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Bethany College
"A beautiful campus with caring faculty, bright students, and interesting programs—Bethany covers all the...

Bethany College

Bethany, West Virginia

Where Everything You Imagine Is Possible

A quality life is built of many parts. It’s the same with a college. That’s why a sure measure of a school’s lasting value is its blend of distinctions. At Bethany, the expected and the surprising combine with both the traditional and the innovative. It’s one way they create an environment where everything is possible.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
710 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
59% male — 41% female
87% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
58 full-time faculty
31 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

99% of students live on campus.

School Location

Bethany, West Virginia, one hour from Pittsburgh; one-half hour from Wheeling, WV; one-half hour from Steubenville, OH.

Retention Fall 2015

64% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

41% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 4%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 18%
White 51%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 0%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 20%


NCAA Division III, Eastern College Athletic Association, member of the President’s Athletic Conference (PAC)

20 varsity sports
10 men‘s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, indoor & outdoor track, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis
10 women‘s: basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track & outdoor track, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball
7 club sports and intramurals

Other Information

Bethany College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and founded in 1840.

More Distinctions

  • Bethany College is composed of 5 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and two buildings are listed as National Historic Landmarks, out of 40 buildings that make-up the Bethany campus.

  • The College was founded in 1840, making it the oldest college in West Virginia, and the longest continuous accredited college in the state.

Bethany students are fully engaged in their education, learning both inside and outside of the traditional classroom setting through close interaction with the faculty and the community alike. Students are presented with opportunities for self-expression and growth through seminars, lectures, state-of-the-art technology, numerous clubs and activities…

opportunities abound

At Bethany College, students do more than learn the liberal arts; they live them, exercising their minds so that they become stronger and better prepared for a fast-changing, networked, and global world. Bethany strengthens character, as well. It graduates students with sound tools for judgment, a reliable ethical compass, and the backbone required to make smart choices. Bethany teaches students how to think so that they can decide how to live. For more than 167 years, Bethany has been refining this approach to education and giving students “permission to dream.” Bethany believes that every dream and the life it inspires grows from a bedrock of meaningful learning and support.

something for everyone

The school’s 1,300-acre wooded campus in the panhandle of West Virginia supports a one-of-a-kind living and learning environment. Here, students find the benefits of a private, liberal arts college with a national reputation. Affiliated with the Disciples of Christ Church, Bethany is a welcoming place of spiritual discovery, where religious diversity thrives. Bethany’s 830 students choose from more than thirty majors, with many options for emphasis and several excellent pre-professional programs.

study abroad

Bethany has well established affiliations with study abroad programs in a number of countries around the globe. It also offers several special scholarships for study abroad programs. Bethany maintains programs at the Sorbonne in Paris, France; the Pädagogische Hochschule in Heidelberg, Germany; and the University of Navarra in Pamplona. There is no additional tuition cost to participate in these programs. Students’ scholarships and financial aid apply, and student airfare costs are included.

a school of explorers

Many student clubs and academic departments feature short-term travel. The Model United Nations club, for example, makes trips every semester to locations in Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, or South America. Several clubs in the department of political science offer two-week trips to such locations as Panama, China, Europe, and Africa. Some Bethany students have visited as many as a dozen different countries during their college careers.


The career-counseling office collaborates with academic departments to offer a number of internship opportunities. Many students conduct internships in Wheeling, West Virginia, just fifteen miles from the campus, or in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a forty-five minute drive from campus. Along with professional, working internships, students take evening classes taught by real-world professionals.

Through Bethany’s Washington Center Internship Program, students can spend a semester in Washington, DC, gaining experience in regulatory agencies, associations, and in other aspects of the government. Students have had the opportunity to work with institutions such as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Congress, the White House, Amnesty International, and CNN and FOX news. Over 70 percent of students who have participated in these internships have returned to DC for professional employment in their field of study.

A traditional liberal arts program, low student/teacher ratios, and innovative programs make Bethany a great place to learn. The Bethany faculty are a blend of senior faculty and young scholars. The academic programs available at Bethany provide the strongest possible learning experience for each student. The low student-to-teacher ratios foster close, personal relationships that will last a lifetime…

Valuable, Practical Learning

Great students emerge with the help of dynamic teachers and mentors. Bethany’s faculty have chosen to put teaching first and to be at a school where one-on-one engagement with students is the top priority. Similarly, faculty consider students a vital part of any research effort. Bethany faculty invite students to collaborate, and students gain invaluable opportunities for discovery, publishing, and presentation. With a fourteen to one student-to-faculty ratio and small classes, Bethany fosters close working relationships between professors and students.

esteemed professors

In 2007, Bethany College professor of biology John Burns was named a Fulbright Scholar. His Fulbright application was built on years of faculty and student research on circadian rhythms that had been conducted at Bethany. Current and former Bethany students have assisted Burns with his research. Joint faculty and student research is supported by Bethany College faculty development grants and other sources.

first-year seminar

Designed to help first-year students make the transition from high school to college, the first-year seminar offers such classes as tai chi, science and pseudoscience, and “The Beatles and Popular Culture.”

capstone requirements

The senior project and senior comprehensive exams serve as practical capstones and give seniors the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the knowledge they have acquired. The senior project is a required, faculty-directed research presentation. The comprehensive exams include a one-hour oral exam and an eight-hour written exam. Students consider the comprehensive exams to be great confidence builders.

Many students have presented the results of their research at such meetings as the undergraduate research day in Charleston, West Virginia, and their results have been published in notable professional journals.

A Bethany education is an experience in integrated living and learning. The college community offers a great variety of activities in which students are encouraged to participate. The Bethany community inspires a closeness and intimacy that’s rare in the world today…

the town and nearby cities

Located on 1,300 acres in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, Bethany provides a safe and stimulating learning environment. The town of Bethany has a population of only three hundred, but for students wanting a bit of city life, Bethany is a short drive from Wheeling, West Virginia; less than an hour from one of America’s most livable, cultured, and vibrant cities, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and just forty minutes from the Pittsburgh International Airport.


Bethany’s residence life program offers a variety of living and learning environments, including traditional residence halls, suites, and apartments. There are coed residence halls as well as one all-male and one all-female residence hall.

student activities

The student activities council hosts a wide variety of performances, which have recently featured Chinese poets, nationally known comedians, and various musical acts. Recent speakers on campus have included General Wesley Clark, former U.S. secretary of the treasury Paul O’Neill, and Governor Joe Manchin III. Bethany’s Project Red has sponsored speakers from the Congo.

greek life

About half of Bethany’s students choose to join fraternities and sororities. Greek Hill features the social houses of two fraternities and three sororities.


Nearly half of Bethany’s students participate in varsity athletics, maintaining the Division III perspective that competition itself is the true reward.

For students with an interest in equestrian sports and equestrian studies, Bethany College offers one of the most well-equipped facilities of its kind anywhere. Peace Point Equestrian Center sits on 2,800 acres of hilltop land with miles of scenic trails. Amenities include twelve foot by twelve foot matted deluxe Loddon stalls, each equipped with Nelson waterers and brass blanket, bridle, and saddle racks. Each barn has private hot-water wash stalls and an aisleway of cushioned interlocking brick. Turnout is available in large-board, fenced paddocks, each with run-in shelters.

Bethany is the perfect launchpad for graduate school; 40% of our alumni earn an advanced degree within a decade of graduation…

Lasting Value

Bethany College graduates have won a Pulitzer Prize; an Academy Award; have been named Gates, Madison, and Fulbright Scholars; and have been elected governor.

Bethany alumni also include the sole American judge on the World Court in the Hague and the director of the National Cancer Institute. Bethany enjoys its very strong reputation for preparing students for graduate and professional studies. Many Bethany graduates have launched rewarding careers in business, engineering, law, dentistry, and medicine from the foundation of Bethany’s renowned pre-professional programs.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,168 Total Applicants 
820 Total Admissions 
208 Total Freshman Enrollment

70.21% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 380 490
SAT Math 400 510
SAT Writing 370 470
ACT Composite 17 22
ACT Math 16 22
ACT English 14 21
ACT Writing    

Admissions and Deadlines

A copy of your secondary school transcript. If you have taken college courses for credit, please forward an official transcript from the appropriate institution.

One letter of recommendation from a teacher or your high school counselor. Complete the upper portion only of the Secondary School Report, and, as a courtesy, please provide a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for your teacher or counselor who is recommending you. Additional recommendations may also be submitted and are encouraged.

Standardized scores from the ACT or SAT I tests. You are expected to arrange for the results to be forwarded directly to Bethany College. Bethany College codes are: SAT I (CEEB) – 5060 and ACT – 4512.

Admission Application Deadline

Bethany College offers admission on a “rolling” basis. Applicants are generally notified of an admission decision within two weeks following the receipt of all application credentials. Review of applications begins in October.




Tuition $25,580
Fees $920
Total $26,500
Room and Board (on campus) $9,800
Room Only $5,000
Board Only $4,800
Estimated Total On Campus $36,300


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

98% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
83% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$20,718 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$8,849 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

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