Transylvania University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Transylvania University
"Transylvania’s beautiful campus, academic programs, caring faculty and staff, and vibrant student community fosters...

Transylvania University

Lexington, Kentucky

A Pioneer in Higher Education


As Transylvania enters its 232nd year, the college remains steadfastly committed to outstanding undergraduate education. In fact, it’s all they do. Transylvania, taken from the Latin word meaning “across the woods,” is located in Kentucky’s beautiful Bluegrass Region and is the nation’s 16th oldest college. At Transylvania, students find a personal approach to learning, characterized by small classes and a caring faculty who put their impressive academic credentials to use for students’ benefit.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,053 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
42% male — 58% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
88 full-time faculty
27 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

75% of students live on campus.

School Location

Lexington, Kentucky- In the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, Lexington is a vibrant city of 300,000. It is an hour’s drive from Louisville and Cincinnati, and only three hours from Nashville, Indianapolis, and Columbus.

Retention Fall 2015

85% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

73% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 3%
White 79%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


NCAA Division III, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. 26 varsity sports (12 men’s: : baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross-country, Dance team, equestrian, golf, lacrosse. soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field; 14 women’s: basketball, cheerleading,  cross-country, Dance team, equestrian, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball).

Other Information

Transylvania University is a private, four-year liberal arts institution founded in 1780.

Academic Programs

Accounting; Anthropology; Art History; Art Studio; Biology; Business Administration (Concentrations In Finance, Hospitality Management, Management, And Marketing); Chemistry (Concentrations In Chemistry and Biochemistry); Classics; Computer Science; Drama; Economics; Education; Educational Studies; English; Exercise Science; French; German; History; International Affairs, Mathematics; Music; Music Technology; Neuroscience; Philosophy; PP&E (Philosophy, Politics & Economics); Physical Education; Physics; Political Science; Psychology; Religion; Sociology; Spanish; And Writing, Rhetoric, And Communication. Individually Designed Majors also may be arranged, and students have the option to double major.  Minors are available in most majors and in Classical Studies, Communication, Environmental Studies, German, Hospitality Management, Multicultural Studies, And Women’s Studies. Advising And Undergraduate Preparation Are Provided For Pre-Professional Programs In Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Ministry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, And Veterinary Medicine.

More Distinctions

  • Since 2001, four Transylvania professors have been named Kentucky Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and in 2000 and in 2006, a Transylvania professor received the Acorn Award as Kentucky's outstanding professor from the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education.

At Transylvania, students take advantage of the vast opportunities right outside their doorstep, while also seeking ways to learn from and contribute to the global community.

Real-World Learning

Transylvania’s location just two blocks from the financial district of Lexington, a dynamic city of 300,000 people, which means that internships and part-time job opportunities are plentiful at banks, financial services companies, and accounting firms. As the legal and healthcare center for eastern and central Kentucky, Lexington also offers internship opportunities for students interested in law and medicine. The rolling bluegrass countryside surrounding the city is home to some of the most beautiful and famous horse farms in the world, and the thoroughbred industry provides opportunities for students in many different fields.

Internships and Study Abroad

While the opportunities in Kentucky are plentiful, many students complete internships out of the state and abroad. Recent examples include internships with a member of the Scottish Parliament, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and Nickelodeon TV in New York City. Transylvania’s Canadian Parliamentary Internship program offers students the opportunity to work for five weeks in the office of a member of the Canadian House of Commons or Senate.

Nearly 70% of Transylvania’s students participate in study abroad programs, engaging in full-immersion experiences in which they learn culture and language along with their focus of study. May term classes, during which students focus on one course for four weeks, frequently include domestic or international travel components. Recent courses have found Transylvania students studying tropical ecology in Belize, working with community leaders on service projects in the Philippines, and exploring ancient cave drawings in China.

98% of Transylvania faculty members hold the Ph.D. or the highest degree in their field, and Transylvania offers a student-faculty ratio of just twelve to one. Professors engage their students in small classes, encouraging them to go beyond the course assignments, seek out new knowledge, and see things in a different light.

Learning from Experienced Mentors

Transylvania’s faculty members have dominated the Kentucky Professor of the Year award (from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education), claiming the honor four times in the past decade (more than any other Kentucky college or university).


May term classes, many of which are interdisciplinary and team-taught, foster an exceptional degree of interaction between students and faculty. A recent course on the chemistry of ceramics was co-taught by professors from the departments of art and chemistry, a course on contemporary Ireland was co-taught by professors in anthropology and political science, and a course on advertising was co-taught by professors in communication and music technology.

Support for Excellence

Transylvania’s Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching was established to attract, inspire, and reward faculty members in their efforts to make the classroom an imaginative place of learning and discovery. The Bingham-Young Professorship allows outstanding Bingham professors to spearhead programs of curricular enrichment and teaching development for all the faculty,. Additionally,  the David and Betty Jones Fund for Faculty Development supports faculty research and scholarly activities, as well as faculty-directed student research projects.

Transylvania not only provides many programs and events on campus that students can enjoy, but it also encourages all students to get out into the community and take advantage of the great city of Lexington.

Community Service

Transylvania students are active both in the local community and across the country through local urban outreach and alternative spring break programs. Many students arrive a week ahead of fall term to do community service in Lexington and other communities through the Jump Start and First-Year Urban programs. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Plan allows accounting students to provide free tax preparation help to low-income people, and Crimson Christmas is an annual campus holiday party for children of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bluegrass.

Student Activities

With nearly 80% of students living on campus, it’s easy to meet friends and get involved in activities. There are over sixty student organizations, and students frequently create their own groups. For example, a Transylvania student recently launched TERRA, an environmental activism group that has thrived with new chapters at five different colleges and universities in Kentucky.

Transylvania hosts a wide variety of lectures, art exhibitions, music performances, film screenings, and on-campus entertainment. Recent speakers have included Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, authors Joyce Carol Oates, historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Shelby Foote, and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson. Two students recently organized a teach-in for a non-partisan review of issues surrounding war, and there are annual celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month and African-American History Month.

Greek Life

Transylvania has a thriving Greek life, with three fraternities and four sororities, and approximately half of Transylvania’s students join a fraternity or sorority.

A Transylvania education will open doors for opportunity, whether students begin their careers immediately or pursue further education after graduation. Since 2008, 95% of Transylvania graduates have either been enrolled in graduate or professional school or employed within six months of graduation. Over 90% of the students whom Transylvania recommends are admitted to medical school, and virtually every student it recommends to law school is admitted.

Passport to a Bright Future

Transylvania’s notable alumni have included U.S. Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan; abolitionist Cassius Clay; Stephen F. Austin, founder of Texas; and Happy Chandler, Kentucky governor. More recent alumni include a world-renowned marine zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution and a member of the surgical team that implanted the world’s first self-contained artificial heart in a human being.

Transylvania graduates are accepted at some of the most prestigious universities in the nation. Over 90% of the students Transylvania recommends are admitted to medical school, and virtually every student that is recommended to law school is admitted.

Career Services

The Career Development Center sponsors seminars and conferences about graduate school, careers, and the working world, and convocation and various lecture series bring successful alumni to campus to meet with students.

No matter what path a student chooses, Transylvania University works to develop in its graduates lifelong habits of learning, inquiry, and thoughtfulness, which lead to success in any career.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,538 Total Applicants 
1,425 Total Admissions 
311 Total Freshman Enrollment

92.65% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2014

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 510 640
SAT Math 530 660
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 25 30
ACT Math 24 29
ACT English 25 33
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $32,970
Fees $1,400
Total $34,370
Room and Board (on campus) $9,560
Room Only $5,410
Board Only $4,150
Estimated Total On Campus $43,930


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
57% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$22,238 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,188 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Students who possess strong test scores and high grade point averages are eligible for numerous academic scholarships at Transylvania. These awards range in amount from several thousand dollars to full tuition. Scholarships are also offered to students with impressive achievements, particular skills, or special qualifications. 

All students who apply by December 1 will be considered for the Premier Scholarship Program, in addition to all other scholarships offered by Transylvania. 

Other Transylvania Scholarships 

Governor’s School for the Arts

All Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts participants receive a guaranteed minimum award of $10,000 per year. Students who qualify for more scholarships and grant aid will receive the larger amount.

Fine Arts Departmental Scholarships

Students may compete for awards of up to $20,000 ($5,000 per year for four years) in fine arts scholarships. These scholarships are available for non-majors, majors, and minors, and may be combined with other academic awards. Applicants must be admitted to the university before being considered for Fine Arts scholarships.


Up to $40,000 ($10,000/year)
These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic success and intellectual engagement, leadership, and service experiences, as well as contributions to racial and ethnic diversity. Students will be invited to interview in late February/early March.

National Merit Finalists

National Merit Finalists who list Transylvania as their first-choice school with the National Merit Corporation receive a $5,000 annual scholarship ($20,000 over four years). This scholarship can be combined with other Transylvania scholarships but must be applied to Transylvania charges.

Governor’s Scholars

All Kentucky Governor’s scholars receive a guaranteed minimum award of $10,000 per year. Students who qualify for more scholarships and grant aid will receive the larger amount.

ROTC Scholarships

Army ROTC Scholarships offer tuition and fees for up to $18,000, a $600 textbook allowance, and a $250 tax-free monthly stipend during the academic year for each year the student is a recipient. In addition, Transylvania will provide to each three- and four-year recipient at least the value of room and board. (This may be a combination of scholarships and grants.)Recipients must enroll in Army ROTC courses, which are taught in partnership with the University of Kentucky on its campus. Upon graduation, recipients receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. For more information contact the Army ROTC office at (859) 257-6865 or visit UK ROTC website.

Air Force ROTC Scholarships, through a partnership with the University of Kentucky, offer two- to four-year college scholarships in all majors. All Air Force scholarships are capped at various amounts: Type 1 has no cap, Type 2 is capped at $15,000, and Type 7 is capped at $9,000. Recipients receive a $900 textbook allowance and a $300-500 tax-free monthly stipend during the academic year. In addition, Transylvania will provide to each three- and four-year recipient at least the value of room and board. (This may be a combination of scholarships and grants.) Upon graduation, recipients receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. For more information contact the Air Force ROTC office at (859) 257-7115 or visit UK Air Force ROTC website.

Transylvania Endowment Grants

Transylvania offers grants that are based on merit and financial need. If applicants are interested in these grants they will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA forms become available in high school guidance counselor offices and university financial aid offices in December. Students should not submit this application until after January 1.

Tuition Exchange Scholarships

Only family members of employees of the colleges and universities that belong to Tuition Exchange, Inc. are eligible to apply for Tuition Exchange scholarships. Please visit Tuition Exchange’s Website for more information.

Christian Church (DOC) Scholarships: Transylvania offers a number of scholarships for members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Designated Scholarships: Transylvania awards a number of designated scholarships; however, the majority of these scholarships are awarded to students who are in their sophomore, junior, or senior years at the University. No application is required in order to be considered for any of these scholarships. Rather, Transylvania’s Financial Aid Office will award each scholarship on the basis of academic performance at Transylvania, financial need as determined by the FAFSA, and the specific criteria of the scholarships.