Find out the essentials of who we are and what we do at Patrick Henry College.
Classical Christian Liberal Arts Education
At Patrick Henry College, students receive a broad-based baccalaureate education that stresses content, the imitation of excellence, the pursuit of knowledge, and the exercise of the whole range of talents that God has given, in the light of the truth that He has revealed in the inerrant Bible.
The 63-credit core curriculum plus foreign language proficiency--consisting of courses in logic, rhetoric, philosophy, mathematics, geometry, music, science, history, literature, theology, apologetics, economics, foreign languages, constitutional law, and political theory--lays a common foundation for advanced learning in each of five major programs. Within the context of the classical liberal arts as a time-tested framework, courses mirror the trivium's emphasis on knowledge (grammar), understanding (logic), and application (rhetoric).
A PHC student culminates his degree with an apprenticeship that applies the "rhetoric" of creative performance in the field of study. Regardless of major, students are invited to explore the interconnectedness of all the disciplines, reflecting the truth that in Christ "all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17).
Read PHC's Philosophy of Education or view the core curriculum
Student and Graduate Profile
- Enrollment (Fall 2012) – 320 degree-seeking students, most of whom live in the College’s colonial-style residence halls; 85% fall-to-fall retention rate.
- Admissions - Rigorous application process emphasizing academic preparation, community outreach and civic involvement, faith and purpose, and analytical/writing skills; Entrance examination scores for full-time, first-time freshmen in Fall 2012 had a mid-range of 1220-1390 for the SAT (single iteration, Math+Critical Reading) and with Critical Writing a mid-range of 1800-2080. 50% of students scored between 630-740 on Critical Reading (689 average), 560-660 on Math (614 average), and 590-720 on Writing (653 average).
- Student Body – Compared to freshmen at baccalaureate institutions nationwide, freshmen at PHC are 42.8% more likely to have studied/worked on homework three or more hours a week, 27.7% more likely to have spent three or more hours a week reading for pleasure, and 22.6% more likely to talk with teachers outside of class (source: HERI’s CIRP Freshman Survey© and The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2011). ♦ Overall student satisfaction is consistently higher than the Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) mean for private, 4-year institutions by a statistically significant difference (source: Noel Levitz’s Student Satisfaction Inventory©, Fall 2011). ♦ Commencing seniors in May 2012 received a mean score of 482.28 on the ETS Proficiency Profile (ETS PP)—a score higher than each of the mean senior scores from all 302 participating institutions (source: ETS’ Proficiency Profile© and Comparative Data Guide [retrived from the ETS PP website on June 12, 2012]for seniors at all institution types from January 2006 through June 2011).
- Graduates – Since its founding in 2000, the College has graduated over 528 students. Alumni have attended top-tier law schools including Harvard, Yale, College of William & Mary, Duke, and the University of Virginia, as well as respected graduate programs in other fields at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and The Catholic University of America, inter alia. They hold positions ranging from associate producers at news outlets, editors at publishing companies, and teachers at classical Christian schools to law clerks, legislative assistants, and analysts at intelligence agencies and other federal departments. Reported one year after Commencement, approximately 54% of graduating seniors who had applied to graduate/law school were accepted to one of their top three choices; 81% of commencing students pursuing employment were either already employed or had received an offer (of which 78% were in fields related to their major).
Patrick Henry College has 27 full-time faculty, 25 of whom possess earned terminal degrees in their field; PHC's faculty includes prolific scholars and experienced practitioners, such as:
- Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Provost, longtime educator, cultural commentator, and author of over 100 published articles and 17 books on subjects ranging from classical Christian education and postmodernity to literature and vocation;
- Dr. David Aikman, former foreign and senior correspondent with Time Magazine, a broadcaster and columnist (Christianity Today and Charisma and Christian Life), and author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books; and
- Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, who holds ten earned degrees and is the author of more than 40 books in five languages on the topics of human rights and Christian apologetics.
- Dr. Marvin Olasky, well known conservative scholar, cultural commentator, author of more than 20 books, and editor-in-chief of World Magazine.
A complete list of faculty is available by clicking here.
Programs and Apprenticeships
- Patrick Henry College offers academically excellent baccalaureate level education in five majors:
- Classical Liberal Arts – students study pedagogy, classical languages, and topics in history, literature, philosophy, and biblical studies; apprenticeships are devoted to developing curricula and gaining teaching experience
- Government – students are offered a well-grounded program of study beginning with four required introductory courses and numerous specialized courses within four tracks (American Politics & Policy, International Politics & Policy, Political Theory, and Strategic Intelligence), all of which invite students to interact with historic and contemporary political thinkers, discipline classics, and primary sources; students receive individualized guidance from faculty members as they conduct research and writing projects and on-the-job, applied training from field specialists.
- History – students take advanced courses in historical research, historiography, and American, European, and World history, with an emphasis on graduate school preparation as they engage in specialized research under the guidance of history faculty.
- Journalism – tracks in Political Journalism and Liberal Arts provide students with extensive writing experience, developing professional competency in a variety of core journalistic tasks and exploring how the historical and Christian foundations of journalism shape contemporary practice.
- Literature – students engage in rigorous discussion and workshop criticism, interacting extensively with critical scholars as they study linguistics, theory, genre, and major historic and contemporary authors; students read and write literary criticism as well as their own creative and scholarly works under the supervision of published authors and critics.
- Internships – Patrick Henry College's location, one hour northwest of Washington, D.C., presents ample internship and scholarship opportunities for students, who consistently are offered internships at the White House, federal departments, U.S. Court System, U.S. Congress, an array of think tanks and non-profits, Washington Times, National Geographic, USA Today, NBC and Fox affiliates, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency, National Archives, published authors, private K-12 classical schools, and many others.
- Intercollegiate & Intramural Culture – Students participate in an array of intercollegiate scholarship and educational opportunities, including award-winning delegations at National Model United Nations (NMUN), fellowships with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), and championship forensics with the National Forensics Association (NFA), Collegiate Forensics Association (CFA), National Christian College Forensics Association (NCCFA), National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA), and American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA). Intramural activities include an active Student Government Association, drama troupe, chorale, and numerous student-run organizations ranging from filmmaking teams to literary societies. Campus-wide events include daily Chapel, biannual Faith & Reason Lectures, and weekly discussion groups with faculty.
PHC Office of Institutional Effectiveness, October 2011