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Brescia University
"Brescia University has a single overarching goal – Student centered education as directed by...

Brescia University

Owensboro, Kentucky

Brescia University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution founded in the Ursuline tradition of personal and social transformation through education. Directed to foster academic and moral excellence in a student-centered environment, Brescia offers undergraduate and graduate programs that produce value-driven graduates. Students leave Brescia with the talents and skills to build successful careers; to nourish strong families; and to make a difference in the lives of others, the life of the Church, and the life of the community.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,043 undergraduate students
74% of undergrad students are full time
26% male 74% female
20% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
49 full-time faculty
116 part-time faculty
8 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
95% of first year students live on campus
25% of all students live on campus

School Location

Brescia University is nestled in the heart of downtown Owensboro, the industrial, medical, retail, and cultural hub of Western Kentucky. The city is the fourth largest city in the Commonwealth and is located on the southern banks of the Ohio River, which provides a majestic backdrop to vibrant downtown. Brescia is located only a few hours away from metropolitan areas such as Louisville, Nashville, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects  
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning  
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

61% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

30% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 13%
White 66%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 0%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 12%


Home of the Bearcats, Brescia offers both men and women’s varsity sports in the NAIA conference, made up of award-winning student athletes.

Men’s Sports: Baseball; Basketball; Cross Country; Golf; Soccer; Tennis; Track & Field
Women’s Sports: Basketball; Cross Country; Golf; Soccer; Softball; Tennis; Track & Field; Volleyball

Mascot: Barney the Bearcat
Color: Blue and Gold

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Programs: 

Associate of Arts Degree
Graphic Design, Human Services, Integrated Studies, Liberal Arts

Associate of Science Degree

Addictions Counseling, Business, Engineering Studies, Engineering Technology, Health Services, Integrated Studies

Bachelor of Arts Degree
Art, Art Education, English, English with Emphasis in Professional Writing, Graphic Design, History, Integrated Studies, Political Science, Political Science with Emphasis in Public Administration/American Government or International Relations, Pre-Law Studies, Psychology, Social Studies, Spanish, Theology, Theology with Emphasis in Pastoral Studies

Bachelor of Science
Accounting, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Business with Emphasis in Finance and Economics or Human Resource Management, Chemistry, Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Elementary Education, Integrated Studies, Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Applied Mathematics, Medical Technology, Middle School Education, Special Education, Speech Pathology/Audiology

Bachelor of Social Work

Pre-Professional Programs
Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Podiatric Medicine, Pre-Physical Therapy, Speech in Pathology/Audiology, Veterinary Science

Graduate Programs

More Distinctions

  • President’s Volunteer Service Award

Extended Learning

Brescia University provides a multitude of opportunities for out of class engagement. Both group and individual study abroad opportunities are available. Many majors require practicum experiences, observations outside of the classroom, or lab based experiences. Internships, both for credit and not for credit as well as paid and unpaid, are available.

BU 101

All freshmen students participate in service learning opportunities through the BU 101 program, an extended orientation program that runs throughout the first semester of the freshman year.

Becoming We

Brescia University believes that “I become me, by becoming we.” Brescia University believes that students become fully alive by putting others first. Students become the best versions of themselves when they live for and serve others. Whether students do that on their own, with their teams, or as part of a club or organization, they will find opportunities to become part of something larger than themselves: a community. Numerous service-related clubs and organizations are established, and the athletic teams all participate in service learning opportunities.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band  
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

The Ursuline Values

Brescia University was founded by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph. Ursuline education is a unique educational pedagogy that thrives on the idea of personalized attention and providing opportunities to those who might otherwise have none. Brescia University educates students in that same manner. The following describes the basis in which teaching at Brescia University is rooted:

Founded in 1535 by St. Angela Merici as a community of women devoted to loving God and doing good works, the Ursuline Sisters soon devoted themselves almost exclusively to education, especially of girls and young women. Across Europe and the United States (and eventually all over the world), “Ursuline” became synonymous with the highest quality of education. Across the centuries, the Ursuline Legacy of Teaching and Learning has continued to be permeated by these values:

  • The focus on the individual, recognizing that each person is unique and has his/her own gifts and needs.
  • The power of education to transform each person and thus society, leading to an emphasis on academic excellence as the instrument of that transformation.
  • The commitment to the whole person in need of formative education, causing Ursuline schools to be centers of learning for all branches of knowledge. Schools become ecumenical centers where spiritual faith and moral development are nurtured, and so their communities nourish psychological, emotional, and social needs. In college and university settings, this attention to the whole person keeps Ursuline higher education committed to the liberal arts.
  • The ability of the creative arts to humanize life, leading Ursuline schools to balance time devoted to art, music, literature, and other forms of creativity with time spent on practical or professional learning.
  • The importance of service, causing Ursulines to invite students into active cooperation with their good works among others in need so that they develop attitudes of servant-leadership.
  • The concern for the marginalized, inspiring Ursulines to tend to those excluded by the cultural morés of the time, whether they be the girls of the 16th century; the Native Americans of 17th-century Canada; the African Americans of 18th-century New Orleans; the rural poor throughout the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries; the “underachievers” upon whom education was thought to be wasted and the physically or mentally disabled across all the centuries; or the working adults today unable to access traditional higher education.
  • The philosophy that leadership governs through invitation and persuasion, rather than force, recognizing that God gives free will to every person. With this in mind, force (while sometimes necessary) should always be the last resort.
  • The centrality of community, leading to promotion of the common good and training in mutual respect, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships.
  • The gospel imperative to work for justice, accepting individual and communal responsibility to help build the reign of God on earth, to empower the marginalized, and to use one’s God-given gifts to make the world better for one’s presence in it.
  • The freedom – indeed the CALL – to adapt and change, reading the signs of the times as a way to avoid fossilizing the past and remain open to an as-yet-undreamed-of future.
  • The primacy of Hope, inviting all those involved in the Ursuline ministries of teaching and learning to trust in the Providence of God and the promise of a better tomorrow.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 146 224 21 11 0 0 0 402

Student Activities

The best way for students to reach their full potential at Brescia University is to get involved. Not only do students who become engaged with the community feel accepted and possess a sense of belonging, but involved students do better academically. Residence life, intramurals, student activities, campus ministry events, athletics, and the arts are among the many opportunities to become involved. Students are encouraged to find their passion and pursue it.

Intellectually Stimulating Events

Numerous opportunities for exposure to new ideas are available at Brescia University. The Young Lecture Series fosters a faculty driven effort to bring a variety of speakers of notoriety to campus. Furthermore, the Owensboro World Affairs Council hosts its monthly lecture series at Brescia University, offering students exposure to renowned speakers and topics of global impact. The Anna Eaton Stout Art Gallery proudly displays works of art with national, regional, and local reputation. 

Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates

Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

The Ursuline Promise for Success

St. Angela Merici, founder of the Ursuline Order, embraced individual differences and promoted the development of the whole person. To maintain both her vision and the Brescia mission, all courses in the curriculum support the following educational outcomes:

  • Brescia University graduates will demonstrate the ability to think critically, analyze information, and communicate effectively.
  • Brescia University graduates will attain the competence and readiness necessary for graduate school or careers in each individual’s appropriate field.
  • Brescia University graduates will possess the capacity to adapt to diverse environments.
  • Brescia University graduates will understand and apply ethical standards in promoting justice and service to others.

General Education

The University provides a General Education Core Curriculum to help ensure that students have sturdy educational foundation on which to build their college careers. Students are required to receive credit in the following areas:

Language and Literature; Modern Languages; Speech; Theology; Philosophy; Art, Music, or Theatre Appreciation; Fine Arts; Mathematics; Science; History; Psychology or Sociology; Social and/or Behavioral Sciences


Admissions Fall 2015

4,153 Total Applicants
1,991 Total Admissions
159 Total Freshmen Enrollment

47.94% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence
State residency
Religious affiliation/commitment
Racial/ethnic status
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 420 502
SAT Math 457 480
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math 19 26
ACT English 18 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $19,950
Fees $200
Total $20,150
Room and Board (on campus) $8,750
Estimated Total On Campus $29,100


Average Financial Aid Packages 2014-15 final

$25,269 First year students
$24,440 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-15 final

$5,721 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,129 Average need-based loan

Institutional Aid

Joseph D. Moore Presidential Scholars Program
The purpose of this scholarship is to recognize students who have distinguished themselves by their high academic achievement, their leadership skills and their involvement in co-curricular activities. Those selected as Joseph D. Moore Scholars will play a significant role in assisting President Hostetter in representing the University at a variety of events during the course of the academic year. Moore Scholars will have the opportunity to meet influential business, educational, political and civic leaders while providing service to Brescia University. This most prestigious award and position will enable students to cultivate their leadership skills, provide valuable service to the University and to make important contacts that may be helpful as they consider their professional lives. A separate application is required for this award with a deadline of February 15. Finalists for the award will be invited to campus for a personal interview with the President and Joseph Moore.

William H. Thompson School of Business Scholarship
This scholarship recognizes academically gifted students planning to pursue a degree within the William H. Thompson School of Business.  Career preparation is a key concept of the Brescia University mission and the School of Business has successfully prepared students for imaginative and responsible citizenship and leadership roles in business and society since the University’s inception.  A separate application is required for this award with a deadline of February 15.  Finalists for the award will be invited to campus for a personal interview with the President and the Chair of the School of Business.

Trustees Scholarship
Offered to our most gifted academic students, the Trustees Scholarship is awarded on the basis of a student’s grade point average and standardized test scores. This award reflects the hard work and dedication of our Board of Trustees. The Trustees Scholarship is valued at up to $14,000 per year and is renewable for up to eight semesters of enrollment.

Ursuline Scholarship
Awarded to students whose academic performance reflects the tireless efforts of the Ursuline sisters who founded Brescia University, the Ursuline Scholarship is awarded on the basis of a student’s grade point average and standardized test scores. The Ursuline Scholarship is valued at $12,000 to $13,000 per year and is renewable for up to eight semesters enrollment.

Merici Scholarship
Named after St. Angela Merici, the founder of the Ursuline sisters, this award is bestowed upon students who display a marked potential for academic success. Valued at up to $10,000, the Merici Scholarship is awarded to students at the point of acceptance and is based on the student’s high school grade point average and standardized test scores. The Merici Scholarship is renewable for up to eight semesters.

Founders Scholarship
Awarded to students who display a consistent record of academic and personal achievement, Founders Scholarships are valued at $7,000 to $8,500 and are awarded to students at the point of their acceptance into Brescia University. Founders Scholarships are renewable for up to eight semesters.

Achievement Grant
Awarded to students who display a clear ability to achieve success both in and out of the classroom, Achievement Grants are awarded to deserving students at the point of their acceptance into Brescia University. Achievement Grants are valued up to $4,000 and are renewable for up to eight semesters.

The Trustees, Ursuline, Merici, Founders, and Achievement Grants are open to all first-time, full-time freshman based upon information provided on their admissions application. No separate scholarship application is required for these awards.