Known for engineering and the liberal arts, Bucknell University’s high graduation and job placement rates also make it an Edmit Hidden Gem.
“Bucknell is continually thinking about ways to enrich the academic experience,” says Kevin Mathes, dean of admissions at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. “We have civic-minded students (one of my favorite examples is a group that works with the community garden in Lewisburg), Division I sports, an active Greek population, great performing arts (the Weis Center brings in professional groups all year for the campus and community), and a strong student government.”
Situated in the center of Pennsylvania about three hours west of Philadelphia, Bucknell is a liberal arts university famous for its engineering program. Because of its academic excellence and commitment to student outcomes—the school boasts an 85 percent graduation rate and a 97 percent job placement rate—Bucknell is designated an Edmit Hidden Gem college.
Studying at Bucknell
At Bucknell, students can choose their majors from three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Creativity—especially when it comes to off-campus learning—is encouraged.
“We’ve partnered with one of the largest health care providers in Pennsylvania—Geisinger—to provide research opportunities in health care and patient care for our students,” says Mathes. “We also partnered with Geisinger to create the Bucknell Autism and Developmental Medicine Center, which has reduced the wait time for families to see a developmental specialist from more than two years to less than three months.
Those with veterinary or medical research aspirations may find Bucknell particularly of interest. “A fun fact: we have the oldest undergraduate program in Animal Behavior,” says Mathes, “and [we] have a primate lab on campus with lion-tailed macaque, hamadryas baboons, brown capuchin, and squirrel monkeys.”
Additionally, this spring “we’re opening a brand-new humanities center to showcase the humanities at Bucknell and coordinate trans-departmental humanities endeavors,” says Mathes.
The average net price for the 2016-17 year at Bucknell was $36,834, and 62 percent of students in each class receive some form of financial aid. Scholarships can help defray the cost of attendance, with special award programs available for select majors or particular career tracks.
“We have three categories of awards,” says Mathes. “First, we have scholarships that students are invited to apply to. Our most prestigious example is the Presidential Fellowship ($30,000 per year as well as a research stipend). We also have a Math Scholarship ($10,000 a year) and one from PricewaterhouseCoopers for accounting and finance majors ($15,000 a year).”
“The second category includes scholarships that students can apply for at the time of their application, such as the Arts Merit programs and the FIRST Scholarship,” he adds. “Arts Merit Scholarships are awarded for Art and Art History, Creative Writing, Dance, Film/Media Studies, Literature, Music, and Theatre (awards range from $2,500 to $20,000). The FIRST Scholarship is for those students who have competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition for at least one full season.”
“Finally, there are scholarships that we will award based on a candidacy, such as BWISE (Bucknell Women in Science and Engineering),” Mathes says.
Bucknell Career Prep
According to Mathes, Bucknell graduates 85 percent of its students within four years and 97 percent are then employed, enrolled in graduate school, or volunteering within nine months of graduation. A mix of practical academic work and alumni networking opportunities contribute to Bucknell’s strong outcomes.
The Bucknell Career Development Center runs an alumni database “that outlines what alumni in your major are currently doing. It’s a great way to see that your career doesn’t have to be defined by your major,” says Mathes. “We also have an externship program where current students can shadow one of our 50,000+ alumni. Also, the Capitol Hill Internship Program educates our students who are interested in working in nonprofit and public service sectors. Finally, we feature alumni in an on-campus speaker series.”
Additionally, finance-oriented students can get hands-on experience that directly impacts the student body and shapes campus life: “Our Student Managed Investment Fund allows seniors and second-semester juniors to manage almost $2 million of Bucknell’s endowment,” Mathes says. The two-semester course, covering real-time global economic analyses, econometric modeling, and industry/firm research, among other topics, is competitive to get into--but often acts as a stepping stone directly into finance careers.
Photo by Murat Tanyel on Flickr.