Many people know Scranton as the setting for the hit television show "The Office," but this Pennsylvania city is also home to a major private college called the University of Scranton. Founded as St. Thomas College in 1888, it originally offered basic programs and functioned like a junior college. After earning the right to offer bachelor programs, it became a full university and adopted the name the University of Scranton. It is a private college that admits both men and women, and it has an affiliation with both the Jesuits and the Catholic Church. Though it does offer religious study programs, students of all denominations can enroll.

U.S. News & World Report, which is one of the prominent college ranking organizations, listed the University of Scranton among the top 10 schools in the northern United States to earn a graduate degree. The same organization also named it one of the top up and coming colleges and as having some of the most committed teachers. The Princeton Review also named it one of the top American colleges, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance called it one of the best values in terms of private colleges. The University of Scranton, which has an enrollment that tops 6,000 students, remains devoted to its students and announced plans in recent years to construct new buildings and to make its campus more friendly.

Accreditation Details

Accreditation is a simple term that means a college has the approval of a larger agency or organization. Regional accreditation, which some may call institutional accreditation, is the most important type. The University of Scranton has its from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). In addition to investigating a school before granting it accreditation, the MSCHE also ensures that the college maintains its commitment to its students through performance evaluations every 10 years.

The University of Scranton also has specialty accreditation or program accreditation for some of its traditional and more unique degree programs. Accreditation for its engineering and computer science programs comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET), and its nursing program has accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Other programs that have accreditation from national organizations include its programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, school and community counseling, education and business.

Application Requirements

While other colleges require that students sit down and complete the application process in one setting, the University of Scranton lets prospective students take their time. Before filling out the online application, they must create an account with the site that includes a user name and a person password. They can then fill out the application, which will ask them about where they went to college, some of the classes they took, the grade point averages they maintained and any professional experiences they have. Working for a major corporation or owning a small business is helpful for those applying to one of the business programs.

All students applying to one of the University of Scranton grad programs must submit an official transcript from any college or university attended. Even if a student took a few summer classes on one campus, he or she must supply the university with a transcript from that school. The university also asks for three letters of recommendation from professionals who are familiar with a student's experiences and/or work history. Some programs have other requirements in place too. Those applying to one of the business programs will need to take the GMAT and submit their scores to the university. They may also need to supply the university with a resume.

Tuition and Fees

While cost is important to most students, those applying to a University of Scranton graduate program will find that their costs are generally affordable. Tuition rates for new students start at around $965 per credit hour. The University of Scranton has a guaranteed tuition program that freezes its rate every year. Students will pay the same amount for their graduate studies, even if the university increases rates before they graduate. Tuition for online classes is the same. The university offers on-campus housing for grad students and charges a $900 monthly fee for living in that facility. Students can also purchase a meal plan for use in campus cafeterias.

Though the university does offer some reduced tuition programs, most of these programs are only open to undergrads and those who work for the Diocese. Tuition balances are due within one month of the start of the current semester. Anyone who does not pay the balance may receive a block that keeps the student from earning credits or registering for classes later. Those who file the FAFSA can get financial aid and receive help paying for school. In addition to loans and grants from the federal or state government, students can also use alternative loans to pay their expenses.

MS in Human Resources

Human resources is one of the most rapidly growing fields in the modern world. These professionals work for Fortune 500 companies, in hospitals, in colleges and even for nonprofit organizations. The University of Scranton now offers an MS in Human Resources that follows the standards put in place by the Society for Human Resource Management. Goals of this program include teaching students how to make important decisions, create strategic plans, reward employees, design budgets and improve the overall performance of workers. Many students complete this program online or enroll in a hybrid program that lets them take multiple classes from home.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's in Human Resources Degree Programs

Though the program includes 13 classes, not all students will take each one. Students can submit a transcript that shows they took classes in organizational leadership and human resources to skip two prerequisite courses. The remaining 11 courses are worth 33 credits. Strategic planning, evaluation research, workplace performance and budgeting systems are some of the required courses for human resources students. Students must also take a class on workplace diversity that looks at the benefits of creating diversity programs and how to handle issues relating to age, race and gender. The University of Scranton also requires that HR grad students take a capstone course on applied human resource practices that focuses on the practices, techniques and methods that they need to use when working with employees.