Canisius College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Canisius College
Students who are fascinated by the world and curious about their place in it...

Canisius College

Buffalo, New York

Canisius students receive a transformational education. They work with professors on world-changing research projects, participate in a rigorous academic curriculum, and actively create a better community on both a local and global scale. The College is not just a place from which to earn a degree, but rather a haven for success and true education. Students who are fascinated by the world and curious about their place in it are bound to thrive at Canisius.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
2,671 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
46% male — 54% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
198 full-time faculty
227 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

48% of students live on campus.

School Location

Buffalo, New York

Retention Fall 2015

83% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

70% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 5%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Black or African American 8%
White 70%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 7%


NCAA Division I, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

16 varsity sports
8 men‘s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving
8 women‘s: basketball, cross-country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, synchronized swimming, volleyball

Other Information

Canisius College is a private comprehensive institution founded by German Jesuits in 1870.

Academic Programs

Accounting; Accounting Information Systems; Adolescence Education (Grades 7–12); Anthropology; Art History; Athletic Training/Sports Medicine; Biochemistry; Bioinformatics; Biology; Business Economics; Chemistry; Childhood Education (Grades 1–6); Clinical Laboratory Science; Communication Studies; Computer Science (BA & BS); Criminal Justice; Digital Media Arts; Early Childhood Education (Birth–Grade 2); Economics; English; Entrepreneurship; Environmental Science; European Studies; Finance; History; Information Systems; International Business; International Relations; Management; Marketing; Mathematics/Statistics; Modern Languages; Music; Philosophy; Physical Education/Health Education; Physics; Political Science; Psychology; Religious Studies & Theology; Sociology; Special Education/Childhood Education (Grades 1–6); Special Education/Early Childhood Education (Birth–Grade 2); Urban Studies.

More Distinctions

  • The Middle State Association Commission on Higher Education, the most important collegiate accrediting organization, reaffirmed its regional accreditation of Canisius College in 2005.

  • Our Wehle School of Business is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), a distinction merited by less than 15% of all business schools.

  • Our School of Education and Human Services was granted professional accreditation by the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), a standard achieved by less than half of the education programs in the country.

  • Many individual programs at Canisius have earned every applicable accreditation, including the most prestigious.

  • Canisius earned its highest ranking in college history with the 20th spot in the top tier of U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 rankings of America’s Best Colleges, Regional Universities – North.

  • In the last 18 years, more than 48 national fellowships and scholarships have been awarded to Canisius graduates, including the Fulbright Scholarship, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, Andrew M. Mellon Fellowship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Harry Truman Scholarship.

  • Canisius was named to Forbes’ 2011 ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions for quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt.

Canisius is all about opportunity. Its students benefit from experiences to which undergrads rarely have access. They conduct real-world research and take part in major conferences. They practice their skills in internships. They explore multiple areas of interest with true experts in their fields. They have a chance to step up and make a name for themselves.


A junior biology major recently received an undergraduate research fellowship from the American Society of Plant Biology and presented his work at the group’s international meeting, and another group of students produced a national award-winning video on Sri Lankan elephants. These successes are not at all unusual at Canisius; students in math, science, psychology, and other fields engage in meaningful hands-on research all the time. They regularly publish papers in professional journals and attend and present at major conferences. Field research has taken students to South Dakota, Ontario, Costa Rica, Bhutan, the Himalayas, the Galapagos Islands, and many other locales.


As a Jesuit institution, Canisius College maintains a philosophy that is embedded with service to the community. And, with the economic and social issues that are typical of urban environments, the city of Buffalo has many areas of need to which students can contribute. In any given semester, faculty members can be found guiding hundreds of students from over 70 class sections at a time to apply their classroom learning to a wide variety of community-building endeavors. For example, business students have planned, organized, and managed a project to benefit a not-for-profit, while education students have transformed a barren elementary school courtyard into an urban oasis/outdoor teaching environment. Others have helped immigrants prepare for job interviews, tutored school children, and run workshops to prevent violence. The possibilities are endless.

College-sponsored trips to Jamaica, Mexico, New York City, Appalachia, and El Salvador offer additional opportunities for students to serve people in great need. Alternative Spring Break is one of the most popular and most rewarding experiences, opening up the chance for students to travel and serve communities all around the world.

Prestigious awards

Canisius is consistently ranked in the top 10% of Northern Universities, but the College’s true sense of pride lies in its students’ recognitions for their own unique, exciting, and world-changing ideas. Students have received 18 National Student Awards, and Canisius is tied for 5th nationwide for the number of Fulbright scholarships awarded to its students.

Study abroad

Sure, most colleges offer study in foreign countries, but at Canisius the experiences are both varied and exceptional. Taking advantage of opportunities in more than a dozen countries, students can spend a few weeks or a whole semester abroad. A couple of examples include interning with Parliament in London and teaching English to school kids in Poland, France, or China. Some students can even extend their stay in Europe through their participation in EuroSim, an international competition that simulates the European Union. From pre-trip orientations to post-trip evaluations, Canisius offers extraordinary resources for students who wish to travel abroad.

Honors program

Through the Honors Program, students take an advanced, challenging core curriculum and finish up with a senior thesis that is based on independent research. Most Honors classes are conducted as seminars, and many explore interdisciplinary topics that cannot be found anywhere else. “Technology and Literature,” “Disease and Medicine in American History,” and “Pirates and the Atlantic World” are just a few of the unique course examples offered to Honors students. Enriching extracurricular and co-curricular cultural experiences, field trips and scholarly travel are also integral to the program.

Wonderful things are possible when students and instructors get to know each other as individuals. At Canisius, where the average class size is 17 and the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, close relationships are common. Canisius students benefit from exceptional professors who are leaders in their fields. These professors are dedicated scholars who prioritize students’ progress.


At Canisius, students can choose from more than 125 majors, minors, and special programs, enjoying a flexible curriculum that can be catered to their overall goals. Dual and even triple majors are encouraged, the combinations of which range from mainstream to ingenious. Inspired students have mixed digital media arts with psychology, music with political science, biology with studio art, and English with European studies and international business.


Canisius professors are remarkably visionary, inventing exceptionally innovative courses that the College supports with special funding. The following are just some examples that are typical of the extraordinary Peter Canisius Distinguished Professorships:

  • The Holocaust in History, Literature, and Film—This course combines its studies with tours of Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin, Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, and Auschwitz. Through these exposures, students are “profoundly moved” as they “study the failure of humanity.”
  • The Native American Experience: In Their Own Words and in Their Own Ways—Students immerse themselves in Lakota culture as guests on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. This course includes lectures, activities, and events presented by Native American guests.
  • Christianity on the Road Less Traveled—This course is “experiential education at its most intense,” according to its professor. Students get a firsthand look at Christianity—and poverty—in such countries as Mexico, El Salvador, India, and the Philippines.
  • Canisius College Video Institute—Students produce documentary videos to aid nonprofit or service agencies, ranging from the Buffalo Zoo and the Frank Lloyd Wright Boathouse to The Kosciuszko Foundation’s Teaching English in Poland Program.

Contemporary Writers Series—Through intimate, informal conversations with high-profile authors, students are able to “hear first-hand how literature is made.” Emerging, established, and award-winning artists visit this class and give public readings.


More than 95% of Canisius faculty members hold a doctorate or other terminal degree, a professional certification, or both. Professors actively advance their fields as scientists, artists, economists, attorneys, social and political scientists, researchers, and more. They regularly publish books and journal articles and present at seminars and conferences worldwide. They are highly respected as consultants and sought after as authorities in a variety of disciplines. There are way too many examples to list, but here are a few:

  • The range of research exploration and expertise in the sciences is vast. To name a few: physiology, neurobiology, aquatic toxicology, animal behavior, immunology, genetics, vertebrate ecology, plant biochemistry, artificial intelligence, robotics, astronomy, morphometrics, and many, many topics in psychology.
  • The economics professors do more legal consulting than those of any other school in the region. They also publish a newsletter of research and analysis, Western New York Economic News.
  • In addition to conducting and publishing academic research, the accounting faculty members actively consult with local, regional, national, and international companies.
  • Funded by the Canadian government, Canisius international business professors have conducted a study of border security’s impact on international trade.
  • Two professors—one education and one psychology—were recently awarded special college funding to advance their research into autism and related clinical disorders.
  • Canisius students learn from the professional writers-, artists-, and composers-in-residence at the College. In one major alone (communication studies), faculty members include a Ph.D. with 30 years of advertising agency experience, an attorney who specializes in jury selection, and an expert in daytime TV.
  • The athletic training faculty members serve on prestigious regional and national task forces and committees, including the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Canisius’ environment and close-knit community encourages all to plunge in. There are more than 100 student organizations; 16 NCAA Division I athletic teams; numerous on-campus lectures, events, and activities; and countless off-campus diversions. It’s no wonder that the majority of students live on campus; 85% of student residences are newly renovated, and all the outlets to have fun are surrounding all of the College’s dorms, townhouses, and apartments!


Buffalo, New York’s second largest city, is a vibrant college town. Live music and theatre, clubs, restaurants, shops, professional sports, museums, and the spectacular Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park are all right on Canisius’ doorstep. Lake Erie beaches, Niagara Falls, and fabulous ski slopes are all nearby as well.

State-of-the-art Facilities

Canisius is continually upgrading to keep all of the academic, athletic, and recreational facilities state of the art. Among the countless advantages of the College’s campus include high-tech classrooms, fully equipped science labs with professional-quality equipment, a media center completely outfitted for digital video and audio production, a Bloomberg terminal for access to world financial markets, dedicated labs and equipment for physical education and athletic training, and a great deal more.

Cultural Traditions

Among the student body are students from 35 states and 21 countries, fostering a diverse culture that is highlighted by an annual International Fest. This event invites students, faculty, and staff to celebrate ethnic diversity in music, dance, and storytelling. They enjoy foods from around the world and get swept up in such exotic activities as origami, West African dance lessons, Japanese calligraphy, henna painting, and more.

Ministry and Service

Campus Ministry offers plenty of ways for students to get involved with service to the local community. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Journey’s End Refugee Services, Catholic Central School, VIVE la Casa, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and many others love Canisius volunteers.

Canisius provides the flexibility to explore new interests and discover new talents. Students have the freedom to blend a myriad of choices into their own custom-made curriculum in order to work directly toward their specific career goals. They benefit from a lifetime privilege to consult the knowledgeable counselors and state-of-the-art resources of the Career Center at any time, even after they graduate. With more than 40,000 living alumni, the Canisius network extends across the country and around the world.


Canisius believes so strongly in the value of internships that it have employed a full-time director on the job. The school’s location in New York State’s second largest city means that real-world opportunities are practically limitless. Canisius students also intern out of town, out of state, and even out of the country. There’s so much to learn through work at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., in the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland, throughout businesses in Germany, or even on the set of “The Young and the Restless” in L.A.


Admissions Fall 2015

4,209 Total Applicants 
3,661 Total Admissions 
605 Total Freshman Enrollment

86.98% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 470 580
SAT Math 480 600
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 21 27
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    

Application Requirements

Completed application
Official high school transcript
Official ACT or SAT test scores
Application Fee of $40 (waived if application completed online)

Admission Application Deadline

Rolling Admission? Yes

Priority date: Nov 15


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $33,282
Fees $1,408
Total $34,690
Room and Board (on campus) $12,766
Room Only $7,500
Board Only $5,266
Estimated Total On Campus $47,456


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

97% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
76% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$26,854 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$8,178 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Canisius College offers an extensive merit-based scholarship program to award students with outstanding academic achievement. Last year, Canisius College offered more than $20 million in academic merit scholarships to the freshman class.

Academic scholarships are based on your three-year cumulative high school average (freshman through junior year) and your highest SAT–I combined score or ACT composite score of tests taken by December 31. Academic scholarships range from $6,000 to $23,500 per year and are renewable for four years. A separate application is not required. If you qualify for an academic scholarship, you will be notified with your admissions decision letter.


In addition to the general scholarships offered to prospective freshman in the 2007-2008 academic year, Canisius College has continued its commitment to affordable education with scholarship awards for students with special interests.

Canisius College participates in the Army ROTC program. Scholarship information is available at


Canisius College has benefited from the generosity of various alumni, businesses and charitable organizations. Various scholarships funded by the college’s endowed fund may be awarded to incoming freshmen.  These awards are based upon need and require that the student complete the FAFSA.