What is PennWest California Known For?
The California University of Pennsylvania, also known as PennWest California or Cal U, is an institution that was founded in 1852 in California, Pennsylvania. The institution is known for its world-class academics, state-of-the-art facilities, and proximity to Pittsburgh.
PennWest California offers students accredited and affordable, flexible degree programs available both on-campus and online on their beautiful 294-acre campus.
The institution enables students to experience a traditional college experience while pursuing an affordable degree from over 150 undergraduate programs, 50 graduate programs, and a list of doctoral programs and certificates. The NCAA Division II university also boasts national-award-winning sports teams and over 100 student clubs and organizations, allowing students to engage with their community and build a lifelong network to enhance their educational and vocational success further.
Is it Legit?
PennWest California is a public university accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDoE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The institution is also a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) member. PennWest California is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
The institution additionally boasts an array of program-specific certifications as well. For example, their administrative program for principals, embedded within the Master’s program and the post-master’s certificate, are programs recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. PennWest California’s Bachelor’s in Chemistry program is certified by the American Chemical Society.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design additionally accredits the school’s art and art education programs. PennWest California’s vocational programs, including in engineering, additionally boast specific certifications, including from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Is PennWest California Worth It?
PennWest California is consistently ranked by the Princeton Review among the best colleges in the northeast, having maintained this position for the past 16 years.
The institution boasts a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and 87% of its faculty hold the highest degree in their field, meaning the education offered by PennWest California is top-notch in quality.
Their students are also academically competitive, with incoming first-year students boasting a 1027-average SAT score and a 21-average ACT score.
PennWest California goes even further than providing its students with a stellar education, having awarded students $6.4 million in scholarships. Throughout its 150+ undergraduate majors, 50+ graduate programs, and various doctoral programs and certificates, the institution ensures students that their education is exemplary and affordable.
PennWest California is a highly awarded institution, having been ranked by the U.S. News and World Report for having the best online bachelor’s programs and selecting graduates for 5 years in a row. The school is also recognized on Money’s Best Colleges ranking, as well as by Colleges of Distinction.
PennWest California vs. Community College
PennWest California is an affordable and accredited institution that offers students a highly acclaimed education at a tremendous value. Unlike community colleges, which may feature professors at various levels of education and certification, most PennWest California’s educators have the highest degree level in their field.
Furthermore, the institution offers students a tremendous range of programs at all degree levels, with much more variety than a standard community college, which typically only provides associate’s degrees.
Despite being incredibly affordable, the institution still boasts a traditional college campus spanning nearly 300 acres, with student organizations and campus communities offering students a traditional college experience that even community colleges may need more.
The institution extends its assistance beyond education, with over 2,300 PennWest California students participating in internships and hands-on learning experiences; the institution cares about its students’ vocational success and even encourages them forward on that path, with 4-year graduation plans available to students needing guidance.
The California University of Pennsylvania has an acceptance rate of 97%.
Cost Per Year
On average, PennWest California’s undergraduate tuition is $7,716 per year for in-state students. On average, undergraduate tuition for out-of-state or international students is $11,574 per year. PennWest California is a residential university and thus offers students housing and meal plan options.
On average, housing arrangements cost students $6,822 per year. Meal plans cost $3,594 per year. Excluding fees and materials, the cost of education for on-campus, in-state undergraduate students averages approximately $18,500. For on-campus, out-of-state undergraduate students, annual costs of attendance and room and board may be up to $22,350.
Graduate student tuition is calculated by credit hour. In-state graduate students’ tuition costs $516 per credit, whereas out-of-state cost per credit is $774. On average, Master’s students require approximately 30 credits, bringing tuition costs up to between $15,480 and $23,220. Room and board costs are the same for graduate students, bringing total program tuition, room, and board for Master’s degrees to $25,896 for in-state students and $33,976 for out-of-state and international students.
The institution accepts federal aid in the form of loans and grants and offers military discount rates. PennWest California additionally offers institutional aid, having historically awarded $6.4 million in scholarships to its students.
A copy of the school catalog can be found here.
PennWest California’s facilities and offices are available 8 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday. Students may have access to on-campus residence and dining facilities past these hours.
Online courses and materials are available to students 24/7.
Programs & Courses
- Business Administration
- Human Resources
- International Business
Computer and Information Technology
- Computer Aided Design & Drafting
- Computer Systems Technician
- Software Engineering
- Web Development
Criminal Justice and Law
Graphics, Design, and Arts
- Digital Arts
- Game Design
- Game Programming
- Graphic Design
Healthcare Administration and Services
Healthcare and Nursing
California University of Pennsylvania Campus 250 University Avenue, California, PA 15419
Financial Aid Services
Cal U accepts and provides many forms of aid to students who require financial assistance. These include scholarships, loans, and need-based grants. Also, enrollees can participate in work-study programs to earn money. Counselors are available to help individuals during this process.
The university has several services and resources for students both on and off campus. Attendees can view academic calendars to learn about upcoming exams and activities. Likewise, students have constant access to information on housing, dining, and campus safety.
California University of PA also offers career services. Students can take courses to help them build a resume, practice interviews, and find internships in their desired fields. Additionally, volunteer opportunities are available to those wanting to give back to the community.
Veteran and Military Services
Active military members, veterans, and their families receive many perks at Cal U. These include tuition assistance, academic advising, and free services through the VA Department. Additionally, any spouses and children of PA Army or Air National Guard members can attend the school for free.
After graduating, students can use the school’s professional development center. These sessions provide details about local employment postings, job fairs, and networking seminars. This institution regularly sends an online newsletter with updates about the university to former attendees as well.