Founded as The Bullock School for Boys in 1821, the school was established in Wilmington, Delaware. It became The Alsop School for Boysfrom 1846 to 1853, and then Hyatt's Select School for Boys from 1853 to 1859. Military instruction was introduced in 1858, and the school changed its name in 1859 to Delaware Military Academy. It moved to Pennsylvania in 1862 and became Chester County Military Academy. It was known as Pennsylvania Military College after 1892 and adopted the Widener name in 1972.
About 3,300 undergraduates and 3,300 graduate students attend Widener in eight degree-granting schools. The university offers associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees in areas ranging from traditional liberal arts to professional programs. It is classified among "Doctoral/Professional Universities" and a "Community Engagement Institution".