The University of Delaware traces its roots back to 1743 when a petition by the Presbytery of Lewes expressed the need for educated clergy. The school first opened in New London, Pennsylvania in the home of “Mr. Alison,” where he instructed students in languages and polite literature at no charge. Graduates of Mr. Alison’s school included three signers of the Declaration of Independence – Thomas McKean, George Read and James Smith. Read also signed the United States Constitution.
In 1765, the school relocated to Newark, Delaware where it was chartered as the Academy of Newark. It became a degree-granting institution known as NewArk College in 1834 and was renamed Delaware College in 1843, with a Women’s College opening in 1914. The two colleges combined in 1921 and were renamed the University of Delaware.
The school mascot, the “Fightin’ Blue Hens,” has roots in the Revolutionary War era. The Continental Congress ordered that military battalions be raised from the lower three counties along the Delaware River. This resulted in eight companies representing New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties creating the Delaware regiment. The company from Kent County was led by Captain John Caldwell, an owner of gamecocks. The troops often staged cockfights with a breed known as the Kent County Blue Hen. The hens developed a reputation for ferocity as did the Kent County regiment. They engaged in battle at Long Island, White Plaines, Trenton and Princeton as part of Colonel John Haslet’s first Delaware regiment. Col. Haslet’s regiment was often called the “Fighting Delawares” as well as the “Blue Hens’ Chickens.” The Blue Hen was officially named the state bird in 1938 but was used as the University of Delaware mascot starting in 1911.
Today, the University of Delaware has more almost 23,000 students enrolled in 329 undergraduate and graduate programs.
University of Delaware Accreditation Details
The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the university holds the following regional, national and specialized accreditations:
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.
- Administration on Developmental Disabilities
- American Association of Health Education
- American Association of School Librarians
- American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- American Library Association
- American Physical Therapy Association
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Childhood Education International
- Association for Educational Communications and Technology
- Association of Small Business Development Centers
- Association of University Centers on Disabilities
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- International Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Commission on English Language Program
- Accreditation Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Programs
- Commission on the Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE)
- Council for Exceptional Children
- Council for Standards for Human Services Education Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Educational Leadership Constituent Council
- Engineering Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Institute of Food Technologists International
- Association of Counseling Services, Inc.
- International Reading Association
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- National Association for Sport and Physical Education
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National Association of School Psychologists
- National Association of Schools of Music
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
- National Council for the Social Studies
- National Council of Teachers of English
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- National Science Teachers Association
- Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
- Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.
- Technology Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
University of Delaware Application Requirements
In order to enter the University of Delaware as a freshman, students must complete The Common Application for Undergraduate College Admission online. They must also submit SAT or ACT scores and official high school transcripts for admission. Freshman admission is competitive at the University of Delaware so students are encouraged to apply early. Students must submit an admission essay and one letter of recommendation. Transfer students must provide official transcripts for any college or university they have attended. Some majors have minimum GPA requirements and the following programs do not accept transfer students:
- Undeclared Business
- Undeclared Engineering
- Health Sciences-Occupational Therapy
- Undeclared University Studies for students with more than 30 transferable credits
Graduate students must provide official transcripts and test scores as well as letters of recommendation. Students are required to submit a Graduate Application Essay as well.
University of Delaware Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at the University of Delaware for residents of the state is $5,615 per semester and for non-residents is $15,065 per semester. Part-time tuition is $468 per credit hour for residents and $1,255 per credit hour for non-residents. Graduate tuition varies based on the program chosen by the student.
Financial aid is available but students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year in order to be eligible. Aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work study.
University of Delaware Student Experience
There are many opportunities for students to get involved in clubs and organizations that can improve the learning experience at the University of Delaware. There are more than 350 active registered student organizations at the University of Delaware as well as opportunities for students to enrich their learning experience in the area surrounding the college. The university is a Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant institution, offering students unlimited possibilities for hands-on learning. The Hugh R. Sharp, the most advanced coastal research vessel in the country, helps scientists explore the sea while students can learn from some of the world’s best at the High Performance Figure Skating Center. The university offers partnerships with several local hospitals as well as the United States Army, Winterthur, Longwood Gardens and the Hagley Museum to provide students with the ultimate learning experiences in the areas of health science, defense, art conservation, horticulture and history. The university is currently transforming a former auto assembly plant into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.
The university offers more than 21 intercollegiate athletic programs, graduating such well-known athletes as Joe Flacco, Superbowl winning quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. The university not only offers courses at their main campus in Newark, but also in Dover, Georgetown, Lewes and Wilmington. There is also an excellent study abroad program.
The University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment offers one of the best marine science programs in the country. Students develop an understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology and ecosystems. Due to Delaware’s location along the Atlantic coast, students are provided easy access to marine ecosystems with an option for a semester in residence at the university’s Campus by the Sea in Lewes.
Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management
Students who choose the Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management program at the University of Delaware must complete 700 hours documented paid work and 100 hours of community service as part of the program. This work experience provides students with actual resume-worthy experience and hands-on learning not found at other colleges and universities. The Vita Nova Restaurant is a student-operated laboratory with a 60-seat dining room, exhibition and teaching kitchens. The Courtyard by Marriott at the University of Delaware offer students additional hands-on experience in sales, marketing, revenue management, front office and housekeeping. The close proximity of the college to Delaware’s beach tourism industry adds even more opportunities for students to gain experience in their field.
The University of Delaware has been providing high-quality education since its inception even before the United States was born. Students who attend the University of Delaware report that the experiences on campus and off helped them achieve their career goals and develop the skills necessary to succeed in their chosen profession.