Residents of Luzerne County and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania are fortunate that outstanding higher education options are readily available within the county. Six exceptional colleges/universities are located in Luzerne County – two Pennsylvania State University campuses, two colleges/universities located in downtown Wilkes-Barre, a small college in Dallas, and one of the largest community colleges in the Commonwealth.
This exceptional collection of colleges attracts post-secondary students to Luzerne County from around the country and the globe.
The hallmark of a Wilkes University education is the personal commitment of faculty to teaching and to their students. Working side by side with professors in laboratory, classroom, and field situations, students are motivated to think creatively and develop the skills that will allow them to excel in their careers and in graduate or professional school.
Wilkes offers more than 35 majors and concentrations, including education, engineering, biology and nursing; 13 pre-professional programs including preparation for entry in to a number health professional fields like medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry and more; and, the six-year doctor of pharmacy program in the Nesbitt College of Pharmacy and Nursing.
Students interested in pursuing a degree in business, accounting or entrepreneurship, now benefit from a curriculum that emphasizes authentic leadership and emotional intelligence, skill sets in demand within the business community, in the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership.
Outside the classroom, students enhance their leadership and teambuilding skills through 14 varsity sports, intramural activities, and more than 70 clubs and organizations.
Luzerne County Community College
Luzerne County Community College is a public, two-year comprehensive community college for residents of Luzerne County and surrounding areas throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Its 167-acre main campus is located in Nanticoke in the center of Luzerne County. Students are sponsored by Luzerne County. 13 satellite campuses are located throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Luzerne County Community College has the highest student enrollment in Northeastern Pennsylvania. LCCC currently offers degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, technical-career programs; certificate programs, and diploma programs. The College’s top programs in terms of enrollment are general studies, education, nursing, criminal justice, business management technology, business administration, and computer information systems. The college’s Division of Economic and Community Development serves as the liaison with business, industry, educational, and economic development organizations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Luzerne County Community College administers contracts for Customized Job Training (CJT) with companies located throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Misericordia University is a liberal arts based co-educational Catholic university. It was founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1924. Misericordia University is located in Dallas, Pennsylvania, west of Wilkes-Barre on Route 309. Total enrollment is currently more than 2,100 students, including full and part-time undergraduates, and graduate students. Its campus includes a brand new outdoor athletic complex, new classrooms, and one of the finest library facilities in the region. Founded in 1924 as Luzerne County’s first four-year college, Misericordia University is one of 18 Mercy colleges and universities across the country. The University is dedicated to the values of the Sisters of Mercy: mercy, service, justice, and hospitality.
Misericordia University’s academic emphasis focuses on liberal arts, professional, and pre-professional studies. Misericordia University offers 30 majors in four academic divisions: behavioral sciences, education and business; health sciences; humanities; and mathematical and natural sciences. Its occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and physical therapy programs are five-year, entry-level Master of Science degree programs. CM also offers post-professional Master of Science degrees in nursing, education and organizational management. CM offers a transition doctorate in physical therapy (DPT). Misericordia University’s tuition is the least expensive of any of the traditional four-year private colleges in the region.
MU is ranked in the top tier of the Master’s North category of US News & World Report 2006 America’s Best College edition. MU also holds a “Best Mid-Atlantic College” designation from The Princeton Review.
King’s College is an independent four-year liberal arts college founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1946. Located in downtown Wilkes-Barre, King’s is an active and positive influence in the life of the city and the region.
For 12 consecutive years, US News & World Report has ranked King’s one of America’s best colleges. The William G. McGowan School of Business has achieved accreditation of its bachelor’s degree programs by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. King’s is one of 39 colleges nationwide with exclusively undergraduate business programs to achieve AACSB International accreditation. With a total enrollment of 2,200 students including a 2005 enrollment of 1,840 fulltime students–the largest in King’s 58-year history–education at King’s is student-centered. Students come to King’s primarily from the Mid-Atlantic Region and New England, along with 16 other states and 14 different countries.
King’s College has an attractive, vibrant campus that brings life to downtown Wilkes-Barre. Two recent improvements to the cityscape are Alumni Hall on North Main Street and Monarch Court pedestrian mall between North Main and North Franklin streets. King’s has three on-campus apartment buildings and one male and one female residence hall.
Penn State Hazleton
Pennsylvania State Hazleton is a very special “small campus.” PSU Hazleton was started in 1934 in a number of office buildings scattered around Hazleton. As hundreds of eager-to-be-educated veterans returned home to Luzerne County after World War II, it became apparent that a new home for Pennsylvania State Hazleton was a necessity. "Highacres,” the manor house of coal baron Eckley B. Markle, became its permanent home in 1948. Markle’s magnificent fieldstone mansion, overlooking the Conyngham Valley, now houses the campus’ administrative facilities. Through additional gifts and purchases, Penn State Hazleton now consists of 104 acres of land, with Markle’s historic structures standing side-by-side with modern academic buildings.
As with many of Penn State’s branch campuses, Penn State Hazleton’s students can complete the first two years of most of the 160 majors offered by Penn State University, and then transfer to the main campus to complete their bachelor’s degrees. In addition, PSU Hazleton offers a limited number of bachelor’s degrees, and an extensive list of associate’s degrees – business administration; electrical engineering technology; information sciences and technology; letters, arts, and sciences; mechanical engineering technology; medical laboratory technology; nanofabrication manufacturing technology; and physical therapist assistant.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre
Like many of its sister campuses spread throughout the Commonwealth, PSU Wilkes-Barre offers its students the opportunity to complete the first two years of a Penn State degree on a small campus in a rural setting. Penn State Wilkes-Barre is located in Lehman, no more than half an hour from Wilkes-Barre and conveniently located near a significant percentage of the population of Luzerne County. In addition, PSU Wilkes-Barre offers two satellite centers to extend the resources of the university – the Northern Tier Center in Bradford County, and the Kingston Center located at the Wyoming Valley West Middle School, which provides courses for a certificate, associate and a baccalaureate degree in Business Administration. Penn State Wilkes-Barre offers its students many diverse educational opportunities. Students can begin any one of over 160 Penn State majors at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, and then complete a degree at another Penn State campus, including the main campus at University Park. Students can also earn one of eight Bachelor’s degrees or seven Associate’s degrees on the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus. Penn State Wilkes-Barre also offers residents of the county the opportunity to use the newly installed Meade 16 inch LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope in the Friedman Observatory.