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 six 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 2014) – 326 degree-seeking students, most of whom live in the College’s colonial-style residence halls; 87% 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 2014 had a mid-range of 1215-1380 for the SAT (single iteration, Math+Critical Reading) and with Critical Writing a mid-range of 1825-2075. 50% of students scored between 630-740 on Critical Reading (678 average), 555-660 on Math (604 average), and 585-710 on Writing (644 average).
- Student Body – Compared to freshmen at baccalaureate institutions nationwide, freshmen at PHC are 49% more likely to have studied/worked on homework eleven or more hours a week, 40% more likely to discuss course content outside of class, and 26% more likely to read for pleasure three or more hours per week. (source: HERI’s CIRP Freshman Survey© and The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2013). ♦ 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 2013). ♦ Commencing seniors in May 2014 received a mean score of 477.28 on the ETS Proficiency Profile (ETS PP)—a score higher than each of the mean senior scores from the other 306 participating institutions (source: non-PHC scores were retrieved from ETS's PP website on May 19,2014; comparative reports for seniors, all institution types, January 2008 through June 2013).
- Graduates – Since its founding in 2000, the College has graduated 651 students. Alumni have attended top-tier law schools including Harvard University, Yale University, the College of William & Mary, Duke University, and the University of Virginia, as well as respected graduate programs in other fields at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, 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, law clerks, and analysts at intelligence agencies and other federal departments. Data provided by responding alumni five years after Commencement indicates that only 1.9% were looking for employment and 86.4% owed no debt for their PHC education (source: Alumni Five Year Post BA Survey Summary, 2014). Additionally, alumni surveyed one year after Commencement report that 82% who applied to a graduate or professional degree program were accepted to one of their top three desired programs (2014 Alumni One Year Post BA Survey Summary).
Patrick Henry College has 26 full-time faculty, 24 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. 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 six majors:
Patrick Henry College also offers a variety of minors that can be integrated into the major course of study.
- Classical Liberal Arts – Students study classics, history, literature, philosophy, and biblical studies; apprenticeships provide contextual learning in the development of practical skills from content area expertise.
- Economics & Business Analytics – Students study economics, calculus and statistics, ethics, and business-related courses. A substantial co-operative component through an off-campus partner company will provide valuable experience and the application of economics principles and analytics to the study of a particular business, preparing students for the business world, graduate school, or public policy fields.
- Government – Students begin with required introductory courses and numerous specialized courses in four areas of emphasis (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 guidance from faculty in conducting research and writing projects and on-the-job, applied training from field specialists.
- History – Students take advanced courses in American, European, and World history, as well as historical research and historiography. With an emphasis on graduate school preparation, 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 in the executive branch of government, 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 2014