Campus and Facilities

West Chester University Campus

West Chester University’s campus is a mixture of 19th century collegiate Gothic and contemporary architectural styles. The distinctive buildings and magnificent old trees make the campus one of the aesthetic treasures of southeastern Pennsylvania.

Approaching West Chester Borough from the south, the University stretches westward from High Street and provides a gateway to the borough. The Academic Quadrangle serves as a landmark surrounded by the University’s oldest buildings – Philips Memorial Building, Recitation Hall, Anderson Hall, Ruby Jones Hall, and the Old Library. Three of these buildings are constructed of the green-hued serpentine stone that has given West Chester its particular character for more than a century. Over the ensuing decades, the University expanded to the west and south to include residence halls, student activity and athletic facilities, a dining facility, and general academic buildings. Focal points of student life outside the classroom include the Sykes Student Union, which houses a movie theater, food court, meeting rooms, and lounges, as well as the Student Recreation Center, which features a popular three-story climbing wall, basketball courts, exercise rooms with cardio equipment and weights, a running track, and a smoothie cafe for post-workout refueling. The Business and Public Management Center opened in 2017 and is currently the largest academic classroom building on campus. The building features 23 multimedia classrooms, five collaborative classrooms, 13 classrooms with tiered seating, a 189-seat lecture hall, five seminar/conference rooms, and 137 offices.

The Sciences and Engineering Center and The Commons, a 175,000-square-foot living and learning facility was completed in 2021 and is the largest academic building on campus. The building houses the Departments of Health, Nursing, Nutrition, and Physics, as well as the biomedical program. In addition, it features a large student dining hall and flexible conference space. 

Just three-quarters of a mile away is the 300-acre South Campus, which includes apartment complexes housing more than 1,200 students and the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, a nationally acclaimed teaching, performance, and research facility. Surrounding the center are tennis courts, two multipurpose artificial turf fields, and Farrell Stadium, which is equipped with the same artificial turf used by professional football teams.

Also on South Campus is the Gordon Natural Area. This 70-acre site encompasses two parcels of land, a 47-acre woodland, which is east of Farrell Stadium, and a 23-acre tract of old farm fields, floodplains, and wetlands southwest of the stadium. Gordon Natural Area currently is home to more than 35 research projects, ranging from stream water quality assessments to seismic monitoring. In its efforts to protect biodiversity, the natural area conducts plant surveys, removes invasive plant species, and organizes tree plantings.

Information Services & Technology

Information Services & Technology (IS&T) provides information technology products and services for the University community, including communications networks; collaboration tools; multimedia and video services; services for face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses; and support for multiple on-campus student computing labs. IS&T staff are committed to supporting student success, collaborating with all members of the University in their academic and administrative work. Our IT Service Catalog is designed to make it easier for the campus community to find information about and request campus IT services in a convenient, centralized location. Computer labs are available in most academic buildings, including open computer labs in Anderson Hall, FHG Library, and Sykes Student Union.  

Besides Microsoft Office365 applications and Zoom enterprise video communications, a vast majority of software used in computer labs, like ArcGIS, SPSS, SAS, Matlab, Mathematica, eViewsSolidWorks, etc., are available for remote access on personal devices using RamCloud for all faculty and students. The University offers printing, copying, and scanning services for all students in select locations on campus using a service called RamPrint from university or personal devices. RamNet is an IS&T-provided service which enables ubiquitous high-speed wired and wireless networking access across all academic, administrative, and residence hall buildings for all faculty, staff and students. RamCast is a wireless presentation solution available in most campus learning spaces enabling users to easily share, control, and mark up content on in-room displays. In addition, all students have access to a digital library and online training using a service called LinkedIn Learning, covering a wide range of technical, business, and software topics. 

The IS&T Help Desk is the central point of contact for all technology-related hardware, software, and system support, such as Office 365, myWCU, and D2L at West Chester University, with offices located in Anderson Hall 119The Help Desk provides first-level customer support for students and employees in locations such as administrative offices, classrooms, residence halls, remote sites, and satellite campuses using ServiceNow. 

University Libraries

West Chester University has two libraries, the Francis Harvey Green Library, at the corner of High Street and Rosedale Avenue, and the Presser Music Library, in the Swope Music Building. Both libraries offer excellent environments for individual and collaborative learning. Students come to the libraries to conduct research, use technology, write papers, compose music, print posters, exchange ideas, and engage with the world of information in the library’s holdings of more than two million items. Library collections compare favorably with other major public and private libraries in the region, and students navigate the collections with the help of expert guidance from librarians and library staff.

That guidance extends beyond the libraries’ walls. The Library website enables students to connect with librarians and staff, as well as to a wide array of resources and services such as the library catalog, databases, reserve items, and more. Students use Library Search, a Google-like interface on the library homepage, to search the majority of materials owned or licensed by the University Libraries. All of these resources are available to WCU students, faculty, and staff from any device wherever their research takes them at any time, day or night.

Fourteen professional librarians provide formal and informal instruction on library resources. Every discipline and department has a subject specialist who will work with individuals, groups, or classes. Contact your subject specialist for assistance with research, collections, or getting started on a project by visiting http://library.wcupa.edu/ask/subject.

Francis Harvey Green Library

The Francis Harvey Green Library is the main library on campus. Key library services include reference (in-person, text, telephone, chat, and e-mail); library instruction; electronic reserves; interlibrary loan; laptops; and access to scanners, photocopiers, and a microform reader. Most articles requested on interlibrary loan are delivered by e-mail. Most books and other physical material requested on interlibrary loan from other libraries must be picked up at the Green Library. Questions regarding library materials and services should be directed to the Green Library Research Help Desk at 610-436-2435 or http://library.wcupa.edu/ask.

Presser Music Library

The Presser Music Library contains the University's collection of print scores as well as sound recordings, music books, periodicals, and microforms. Desktop computers, music composition software, and laptops are available.

Library Holdings

  • 400,156 print books
  • 1,452,600 electronic books
  • 1,528 print journals
  • 214,409 electronic journals
  • 41,872 films, videos, and DVDs
  • 121,361 albums of streaming audio

Interlibrary Loan

Books and articles not owned or licensed by the University Libraries may be requested online using the interlibrary loan services ILLiad and EZ-Borrow. Special interlibrary loan services are available to students who do not take classes on the main campus, including distance education students and students at other locations, such as the Graduate Center or the Philadelphia campus. There is no charge for interlibrary loans.

Special Collections

University Libraries Special Collections department preserves and provides access to materials of historical and research value related to the history of the University and the West Chester region. Notable resources include the Chester County Collection of Scientific and Historical Books, the Normal Collection (publications by faculty and alumni), and the Stanley Weintraub Center for the Study of Arts and Humanities. Important rare books include Shakespeare's first four folios and The Biographies of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence by John Sanderson.

Philadelphia Campus

West Chester University’s Philadelphia campus offers programs of study within three different colleges, all under one roof. WCU Philadelphia specializes in part-time courses for busy professionals who are looking to obtain their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. 

Small class sizes and distinguished faculty members are the hallmarks of a WCU Philadelphia education and create a positive and successful learning experience for students. Academic colleges represented at the Philadelphia campus include:

  • College of Business and Public Management
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Education and Social Work

Location

West Chester University’s Philadelphia campus is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions. Located in the heart of Center City at 701 Market Street, WCU Philadelphia is easily accessible by public transportation. SEPTA’s Jefferson Station is a short walk from campus, and a bus stop is located just outside the facility. WCU students are eligible for discounted parking rates at local parking lots and garages. On street metered parking also is available. 

Resources

West Chester University’s Philadelphia campus is a state-of-the-art classroom and meeting space equipped with educational resources to help students reach their fullest academic potential, including:

  • Computer lab
  • Counseling services
  • Student Success Center
  • Full-time Coordinator of Support Services in Center City (links services offered in West Chester to our Philadelphia students)

For more information on program offerings, see www.wcupa.edu/philly.

Graduate Center

The Graduate Center, located within the Greenhill Corporate Park at 1160 McDermott Drive in West Chester, is home to the MBA Program; the Education Policy, Planning, Administration Program; the Department of Counselor Education; and the Reading Center for the Department of Literacy. Additionally, it is home to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center (SPARC), a non-profit clinic that provides services to individuals with autism and a variety of behavioral challenges.

Exton Campus

The Physician Assistant Studies Program is located in the West Whiteland Business Center at 930 E. Lincoln Highway, Suite 100, Exton, PA, approximately 9 miles from the main campus. The building houses faculty and staff offices, two classrooms, and lab space. There is a shuttle service that provides transportation to students from the main campus.

DCCC Marple Campus

West Chester University offers select degree completion programs at the Delaware County Community College (DCCC) Marple Campus. The Marple Campus is the main campus of Delaware County Community College and is located at 901 Media Line Rd, Media, PA 19063. West Chester University utilizes space on the 4th floor of the STEM Center. This program enables associate degree graduates to earn a West Chester University bachelor’s degree from the convenience of the DCCC campus. For more information on program offerings, see www.wcupa.edu/DCCC.

Geology Museum

The WCU Geology Museum in the Schmucker Science Center displays specimens from collections of historic and scientific importance. The museum is unique in the U.S. because University students who are majors in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences have created each exhibit. These exhibits use minerals, rocks, and fossils from around the world drawn from notable 19th and 20th century collectors who lived in Chester County, including William Yocom, Willard Brinton, Hugh McKinstry, and Ruth Bass. Each exhibit highlights an interesting topic about minerals and rocks. Students can explore electricity and magnetism in minerals using an interactive display; discover how Chester County rocks have been mined and used for hundreds of years; find the beauty of fluorescent minerals under ultraviolet light, from the extensive collection of John Stolar, Sr.; and explore ancient life through the marine creatures preserved along waterways. The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters, and is open by appointment during summer and winter sessions. Please contact the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at 610-436-2727 for more information or to make an appointment.

WCU Observatory

The College of the Sciences and Mathematics operates an observatory on top of the Schmucker Science Center. The facility houses a 14-inch, Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with photometric, spectrographic, and photographic instrumentation. The observatory serves mostly as an introduction to astronomy research for interested students, but it is also used for public outreach and is available for use in astronomy courses. 

Mather Planetarium

The Department of Earth and Space Sciences operates the Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Planetarium, located in the Schmucker Science Center. The planetarium is equipped with a SciDome XD Touch digital projector and a 32-foot nanoseam dome, manufactured by Spitz, Inc. The planetarium is used for WCU astronomy classes, school groups (Pre K to 12), and public programs. Annual attendance approaches 3,000. During the regular academic year, public shows are offered several evenings a month. Live shows, presented by a Ph.D. astronomer, give an overview of the current night sky and focus on a special topic in astronomy. Pre-recorded shows consist of a short sky tour followed by an astronomy-themed movie. These movies are specially formatted for the planetarium dome, providing an impressive and immersive experience that is both educational and entertaining. Programs are made possible by funding from the WCU College of the Sciences and Mathematics, admissions fees, and generous donations from WCU faculty, staff, alumni, and the public. For more information or to join the e-mail list, see http://www.wcupa.edu/planetarium.

Darlington Herbarium

The Darlington Herbarium, housed in Schmucker Science Center, is one of the most highly regarded historical collections of dried plant specimens in the East. Among the 20,000 specimens are plants collected by such famous explorers and botanists as Captain John Fremont, Thomas Nuttall, Sir William Hooker, C.S. Rafinesque, and George Englemann. More than 200 collectors from America's formative years of 1820 to 1850 are represented. The herbarium was the work of Dr. William Darlington (1782-1863), a member of the West Chester Cabinet of Science. Dr. Darlington was eminent in West Chester as a physician, educator, banker, businessman, historian, and botanist. His plants, however, were his first love. A state park has been established in northern California to preserve a rare species of insectivorous plant named in his honor - Darlingtonia.

Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies

The University has conserved 70 acres of natural woodland, field, and streamside habitat at the Gordon Natural Area, located on South Campus. Dedicated in 1973, the area was named for Robert B. Gordon, who from 1938 to 1963 was a faculty member in the University's Department of Science, including a number of years as the department chairperson. The Gordon Natural Area encompasses two parcels of land: a 47-acre forest, which is east of Farrell Stadium on South Campus, and a 23-acre tract of old farm fields, floodplain, and wetlands southwest of the stadium. Gordon Natural Area currently is home to more than 35 research projects, ranging from stream water quality assessments to seismic monitoring. In its efforts to protect biodiversity, the natural area conducts plant surveys, removes invasive plant species, and organizes tree plantings.

As part of its outreach mission, the Gordon Natural Area partners with area organizations on projects such as the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Tree Tenders program and the East Goshen Township Forest Restoration Project. In addition, more than 900 West Chester University students learn in this outdoor classroom annually. While frequented by field botany and general ecology students, it’s also used by business and education classes, Honors College programs, ROTC students, student wellness, and athletic programs.

Historical Properties

The Chester County Cabinet of Natural Sciences (1826-1871) and the West Chester Academy (1811-1871) merged to form the West Chester Normal School, which evolved into West Chester University. Historical properties came to the Normal School from the Chester County Cabinet, including a grandfather's clock that belonged to Benjamin Franklin, a telescope owned by Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne, the Darlington Herbarium, and various library and museum collections. Especially notable are the letters of Anthony Wayne, including letters to Wayne from George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and others. The Wayne telescope, letters, and library collections are housed in the Francis Harvey Green Library Special Collections.

Art Collections

The University's permanent art collection is made up primarily of gifts from interested art patrons, senior class purchases, and gifts from the alumni. The permanent art collection is on display in buildings throughout the campus. The collection consists of a number of important works, such as the watercolor, Andress Place, by Andrew Wyeth.

Speech and Hearing Clinic

The Speech and Hearing Clinic (located at 201 Carter Drive, Suite 400) is a free community clinic maintained by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to train student clinicians under licensed, certified faculty supervision. The clinic provides evaluation, intervention, and consultation services to individuals with speech and language disorders, hearing disorders, communication differences, and professional communication enhancement needs to individuals across the lifespan. The clinic also provides diverse community outreach and education opportunities for individuals and institutions. Clinic services are offered free of charge to all individuals. Appointments can be made by contacting the clinic office at 610-436-3402 or by emailing jjohnson@wcupa.edu.