Chatham University

Prospective Parents and Families

Welcome to Chatham!

This is such an exciting time for you and your daughter - choosing a college! While the process may be exhilarating and the anticipation a thrill, it can often be accompanied by some stress and worry. Is she going to be happy there? Will she be safe? Will she make friends? Here at Chatham, we are personally committed to developing our students to become strong, confident and successful world ready women. Explore our site and ask us questions - and when you're ready, set up a tour with our Admissions staff and support your daughter in the finding the right college for her.

Academics at Chatham University

Do you have what my student is looking for?
The Chatham University experience is dedicated to enabling its graduates to make an impact on the world around them. Students' personal, professional, and leadership skills are developed to their fullest potential through intensive study, internships, study abroad, leadership training opportunities, hands-on learning, and personal development seminars.

Undergraduate students can personalize their curriculum, choosing from more than 30 majors in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, fine and performing arts, pre-professional programs, and interdisciplinary areas such as environmental studies and global policy studies. Students may also create their own interdisciplinary or double-;major program. In addition, students may choose to enter a Five-Year Masters Program where they can earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.

What Does Chatham Offer?

  • Undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1 (total university is 11:1)
  • More than 500 courses of study
  • Internships
  • More than 140 years of experience in educating women
  • Graduate and Continuing Education programs for both women and men
  • Ability to earn a bachelor's and master's degree in as few as five years
  • State–of–the–art courses, facilities and equipment
  • Tuition assistance, grants and scholarships

To see a full description of the Undergraduate Degrees and Programs please visit the undergraduate programs page.

Can We Afford It?

One of the most talked about subjects when searching for a college is the price tag. You want your daughter to get a great education but not at the expense of paying off student loans for the rest of her life. At Chatham, we want to help your daughter in any way we can and we are dedicated to providing any information, support and resources necessary to help you and your daughter successfully finance her education.

Just to tell you we mean …Last year, 100% of the entering class received some form of financial assistance or scholarship.

Applying for financial aid at Chatham is simple: all families/students submit the FAFSA by March 1. Financial aid packages for first year students are typically sent during the first week in March for those students who have completed a FAFSA.

All students are automatically considered for merit scholarships, when they apply to Chatham University. Awards range from $8000 to a full tuition scholarship. Some scholarships require a separate application.

Will My Daughter Be Safe?

Chatham offers services ranging from a mass community notification system (e2Campus), an escort service for anyone who feels the need for an officer to accompany them when walking, and shuttle and Safe Rider transportation options. Your daughter's safety is very important to us and we take many precautions to make sure Chatham is a welcoming and secure environment for all of our students.

A full list and description of all safety programs offered by Chatham can be found here. Parents and students can also access Chatham's Security, Safety and Fire Safety Report.

What if she gets sick?

Chatham students have access to the following valuable services from Student Health Services. These services are supported by all students’ tuition and fees:

  • First aid intervention
  • Illness and injury assessment
  • Starter doses of over–the–counter medications
  • Various health screenings
  • Community health referrals
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Height and weight measurements

Student Health Services also provides the following at no charge:

  • Nurse office visits
  • Confidential psychological counseling services

Students requiring transportation to UPMC Shadyside Urgent Care can use the Chatham Shuttle by making arrangements through Student Health Services during business hours. Students can access urgent care any day from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., 365 days a year.

Where will she live? She’s always had her own bedroom!

…but at Chatham she will have an opportunity to live in a mansion! Our Shadyside Campus houses students in a mixture of traditional residence halls and apartments. The residence halls located on the upper portion of campus are rich in tradition and beauty, three of which being renovated turn–of–the–century mansions, while the Chatham Apartments offer a balance of independent living, residence life amenities, and services down along Fifth Avenue.

Having a roommate is one of the things our upper class women overwhelmingly agree is one of the best parts of living on campus as a First Year student. A Roommate Survey is sent out to all incoming students once they are accepted to be completed which matches each student with their ideal roommate. The Office of Residence Life matches roommates according to their study habits, sleep habits and co–curricular interests. Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors may choose their own roommates each year at room selection which takes place during the spring semester.

OMG! She’s going to have so much time on her hands!

Chatham University offers many programs and events both on and off campus for students to enjoy. Our state–of–the–art Athletic and Fitness Center offers such amenities as a fitness and cardio room, dance and aerobics studio, walking track, squash courts, eight lane competition pool, sauna and steam room, and rock climbing wall as well as being the home of our Athletics Teams. Intramural sports are offered throughout the semester including flag football, bowling, three on three basketball, badminton, volleyball, squash, water polo, and kick ball. Intramurals are open to the entire campus community. Other programs stemming from the Athletic and Fitness Center include Fit for the Future Remix, Boot Camp, and various PED classes that can be found on the course catalogue.

The Office of Student Activities offers multiple events through the year including Café Rachel Happy Hour, Coffee House Series, Casino Night, various Trivia Nights, Chatham After Hours events, and Monday Night Edge. These events are open to the campus community and can be found on the Activities Calendar or in the Student (and Family) Planners. Other events and programs that occur on campus include the W.O.W. (Women of the World) Retreat, Urban Survivor, All Faith Gathering, and various Wilderness Expeditions. Student Organizations may also combine with the Student Activities Staff or other organizations to host events on campus and within the community. With so many events happening, it's hard to be bored on campus.

Need a visual effect? Click here to view our Spring 2013 activities calendar

She has moved to Chatham. So, what do I do?

When families first arrive on campus, either to move their student into her residence hall or take part in the orientation activities planned before classes, we supply them with a planner and handbook that details all of the events that we encourage family members to attend. If you visit our main website we also have a running list of activities offered for friends and family members all year! In November we even plan a full weekend of events just for you! In addition to events happening on campus we welcome all family members to become active with the Chatham Family & Friends Association (CFFA). As a family member of a Chatham University undergraduate student you are automatically a member of the CFFA, which is a volunteer organization that promotes goodwill and communication between the University and among parents and families of Chatham students. You can learn more about the CFFA here.

We believe that the college experience involves the whole family, and we strive to stay connected with parents throughout the years that their daughter is here and beyond! During the application process we urge you and your daughter to visit campus. This is really the best way to know if a school is a good fit. We offer many different options for visiting––from the campus tour to interviews and information sessions to sitting in on a class or having lunch with a student. If you're ready to schedule a visit please follow the steps on this page.

Let’s talk about her getting a J–O–B.

Career development is a process by which students explore, learn, determine interests and values, build skills and abilities, and come to a personal understanding of their decision-making and goals. As families and friends of Chatham students, you play an important part in making this process exciting, engaging, and enjoyable. Through your own career path, you have experiences and opportunities to share, you are able to encourage students to reflect on their experiences in relation to career choice, and you can help assure that the students reach out to the office of career development from day one. Career development staff can guide a student through the career development process and discuss available resources and options including internships, mentor guidance, workshops, and one-on-one counseling. The career development team looks forward to meeting students and hearing about the interests that they would like to explore for learning. We invite students, families, and friends to visit the office of career development on the third floor of the JKM library or connect through Facebook or email at The partnership between students, families, friends, and the career development office is both vital and appreciated and will promote and enhance students’ skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue meaningful careers.

Some career development office items of note from the 2011–2012 academic year:

  • Number of majors represented among internships: 29
  • Number of internships secured by Chatham students from fall 2011 through summer 2012: 153
  • Number of employers participating in last year's on-and off-campus job fairs: 377
  • Number of students with work-study/student employment positions: 387
  • Percent of undergrads/grads employed one-year out for the Class of 2010: 80%/85%

But what about…

We are sure there are hundreds of questions you want answered. For starters, what are the benefits of a women's college and is this really the place for my daughter? What does your dining service offer for dinner? And how will I know where to park when I visit? Don't feel overwhelmed! Even our current family members have tons of questions! So, we've put together a list of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from parents and families. If there's something you don't see on the list, let us know! We're here to help you and your daughter in any way we can.

Click here to view the FAQs.

Let’s talk about it!

In the Office of Student Affairs, we love Chatham. Our Vice President and Dean of Students will tell you just how much she loves it via her blog and twitter account! We’re all about social media so don’t hesitate to follow her journey and also Friend us on Facebook. If you want to hear from us directly then Contact Us! Shoot us an email or pick up the phone!

Resources for You and Your Daughter