Springfield College is a private, independent, coeducational four-year college offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Mary-Beth A. Cooper, PhD, DM
About the College
Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide for the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. The College offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. Springfield College has once again moved up the list of highest ranked colleges in the influential U.S.News & World Report’s latest edition of "Best Colleges." In the 2016 report, Springfield College is ranked 29—up two spots from last year, and eight from two years ago—in the first tier in the category of Best Regional Universities – North. There are 138 colleges in the first tier and 180 overall in the category.
The mission of Springfield College is to educate the whole person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.
Points of Pride
Springfield College is elected by more than 3/4 of our first-year students as their first-choice college—a figure that is well above the national average for peer institutions.
We’re ranked in the top tier of Best Regional Universities—North Region, in the 2016 edition of U.S.News & World Report's "Best Colleges." The College is ranked 29 out of almost 200 schools in this category.
Many faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally as experts in their area of study. Approximately 85 percent of all faculty members have earned terminal degrees in their fields.
One hundred percent of the Springfield College Physician Assistant Program 2015 graduates passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) in their first attempt to become certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. This marks the eighth-consecutive year that physician assistant graduates have earned a 100 percent pass rate on the national certifying exam for first-time takers.
Unique academic programs make our graduates more marketable and shorten their educational career paths.
- Our dual certification in physical education and health education allows our graduates to earn a bachelor’s degree and be certified in physical education and health/family and consumer sciences for elementary and secondary grades, making them more marketable and giving them a wider range of employment opportunities.
- Our six-year physician assistant program and our six-year doctor of physical therapy program enable undergraduates to work toward professionally licensed degrees and leave with a master’s or doctorate in their field.
- Our MBA 4+1 is a five-year program culminating in a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business administration.
Trendsetters and Innovators
At Springfield College, we continue to believe that an education grounded by our Humanics philosophy can change the world. We believe that return on investment means something different here than what it means to the rest of the world.
Since 2009, Diverse Issues in Higher Education has ranked Springfield College's School of Professional and Continuing Studies among the top three U.S. institutions for the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to African-Americans in public administration and social services.
The Center for Wellness Education and Research serves as a national resource for information on health, exercise, nutrition, and wellness.
The College is named annually to the “Colleges of Distinction” Guide, a national publication recognizing colleges that strongly focus on innovative learning experiences.
The game of basketball was invented at Springfield College in 1891 by James Naismith, a graduate student and instructor at the College, then known as the International YMCA Training School. Luther Gulick, founding superintendent of the physical education department of the School (1887-1900) and widely recognized as the “father of physical education and recreation” in the United States, Gulick persuaded Naismith to create an indoor game that could be played during the off-season. In response, Naismith invented basketball. Gulick also designed a triangle logo representing the YMCA and Springfield College philosophy.
William G. Morgan, an 1894 graduate of the College, known then as International YMCA Training School, invented the game of volleyball in 1896 in nearby Holyoke, Mass., as the physical director of the Holyoke YMCA. The game was first called mintonette and got its official name when Morgan came back to the College later that year to demonstrate the game to students. While watching the game, Alfred Halstead suggested it be called volleyball.
Robert Roberts, an employee of Springfield College in 1887 while it was still the School for Christian Workers, was the individual who coined the phrase "body building" while authoring books on weight lifting, exercise, and body building.
David Allen Reed is the founder of Springfield College. A Congregationalist minister who assisted evangelist and publisher Dwight Moody in religious revivals, Reed founded the tuition-free School for Christian Workers, at Winchester Square in Springfield, Mass., in 1885. The young minister was elected president and led the institution from 1885 to 1891. The school was dedicated to the training of Sunday School teachers, and included a Young Men’s Christian Association Department. Reed raised the funds to launch the school with its own building and, according to YMCA historian Howard Hopkins, “maintained it against great odds through its pioneer years.” Reed chose Robert Ross McBurney, who had strong YMCA connections, as vice president, and appointed Moody to the board.
The Springfield College men's volleyball team has earned three-consecutive NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The team represented the United States in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, in July 2013.
Springfield College graduate Erin Pac '03 received a bronze medal in bobsledding at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. She joins many other Springfield College alumni who have participated in the Olympics as athletes, coaches, sports psychologists, athletic trainers, administrators, judges, officials, and volunteers, including Greco-Roman gold medalist Jeff Blatnick ‘79, and swimming gold-medalist William Yorzyck ‘54.
Springfield College was named a finalist for the President’s Award for Community Service by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The College was one of four finalists in the education category and also was awarded Honor Roll with Distinction status in the category of general community service. This nationwide designation is part of the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and recognizes institutions and their students across the country for their commitment to volunteer service.
The College has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as one of a select group of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. that have earned the foundation's Community Engagement Classification. This classification recognizes the College for its curriculum, which involves students and faculty members addressing community needs, as well as outreach and partnerships that benefit both the external community and the campus community.
Each year, Springfield College students provide more than 120,000 hours of community service work in neighboring communities and organizations. This dedication to the community has made it so that Springfield College is a frequent recipient of the Jostens/NADIIIAA (NCAA) Community Service Award of Merit for student-athlete participation in community projects; a recipient of multiple Super 60 Awards from the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, Inc., recognizing the College’s significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy; and has been presented with a proclamation from Springfield City Council for “making the City of Springfield a better place to live” and helping to “improve the neighborhood to make it a better place to live, work, and learn.”
The Paul E. Tsongas Award from Preservation Massachusetts, which recognizes Massachusetts colleges, universities, and preparatory schools that have utilized and embraced preservation in their educational identity for the benefit of future generations of students, was awarded to Springfield College for renovations to Judd Gymnasia. The landmark building also received a 2011 Preservation Award by the Springfield Preservation Trust. The Springfield Preservation Trust is the only nonprofit, non-governmental organization dedicated to historic preservation in Springfield.
In addition to classroom buildings and laboratories, the 100-acre main campus has 10 residence halls, new recreational and fitness facilities, a renovated main dining facility, expanded and renovated science and academic facilities, a renovated performing arts center, and the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, which is complete with a food court, activity and lounge space, the College bookstore, and more.
East Campus encompasses 82 acres of forest ecosystem located about one mile from the main campus. It provides rustic facilities for conferences and meetings, and space for outdoor research and recreation. East Campus is also home to the Springfield College Child Development Center, which provides quality early education services for children of members of the faculty and staff, students, and families in the community. The Child Development Center is linked to a number of academic programs and serves as a laboratory for Springfield College students with an interest in early childhood education.
The academic experience encompasses coursework, research, laboratory experience, and targeted fieldwork, enhanced by co-curricular and voluntary service activities on campus and in the community. Academic and co-curricular programs are integrated and include traditional coursework enhanced by applied internships, fieldwork experiences, and experiential learning activities.
Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are offered for a full range of disciplines in the arts and sciences, health sciences and rehabilitation studies, education, business administration, human services, social work, and physical education, sport, and movement studies. Doctoral programs are offered in physical education; physical therapy; and counseling psychology.
Approximately 84 percent of full-time faculty have earned the highest degrees attainable in their areas of expertise; 70 percent hold doctorates.
Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
Schools and Majors
There are five schools at Springfield College.
The School of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies offers a broad and engaging curriculum, including mathematics, physics, computer science, biology/chemistry, psychology, management and economics, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and the visual and performing arts. A doctor of psychology (PsyD) program in counseling psychology, one of only three PsyD programs in counseling psychology in the United States, was launched in 2012.
The School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies provides an academic and clinical foundation for careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy, communication disorders, rehabilitation and disability, emergency medical services management, and physician assistant. A doctoral program in physical therapy is also offered.
The School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation focuses on the study of physical and health education, including applied exercise science, physical education, outdoor leadership, recreation management, and sport management, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, a doctoral program in physical education is also offered.
The School of Professional and Continuing Studies offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs designed to build the leadership skills of human service professionals while they are serving in their communities, through weekend class schedules. Campuses are located nationwide at Springfield and Boston, Mass.; St. Johnsbury, Vt.; Wilmington, Del.; Charleston, S.C.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Houston, Texas; and Southern Calif.
The School of Social Work prepares social work professionals through the advanced generalist practice approach. Master's degrees, post-master's certificates, and a joint master's/juris doctorate degree program are offered. The School of Social Work also offers master’s-degree-level education in social work at Saint Vincent Hospital, in Worcester, Mass.
Springfield College’s competitive Division III athletic program includes 26 varsity sports for men and women. The College is consistently ranked in the top 10 percent of Division III; many teams have competed in NCAA tournaments, been nationally and regionally ranked, and achieved conference champion recognition. A majority of coaches are also members of the faculty, which creates an enriched experience for their players and enables them to interact with the community as a whole. In addition, a large number of the College’s student-athletes and coaches are national statistical leaders. Springfield College also hosts club sports and four seasons of intramurals.
- School colors: Maroon and White
- School nickname: Pride
- Symbol: Majestic Lion
- Mascot: Spirit
Students enrolled in Springfield College’s undergraduate traditional programs (including those majors within the schools of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies; Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies; and Health, Physical Education, and Recreation) are typically ages 18-21; come from across the country and include international students, but hail primarily from the Northeast corridor of the U.S.; include a fairly even mix of males and females; and reside predominantly in the residence halls and College-owned properties. Students enrolled in the School of Social Work and School of Professional and Continuing Studies are more typically working adults, three-fourths of whom are from under-represented populations.
Student Success (Retention/Graduation)
Springfield College boasts above national average rates of student retention (87 percent of all first year students on the main campus return) and degree completion (more than two-thirds of all first-year students complete their degree requirements within four years).
Approximately 44 percent of males and 32 percent of females enrolled in the traditional undergraduate programs on the Springfield College campus participate in intercollegiate athletics.
Springfield College students are actively engaged in volunteerism and service to the community. They contribute more than 120,000 hours annually, benefiting youth, families, and older citizens through their generosity of spirit and commitment to serving others.