York College of Pennsylvania - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
York College of Pennsylvania
From day one, York College of Pennsylvania faculty and staff are focused on transforming...

York College of Pennsylvania

York, Pennsylvania

Students come to York College of Pennsylvania because they want to take action. They want internships and paid cooperative learning. They want to conduct research with faculty and meet with their professors one-on-one. They want to get engaged right away, joining the school’s award-winning radio station or entering in the Elevator Pitch Competition. And, most of all, they want to pay half of what other top private colleges are asking without sacrificing a solid education. From day one, York College does all that and more.




York College has the academic focus that students want and employers need throughout more than 60 majors, including such new degrees as Integrated Marketing Communications, Cybersecurity Management, Public History, and Civil Engineering. Plus, with everything from a rock climbing wall to huge concerts on a campus that pulses with activity, there’s always something to do with friends old and new on the 4,000-student campus.




York College is consistently rated as a “Best Value” for its nationally acclaimed academic programs. It’s an ideal campus for students who don’t believe a private education needs to come with a big price tag, but who nevertheless have big dreams that are made a reality through truly personalized attention. Students who thrive here want professors who know them, want to dive into their academic program (or want a school that will help them find a perfect major), and who want to have a fun time outside of class with something to do every night.


York College of Pennsylvania has been around since its inception as York Academy in 1787 and has transformed through the years into a highly regarded, four-year private institution that employers seek out for the best-prepared graduates.



Student Profile

Fall 2017 Enrollment
4,079 undergraduate students
93% of undergrad students are full time
46% male — 54% female
40% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2017-2018 Academic Year
179 full-time faculty
291 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2017
73% of first-year students live on campus
58% of all students live on campus

School Location

Located on a 190-acre suburban campus, York College of Pennsylvania is positioned in the heart of a manufacturing and technology hub. Harley-Davidson, Dentsply, Wellspan Health, Graham Packaging, and Johnson & Johnson are just a few of the renowned local employers. The college is situated next to the city of York, which is home to 45,000 residents, a vibrant downtown scene, boutiques, restaurants, a farmer’s market, and a professional baseball team.

York is a 1-hour drive from Baltimore; a 2-hour drive from D.C.; a 2.5-hour drive from Philadelphia; and a 4-hour drive from New York City, Richmond, or Pittsburgh.

“Not only did I receive the educational tools necessary to land a job and start a career in accounting, I was provided social and community service opportunities that helped develop my leadership skills, which ultimately led to my career and personal life successes.”
Shane Skinner ’95, Co-founder and CEO, Record360

York College may be a small school, but the learning environment and quality of teaching is better than what you find at many big schools.”
Graham Lau ’07, Astrobiologist and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder

“My York education gave me a solid knowledge base that helped me enter the workforce with confidence, which was the key to being successful. The skills I developed as a student at York have continued to be useful in the workplace.”
Carla Gray ’04, Global Programs Manager for Physical Security, Uber

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2017

80.71% of students began in Fall 2016 and returned in Fall 2017 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2017

56.28% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 5%
White 80%
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 2%


York College competes in 23 NCAA Division III sports teams as part of the Capital Athletic Conference. Several Spartans teams in recent years have appeared in NCAA tournaments and received national ranking status as well as academic honors. The green-and-white Spartans also include over 30 intramural and club sports.

From Day One

Students find that it doesn’t take long to get hands on at York College, where “From Day One” is both a motto and the school’s approach to learning. Students get instruction from their professors—not graduate students—100% of the time, and they don’t have to wait long to start using state-of-the-art equipment in the labs or to get involved in such department activities as an on-campus radio show and the YCP Hacks coding and creation event. For students wanting to enhance and broaden their worldview, they can also arrange a trip and study abroad anywhere in the world, whether they spend a full semester or a minimester embracing new cultures, regardless of their major.

Hands-On Development

Career readiness is a priority at York College. Students can conduct research alongside their professors and present their findings at national conferences. They can also develop their leadership skills by participating in group projects and planning such student-run events as the popular Spartapalooza. Further professional development comes naturally with all of York’s access to internships. In fact, engineering students are required to take paid cooperative learning assignments, and many other academic programs require capstone projects. These all give students the ability to display tangible proof of their acquired skills to potential employers.

“I was in clinical in a labor and delivery unit… It was absolutely incredible to see the process of delivering a baby to their mother for the first time. Immediately I thought, ‘This is what I’m here for. This is what I want to do.’”
Emily Vey ‘17, Nursing

“Teaching adolescents is demanding yet rewarding work. Our secondary education programs prepare students to plan engaging instruction, manage classrooms, and meet the diverse learning needs of their future students. Our candidates graduate ready to inspire their students and to thrive as classroom teachers.”
Joshua DeSantis, D.Ed., Assistant Professor of Education

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theatre X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theatre X
Pep band  
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra X
Television station X

First-Year Seminar

York College believes that the best way to maximize an education is to get off to the strongest start possible. Therefore, its First-Year Seminar program works to ensure incoming students an incredible experience, using specialized, sometimes offbeat topics that promote a comfortable and interesting transition into college academics. Peer fellows also volunteer to offer mentoring and guidance to help new students navigate the first year. Such a supportive experience can extend even further, as several FYS courses are also part of learning communities in which students can live with others in the same course and create an ongoing cycle of academic and personal development.

Generation Next

The First-Year Seminar course is part of a broader Gen Next curriculum, the college’s general education framework. Generation Next creates a system of courses that allow students to explore their personal interests and strengthen the skills that are most valued by employers.

Professional Faculty

York College students are taught not by graduate assistants, but by subject-matter experts, 84% of whom hold the highest degree possible. York places a premium on hiring professors with real-world experience, such as music and art faculty who hold showcases of their own work throughout the year. Professors are also frequently cited as experts in national publications.

“From day one, York College has given me the opportunities to be successful both during my time here as a student and after graduation.”
Zachary Snier ‘19, Biology

“My intent is for students to complete assignments that will have an impact outside of the classroom.”
John Weaver, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Intelligence Analysis

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 165 330 379 75 6 0 0 955

Events and Activities

York College makes a point to host events that enrich the student experience. The Cultural Events series features renowned authors and artists, visiting professors, musicals and plays, and much more. Students help drive the fun too, organizing such events as Spartapalooza, a night full of laughter and school spirit. Fall Fest, York College’s version of Homecoming, adds an action-packed weekend each autumn for students and families to enjoy.

The always busy, always active Student Activities office organizes plenty of opportunities for fun, including nightly events that get students socializing as well as a huge, annual spring concert that has featured everyone from Sam Hunt to Wiz Kalifa.

Community Engagement

York College embraces the surrounding area through the Center for Community Engagement. Located in a renovated building in downtown York, the Center draws students into the community through events like a special night at the York Revolution ballpark and various volunteer efforts. The Center is also home to the Graham Scholars program, which enables entrepreneurial and innovative students to discuss and debate ideas to improve the world.

Leadership Development Center

Each year, the Leadership Development Center brings industry leaders and experts—such as Mia Hamm and Piper Kerman—to campus to present inspiring lectures. It also hosts an array of activities with students, faculty, and the community at large. The goal of these events is to garner appreciation for the critical role that leadership and professionalism play in students’ future careers.

The Student Life and Global Programming office adds to York College’s cultural enrichment in order to celebrate diversity. Among its organized events is the Kente Service for seniors during which each student wears traditional Kente cloth from Ghana.

“York College quickly became my home away from home.”
Carissa McQuade ‘17, Public Relations

“What makes York College different is how professors actually know your name as opposed to just a number on a roster.”
Chelsea Marinaro, ‘15, Nursing


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

Plan for Success

York College provides a personally involved plan that helps students focus their passions and attain their goals, preparing them for a lifetime of meaningful careers. Its 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows professors to get to know their students and help them meet the unique challenges of their desired professions with confidence. Such a close-knit environment makes it easy to engage in helpful discussions and get connected to a network of potential employers.


If students are interested in volunteering beyond the annual Spartan Service Day, they can be involved in the service-based Eisenhart Scholars or join one of many clubs that make service a main focus. Greek life at York also has a service component. Through Greek life and other student organizations, York students show how committed they are to giving back to the community with empathy and compassion.

Career Development

Nine in ten recent graduates are employed or are in graduate school, shining as a testament to York College’s effectiveness. This success is due in part to the efforts of the Career Development Center, which holds a massive career fair, résumé clinics, job-search advice, and more. The Spartan Career Path also makes it easy for employers to find potential employees and for students to find potential internships.

On every major page, York College lists landing spots for graduates to make it easy to see the program’s success. Internships come standard at York as a primary way to get real-world experience.

“From day one, I hoped that YCP would set my career in motion, and it has far surpassed by expectations as I not only have started my career but also my dreams have expanded to places I never even considered.”
Kara Oldenburg-Gonzales ’18, Fine Arts


Admissions Fall 2017

 5,209 total applicants
3,637 total admissions
990 total freshman enrollment

69.82% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2018-19 Admission

Rolling Admission? No

Closing date: Sep 6

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Character/personal qualities

Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Alumni/ae relation
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshman Profile Fall 2017

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 500 590
SAT Math 500 600
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math 18 26
ACT English 19 24
ACT Writing    



Tuition $18,180
Fees $1,920
Total $20,100
Room and Board (on campus) $11,200
Estimated Total On Campus $31,300


York College’s tuition rate is half of the average for Pennsylvania private colleges; it has always made a priority of keeping high-quality, well-respected academics affordable for students who want the benefits of a private education. Ninety-nine percent of incoming students receive financial aid or scholarships.

Alongside a bevy of possible scholarships, York College also automatically considers applicants for merit scholarships. The competitive Presidential Research Fellowship offers a full-tuition scholarship, while the James Mohatt Excellence in Music Scholarship rewards promising students who have vocal or instrumental talent, regardless of major. And the new Doris and Bernard Gordon Scholarship is an incentive for Jewish leaders on campus. These are just a few of the many opportunities for students to earn additional dollars beyond York’s merit awards. York is also an active Raise.me micro-scholarship participant.