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Drexel University is a private coeducational university located in Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, United Statesmarker. It was founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, a noted financier and philanthropist.


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. On July 1, 2002, Drexel was officially united with the former MCP Hahnemann University, creating the Drexel University College of Medicine; and in the fall of 2006, Drexel established its School of Law.


Mario the Magnificent, mascot of Drexel

The Drexel Engineering Curriculum (tDEC)

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 and funded in part by the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. In 1988 the program evolved into tDEC (the Drexel Engineering Curriculum) which is composed of two full years of rigorous core engineering courses which encompass the freshman and sophomore years of the engineering student.

tDEC is in the process of being reorganized beginning with the freshman class of 2006. This is due to the programs inflexibility and because the program is not designed to have the increase in class size that Drexel has experienced since the program's inception.

Co-op program

Branded as "the Ultimate Internship", Drexel's longstanding cooperative-education or "co-op" program is one of the largest and oldest in the United States. Drexel has a fully internet-based job database, where students can submit résumés and request interviews with any of the hundreds of companies that offer positions. 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 $14,760 per 6-month period, however this figure changes with major.


Drexel has four schools, the newest of which was created in 2006. Originally added to Drexel University as the Drexel University College of Law, the Earle Mack School of Lawmarker was renamed on May 1, 2008 in honor of Drexel alumnus Earle I. Mack. In addition to the School of Law Drexel has schools in Education, Public Health, and Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems.


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

Drexel is composed of nine colleges, including the College of Information Science and Technologymarker and the College of Arts and Sciences, two of the oldest colleges within Drexel; and the Drexel University College of Engineering, for which Drexel is perhaps best-known. The Goodwin College of Professional Studiesmarker 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 Applied Engineering Technology, while part-time programs include Communications & Applied Technology and Computing & Security Technology. The Bennett S. LeBow College of Business has been ranked among the top 60 in the nation for business. The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design houses Graphic Design, Interior Design, Digital Media, Architecture, Fashion 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 recognizes and promotes excellence among Drexel students.

Most popular undergraduate majors

  • Business Administration: 2,188 enrolled
  • Mechanical Engineering: 651
  • General Information Systems: 499
  • Biology: 475
  • Nursing: 469
Drexel University is also known for creating the world's first Engineering Degree in Appropriate Technology.


Drexel has been ranked consistently among the "Best National Universities-Top Schools" by U.S. News & World Report in its annual "America's Best Colleges". Furthermore, it was placed among 96-98 best universities in the world according to the Russianmarker based Global University Ranking.The 2009 rankings place Drexel 88th among all universities of the United States,,among the best 50 private universities in the country, and 4th on the U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges: Up-and-coming National Universities" ranking.The 2008 rankings placed Drexel 108th, whereas 2006 rankings had the school at 109th. Drexel and the University of Pennsylvaniamarker are the only Philadelphia colleges in this category. In the 2006 edition of U.S. News & World Report, Drexel University is ranked the #109 university in the National Universities Doctoral category and the LeBow College of Business is ranked #99. The publication also ranked Drexel's College of Engineering's undergraduate program 57th among engineering schools that award doctoral degrees. In 2007, Business Week ranked the undergraduate business program among the top 30 private institutions in the country. The 2009 rankings rate the LeBow business program as the 38th best in the nation. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was ranked 10th in the US in faculty scholarly productivity in 2006.

The iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology has been ranked among the top 10 information schools in the nation by US News & World Report. Its specialties in Library and Information Science (MS), Information systems (MSIS), Medical Librarianship, and Digital Librarianship are ranked ninth, fifth, fifth and ninth respectively..

Drexel frequently ranks among the top 25 schools in the nation for technology use according to The Princeton Review and The Intel Corporationmarker, and was ranked first in 2001 for wireless access by Yahoo!.The Drexel College of Medicine and College of Nursing & Health Professions also share accolades. The Physician Assistant program is in the nation's top 50 and the Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) program is in the top 25.

Not all of its rankings are positive, however. The Princeton Review ranked Drexel 2nd for "Campus Is Tiny, Unsightly, or Both," 12th for "Professors Make Themselves Scarce," 7th for "Long Lines and Red Tape," 14th for "Least Happy Students," and 15th for "Professors Get Low Marks". Radar Magazine also ranked Drexel's campus as the ugliest in the nation. However, in recent years, greater strides have been taken to beautify the campus.

The Math Forum@Drexel has been selected as one of the most useful websites by PC Magazine and Scientific American.

The university's endowment has grown to $640 million and is the 16th largest private university in the U.S., with an enrollment of over 20,000 students.

Drexel is the third largest private engineering college in the nation.


Drexel University's campus is divided into three parts: the University City Campusmarker, the Center City Hahnemann Campus, which is comprised mainly of Hahnemann University Hospitalmarker, and the Queen Lane College of Medicine Campus. The latter two are recent acquisitions by the university.

University City Main Campus

The southern portion of Drexel's campus
The University City Main Campus of Drexel University is located just west of the Schuylkill River in the University City district of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is Drexel's largest and oldest campus and it is the center of its administrative offices, as well as the main academic center for students. It is located in West Philadelphia.

Queen Lane Medical Campus

The Queen Lane Medical Campus was purchased in 2003 by Drexel University from MCP Hahnemann University. It is located in East Falls, which is in the Northwest part of Philadelphia and is primarily inhabited by first- and second-year medical students. A free shuttle is available connecting it to the Center City Hahneman and University City Main campuses.

Center City Hahnemann Campus

The Center City Hahnemann Campus is in the middle of Philadelphia, straddling the Vine Street Expressway and centered on Hahnemann University Hospitalmarker. It is a part of the university's recent expansion into the medical field.

Sacramento Center for Graduate Studies

On October 29, 2007, a 40-person delegation from Drexel University completed a four-day visit to Placer County, Californiamarker in preparation for a study on bringing a 6,000-student college campus to Rosevillemarker, a suburb in the Sacramento metropolitan area. Drexel is interested in opening a four-year private university west of Roseville on a site that would be donated by the family of Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos.

The area would be part of an overall donation by the Tsakopoulos family, William and Claudia Cummings, Wayne and Mary Prim and their partners. A housing development would be established on the other . Residential units totaling 2,300 are being considered. The money raised through sale of the area to a developer or developers would be given to Drexel as an endowment for construction of the campus.

In 2008, Drexel opened a Center for Graduate Studies in Downtown Sacramento. Initially, the Graduate Center will offer advanced degrees in: Business Administration, Engineering Management, Higher Education, and Information Systems. In 2009, the university will expand their degree selection by adding: Nursing Education & Faculty Role; Nursing Leadership in Health Systems Management; Science of Instruction; and Human Resource Development.

Drexel is not the first university courted for the site. The Catholic order Christian Brothers withdrew its proposal in 2005 for a four-year private college called De La Salle because it was concerned that slow county approval of the project would increase development costs.

Drexel Online

To meet the need of working adults, Drexel University began offering online degrees in 1996. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS), Drexel Online has grown to include a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees, as well as certificate programs. These include a Master of Science in Engineering Management (Middle States Accredited), a Master of Business Administration (AACSB Accredited), a Master of Science in Library & Information Science (ALA Accredited) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN (NLNAC and CCNE Accredited) among many others.

Student life


The university has a large variety of student organizations, including charity, fraternities and sororities, political, and academic groups.

Student Government

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

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."

Campus Activities Board

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is in charge of organizing activities such as movies, trips to special events, and other on-campus entertainment such as the fall comedy show. CAB is funded through a student activities fee collected from each student.

Press and radio


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." 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.


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 for over 80 years. Other publications include the campus yearbook, the Lexerd; D&M Magazine, a magazine produced by Design & Merchandising students; and The Smart Set from Drexel University, an online magazine.

Drexel Publishing Group

The Drexel Publishing Group serves the University by providing literary publications that highlight outstanding writing. 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; 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.


Drexel requires all non-commuting first year students to live in one of its ten residence halls. Kelly Hall, Myers Hall, Towers Hall, 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.

  • First Year Experience: Calhoun, Kelly, Towers, and Van Rensselaer Halls
  • Living Learning Communities: Myers and Race Street Residence Halls
  • Sophomore Year Experience: Millennium Hall
  • For Students By Students: North Hall
  • Upper Class Experience: Caneris Hall & University Crossings
  • Graduate Student Experience: Stiles Memorial Hall

Portions of the Race Street Residence Hall are currently 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. All residence halls except Caneris Hall are located on the north side of campus, north of Arch Street, in the Powelton Villagemarker area.

Greek life

Twelve percent of Drexel's undergraduate population is a member of a social Greek organization. There are currently eleven Interfraternity Council (IFC) chapters, five National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) chapters and eight Multi-cultural Greek Council (MGC) chapters. Greek Life at Drexel is currently expanding, and has become more and more popular in recent years.

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.

Each year, all social Greek organizations at Drexel compete in Greek Week, a week long competition with events such as a talent show, step-stroll show, with the culminating event being the tug of war.
Pi Kappa Alpha, 2006 Dean's Cup Winners and 2007 Greek Week Champions.

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 goes to the chapter with the highest overall points in eight categories: values and identity, statistics, chapter management, programming, community relations, membership development, citizenship, presentation/DVD Chapter Response.
Delta Zeta, 2006 Dean's Cup Winners and 2007 Greek Week Champions.

IFC Fraternities


MGC Organizations

Professional Fraternities

Other Greek Letter Organizations


Drexel's school mascot is a dragon known as "Mario the Magnificent," named so in honor of a former alumni and Board of Trustees member. The Dragon has been the mascot of the school since around the mid 1920's; the first written reference to the Dragons occurred in 1928 when the football team was called The Dragons in The Triangle. Before becoming known as the Dragons the athletic teams had been known by such names as Blue & Gold, the Engineers, and the Drexelites. The school's sports teams, now known as the Drexel Dragonsmarker, participate in the NCAA's Division I, the Colonial Athletic Association, and the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association. They do not currently field a varsity football team.

Fight song

The fight song for Drexel is the Drexel Fight Song. The lyrics are:

Fight on for Drexel,

We’ve got the stuff we need to win this game.

We’re gonna fight on for Drexel,

Take the Dragon on to fame.

Fight on for Drexel,

The gold and blue is on another spree.

We’re gonna fight, fight, fight, fight for Drexel U.

On to victory!







(Repeat Song)

Student lore and traditions

To receive good grades on exams, a tradition is to rub the toe of the bronze "Waterboy" statue located in the Main Building atrium. Although the rest of the bronze statue has developed a dark brown patina over the years, the toe has remained highly polished and shines like new.

The Flame of Knowledge, a fountain once located in the main quad (now relocated to the area in front of North Hall), used to be known as the "Drexel Shaft" in the late 70s and early 80s, however the name outgrew the landmark. The "Drexel Shaft" now refers to the Penn Coach Yard chimney, the large smoke stack structure which was located east of 32nd street. Unresponsive treatment by the administration has been termed the "Drexel Shaft" by students. The smoke stack was demolished on November 15, 2009, a long-anticipated event which the students hope will improve the overall aesthetics of the university.

In popular culture

  • Drexel has appeared in news and television media several times. In D3: The Mighty Ducks Goldberg wears a Drexel T-Shirt. In the 1998 film Enemy of the State Brill (played by Gene Hackman) is a Drexel alumnus. In 2006 Drexel served as the location for ABC Family's reality show "Back on Campus." Also in that year the Epsilon Zeta chapter of Delta Zeta won ABC Daytime's Summer of Fun contest. As a result the sorority was featured in national television spots for a week and also hosted an ABC party on campus which was attended by cast members from General Hospital and All My Children.

  • In 2004 CBS's "Cold Case" filmed scenes outside the Creese Student Center, among other exterior shots to be used during the season.

  • In 2007 Drexel was the host of the 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate debate in Philadelphia, televised by MSNBC.

  • In 2008 from January 10 to the 13th Drexel hosted the US Table Tennis Olympic Trials.

  • Also in 2008, Hillary Clinton made a personal appearance along with Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter in Drexel's Main Building.

  • From July through September 2009, a movie currently known as "Untitled James L. Brooks Project" starring Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson was filmed on the Drexel University main campus.


Drexel began awarding undergraduate degrees in 1915, starting with the Bachelor of Science in engineering, and in 1931 began offering graduate degrees through the School of Home Economics. Since its founding in 1891 the university has had more than 100,000 alumni.

In 1991, the university's centennial anniversary, Drexel created an association called the Drexel 100, for alumni who have demonstrated excellence work, philanthropy, or public service. After the creation of the association 100 alumni were inducted in 1992 and since then the induction process has been on a biennial basis. In 2006 164 total alumni had been inducted into the association.

The versatile curriculum at Drexel has attracted a range of students. Graduates from Drexel have earned distinction in many fields including business, computer science, humanities, NASA, politics and public service, and sports.


Drexel University created the annual $100,000 Anthony J. Drexel Exceptional Achievement Award to recognize a faculty member from a U.S. institution whose work transforms both research and the society it serves. The first recipient was bioengineer James J. Collins of Boston University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

See also


External links

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