Drexel University

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Drexel University
Drexel seal.png
Former names
Drexel Institute (1891-1936),
Drexel Institute of Technology(1936-1970)[1]
Motto Scientiae, Industria, Arte
Motto in English
Science, Industry, Art
Established 1891 (1891)[2]
Type Private
Academic affiliation
Endowment US$ 687.1 million[3]
President John Anderson Fry[4]
Provost M. Brian Blake
Students 26,359[2]
Undergraduates 16,896[2]
Postgraduates 9,463[2]
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
39°57′14″N 75°11′17″W / 39.954°N 75.188°W / 39.954; -75.188Coordinates: 39°57′14″N 75°11′17″W / 39.954°N 75.188°W / 39.954; -75.188
Campus Urban
Language English
Newspaper The Triangle
Colors Blue and Gold          [5]
Athletics NCAA Division I
Sports 18 varsity teams
31 sports clubs
Nickname Dragons
Mascot Mario the Magnificent
Sporting affiliations
Website www.drexel.edu
Drexel University logo

Drexel University is a private research university with three campuses in Philadelphia and one in Sacramento, California. It was founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a noted financier and philanthropist. Drexel offers over 70 full-time undergraduate programs and accelerated degrees.[6] At the graduate level, the university offers over 100 masters, doctoral, and professional programs, many available part-time.[2]

Drexel is best known for the cooperative education program (co-op). Drexel's co-op is regularly ranked as one of the best co-op programs in the United States.[7][8] Participating students have a variety of opportunities to gain up to 18-months of paid full-time working experience before graduation. The university has a large network of more than 1,600 corporate, governmental, and non-profit partners in 28 states and 25 international locations.[9] The employers include top ranked multinational law firms, banks, corporations, and many Fortune 500 companies, such as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble.

In the 2016 U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges List", the university is tied for 99th among national universities in the United States, and ranked tied for 8th in the "Most Innovative Schools" category.[10] Globally, the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks Drexel 301-400.[11] In addition, the National Science Foundation and the 2009 Lombardi Report also ranked Drexel among the top 50 private comprehensive research universities. Drexel University ranks #45 among "Research Universities by Salary Potential" in the United States.[12]


The Main Building, dedicated in 1891.
A machine testing laboratory at Drexel University, circa 1904.

Drexel University was founded in 1891 as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry by Philadelphia financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel to provide educational opportunities in the "practical arts and sciences" for women and men of all backgrounds. Drexel became the Drexel Institute of Technology in 1936, and in 1970 Drexel Institute of Technology gained university status, becoming Drexel University. Although there were many changes during its first century, the university's identity has been held constant as privately controlled, non-sectarian, coeducational center of higher learning, distinguished by a commitment to preparing both men and women for future success. Drexel's cornerstone of the career preparation, the cooperative education program, was introduced in 1919. The program became integral to the university's unique educational experience. Participating students alternate periods of classroom based study with periods of full-time practical work experience related to their academic and career interests.

From 1995 to 2009, the president of Drexel University, Dr. Constantine Papadakis, led the institution towards significant change. President Papadakis oversaw Drexel's largest expansion ever, the endowment increased +471% to $540M, and total enrollment increased +102% to 18,466. The institution continued to climb in the rankings, became more selective, and obtained a more academically talented student body. During the expansion, Drexel was officially united with the former MCP Hahnemann University, creating the Drexel University College of Medicine in 2002; and in the fall of 2006, Drexel established its School of Law, which was fully accredited by American Bar Association (ABA) in 2011.[13]

In April 2009, Dr. Constantine Papadakis died of pneumonia. His successor is Mr. John Anderson Fry, formerly the president of Franklin & Marshall College and the Executive Vice President of University of Pennsylvania.[4][14]

In July 2011, Drexel acquired The Academy of Natural Sciences. The agreement created an international powerhouse for discovery in the natural and environmental sciences.


Colleges and schools[edit]

Drexel today includes more than a dozen academic units.[15]

Colleges Schools
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design School of Law
Bennett S. LeBow College of Business School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
College of Arts and Sciences Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
College of Engineering School of Education
College of Computing and Informatics School of Public Health
College of Medicine School of Economics
College of Nursing and Health Professions Center for Hospitality and Sport Management
Goodwin College of Professional Studies Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship
Pennoni Honors College
Leonard Pearlstein Learning Center at LeBow College of Business

The College of Computing and Informatics and the College of Arts and Sciences are two of the most prolific colleges within Drexel; and the Drexel University College of Engineering, for which Drexel is perhaps best known. The Goodwin College of Professional Studies offers working professionals and recent high school and college graduates practical educational programs with flexible scheduling, hands-on experiences, and career preparation. Full-time programs include (but are not limited to) Sport Management, Culinary Arts, and Engineering Technology, while part-time programs include Communications & Applied Technology and Computing & Security Technology.

Edmund D. Bossone Research Center, located on Market Street 'Avenue of Technology'

The Bennett S. LeBow College of Business has been ranked as the 38th best private institution in the nation.[16] The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design houses Design and Merchandising, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Animation and Visual Effects, Game Art and Production, Interactive Digital Media, Architecture, Fashion Design, Product Design, Photography, Visual Studies, Performing Arts, Music Industry, Entertainment & Arts Management, Film & Video, Screenwriting & Playwriting, and Dance. The Drexel University College of Medicine is a recent addition to the university. Formerly MCP Hahnemann University, it contributes two additional campuses and a teaching medical hospital, along with the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the School of Public Health. The Pennoni Honors College, named for Drexel alumnus and trustee Dr. C.R. "Chuck" Pennoni '63, '66, Hon. '92, and his wife Annette, recognizes and promotes excellence among Drexel students.

The Drexel University College of Law, now known as the Drexel University School of Law, was originally added to Drexel University as the newest school in 2006. Serving only graduate students, the law school offers Juris Doctor degrees and provides the opportunity for all students to take part in a cooperative education program.

Most popular undergraduate majors[edit]

Academic Program Percent[17]
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 22%
Engineering 19%
Health Professions and Related Programs 19%
Visual and Performing Arts 11%
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 7%

Drexel University is also known for creating the world's first Engineering Degree in Appropriate Technology.[18] Drexel is also one of only 17 U.S. universities to offer a Bachelors in Architectural Engineering, and only one of five private institutions to do so.[19][20]

The Drexel Engineering Curriculum (tDEC)[edit]

The 2006 edition of U.S. News ranks the undergraduate engineering program #57 in the country and the 2007 edition of graduate schools ranks the graduate program #61. The 2008 edition ranks the University Engineering Program at #55 and in the 2009 US News Ranking, the university has moved up to the #52 position.

The engineering curriculum used by the school was originally called E4 (Enhanced Educational Experience for Engineers) which was established in 1986[21] and funded in part by the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation.[22] In 1988 the program evolved into tDEC (the Drexel Engineering Curriculum)[22] which is composed of two full years of rigorous core engineering courses which encompass the freshman and sophomore years of the engineering student. The College of Engineering hasn't used the tDEC curriculum since approximately 2005.

Co-op program[edit]

Drexel's longstanding cooperative-education or "co-op" program is one of the largest and oldest in the United States.[23] Drexel has a fully internet-based job database, where students can submit résumés and request interviews with any of the thousands of companies that offer positions. They interview with employers during three rounds of applications: A round, B round, and C round. Students also have the option of obtaining an internship via independent search. A student graduating from Drexel's 5-year degree program typically has a total of 18 months of internship with up to three different companies. The majority of co-ops are paid, averaging $15,912 per 6-month period, however this figure changes with major.[24] The working experience highly pays off as one third of Drexel graduates are offered full-time positions by their co-op employers right after graduation.[25]


Drexel's knowledge community of researchers and scholars are socially, professionally and intellectually diverse. Research Centers and Institutes at Drexel include:

Online education[edit]

Drexel University launched its first Internet-based education program, a master's degree in Library & Information Science, in 1996.[26] In 2001, Drexel created its wholly owned, for-profit online education subsidiary, Drexel e-Learning, Inc., better known as Drexel University Online.[27][28] It was announced in October 2013 that Drexel University Online would no longer be a for-profit venture, but rather become an internal division within the University to better serve its online student population.[29] Although headquartered in Philadelphia, Drexel announced a new Washington, D.C. location in December 2012 to serve as both an academic and outreach center, catering towards the online student population.[30][31]

In an effort to create greater awareness of distance learning and to recognize exceptional leaders and best practices in the field, Drexel University Online founded National Distance Learning Week, in conjunction with the United States Distance Learning Association, in 2007.[32][33] In September 2010, Drexel University Online received the Sloan-C award for institution-wide excellence in online education indicating that it had exceptional programs of "demonstrably high quality" at the regional and national levels and across disciplines.[34] Drexel University Online won the 2008 United States Distance Learning Association's Best Practices Awards for Distance Learning Programming.[35] In 2007, the online education subsidiary had a revenue of $40 million.[36] In March 2013, Drexel Online had more than 7,000 unique students from all 50 states and more than 20 countries pursuing a bachelor's, master's, or certificate.[37] As of December 2013, Drexel University Online offers more than 100 fully accredited master's degrees, bachelor's degrees and certificate programs.[38]


University rankings
ARWU[39] 105-125
Forbes[40] 336
U.S. News & World Report[41] 99
Washington Monthly[42] 241
ARWU[43] 301-400
QS[44] 501-550
Times[45] 351-400

In its 2016 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Drexel tied for 99th among national universities in the United States, placed it tied for 8th in the "Most Innovative Schools" category, and ranked the Library and Information Studies program 10th best in the nation[10]

In 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the undergraduate business program 106th in the country.[46] In 2014, Business Insider ranked Drexel's graduate business school 19th in the country for networking.[47]

LeBow Fountain on Woodland Walk (Removed in 2013)

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was ranked ranked 18th out of 88 programs in the 2011 National Research Council survey rankings.[48]

The Physician Assistant program is ranked 10th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2016 rankings.[10]

In 2014, The Princeton Review ranked Drexel 20th in its list of worst college libraries.[49]


Drexel University's campus is divided into three parts: the University City Campus, the Center City Hahnemann Campus including Hahnemann University Hospital, and the Queen Lane College of Medicine Campus.

The southern portion of Drexel's main campus
The Queen Lane Campus

University City Main Campus[edit]

The 77-acre (31 ha) University City Main Campus of Drexel University is located just west of the Schuylkill River in the University City district of Philadelphia. It is Drexel's largest and oldest campus and contains its administrative offices and the main academic center for students. The northern residential portion of the main campus is located in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia. The two prominent performing stages at Drexel University are the Mandell Theater and the Main Auditorium. The Main Auditorium dates back to the founding of Drexel and construction of its main hall. It features over 1000 seats, and a pipe organ installed in 1928. The organ was purchased by Saturday Evening Post publisher Cyrus H. K. Curtis after he had donated a similar organ, the Curtis Organ, to nearby University of Pennsylvania and it was suggested that he do the same for Drexel.[50] The 424-seat Mandell Theater was built in 1973 and features a more performance-oriented stage, including a full fly system, modern stage lighting facilities, stadium seating, and accommodations for wheelchairs. It is used for the semiannual spring musical, as well as various plays and many events.[51]

A complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil on display with other dinosaur specimens at The Academy of Natural Sciences.

Queen Lane Campus[edit]

The Queen Lane Medical Campus was purchased in 2003 by Drexel University as part of its acquisition of MCP Hahnemann University. It is located in East Falls in the Northwest part of Philadelphia and is primarily utilized by first- and second-year medical students. A free shuttle is available connecting it to the Center City Hahnemann and University City Main campuses.[52]

alt text
Drexel University, Sacramento, CA

Center City Hahnemann Campus[edit]

The Center City Hahnemann Campus is in the middle of Philadelphia, straddling the Vine Street Expressway and centered on Hahnemann University Hospital. Students can take a shuttle to get from Main campus to center city.

The Academy of Natural Sciences[edit]

In 2011, The Academy of Natural Sciences entered into an agreement to become a subsidiary of Drexel University. Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences is America's oldest natural history museum and is a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research.

Drexel University Sacramento[edit]

On January 5, 2009, Drexel University opened the Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, California.[53] As of 2011, the Sacramento Center offered an Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership and Management and master's degree programs in Business Administration, Finance, Higher Education, Human Resource Development, Public Health, and Interdepartmental Medical Science.[54] Drexel awards students at its Sacramento Center fellowships from a $10 million annual budget allocation.[55] The first cohort of students graduated from this campus in December 2010. On March 5, 2015, Drexel University announced it was closing the Sacramento campus although current students will be allowed to complete their degrees.[56]

Student life[edit]

Stratton Hall as seen from the Creese Student Center


The university has a large variety of student organizations, including charity, fraternities and sororities, political, and academic groups. [what fraternities/organizations?]

Student government[edit]

The Undergraduate Student Government Association of Drexel University works with administrators to solve student problems and tries to promote communication between the students and the administration.

Graduate Students Association[edit]

As stated on their website - "Graduate Student Association advocates the interests and addresses concerns of graduate students at Drexel; strives to enhance graduate student life at the University in all aspects, from academic to campus security; and provides a formal means of communication between graduate students and the University community."[57]

Campus Activities Board[edit]

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is an undergraduate student run event planning organization. CAB creates events for the undergraduate population since they are funded by the student activities fee (which is collected from only undergraduate students). To clarify, CAB is not funded by all of the student activities fee from each student, but only a portion of the fee. The student activity fee is divided to fund all organizations at Drexel. CAB is broken down into 5 committees - Special Events, Traditions, Marketing, Lectures and Diversity, and Performing and Fine Arts.

Press and radio[edit]


Main article: WKDU

WKDU is Drexel's student-run FM radio station, with membership open to all undergraduate students. Its status as an 800-watt non-commercial station in a major market city has given it a wider audience and a higher profile than many other college radio stations.


DUTV is Drexel's Philadelphia cable television station. The student operated station is part of the Paul F. Harron Studios at Drexel University. The purpose of DUTV is to provide "the people of Philadelphia with quality educational television, and providing Drexel students the opportunity to gain experience in television management and production."[58] The Programing includes an eclectic variety of shows from a bi-monthly news show, DNews, to old films, talk shows dealing with important current issues and music appreciation shows.[58]


Drexel has a number of publications to its name by both the student body and the university. The Triangle has been the university's newspaper since 1926 and currently publishes on a weekly basis every Friday. The yearbook was first published in 1911 and named the Lexerd in 1913.[59] Prior to the publishing of a campus wide yearbook in 1911 The Hanseatic and The Eccentric were both published in 1896 as class books.[60] Other publications include MAYA, the undergraduate student literary and artistic magazine; D&M Magazine, Design & Merchandising students crafted magazine; The Smart Set from Drexel University, an online magazine founded in 2005; and The Drexelist a blog-style news source founded in 2010.

The Drexel Publishing Group serves as a medium for literary publishing on campus. The Drexel Publishing Group oversees ASK (The Journal of the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University), Painted Bride Quarterly, a 36-year-old national literary magazine housed at Drexel; The 33rd, an annual anthology of student and faculty writing at Drexel; DPG Online Magazine, and Maya, the undergraduate literary and artistic magazine. The Drexel Publishing Group also serves as a pedagogical organization by allowing students to intern and work on its publications.


North Hall by architect Michael Graves

Drexel requires all non-commuting first and second year students to live in one of its ten residence halls, and second year students to live in "university approved housing".[61] Kelly Hall, Myers Hall, Towers Hall (tripled), and Calhoun Hall are traditional residence halls (shared bedroom, community bathrooms), while North Hall, Caneris Hall, Race Street Residence Hall, and Van Rensselaer Hall are suite style residence halls (shared bedrooms, private bathrooms, kitchens, and common area within the suite). Millennium Hall, Drexel's newest residence hall, is a modified suite (shared bedrooms, and segmented, private bathrooms in the hallway). Drexel also leases several floors of the University Crossings apartment complex for upper class students.

The Residential Living Office (RLO) at Drexel has developed a Residential Experience Engagement Model which is designed to support residents of all class levels.

  • The First Year Experience: Calhoun, Kelly, Towers Halls
  • Living Learning Communities: Myers Hall
  • Pennoni Honors College: Millennium Hall
  • The Sophomore Year Experience: Race Street Residence Halls
  • For Students By Students (FSBS): North Hall
  • The Upper Class Experience: Caneris Hall & University Crossings
  • The Graduate Student Experience: Drexel Apartments (formerly Van Rensselaer Hall) and Stiles Memorial Hall

Portions of the Race Street Residence Hall formerly was reserved for students of the Pennoni Honors College. However, during the 2007 spring term, the Race Street Dormitory housed Kelly Hall residents, while Kelly Hall underwent renovation. It was recently announced that for 2010-2011 the Honors Living Learning Community will be moved to Millennium Hall and the Sophomore Year Experience moved into the Race Street Residence Hall. Van Rensselaer Hall will also be utilized by the Graduate Student Experience.

All residence halls except Caneris Hall, University Crossings, and Stiles Memorial Hall are located north of Arch Street between 34th Street and 32nd Street in the Powelton Village area.

Greek life[edit]

Twelve percent of Drexel's undergraduate population are members of a social Greek-letter organization. There are currently 13 Interfraternity Council (IFC) chapters, six Panhellenic Council (PHC) chapters and eleven Multi-cultural Greek Council (MGC) chapters.[62]

Three IFC chapters have been awarded Top Chapters in 2008 by their respective national organizations; Tau Kappa Epsilon, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Alpha Chi Rho. In 2013, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Epsilon Pi were awarded the Top Chapter award by their respective national headquarters.

Each year, all social fraternities and sororities at Drexel compete in Greek Week. Greek Week actually consists of two weeks, the first week consisting of events such as Penny Wars and flag football and the second week consisting of activities such as talent show, chariot races and tug-of-war. Sigma Phi Epsilon and Phi Mu have won Greek Week two years in a row.

The week after Greek Week the Dean's Cup is presented for the previous year. The Dean's Cup is the highest award for Drexel Greeks. The winners of the Dean's Cup are determined by the highest score on the Chapter Achievement Plan (CAP) which is the annual recognition process for Drexel Greeks. The Dean's Cup is reviewed by a selected committee of Student Life faculty. The Dean of Students awards the Dean's Cup, which is awarded to the top chapter in each council in the areas of academics, leadership, brother/sisterhood and service to the community.