Nov 16, 2019  
2016-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The University


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The University


Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, one of 14 state-owned institutions that comprise the State System of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has a long tradition of providing quality education to students. Started in 1889 as a teacher education institution, the university developed into a multi-purpose institution with approximately 8,500 students and with approximately 135 programs in the College of Business,  College of Education, College of Health, Environment and Science and College of Liberal Arts.



Slippery Rock University will excel as a caring community of lifelong learners connecting with the world.



The fundamental educational mission of Slippery Rock University (SRU) is to transform the intellectual, social, physical, and leadership capacities of students in order to prepare them for life and career success. Complementary missions are to engage in scholarly activity and professional service.

SRU is committed to serving a diverse student body and empowering anyone regionally, nationally, and internationally who can benefit from its programs and lifelong learning opportunities. Thereby SRU addresses the educationally-related economic, health, environmental, social, cultural, and recreational needs of the communities served by the university.

In pursuit of SRU’s educational purpose, talented faculty and staff provide creative integrated curricula and experiences that are connected to the world in which graduates will work and live. Students are taught using powerful and engaging pedagogies in appropriate learning spaces employing state-of-the-art technology. They study in an open, caring, nurturing, and friendly environment, and live in a safe community with access to high-quality student services. SRU strives to be a best-value institution with an affordable cost and substantial student financial support.




Slippery Rock University is accredited by the following accrediting agencies:

 Institutional Accreditation

                Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.

 International Association of Counseling Services

 Middle States Commission on Higher Education

                Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International


College of Health, Environment and Science

                Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.

  Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

                Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education (ACEN)

 Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)      Provisional Accreditation as of 03/2016

                American Chemistry Society

                American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

                Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP)

                Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

                National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

                Council on Social Work Education


College of Education

                American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages 

                Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

                Council for One Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)      


 College of Business

                Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

                Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)  

                Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA)


  College of Liberal Arts

                National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

                National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)

                National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

                National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)


Institutional Assessment

Assessment is the process through which effective learning is planned and measured by relating degree program goals to actual student performance.  We do assessment to improve student learning.  The Assessment Core Committee of Slippery Rock University has been working since 1998 to help the University community develop effective assessment processes.  The web site reflects the collective efforts of both academic and student life programs to articulate student-learning outcomes and to devise appropriate and effective means of measuring student achievement.

 For more information on assessment:  Planning, Resource Management and Assessment



Students and visitors to the SRU campus discover that the University is located in a small town of about 3,500 permanent residents. The University is also in the middle of a population center of about 120,000 people. Two major interstate highways, I-79 and I-80, intersect seven miles from the University and make the university easily accessible to Pittsburgh and Erie, PA, and to Youngstown, Ohio. Students can travel fifty minutes south on I-79 to Pittsburgh and enjoy its major cultural venues that include opera, symphony, theatre, and museums and its major league baseball, football and hockey teams. The city of Erie, Presque Isle, and Lake Erie are an easy 90 minutes north on I-79, and thirty-five miles west on I-80 is Youngstown, Ohio.

Most students enjoy instructional experiences on-campus. In addition, students use learning facilities at nearby Moraine State Park, Jennings Environmental Education Center, McKeever Environmental Learning Center, Regional Learning Alliance at Cranberry Woods as well as the Wallops Island Marine Science Laboratory in Virginia. Many academic departments sponsor internship programs that provide on-the-job educational and professional training. Opportunities to study abroad in international settings are available to students.



Approximately 80 percent of Slippery Rock University’s 8,700 students are from western Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh and other cities in Allegheny County providing the largest number of students. Another 10 percent of the student body comes from central and eastern Pennsylvania. The remaining 10 percent comes from more than 32 states in the United States and more than 37 other countries.



The approximately 435 faculty members at Slippery Rock University are teachers, scholars and contributors to the University and community. The typical faculty member teaches four undergraduate courses each semester, engages in scholarly research and creative endeavors, and participates in a variety of decision-making processes. Of the current faculty members, forty-nine percent are male and fifty-one percent are female. Eighteen percent are members of ethnic groups. In addition, 80 percent are tenured or occupy tenure-track positions, and 92% of full-time tenure or tenure track have instructional faculty have earned a Ph.D. or other terminal degree.



Slippery Rock University’s gorgeous 650-acre campus is located in the rolling countryside of Western Pennsylvania. Thirty-four major buildings that blend traditional and modern architecture comprise the core of the campus for an optimum living and learning environment.

Among public and private universities in Pennsylvania, Bailey Library ranks as one of the most comprehensive public or private university libraries in Pennsylvania. The library website and online catalog allows easy searching of more than 400,000 print volumes in the library’s collections, as well as many other resources including approximately 76,000 online journals, magazines, newspapers and other electronic resources.  Print and electronic materials at the other Pennsylvania’s State System university libraries, as well as the collections of thousands of libraries nationwide are accessible through inter-library loan. Swope Music Hall is designed as both a performing and learning center. Vincent Science Hall has laboratories, classrooms, and a greenhouse. Morrow Field House is an instructional and recreational facility that houses a gymnasium, swimming pool, handball court, dance studio, tennis court, and track. McKay Education, Spotts World Cultures, and Eisenberg Classroom Building are examples of standard educational facilities that have small and large classrooms, auditoriums and other specialized classrooms. The Physical Therapy building is a state-of-the-art building where the Graduate School of Physical Therapy program is located. The Office of Global Engagement resides in Spotts World Cultures Building. The Advanced Technology and Science Hall opened in 2006 and houses Computer Science, Chemistry and Geography, Geology, and the Environment.

The University opened the Harrisville Building in 2016 in nearby Harrisville, Pennsylvania, to house the Physician Assistant Studies Master’s program.

Students reside in eight on-campus residence halls. Six new buildings house students on the lower end of campus and two traditional halls are located on the upper end of campus. Upper class students can reside at the ROCK apartment complex. Privately owned residence halls, apartments, and other types of living accommodations are available off-campus. Students take their meals at Weisenfluh and Boozel dining halls.


Grants and Sponsored Research


Office: Patterson Hall

Phone: 724-738-2045




Nancy L. Cruikshank, CRA


Research and scholarship are central features of any academic environment. At Slippery Rock University, faculty and students are active in a wide range of internally and externally funded projects that support the research, teaching and public service missions of the university. The Office of Grants, Research and Sponsored Programs (GRASP) is responsible for assisting faculty in the acquisition of external funding for scholarship, research, and other projects; representing the university in pre-award and award transactions with funding sponsors; acting as a liaison between project directors, sponsors, administration, and external groups; and assisting with post-award administration of grants and contracts to assure compliance with federal, state, and university directives. The office also provides the administrative oversight to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for ethical implementation of research projects involving human subjects and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to ensure that the animal housing, care, and use in research labs meets federal standards and guidelines.

The Center for Undergraduate Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (URSCA) supports and promotes high-quality student/faculty collaborative research, scholarship and creative activity. The Center’s mission is to create a community of leaders by facilitating the exchange of ideas, to provide a collegial venue that prepares students for further scholarly exploration and professional careers, and to promote scholarly inquiry as a fundamental value of the SRU experience. A Symposium for Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity is held annually to highlight the research, creative and scholarly endeavors of undergraduate and graduate students. The campus-wide event encompasses poster sessions, oral presentations, exhibits and performances that showcase the work of projects conducted throughout the academic year.


SRU Leadership Development Program

Leadership Development Center

Office: 302 North Road
           Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Phone: 724-738-4334

Erin Strain

The Leadership Development Center resides on 25-acres which includes a Leadership Reaction Course, Leadership Teambuilding Trail, low ropes course in the woods, 35-foot Climbing Tower, mobile initiatives plus a training center with the current technology. Slippery Rock University provides a perfect setting for your leadership training. It is ideal for corporate / non-profit groups, conferences, student workshops, athletic teams and management seminars. We customize all of our trainings to meet your organizational needs. The trainings are engaging and interactive! Our instructors have years of professional experience to help your organization move forward and be more productive. Lodging is also avaiable during the summer.

University Advancement - Alumni Engagement


Office: Russell Wright Alumni House
Phone: 724-738-2018



Kelly Bailey

Assistant Director
Tracy Allison

Lisa Luntz

Slippery Rock University has more than 67,000 graduates living throughout the country. Alumni are encouraged to join the Slippery Rock University Alumni Association, a separately incorporated organization that is devoted to serving the university and its alumni.

The Slippery Rock University Alumni Association hosts several events in the region and across the country to engage alumni.  A variety of benefits are associated with membership to the association, including discounts on insurance, partnerships with national travel partners and savings at campus entities including the SGA bookstore.  Significantly, the Alumni Association manages and awards fifteen scholarships. Fourteen of the scholarships, the Past Presidents’ Scholarship, the Nancy Angell Scholarship, the Madeline F. Stoops Scholarship, the Hallie Dugan Smith Scholarship, the Eisaman Alumni Scholarship for sophomore students, the Maree McKay/ Esther Smiley Scholarships, the Carl and Norma Laughner Scholarship, the Maggie Meise Fellowship, the Watson Family Scholarship, Jeanne Powell Furrie Scholarships, the Anna Bura Williams Scholarships for women elementary education majors, Alumni Association Scholarship, and the Ben Adaison Scholarship are for academic excellence.  The N. Kerr Thompson Scholarship is for student athletes.

The association also sponsors Homecoming as well as special events throughout the year. Additional information on the Alumni Association as well as upcoming events can be found on the alumni web site at or at and then clicking on Alumni.