Harrisburg University – Transforming Futures


With governments worldwide pushing in the favor of complete vaccinations, education bodies around the globe are gradually relaxing norms for international students. Also, the rules on travel for educational purposes are being changed every day and good times for education lovers have almost arrived. Especially for Indian students who want to start a dream career abroad in their respective fields/streams, USA has been a boon in disguise since the time immemorial and continues to be so, even during these tough times of uncertainty. The main reason the US has been a hotspot for many Indian dreams is due to a variety of reasons, including quality education, creative programs and pedagogies, multicultural atmosphere, and numerous opportunities. Often looked up to as the leader of the free world, it’s quite evident that one can find that numerous top-ranking universities of the world operate in this very country, who are giving it their best to impart relentless learning, despite the havoc caused by the pandemic. Thereby, talking about one such premier educational haven which was built to provide endless opportunities to students in terms of education and careers, and become a prime endorser of limitless horizons – Harrisburg University of Science and Technology comes out as a different kind of university, which is perhaps a welcome change, in this repetitive world.

Home to 4500+ graduate students from India, Harrisburg University dedicates itself, by imparting quality education in the STEM fields, with its intensive STEM-focused curriculum, in pursuit of creating creative leaders, who are committed to make a difference. Also known for its diverse, vibrant inclusive community, students from around the globe come to be a part of the excellence, where they in turn, broaden their knowledge, explore the unknown, nurture their ideas and grow into leaders.

In addition, by curating the best of Science and Tech degree programs which are well in-sync with the market needs and demands, hands-on education is delivered at HU in partnership with companies like Google, Deloitte and many more. The impressive industry-academia relationship existing on the campus facilitates students to learn beyond textbooks and classrooms, and eventually become industry-ready individuals. These affiliations with top corporations and industries also helped students get internships and placements, guaranteeing a real-world experience that is valued by today’s employers.

Committed towards creating a value

Hosting programs in more than 30 fields, the graduate and doctoral programs at HU are approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), helping non-immigrant students with a smooth enrolling process. Additionally, the Ph.D. programs in Data Science, Computational Sciences and Information Systems Engineering and Mathematics have very competitive admission processes, where each program only takes 10 students per intake. Also, having the most dedicated staff who involve themselves to develop and refine innovative activities, in turn, connecting new and returning students building a wider HU community, a student-centric atmosphere is felt across every corner of the university.

Following a through and through experiential learning setup, every student on the HU campus is given chances to excel, be it inside the classroom or outside. Providing them with new-age academic tools like SMARTHINKING, which is an online tutoring service, along with Technology Literacy Program and the Bridge Program, effortless learning at HU happens irrespective of the scenario the world is facing. Also, proving itself as an accomplished research institution, all the support from the staff, faculty members and the students, is changing the world, one step at a time. The early exposure to the importance of research and innovation at HU also results in producing and developing new methods of producing skin grafts, measuring pollution, advanced internet security methods, tools, and much more.

Moreover, serving the society as an epitome of high quality and affordable learning, HU’s prime location in the heart of the capital city of Pennsylvania, has converted it into a complete entrepreneurial school, which fosters all-rounded learning curves. “We are a proud part of the International Student Association of several hundred students each year, and we have an alumni base of more than 5000 students”, stated – Dr. Eric Darr, the president of HU, clearly telling us how the university is growing each year, bringing communities together. Taking time out of his busy schedule Dr. Darr took us on a virtual tour of the university, where he gave us thorough insights into how the university focuses on promoting education, entertainment, democratic processes, and building harmonious relationships. Adding to his above statement, Dr. stated – “The University is a supporter of the Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania (AIACPA), an established non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated for over 27 years building a stronger community by bringing rich Indian culture to the Central PA region”.

Engaging learning experiences galore

Consisting of a signature 16-story, $73 million state-of-the-art academic center, HU recently broke ground on a second downtown education tower. When completed, the $100 million Health Science Education Center hopes to accommodate at least an additional 1,000 students. Featuring dedicated health science classrooms and simulation laboratories, which support the university’s nursing, pharmaceutical sciences, and other allied health programs, the project also incorporates specialized laboratories dedicated to advanced manufacturing and digital media studies.

Understanding the needs and demands of today’s students of an engaging learning experience, filled with real-life and hands-on experiences, HU meets this imperative need of the student community, by giving downright importance to experiential learning. Also, by providing an exceptional and affordable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, students are prepared to stand confidently in front of employers and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have earned at Harrisburg University. Comprising students from 110 countries and boasting a 34 percent female student body, the university truly stands upon the pillars of progressiveness, excellence, and diversity. Adding to this, many of the courses in the STEM fields include lab or field classes, where professors convert experiential learning, a key component of Harrisburg University education experience, to virtual experiences. Also, as we all know that STEM educators already rely heavily on technology, this clearly benefited schools like Harrisburg University to seamlessly switch to a completely online format as COVID-19 continued to grow.

Continuing as a real educator in these troubled times, HU has been driving as a powerful incubator of ideas. Be it involving development of an early-stage dementia detection tool, breaking down the cause of addictive behaviors or the discovery of a previously unknown meteor strike, HU encourages professors to harness their passions and team with students to launch breakthrough research projects that are changing the world around us, leading to new technologies, commercial products, processes, intellectual properties, and so much more.

In conclusion, the university having always taken pride in providing students from historically underserved communities from around the world with an unmatched affordable private college education focused on the STEM fields, HU is proud that about 99 percent of their full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Considering every undergraduate student for a scholarship of between $6,000-$20,000, Harrisburg University offers one of the lowest private university tuitions in the entire state of Pennsylvania, where the university feels – offering an affordable price is only part of what Harrisburg University does to make attending college here financially attractive. Apart from regular scholarships, HU offers merit scholarships and need based grants, which cover almost the complete tuition fees. Not limiting its students to constraints, it also actively welcomes privately funded scholarships, low interest loans, and work-study opportunities that allow students to earn money while they attend college. In fact, these types of dedicated endeavors is what makes Harrisburg University, one of its kind, solely dedicating itself towards societal benefit.

Dr. Eric Darr – President

Appointed as the President of Harrisburg University by the Board of Trustees, Dr. Darr previously served as interim president and prior to that, he served as a consultant to help create Harrisburg University. Eric joined the University full-time as the founding Vice President of Finance and Administration & has served as a member of the faculty, Executive Vice President, and Provost. Under his able leadership, Harrisburg University’s enrollment has grown from 500 to more than 6,000 students, where the university added 33 new graduate and undergraduate concentrations and degree programs. Faculty have secured many grants and student scholarship support, throughout Dr. Darr’s term and the University’s Market Street Tower were completed, adding more classrooms and laboratory space to meet the needs of growing academic programs and enrollment. Dr. Darr has opened two facilities and is presently securing a third. One of the new facilities is in center-city Philadelphia. And, in 2019, the University broke ground on a $100 million Health Science Education Center in downtown Harrisburg, a project Dr. Darr has spearheaded to address the growing need for healthcare professionals throughout Central Pennsylvania.