Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the University undertake this name and status change? 

The time had come for this institution to have a name that emphasizes the achievements of its students, alumni, faculty, staff and programs. This school is a far different place than it was at the time of its founding in 1853 as a small women's college in Western Pennsylvania's Beaver County. We now boast nationally ranked programs and nationally recognized faculty, and we are a recognized leader in international education. We are also ranked in the top 20 regional universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report. All of these elements made it clear that a new name was needed to describe what is, in many ways, a new institution. 

Why was Arcadia University chosen as the new name? 

Arcadia University was selected to better describe the vibrant and respected institution that we are today.

Arcadia was a picturesque region in ancient Greece, a birthplace of modern thought and learning where philosophers pursued independent thought and inquiry. This is the role that Arcadia University aspires to play in the lives of its students by offering a distinguished tradition of academic excellence, an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking and a strong global perspective. 

How was the name Arcadia University selected? 

A unanimous vote by the University's Board of Trustees to change both the name and status concluded a 10-month investigative process -- possibly the most extensive conducted by any institution of higher learning that has changed its name. All University constituencies -- more than 20,000 alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends -- were asked to voice their opinions through surveys and campus meetings. The University continued its thorough research by conducting focus groups in major U.S. cities. Participants in every city consistently agreed that the name Arcadia fits our institution.

Why did the College seek university status? 

The term "college" generally refers to schools with none or few graduate programs. At Arcadia, nearly half the institution's 2,800 students are enrolled in 12 graduate programs, including the nationally top-ranked doctorate in physical therapy. Because of this, the institution has been classified for several years as a university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

After the Board of Trustees voted last June to pursue university status, the College was required to submit an extensive report to the State Department of Education, detailing the institution's academic programs. A state-appointed team of evaluators reviewed our application and visited the campus in September to interview key administrators. Our application was then placed in a State bulletin for 30 days so others could have an opportunity to contest our request. At the end of the 30-day period, the Secretary of Education approved our request to rename the school Arcadia University.When did this change officially go into effect? 

The official change to Arcadia University took place on Monday, July 16, 2001. On that day the school officially changed its charter and begin operating as Arcadia University. 

Does the change from college to university mean a larger, more impersonal school? 

No. The University is at its desired size regarding both enrollment and physical space. The student-teacher ratio is expected to remain one of the top in the area with well-respected faculty who value the importance of educating students and including them in the learning process. These values, our cornerstone for 148 years, will remain the same at Arcadia University. 

Will current students be graduates of Beaver College or Arcadia University?

Students who graduated in May 2001 are the final class to graduate from Beaver College. However, as part of the name change process, the name Beaver College will be safeguarded and honored by linking it to the undergraduate school, one of the three main divisions of our new University. Arcadia University will have three academic divisions: the Beaver College of Undergraduate Studies, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, and The College of Global Studies. 

Can alumni request new Arcadia University diplomas? 

Yes. All alumni have been offered a new Arcadia University diploma although their Beaver College diplomas will still be valid. 

What else will change now that we are Arcadia University?

Very little will change. While new banners have been hung and publications have been redesigned to reflect our new name, the institution's strong traditions and mission continue. The school colors, scarlet and grey, and mascot, the Knight, remain the same. The size of enrollment, faculty, staff, physical campus and cost of tuition will not change any more than normal growth would require. 

Will campus e-mail addresses change? 

Yes, all e-mail addresses have changed to for both sending and receiving mail.

Next: Timeline 

The Arcadia Promise - A distinctively global, integrative and personal learning experience.
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