Basic Facts

The name “Ursinus” (pronounced er-sigh-nus) is a Latin version of “Bear.”

Zacharias Ursinus (1534 – 1583)Zacharias Ursinus (1534 – 1583)

Ursinus was founded in 1869 and named for a 16th century reformer, teacher and thinker. Zacharias Baer (1534-83), took a Latin version of his German name and became known as Zacharias Ursinus.

Zack, as he is called on campus, was a theologian and scholar at the University of Heidelberg. His egalitarian and unpretentious spirit still exists on campus today.

Learn more about the history of Ursinus College.

The Facts

  • Type: residential, private, liberal arts college
  • Degrees awarded: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in a wide range of majors and minors
  • Popular majors: biology, business and economics, English, psychology, and international relations
  • Class size: ranges from 15 - 20
  • Student/faculty ratio: 12 students for each faculty member
  • Student body: 1,650 students from 35 states and 12 countries
  • Campus: a 170-acre suburban campus located 25 miles from downtown Philadelphia
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

imageThe mascot of the college’s athletic teams is, of course, the grizzly bear. The school’s colors are red, old gold and black.

The Ursinus College Bears compete in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference with other selective liberal arts colleges such as Haverford and Swarthmore. The Bears field 25 varsity teams.

Distinctive Features

Ursinus is consistently ranked in the top tier of National Liberal Arts Colleges and was one of five schools designated an “Up and Coming” college by U.S. News & World Report.

Only 8 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. host a chapter of the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Ursinus is one of them.

Ursinus is among 40 Colleges that Change Lives cited in a book on colleges that help students succeed (by Loren Pope, revised by Hilary Masell Oswald).

The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus is one of only two campus museums in Pennsylvania accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Ursinus is one of 75 colleges designated to name Bonner Leaders, who set an example in service and leadership.

Ursinus is one of the 10 founding members of Project Pericles, and one of 29 Periclean colleges, which encourage community engagement.

Ursinus is one of 14 colleges in the nation designated a Peace Corps Preparatory center for students who want to prepare for international service.

Ursinus is one of 16 colleges and universities nationally where students are eligible for Kemper Scholarships in economics-based internships.

Ursinus is one of 40 U.S. colleges selected for the rigor of their liberal arts programs whose students are eligible to compete for Watson Fellowships for post-graduate travel and study.