Slippery Rock University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Slippery Rock University
"Slippery Rock University is the region’s premier public residential university. Shaped by its normal...

Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock University is a four-year, public, coeducational, comprehensive university offering a broad array of undergraduate and select graduate programs to more than 8,600 students.

The University, a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, is a recognized leader in evidence-based planning and decision-making. SRU provides students with a superior learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with applied learning opportunities that will help them succeed in an increasingly complex world.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
7,587 undergraduate students
93% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
12% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
329 full-time faculty
60 part-time faculty
22 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

37.3 percent of undergraduate students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing.

School Location

Slippery Rock University is located in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania in the borough of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. The 660-acre main campus is less than an hour north of Pittsburgh, one hour south of Erie, and 45 minutes east of Youngstown, Ohio. Two major interstates, I-79 and I-80, intersect within seven miles of the University, conveniently linking it to the entire state and its contiguous regions.

Retention Fall 2014

82% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2014

67% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 2%
Black or African American 5%
White 86%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


Division II
Member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference

SRU sponsors 17 intercollegiate sports

Mascot: The Rock
Colors: Green and White

Men’s sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Soccer, Indoor track, Outdoor track
Women’s sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Indoor track, Lacrosse, Outdoor track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Competitive Club sports: Equestrian, Golf, Ice Hockey, In-line Hockey, Men’s Lacrosse, Rugby, Men’s Volleyball, Water Polo

Other Information

Slippery Rock University is a Carnegie Master-L, four-year, public, coeducational university. Founded in 1889, the University is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Academic Programs

Accounting, Art, Art with Teacher Certification (K-12), Athletic Training, Biology (Cytotechnology, Medical Technology, Professional), Chemistry (Biochemistry, Environmental, Forensic, ACS Certified), Communication (Digital Media Production, Integrated Marketing Communication, Journalism, Public Relations), Community Programs for Americans with Disabilities, Computer Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Dance, Economics, Early Childhood Education (PreK-4), English Literature (Language & Literature; Literary, Film, & Cultural Studies), English Writing (Creative, Professional), Environmental Geoscience (Environmental Science, Geology, Pre-Masters of Education 7-12), Exercise Science, Exploratory (undecided), Finance, French, French – Professional, Geography (Applied Geographic Technology, Environment and Society, Environmental Studies & Sustainability), Health Care Administration and Management, Health and Physical Education Teaching (K-12), History, Information Systems, Information Technology, Interdisciplinary Programs, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Music Education (K-12), Music Performance (Instrumental, Vocal), Music Therapy, Nursing (RN-BSN), Parks & Recreation – Park Resource Management, Philosophy, Physical Activity & Fitness Management, Physical Activity and Fitness Management, Physics (Computational, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Masters in Ed 7-12), Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Resort Recreation & Hospitality Management, Safety Management, Secondary Education [English/Language Arts (7-12), French (K-12), Mathematics (7-12), Science (7-12), Social Studies & History (7-12), Spanish (K-12)], Secondary Education-Middle Level (4-8) [English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies & History], Social Work, Spanish, Spanish – Professional, Special Education (PreK-8)/dual major with Early Childhood Education PreK-4, Sport Management, Theatre (Acting, Arts Administration, Design and Technology), Therapeutic Recreation, Undecided (Exploratory)

Pre-Professional Areas of Study
Pre-Chiropractic, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Podiatry, Pre-Veterinary

Pre-Professional Affiliations
Pre-Chiropractic 3+3 (Logan), Pre-Chiropractic 3+3 (Palmer), Pre-Dental 4+4 (LECOM, WVU), Pre-Engineering 3+2 (YSU, WVU), Dual degree Pre-Engineering program with PSU, Pre-Engineering Technology (YSU), Pre-Osteopathy 3+4 (LECOM), Pre-Osteopathy 4+4 (LECOM), Pre-Pharmacy 2+3 (LECOM), Pre-Pharmacy 3+3 (LECOM), Pre-Physical Therapy 3+3 (SRU), Physician Assistant (Chatham)

More Distinctions

  • Slippery Rock University is a Carnegie Masters-L, four-year, public, coeducational university. The University has earned full institutional accreditation through the Middle State Commission on Higher Learning and discipline specific accreditation by the following:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology: Information Technology, Information Science, Computer Science

  • American Chemical Society: Chemistry

  • American Physical Therapy Association: Physical Therapy

  • National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission: Nursing

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education: Exercise Science

  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education: Athletic Training

  • Nation Recreation and Park Association: Park and Resource Management, Resort Management / Tourism, Therapeutic Recreation

  • Institute for Safety and Health Management: Safety and Health

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education: College of Education

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs: Community Counseling, School of Counseling

  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: Spanish, French Education

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children: Early Childhood Education

  • Association for Childhood Education International: Elementary Education

  • National Council for Teachers of English: English Education

  • National Council for the Social Sciences: Social Studies Education

  • National Science Teachers Association: Science Education

  • Council for Exceptional Children: Special Education

  • National Council for Teachers of Mathematics: Math Education

  • Council on Social Work Education: Social Work

  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design: Art, Fine Arts

  • National Association of Schools of Dance: Dance

  • National Association of Schools of Music: Music Instrumental, Music Performance, Music Therapy

  • National Association of Schools of Theatre: Theatre

  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care: Health Services

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children: Child Care Center

  • International Association of Counseling Services Inc.

  • Princeton Review – “Best in the Northeast”

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education – “A Great College to Work For”

  • U.S. News and World Report – “One of the 100 Best Colleges in the North”

  • G.I. Jobs Magazine – “A Military Friendly School”

  • WorldWideLearn – “One of the Top (No.2) 20 Rural Colleges and Universities

  • Princeton Review – “One of the top 286 Green Colleges” in the nation

  • University Business Magazine – “Dining Hall of Distinction”

  • Consumer’s Digest – A “Best Value” in higher education

  • Daily Beast/Newsweek – One of the “Top 50 safest campuses in America.”

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – A “Top Workplace” in the region

  • Pittsburgh Magazine – Health Care Administration and Management major named one of the 12 smartest educational choices for a career.


Community building and student leadership development are hallmarks of a Slippery Rock University experience. The University is recognized for several first-year initiatives including:

  • The FYRST program, which offers students a close-knit peer group and a mentoring relationship with an experienced professor or staff member;
  • Its residential living-learning communities that allow students who share similar academic, career or personal interests to live together; and
  • Programs that are intentionally designed to help students develop community-building skills while finding their own individual strengths.

By the time a student graduates from Slippery Rock University they are engaged in the following core-learning outcomes: Engaged citizenship; community service, social justice; career planning; ethical approaches to business, relationships, problem solving and conflict; practical leadership; emotional intelligence; critical thinking; evaluating sources of information; informed decision making; working in teams and groups; conflict resolution; cultural competency and cross-cultural understanding; and civility and tolerance

To achieve these outcomes, Student Life partners with Academic Affairs and other areas to provide opportunities for students to organize, lead and participate in more than 150 social, honorary and special-interest clubs.

The SRU Student Government Association, Inc. is an independent corporation funded through a student general service fee. The SRUSGA owns and operates the University Bookstore, Child Care Center and Campus Shuttle; helps fund recognized student organizations and SRU athletics; and serves as the advocate for student interests and concerns. The SGA is responsible for allocating more than $1.6 million in student fees annually. 

The University Program Board, comprised entirely of students, is the major sponsor of student activity events. UPB offers activities featuring local, national and international entertainers in areas such as performing arts, concerts, films, lectures and travel. UPB is responsible for all aspects of the program including budgeting, scheduling, marketing, sales and event management. Students involved in UPB annually manage funds in excess of $350,000.

SRU students are encouraged to participate in international study, research and travel programs. SRU has been ranked 10th nationally among masters-degree granting institutions for the number of students participating in short-term study abroad programs by the Institute for International Education. Recent study opportunities have taken students to Poland, China, the Bahamas, Ireland, Greece, Egypt, Ghana, the Netherlands, Russia, England and elsewhere.

Through the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, SRU students participate in programs that give them the chance to make a difference in the lives of people at home and around the world, to practice academic skills and to earn certifications for achieving leadership competencies.

Results from the National Survey of Student Engagement show that SRU students consistently rate their experience at SRU higher than do students attending peer institutions. 


Great teaching starts in the classroom at Slippery Rock University and extends across campus and around the world. In fact, during your studies at SRU, your classroom is just as likely to be the Roman ruins, or a jungle in Peru, as it is to be a room on campus. One thing is certain though, no matter where you learn, you’ll study with a faculty member who has a passion for teaching.

At SRU only fully credentialed faculty teach. The University does not allow graduate assistants or research fellows to teach classes. Our faculty members’ first priority is teaching and learning.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the tremendous opportunities faculty provide for undergraduate students to collaborate with them on high-quality research. These practical, cutting-edge research projects provide a pathway for students to make intellectual or creative contributions to their discipline, build self-confidence, gain experience that will enhance their career opportunities, and improve critical-thinking, communication and presentation skills.

At SRU, the spirit of discovery and the challenge of tackling real questions and problems underpin the undergraduate research experience. As part of their faculty-directed undergraduate research projects:

  • Two physics majors constructed an Organic Light Emitting Diode light from scratch. This type of lighting is extremely energy efficient and could be used in many applications.
  • A geography major traveled to Nevada to research fossil marine organisms in rock layers to learn more about the conditions that existed there 300 million years ago.
  • A dance major researched how children use movement to learn, and turned that into practical lessons to combat child obesity.
  • Nine psychology majors researched eating behavior and body image among students and used that knowledge to develop a program promoting positive body image.
  • Three chemistry majors studied cancer at the cell level to determine whether certain chemicals could be used to slow down or prevent cell growth.
  • Biology students researching the Harderian gland in snakes identified a new, little-understood protein. The researchers hope it will help them better understand snake behavior.
  • An environmental science major researching spatial characteristics and land ownership in San Salvador from 1760 to 1919, uncovered the original driveway to the oldest port on the island.

Slippery Rock University professors help students find their passion and then challenge and work with them to put it into action.


A few quick questions: Where did you first learn to text message, update your Facebook profile, or juggle a schedule filled with classes, homework and sports and recreation activities? Did you answer, in a classroom? Probably not. 

At Slippery Rock University we recognize that learning takes place wherever you have an opportunity to discuss, think and practice the process of gaining new knowledge or solving a problem. In “academic speak” the University describes this as “providing students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that will help them succeed in their lives, professional careers and be engaged citizens.” Whew.

What that means for you is that Slippery Rock University provides a dynamic and diverse array of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities that promote healthy minds and bodies, student interaction, leadership and community service.

Clubs and organizations

The University offers more than 275 clubs and organizations, everything from Active Minds – a nationally recognized, student run organization dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and reducing stigma associated with mental illness to Zeta Phi Eta – a national professional fraternity in Communication Arts and Sciences.
Whatever your passion, you’re sure to find it at The Rock.

Living learning communities

Living-learning communities offer students the opportunity to live with other students who share similar academic, career or personal interests. Current LLCs include: Business, Information and Social Science; Creating Connections; Education; Leadership; Health, Environment and Science; Honors; Humanities; Fine and Performing Arts; Outdoor Adventures and Military Leadership.


Compass leadership is a signature program within the University’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. Compass Leadership provides a sequence of workshops through which students can earn certification for acquiring basic, intermediate or advanced leadership competencies. Participation in Compass Leadership workshops is recorded and posted on the student’s Co-Curricular Experiences Transcript.

Co-Curricular Experience Program

The Co-Curricular Experience Program is an official record of leadership accomplishments and involvement in student organizations, community service activities and professional development programs. The Co-Curricular Experience Program is a valuable resource for students when they apply for internships, graduate or professional schools, or first career positions.


For two weeks each spring the entire northwest region of Pennsylvania is alive with the sights and sounds of the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival. This unique arts festival provides music and dance concerts, student theatre, sculpture and hands-on activities for all ages.


The focus of a Slippery Rock University education goes beyond just earning a diploma. The University’s focus is on developing people capable of making positive differences in the lives of others. The University challenges SRU graduates to understand the problems of our global society and have confidence in their skills and values to address those problems throughout their life. 

To that end, academic and co-curricular activities are intentionally designed to help students mature into competent, civil and caring citizens who will make their communities and the world a better place for all people to live and work.

Students demonstrate civic engagement competencies through a myriad of programs, activities and services. 

Empty Bowls
, an annual event to raise funds for and awareness of hunger issues, is an excellent example of how the University helps develop civic engagement skills. At the base level (personal responsibility) students contribute food or hand-made ceramic bowls to the event. At a second level, (participant) students organize and take full responsibility for planning and managing the event. At a third level, (social justice) students might conduct undergraduate research studies as to the causes of hunger locally, and build on that discovery to recommend or initiate other social justice programs or actions that address this condition. 

RecycleMania is another example of how students learn lifelong skills that will help them be better citizens.RecycleMania is an annual event to promote recycling and waste reduction activities. At the personal level, a student might pledge to reduce their use of resources and increase the level at which they recycle. At the participant level, students would plan recycling events and track participation rates. At the social justice level, students might investigate why more people don’t recycle and then develop information or action campaigns to increase participation rates.

Through the University’s Alternative Break Program students travel across the United States to engage in enriching service projects and to experience first-hand the importance their contributions can make to the hungry, the homeless, the aged, the lonely, and those living in poverty, suffering from addictions, or victimized by human or natural disasters. 

Through programs such as these, and hundreds of other hands-on volunteer opportunities available throughout their collegiate career, SRU graduates develop the practical skills (thinking, writing, speaking and reasoning), intellectual knowledge and commitment to be engaged citizens who will make a positive difference in their communities and professions.


Admissions Fall 2014

5,775 Total Applicants
3,810 Total Admissions
1,586 Total Freshmen Enrollment

65.97% of applicants admitted

Freshmen Profile Fall 2014

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 530
SAT Math 460 550
SAT Writing 430 520
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math 18 24
ACT English 18 23
ACT Writing    

Application Materials

  • Official High School transcript, including a 12th grade class schedule if applicable
  • SAT or ACT Scores
  • $30.00 application fee


Net Price Calculator


  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $6,820 $10,230
Fees $2,489 $2,709
Total $9,309 $12,939
Room and Board (on campus) $9,794 $9,794
Room Only $6,490 $6,490
Board Only $3,304 $3,304
Estimated Total On Campus $19,103 $22,733


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

89% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
80% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$5,974 Average amount of federal state local or institutional grant aid received
$7,656 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

Slippery Rock University understands that the cost of attending a university is one of the biggest investments you will make. It’s also one of the best. On average, over the course of a career, a person with a bachelor’s degree will earn more than $1 million more than someone with a high school diploma. The University’s helpful, professional staff will do everything it can to help you meet your financial need. To get started: call 724.738.2044, e-mail – or

Premier Freshman Scholarships

SRU Merit Scholarship
Requirements: Scholarships are offered to a number of the highest-ranking applicants for admission to SRU. Consideration is given to first-time freshmen who have attained at least a 3.5 high school GPA, are ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class and who have achieved at least a 1150 SAT or 25 ACT score. Students with the highest scores of this group will be selected to receive scholarships.
Amount: Up to $1,250 and renewable
Scholarship Application Process: Must apply for admission to SRU (no other application necessary.)  Students should apply by December 1 of their senior year in high school.

President’s Scholarship


  • A scholarship for students ranked number one in their class at the end of their junior year in high school.
  • Minimum high school class size of 30
  • If multiple students from the same high school are classified as number one in the class, the student with the highest GPA from that high school will be awarded the President’s Scholarship.  If the GPAs are equal, the student with the highest SAT/ACT score will receive the scholarship.

Amount: Up to $1,500 and renewable
Scholarship Application Process: Must apply for admission to SRU (no other application necessary.)  Students should apply by December 15 of their senior year in high school.

Board of Governor’s Scholarship

Requirements: This scholarship program is designed to fulfill the needs and best interests of the University with regard to minority students, academically talented students, those with demonstrated leadership qualities and those in the performing arts, math, science, technology and other fields identified by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. These scholarships are designated for Pennsylvania residents.
Amount: Up to full cost of in-state tuition, renewable
Scholarship Application Process: Must apply for admission to SRU (no other application necessary). Must file FAFSA.

Honors Program Scholarship

Requirements: The Honors Program at SRU provides outstanding opportunities to academically talented and motivated students including travel, smaller classes, participation in honors conferences and independent research. Incoming freshmen that have either a 3.8 grade point average or a combined Reading and Math SAT score of 1200 may qualify for the Honors Program at SRU. Students participating in the Honors Program are eligible to be considered for a renewable Honors Scholarship.
Amount: Up to $1,500 and renewable
Scholarship Application Process: Must apply for admission to SRU. Interested students should contact the SRU Honors Program at 724.738.4003, or for an application and essay requirements. 

Campus Visit

Visiting campus is the best way to determine if a college or university is the right fit for you.  When you visit Slippery Rock University, you’ll see that the University is more than just a premiere residential university with first-rate academics.  It is student focused in everything it does both in-and-out of the classroom. And, because SRU’s most common class size is only 20-29 students, faculty members have time to mentor students and provide the personal attention that has become a hallmark of a Slippery Rock University education. SRU provides a variety of visit options. To schedule a visit call 800.929.4778

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