Widener University 101: What You Need to Know

So you’re thinking about Widener University, huh? As you consider your options for college, Widener may have caught your eye. But you probably still have a lot of questions. How big is the student population? What majors do they offer? Is the campus in a cool town?

We totally get it – choosing a college is a big decision. That’s why we put together this guide to give you the complete lowdown on Widener. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of campus life, academics, surrounding city happenings, and more.

That way, you can get the insider perspective and decide if Widener might be the right fit for you. Let’s dive in!

Overview of Widener University

Widener University is a private university located in Chester, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1821, Widener is a mid-sized university with over 6,300 students across three campuses in Pennsylvania and one in Harrisburg. The main campus is located in Chester, just outside of Philadelphia.

Widener has a diverse range of majors and programs across its eight schools and colleges. Some of the popular areas of study include:

  • Nursing and Healthcare: Widener has highly ranked nursing and physical therapy programs.

  • Engineering: Widener offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil, mechanical, and biomedical engineering.

  • Business: The School of Business Administration provides degrees in areas like accounting, finance, management, and marketing.

  • Arts and Sciences: Widener has a strong liberal arts foundation with majors like psychology, political science, criminal justice, and education.

Outside the classroom, there are over 100 clubs and organizations on campus, as well as Greek life and Division III athletics. Widener’s campus has lots of green spaces, athletic fields, and modern facilities like the University Center and the Pride Recreation and Athletic Center.

While Widener has aspects of a traditional liberal arts college, its location near Philadelphia provides opportunities for internships, community service, and entertainment. Students can easily access everything the city has to offer, from historical sites to professional sports teams.

With a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and over 3,000 students living on campus, Widener fosters a close-knit community. Professors are dedicated to student success and helping students build connections that last beyond their time on campus.

If you’re looking for a private school with a range of programs, lots of activities, and a supportive learning environment, Widener University is worth considering. Widener provides the resources and opportunities of a large university along with the personalized attention of a small college.

Academics at Widener: Programs, Rankings and Reputation

Widener University offers over 100 academic programs across its seven schools and colleges. No matter what you’re interested in studying, Widener likely has a program for you.

Diverse Program Options

Widener has a wide range of undergraduate majors, master’s degrees, doctoral programs and dual degree programs. Some of the popular majors include:

  • Nursing

  • Engineering

  • Business Administration

  • Criminal Justice

  • Psychology

  • Political Science

The school is also known for its health science, law, and hospitality programs. Widener really does have something for everyone.

High Rankings and Reputation

Several Widener programs are nationally ranked, like its nursing, physical therapy, and hospitality & tourism programs. Widener’s law school is also well-ranked regionally.

Widener has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and preparing students for career success. The university maintains strong industry partnerships to ensure programs match workforce needs. Internships, clinical experiences, study abroad, and undergraduate research opportunities allow students to gain valuable experience.

Supportive Learning Environment

Widener fosters an environment where students can thrive. With a small student-faculty ratio, you’ll get to know your professors and receive individual support. Academic resources like tutoring centers, writing centers, and library services provide extra help when you need it.

Widener may be the perfect place to earn your degree if you’re looking for a school with diverse, highly-ranked programs, a reputation for excellence, and a supportive learning community. Check out Widener’s website to explore the many programs offered and find the one that matches your interests and goals.

Student Life on Widener’s Campuses

As a student at Widener University, you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of clubs, organizations, and activities on campus. Widener has over 100 student clubs and organizations across their three campus locations. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find a group that matches.

Clubs and Organizations

Widener has clubs for academics, community service, culture, faith, arts, and just about everything in between. Some of the options include:

  • Academic clubs like Psychology Club or Pre-Law Society

  • Community service groups like Habitat for Humanity

  • Cultural clubs such as Black Student Union or Latino Student Association

  • Faith-based organizations like Cru or Hillel

  • Special interest clubs like Gaming Club, Outdoors Club or Anime Club

These clubs are a great way to pursue your passions, gain new skills, and make friends with similar interests.


Widener competes in Division III athletics and is a member of the Middle Atlantic Conferences. They offer over 20 varsity sports teams including basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, and more. As a student, you’ll get free admission to all home games to cheer on the Pride.

Campus Events

There is always something going on at Widener, from guest speakers and comedians to cultural festivals, movie nights, and homecoming week events. The Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board organize various events to bring the campus together and help you get the full college experience.

Between the club options, sports teams, and events on campus, you’ll have no shortage of ways to get involved, make new friends, and become a part of the Widener community. Student life is what you make of it, so take advantage of all the opportunities available to you. Your college years will fly by, so get out there, get active, and make the most of your time as a Widener University student!

Admissions and Financial Aid at Widener University

Widener University aims to make the college admission and financial aid process as straightforward as possible.


To apply to Widener, you’ll need to submit:

  • An online application

  • Official high school transcripts

  • SAT or ACT scores

  • A personal essay

  • Letters of recommendation (optional)

Widener has an acceptance rate of over 80%, so if you have a solid GPA and test scores, your chances of getting in are good. Widener also considers extracurricular activities, work experience, and community service when making admission decisions.

Once you’re accepted, you’ll need to pay an enrollment deposit to reserve your spot in the incoming class.

Financial Aid

Don’t let the cost of college deter you from applying—Widener offers generous financial aid packages. Over 90% of students receive some form of financial assistance.

To apply for aid, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form. Based on your family’s financial need, you may be eligible for:

  • Federal grants like the Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

  • Federal student loans with low interest rates

  • Widener grants and scholarships

  • Private student loans and scholarships

Widener also participates in federal work-study programs that provide part-time jobs for students to earn money to pay for college expenses.

With the help of financial aid, the cost of attending Widener can be very affordable. Meet with a financial aid counselor to evaluate your aid package and determine the best options for funding your Widener education.

Between generous admissions and ample financial assistance, Widener University strives to make earning your degree possible. Don’t hesitate to contact them with any questions you have about the application or aid process.

Widener University FAQs

Widener University, located in Chester, Pennsylvania, is a private university with over 6,500 students and two campuses. If you’re considering Widener, you probably have some questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

What majors and programs does Widener offer?

Widener offers over 100 majors and programs across its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Nursing, and Law. Some of the popular majors include nursing, criminal justice, psychology, and business administration. Widener also has strong programs in engineering, education, and hospitality management.

What extracurricular activities are available?

There are over 100 clubs and organizations at Widener, so there’s something for everyone. Some options include Greek life, honor societies, sports clubs, volunteer organizations, and special interest groups. Widener also has NCAA Division III athletics teams like basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and swimming.

What is campus life like?

Widener has a traditional campus feel with residence halls, green spaces, and a student center. Over half of undergraduates live on campus. The campus location in Chester means you’re close to Philadelphia but still have a suburban campus environment. There are frequent campus activities like movie nights, comedians, musicians, and cultural events put on by student organizations and the university.

How much does Widener cost?

For the 2021-2022 school year, tuition and fees at Widener total around $44,000. Room and board costs approximately $12,000. Widener offers generous merit scholarships and need-based financial aid. The average Widener student receives over $20,000 in scholarships and grants.

What do current students say about Widener?

Current students praise Widener’s small class sizes, career support services, school spirit, and community feel. Students feel supported by professors and value the relationships they build on campus. However, some wish there were more off-campus housing and dining options nearby. Overall, most students are happy with their experience at Widener and feel well prepared for their careers.


So there you have it, the lowdown on Widener University. From its history and heritage to campus life and academics, we’ve covered the key things you need to know as you consider applying or just learn more. Sure, we didn’t dive into every single detail, but hopefully you now have a solid feel for what makes this place tick. And who knows, maybe after reading this you’re thinking Widener could be the place for you. Just don’t forget that checking it out in person is important too before you make your final college decision. But either way, hopefully you feel a bit wiser about Widener now.

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