Shippensburg University

Founded in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School, Shippensburg University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Ship values its community feel, as is evident from our student-faculty ratio of 20-to-1. Personalized attention is key to both the success of our students and our academic programs, of which 13 are accredited.

Beyond the classroom, our students have access to unique resources, such as the Center for Land Use and Sustainability, a stock trading room, centers for entrepreneurial leadership and innovation, a fashion archives and museum, and the only public elementary lab school in the state.

Ship is located about an hour south of Harrisburg. Our campus is in the center of the East Coast’s major metropolitan areas, making Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and New York accessible options for students to visit and complete internships.

  • Ship is proud to have one of only seven criminal justice programs (BS) in the United States certified by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • Ship was ranked twelfth in the nation by Great College Deals for our Disability Studies program.
  • Ship is proud to have one of only three programs in Pennsylvania accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Learn more facts about Shippensburg University.

Ship was founded as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School in 1871 and received official recognition and approval by the commonwealth on February 21, 1873. Two months later, on April 15, we admitted our first class of 217 students from South Central Pennsylvania. Seeing greater potential for the school, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased it in 1917. Over the next few decades, great strides were made.

On November 12, 1982, the governor signed Senate Bill 506, establishing the State System of Higher Education. Shippensburg State College was designated Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, effective July 1, 1983.

Learn more about Ship's history.

At Ship we're committed to sustainability in all areas of university life. Here you’ll find a wide variety of projects and practices to make campus life more sustainable.

We use single stream recycling, run our own farm and community garden, and we even have a professor who makes biodiesel from waste vegetable oil to run our ceramic kilns. We're also pursuing greener building practices for our campus facilities.

Learn more about Ship’s commitment to sustainability.

On August 7, 2017, Laurie A Carter, J.D., became the 17th president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to coming to Shippensburg University, Carter was the executive vice president and university counsel for Eastern Kentucky University, a regional, public university enrolling more than 16,000 students in Richmond, KY. As executive vice president at Eastern Kentucky, Carter served on the president’s cabinet and assumed responsibility for the university in the president’s absence. She provided leadership for 33 departments, including the University Counsel’s Office and the Division of Student Success, overseeing a budget of more than $71 million. She created the Student Success Center and initiated a program for first generation college students at EKU.

Learn more about President Carter.