Peirce College is a private, non profit 4 year college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a focus on non-traditional college students.
In 1865, Thomas May Peirce, a Philadelphia educator, founded the Union Business College. The curriculum was designed to provide returning Civil War soldiers a business-focused education in anticipation of post-war business growth and expansion. Different from many colleges and universities of the era, Union was co-educational at its founding. Originally housed within Handel and Haydn Hall on Chestnut Street, the college moved to its present location at 1420 Pine Street in 1915. In 1917, the school was renamed the Peirce School of Business Administration.
In 1964 Peirce School was renamed Peirce Junior College as it received approval to grant associate degrees. In 1997 the College was approved to grant Bachelor of Science degrees and was renamed Peirce College. In 2000 the College began offering online courses.
The Pine Street facilities have twice been awarded the General Building Contractors Association's Best Institutional Project in the under $5 million category; in 2001 for improvements made to College Hall, and in 2011 for the new Library.
Peirce currently has undergraduate programs in Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Paralegal Studies. As of fall 2013, Peirce will begin offering graduate degrees.
Within the Business Administration degree concentrations are offered in accounting, entrepreneurship/small business, human resource management, marketing, and real estate management. The Information Technology degree offers concentrations in desktop applications for business, information security, network administration, network security, technology management, and programming and application development.
Peirce has specialized educational programs for those who wish to seek an accelerated education during the evening and weekend on campus, earn their degree online, or earn their degree while at work (The Peirce Corporate College). Most courses are in an accelerated 7-week format, with some general education and paralegal courses following a standard 14-week format. Peirce uses a 3 semester calendar (fall, spring and summer) with two 7-week courses or one 14-week course each semester.
The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The School District of Philadelphia and Peirce have a partner program which provides an off-campus general studies degree program for parents with children enrolled in Philadelphia public schools.
In popular culture
Peirce's College Hall was used as the setting for St. Anthony's Academy for Boys in M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 film "The Sixth Sense"
Simon Guggenheim, U.S. Senator representing Colorado, 1907-1913.
Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua, 1936-1956.
Bill Tilden, U.S. tennis champion.