Villanova University, the oldest and largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1842 by the priests and brothers of the Order of St. Augustine and offers a wide variety of degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Commerce and Finance, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing. Though dedicated to its Augustinian heritage, Villanova welcomes students of all faiths.

Located in a suburban community 12 miles west of Philadelphia, the picturesque 254-acre campus (designated in 1993 as a campus arboretum) features more than 60 buildings, including a library with more than 800,000 volumes, an 11,800 seat stadium, state of the art academic facilities, and 26 residence halls. Convenient transportation is also available, as SEPTA has two train stations located on campus.

Villanova's more than 6,000 undergraduates come from 48 states plus Puerto Rico and 52 foreign countries. Ninety-two percent of our first-year students ranked in the top 30 percent of their high school classes. Don't let that fool you, though, most of the students are preppy, abercrombie wearing, upper-middle class white folk from Pennsylvania or New Jersey. One of the many derogatory nicknames is Vanillanova, referring to the mostly white student population (another nickname: Villanofun - a wholly undeserved name IMHO). It is a bit unfair to characterize the university in this way, as there are lots of unique, good natured souls, but it is far from diverse.

There are 490 full-time faculty members, 90 percent of whom hold the highest degree in their field, teach classes that average 23 students. The student:faculty ratio is 12:1.

Villanova features 24 NCAA Division I men's and women's varsity sports teams, as well as A full range of athletic facilities. They are mostly known for their Basketball team, which won the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 1985 and the NIT Tournament in 1994. The football team went undefeated a couple of years back, but they still aren't very popular on campus. I never figured out why.

There are also more than 130 campus organizations to immerse yourself in. Their Orientation for new students is known to be one of the best in the country. Also notable is the Campus Activities Team, which runs events on campus ranging from music concerts, lecture series (recent notable speakers: Toni Morrison and Lech Walesa, former president of Poland), movie series, among many, many other activities.

US News and World Report recently ranked Villanova #1 for the 12th time. 

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