Sacred Heart University
Distinguished by the personal attention it provides its students, Sacred Heart University is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, award-winning advisement program, cutting-edge technology, championship Division I athletic teams, and nationally-recognized community service programs. Situated in Fairfield, Connecticut, the main campus is ideally located one hour north of New York City and two and a half hours south of Boston. The University’s 18-hole golf course is a mere 15 minutes away. With its five miles of shoreline, marinas, parks, open space and plenty of shopping and fine dining, Fairfield is consistently recognized as a top community in the Northeast in which to live. In 2018 the town earned an A+ in a ‘report card’ by Niche on “Best Places to Live” in Connecticut.
SHU is the second-largest Catholic university in New England and one of the fastest growing Catholic colleges according to the The Chronicle of Higher Education. Rooted in the 2000-year-old Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, Sacred Heart embraces a vision for social justice and educates students in mind, body and spirit to prepare them personally and professionally to make a difference in the global community.
Undergraduate students study at SHU’s international campuses in Dingle, Ireland and Luxembourg, including freshmen participating in pre-fall programs. On the main campus, new, world-class academic facilities include the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communication Center, the Center for Healthcare Education and a recent 66-acre expansion onto the former GE world headquarters which will house an engineering makerspace, artificial intelligence lab and other innovation-focused learning spaces.
With 4,982 full-time undergraduate students and more than 8,500 total undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in over 80 academic programs, this dynamic university is an innovative presence within Catholic higher education.
Get to know Sacred Heart University
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Marching band
- Model UN
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- Symphony orchestra
- Television station
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Disability Services
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
- Veteran Services
- Peer Mentors
Sacred Heart is dedicated to the holistic development of its students through active, engaged learning including research, internships, clinical placements, independent study, service learning, work-study and study abroad programs.
Students in all majors engage in hands-on education, both in and outside of the classroom. The cutting-edge technology in the Martire Center for Business & Communications allows students to apply their skills to real-world settings. They excel with the help of SHU’s finance lab and trading floor, full-size television studios and motion capture lab. The new Center for Healthcare Education features the latest technology available to health professions students. Students in the sciences utilize recently renovated laboratories and state-of-the-art computer labs.
Further from campus, students participate in more than 60 study abroad programs around the world, many of which offer internships and clinical experiences, in semester, academic year and short term (one to six weeks) programs. SHU undergraduates also study at SHU’s campuses in the European business center of Luxembourg and in Dingle, Ireland as well as on study trips led by SHU professors to countries such as India, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bermuda, China and Korea.
Sacred Heart University’s Undergraduate Research Initiative Committee (URI) supports undergraduate research by awarding funding to students involved in University research with a faculty member. Students are eligible to apply for funding to purchase research materials and attend conferences or research related activities.
A hallmark example of SHU’s focus on active learning is the Welch Experience program for students in the Welch College of Business. The program includes faculty-led courses abroad, research opportunities, mentoring programs, specialized career services and co-curricular activities designed to develop career awareness, business acumen and leadership capabilities.
“Sacred Heart does a great job of preparing their students for the “real world.” My professor and advisor, who worked for NBC for over 30 years, taught me the production skills I know today. He laid down the foundation for real world experiences and what to expect working for such a huge company like NBC. The classes at SHU are great because they teach you a variety of skills. I have taken graphics classes, writing classes and production classes, and all of these prepared me for what I was going to experience during my Olympics internship.” – Nicole G. ‘17, Old Bridge, NJ
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 87 | 10-19: 418 | 20-29: 485
30-39: 211 | 40-49: 16 | 50-99: 14 | 100+: 2
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 75
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 252
White, non-Hispanic: 4,106
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 4
Asian, non-Hispanic: 115
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 8
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 133
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 328
Total Enrollment: 5,603
FIRST YEAR SEMINAR AND CRITICAL THINKING
The First Year Seminar program stresses students mastering the writing and communications skills essential for academic and career success. The program is anchored by two classes that every first-year student takes. First Year Seminars are small classes that offer many diverse and innovative topics, while Critical Thinking focuses on logic and critical-thinking. The program is designed to provide new students with not just solid academic abilities, but also a desire to become strong and effective writers; dynamic, self-confident speakers; clearer and more creative thinkers; more engaged, self-sufficient learners; and active members of a vibrant, scholarly community.
The great teaching at Sacred Heart extends far beyond the traditional classroom setting. SHU’s faculty enrich their students’ experiences through trips abroad, shared volunteer experiences and mentorships for sports teams. They also lead excursions to such locations such as Washington, D.C. and the New York Stock Exchange.
SHU’s capstone experience challenges seniors to conduct research or lead creative projects that exemplify their thirst for discovery as well as the knowledge they gained throughout their years in college.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Teacher certification program
Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) in SHU’s residence halls bring students with shared interests such as Business, Health & Wellness, Gaming & Technology or Community Service together. In addition to living together, students participate in a related, credit-bearing academic course and engaging in out-of-the-classroom experiences with a faculty mentor. Additional residence hall options on campus include traditional, suite and apartment-style residences, some of which include gaming labs, fitness centers and social spaces. Approximately 92 percent of SHU freshmen live on campus.
PERFORMING ARTS & CULTURAL EVENTS
Cultural events abound on campus including concerts, poetry nights and the Student Affairs Lecture Series, which brings renowned guest speakers to campus. Students in Sacred Heart’s performing arts programs enrich campus life with performances in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts and other smaller on-campus venues. Overseen by a Tony-and Grammy-nominated producer, the performing arts program includes dance (with a variety of ensembles from Irish to step to hip-hop), theatre arts, instrumental music (marching band, orchestra, and an array of ensembles) and a variety of choral groups. Over 100 student organizations including including media groups, social organizations, national Greek organizations, Division I athletics, intramural and club sports, service organizations, multicultural groups, leadership programs and academic honor societies contribute to a vibrant campus environment. Annual campus-wide events include the fall and spring concerts, Spring Fest, Dancing with Heart, Mr. SHU and more.
“During my college decision process, I had made it known to many different admissions counselors at different schools that I wanted to do a little bit of everything. I wanted to be pushed academically in the business school, but I also wanted to perform and be on stage while at the same time work with Admissions, Student Activities and Residential Life. The majority of the schools that I looked at told me that I could only pick one. At Sacred Heart, they said challenge accepted. At SHU, we are encouraged to take advantage of each and every opportunity that is given to us. This involvement has been extremely beneficial to me, and I cannot say thank you enough to Sacred Heart University for pushing me and challenging me to take on these roles to allow me to grow into the person I am today.” – Abby B. ‘19, Dedham, MA
Sacred Heart has a robust Greek life community whose participants engage in a unique balance of leadership, academic, philanthropy/service and social opportunities. The entire campus benefits from events and programs organized by fraternities and sororities.
SERVICE LEARNING & VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
Through a dynamic service learning program that integrates service into academic courses, students gain relevant experience, all while enacting the University’s dedication to civic responsibility. The SHU community’s dedication to serving others, is evidenced by an award-winning community service program. Each year, Sacred Heart students contribute about 100,000 hours of community service to the local community and on international service trips to countries such as Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico and Colombia.
Students come together to cheer on the Division I Pioneers, with big crowds turning out for events such as the Homecoming football game in the fall and Midnight Madness to kick off the basketball season.
Sacred Heart fields 32 NCAA Division I varsity teams, one of the largest programs in the country, which contributes to school spirit on campus. With 29 intercollegiate club sport teams including such diverse offerings as sailing, golf, gymnastics, rugby and figure skating, non-varsity athletes have the opportunity to continue a high school sport or learn a new one. Intramural sports and fitness classes are also open to all students.
Sacred Heart’s location between New York City and Boston in Fairfield County, Connecticut, means proximity to world-class hospitals, nationally ranked elementary and secondary schools, a high concentration of Fortune 500 corporations and access to the employers in Connecticut’s “creative corridor.” Satellite campuses are located throughout Connecticut in Stamford and Griswold. International campuses include Dingle, Ireland and Luxembourg.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 92%
Campus housing options.
Special housing for disabled students
Special housing for international students
With a 95 percent success rate (full-time employment and graduate school enrollment) among those graduates seeking full time positions, Sacred Heart University graduates are highly successful in their respective professional fields. They are quick to be hired by Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, school systems, nonprofit agencies, and small and large businesses alike.
CENTER FOR CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Outside the classroom, undergraduates in all majors participate in internships that are facilitated through the Center for Career and Professional Development. Career coaches work with students one-on-one during their internship and job searches, and students also utilize the “Pioneer Network,” SHU’s interactive career development system with 10,000 employers. Students also have the opportunity to connect with potential employers and internships through a variety of networking events on campus, such as career fairs and on-campus interviewing days.
The Center also offers a range of services, programs and resources to help students identify opportunities, connect with appropriate companies and organizations and effectively market themselves to employers and graduate schools. These include one-on-one job search coaching, on-campus interviewing days, networking events and job fairs, résumé writing, interviewing, social media and job search workshops.
Sacred Heart University students fully engage in internships in all fields, including business and finance, communications, government, graphic art, healthcare, information technology, sales, social services and the sciences. The Center for Career and Professional Development makes recruiting for internships seamless, including on-campus interview opportunities, career and internship fairs and online job postings.
MAJOR IN SUCCESS
To ensure students are on the path to success, the University offers students the opportunity to participate in its innovative “Major in Success (MIS)” program. The program is designed to assist students in making the right choices about majors and careers by increasing students’ understanding of how their unique talents, interests, values and skills match with a variety of careers and corresponding academic programs. This highly-effective, structured program is open to all undergraduates, particularly catering to the needs of first-and second-year students. MIS is implemented over the course of several weeks through individual and group career counseling, which also includes the use of popular career and personality assessment inventories.
GRADUATE SCHOOL PLACEMENT
Roughly 21 percent of each graduating class continues directly into graduate school upon graduation. Pre-professional programs in medicine, dentistry, law, optometry, pharmacy, osteopathy, physician’s assistant and veterinary science prepare students for the rigorous application process to these respective graduate programs. In addition, all students interested in pursuing graduate studies receive advisement from their academic departments and the Center for Career and Professional Development.
Students applying to Sacred Heart University benefit from a comprehensive, holistic admissions process which takes into account students’ overall profile including academic achievements, strength of college preparatory curriculum, leadership and community service experience, character and extraordinary talents. Sacred Heart University is a test-optional institution, and does not require the SAT/ACT as part of the student’s application. A student may elect to submit SAT/ACT scores if the student believes it will strengthen his/her application and is reflective of the student’s potential as a first-year college student. Completion of the Common Application, high school transcript and letter of recommendation are required, as well as a $50 application fee. An interview is strongly recommended for all candidates and is required for Early Decision applicants. SHU offers an Early Decision program (December 1 deadline), a non-binding Early Action program (December 15 deadline) as well as rolling admissions with a priority deadline of February 15.
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Volunteer work | Work experience
Class rank | Application Essay | Recommendation(s) | Interview | Extracurricular activities
Talent/ability | Character/personal qualities | Level of applicant’s interest
Standardized test scores
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 530 | 75th Percentile: 600
25th Percentile: 530 | 75th Percentile: 600
25th Percentile: 23 | 75th Percentile: 27
Tuition & Cost
Room & Board: $15,310
Room Only: $10,500
Board Only: $4,810
Completion of the FAFSA is required for students seeking federal and state financial assistance. The College Board’s Profile is required for students to be considered for institutional grants and scholarships. Need-based and merit aid as well as academic scholarships and loans are available through federal, state, University and private sources. Student employment is available on-and-off-campus through federal and institutional work-study program and student employment.