Rivier University
rivier students
"Recognized for its strong academic programs, vibrant community, and commitment to service, Rivier University...
rivier students
rivier grads

Rivier University

Nashua, New Hampshire

One of the most affordable universities in the region, Rivier University offers more than 30 degree programs to undergraduate day students. The University prides itself on small classes led by accomplished faculty who create an active, experience-based learning environment. At the heart of the Rivier experience are Christian and Catholic values. Founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier University is a Catholic institution committed to its mission of ‘transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.’ Rivier is recognized for distinctive academic programs, offering many of the region’s leading programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. With Nashua as their home and the world as their classroom, the Rivier experience ensures that students develop leadership skills as well as an awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures in New England and around the world. The University is ideally located in the heart of New England, just a short distance from Nashua’s downtown, an hour to Boston and the Seacoast, and two hours from the White Mountains, Hartford, Providence, and Portland.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
1,526 undergraduate students
52% of undergrad students are full time
19% male — 81% female
51% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
66 full-time faculty
133 part-time faculty
17 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

52 percent of the students live in one of the four residential halls on campus.

School Location

Rivier University is located in Nashua, N.H.

Retention Fall 2014

74% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2014

49% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 3%
White 79%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 9%


NCAA Division III – 13 intercollegiate sports;  Men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball; Women’s: basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, volleyball; Mascot: Raiders, Colors: Blue, Grey

Other Information

Rivier University is a Catholic, co-educational institution offering professional preparation and a liberal education for both undergraduate and graduate students. Rivier’s mission is “transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.”

Academic Programs

B.S. Biology, concentrations in Allied Health, Environmental Science, and Combined Biology

B.S. Biotechnology 

B.S. Business Administration/M.B.A., B.S. Finance, B.S. Marketing, B.S. Business Management

B.A. Early Childhood Education, B.A. Education and Community Leadership, B.A. Elementary Education, B.A. Special Education (K-12)

B.A. Biology Education, B.A. English Education, B.A. Mathematics Education, B.A. Modern Language Education, B.A. Secondary Education, B.A. Social Studies Education

B.A. English

B.S. Criminal Justice, B.A. Global Studies, B.A. History, B.S. Homeland and International Security Studies, B.A. Political Science

A.A. Liberal Studies, B.A. Liberal Studies

B.A. Mathematics

B.A. Spanish

B.S. Nursing, B.S. Public Health

B.A. Human Development, B.A. Psychology

B.A. Sociology

Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Law, Pre-Veterinary

More Distinctions

  • Named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

  • Designated a Yellow Ribbon School by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs


At Rivier University, students are encouraged to be active learners. Through internships, student-driven research opportunities, and service learning projects, students have an exciting opportunity to apply their studies in the real world as they answer the challenges of today’s global economy.

Regardless of their major, Rivier offers students rewarding internship experiences to cultivate an interest in a particular career field. Rivier students have participated in meaningful and practical experiences with local and regional corporations, agencies, and social service organizations in various industries. Internships give students the chance to immerse themselves in many aspects of a profession and use the training they have received in the classroom to positively impact the organization and the world. Whether the experiences include teaching in a local school district, working with patients at a well-respected health care facility, processing reports for a municipal police department, or engaging in any other aspect of work, internships give students a competitive edge in the job market.

Service-learning gives students similar benefits, but provides the added dimension of helping others. By integrating service into the curriculum, Rivier challenges students to connect their coursework to today’s most pressing community needs, inviting them to discover meaningful and impactful solutions. While Rivier requires students to participate in an in-depth community service project during their undergraduate years, students are encouraged to seek additional service opportunities. By participating in service-learning, students become totally engaged with the campus community and the wider communities they assist, and gain a deeper and more informed understanding of the world around them.

Many students, especially those studying the sciences, participate in independent research projects at Rivier. Under the guidance of their instructors, students engage in each step of the research process, from developing a question, predicting outcomes, conducting experiments or studies, and reporting and analyzing results. Through this process, students make original contributions to their studies and take ownership of the material in a unique way.

The University has recently undertaken a global engagement initiative, which includes a new program in Global Studies designed to prepare students to be effective global leaders. Consistent with Rivier University’s mission, the Global Studies program offers students a global perspective and opportunities, including study abroad options and internships.


Rivier University offers students a quality education that builds a strong foundation for future success. With more than 30 undergraduate majors, the University features an exciting mix of academic programs. The University’s top-notch faculty mentor and guide students, equipping students with the analytical and critical thinking skills to develop an understanding of the world around them. 

Rather than relying solely on lectures, faculty members facilitate the learning process by using pragmatic student-centered teaching methods like hands-on activities, discussions, and presentations. Thus, instructors allow students to make the material their own and foster a true learning community. Professors are renowned experts in their discipline, and since many have worked in their fields, they infuse their teaching with real-world experiences, providing unique insights and perspectives.

The facilities benefit students of all majors. The Regina Library contains access to more than 90,000 volumes, 45,000 e-books, and licensed databases in every academic subject. Education majors study in the University’s Benoit Education Center, a 43,000-square foot complex featuring a complete curriculum library and a wealth of teaching aids for Rivier’s student-teachers to use in their classrooms. Part of the education building, the Landry Early Childhood Center offers on-campus day care, preschool, and kindergarten programs. Rivier students can work there and observe children in their early stages of development. The University’s nursing center offers a complete SIM lab and teaching facilities. Rivier’s campus also has laboratories for other disciplines, including the sciences, computers, psychology, and video writing. Business students can track real-time global financial data in the McLean Center for Finance and Economics.

The University also offers an array of support services for students. All students have an academic and faculty advisor. The Writing and Resource Center is fully staffed with writing professionals and tutors across all disciplines. The Career Development Center works with students to choose their majors and careers, and helps them with job searching. The Office of Disability Services ensures that qualified students with disabilities receive an equal educational opportunity, and the Office of Information Technology works to provide students with a technologically advanced environment in which to learn.


Learning at Rivier does not stop when the classroom door closes. Throughout the academic year, the University offers numerous speakers, seminars, and events on various topics designed to allow students to expand their educational horizons beyond the classroom. Student clubs and organizations, as well as the University’s athletic program, add to Rivier’s tradition of extracurricular learning.

Rivier University features a variety of on-campus student activities that foster a community spirit among the student body. Through its 13-team NCAA Division III athletic program, Rivier University offers student-athletes the chance to continue their education beyond the classroom, building leadership skills that can make them successful, both on the playing surface and in life. Many students regularly attend athletic events, coming together in a supportive and encouraging way to cheer on their peers in competition. On-campus events such as the Spring Carnival provide students a chance for fellowship and camaraderie.

Beyond opportunities for socialization, University-sponsored events also help students continue their learning after classes end. Continuing the University’s dedication to its mission of ‘transforming hearts and minds to serve the world,’ the Office of Campus Ministry offers many opportunities for community service-from serving meals at a local soup kitchen, to visiting the retirement residence of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, the religious community that founded the University, to an extensive service trip to Camden, N.J. The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides interactive on-campus events that help students increase ethnic awareness in today’s diverse society. 

At River, student clubs and organizations are the heart of the University community, and serve as a popular way for students to complement their academic experience. Clubs and organizations bring together students who share similar interests or allow them to explore something new. They sponsor trips to various cultural sites, host evening lectures and seminars, and participate in valuable community service activities. More than academic growth, membership in student organizations can foster personal development-allowing students to increase their confidence and team-building skills.


Rivier University prepares its students to succeed in the world through a solid foundational curriculum that includes core courses in the liberal arts and sciences which complement students’ professional studies. Underscoring the University’s dedication to helping students attain tangible benchmarks of success such as securing their first professional position or gaining acceptance into graduate school is a deep commitment to producing students who have an informed perspective of their world are ready to be tomorrow’s leaders.

During their time at Rivier, students are a part of the University’s dual advising system, pairing students with a general academic advisor and a faculty member within their own department to help them meet their personal and academic goals. The Career Development Center (CDC) looks beyond college, helping students identify a suitable major and what career they may want to pursue after graduation. The CDC also helps students with their job searches-posting job opportunities and offering assistance such as résumé writing assistance, interview preparation, and follow-up strategies. Outcome assessment is very important to Rivier University, and to that end, the University closely works with students to help them grow to their fullest potential.

The University’s academic programs reflect its commitment to Catholic values and ethics, as well as the life of the mind. Students develop a historical, cultural, and global perspective at Rivier. Through its curriculum, the University aims to develop creative approaches to problem-solving, promote intellectual curiosity, foster a commitment to lifelong learning, promote an awareness of the ethical dimensions of human behavior, and instill a strong sense of personal accountability and commitment to community. Rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition, Rivier University also seeks to foster a sense of the sacred and the dignity of the human person. 

Students graduate from Rivier University well-positioned to think critically, act ethically, communicate precisely in visual, oral, and quantitative formats, and work for the betterment of society. In four years as an undergraduate, Rivier students build a solid foundation for future success-whether they go directly from school into the world of work, pursue graduate studies, or choose any other vocation.


Admissions Fall 2014

1,688 Total Applicants
1,056 Total Admissions
176 Total Freshmen Enrollment

62.56% of applicants admitted

Freshmen Profile Fall 2014

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 440 520
SAT Math 440 530
SAT Writing 430 520
ACT Composite 18 22
ACT Math 16 19
ACT English 14 21
ACT Writing 2 8


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $28,300
Fees $575
Total $28,875
Room and Board (on campus) $10,940
Room Only $5,890
Board Only $5,050
Estimated Total On Campus $39,815


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

99% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
98% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$12,727 Average amount of federal state local or institutional grant aid received
$10,404 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

Prospective students can visit the University website at for more information, or contact the Office of Undergraduate Day Admissions to speak with an admissions counselor and learn more about the Rivier experience. The admissions office hosts many opportunities for prospective applicants to visit the campus in person. Open houses and Saturday Tour Days allow potential applicants to talk with faculty, staff, and students, hear presentations on the student and academic services offered by the University, and tour the campus. Open Houses will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Oct. 17 and Nov. 14, 2015. Those wishing to attend these events may register online at Prospective students are also invited to set up an admissions interview with an admission counselor and tour of the campus.

Rivier University uses a rolling admissions system. While there is no specific application deadline, students are encouraged to submit applications by March 1 to ensure consideration for the fall semester and Nov. 1 for the spring semester. Application materials must include an admissions application, at least one letter of recommendation, a high school transcript, and SAT or ACT scores. For more information on the application process, please visit the University website or contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (800) 447-4843 or (603) 897-8507 or by email at

The University works to ensure that a Rivier education is affordable for all students. To that end, the University offers a wide array of financial aid options through its Office of Financial Aid such as need-based and merit-based scholarships ranging up to full tuition plus room and board, grants, federal student loans, and the federal work-study program. The University annually awards more than $7 million in institutional aid, and last year 97 percent of students received financial assistance. To ensure maximum consideration for available financial assistance, incoming undergraduate students should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. For more information on the financial aid process, please visit the University website or contact the Rivier University Financial Aid Services Team (FAST) by email at finaid@rivier.eduor by phone at (603) 897-8510.


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