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School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1958
    • Size:
    • Small (<5000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Religiously affliated
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • 400 Saint Bernardine St., Reading, Pennsylvania, United States, 19607
    • Phone:
    • +16107968200
    • Setting:
    • Suburban, town

The History of Alvernia University

Alvernia University is a private Franciscan Roman Catholic university in Reading, Pennsylvania. Once known as Alvernia College, the school gained university status in 2008. Alvernia University was founded in 1958 by the Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis first as college for the sisters and then as a four-year liberal arts college.

Academic Highlights

Alvernia offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors. Pre-professional programs are available in dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary studies. Master's degrees are awarded in occupational therapy, business administration, nursing, community counseling, education, and liberal studies. Alvernia offers a seven-year Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) program. A Doctor of Philosophy in leadership is also available. 

Life in Alvernia University 

Besides academic life, Alvernia's intercollegiate teams, now known as the Golden Wolves but previously known as the Crusaders, compete at the NCAA Division III level in the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC), a highly competitive conference, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Men's sports include football, since 2018, baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field and volleyball, while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, field hockey, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

School Ranking

Alvernia University is ranked #94 in Regional Universities North. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.



Applying and submitting documents electronically is easiest for most students. When applying, all applicants should submit:

  • Completed online application via the Alvernia Student Portal or The Common Application
  • Official high school transcript or GED
  • An official report of combined SAT or ACT scores

Students interested in becoming part of the Honors Program should complete the additional application for enrollment in that program online.

Transfer and veteran students may also be required to submit:

  • Transcripts from any previous higher education institutions attended
  • Two letters of recommendation (required only for Alvernia’s Nursing Program applicants)
  • A copy of form DD214 from military service

Review University admissions standards and degree program application requirements

Alvernia maintains minimum standards for consideration for admission to graduate degree programs. Review admissions standards, application materials and timelines for submitting your application for the degree program of your interest.

  • Complete the Graduate Admission Application with Nonrefundable Application fee

    Complete the online application for Graduate Admission.
    Application deadlines:
    Fall Semester - May 1st Deadline
    Spring Semester - October 1st Deadline

    Pay the application fee. Alvernia accepts credit card payment online. The application fee is not refundable under any circumstance, regardless of outcome, the date of filing, time of review, or if for whatever reason, the application is withdrawn or you are unable to enroll for class.

Notable Alumni

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Alvernia University is 70.8%.

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