renowned musicians, poets, authors, political figures, educators, and others also visit campus for special programs.