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Canisius College
"If you are fascinated about the world and finding your place in it, if...

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 a local and global scale. Students who are fascinated about the world and finding their place in it, who want both to succeed and to make a difference, and who want not just to earn a degree, but to become truly educated, will 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 university 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.  Students benefit from experiences undergrads rarely enjoy. They conduct real-world research and take part in major conferences. They practice their skills in internships where they do real work. They explore multiple areas of interest with faculty members who are true experts in their fields. They have a chance to make a name for themselves…

Real-world opportunities

Research. 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. At Canisius this is not at all unusual – students in math, science, psychology and other fields engage in meaningful hands-on research all the time. They regularly attend and present at major conferences, and publish papers in professional journals. Field research has taken students to South Dakota, Ontario, Costa Rica, Bhutan, the Himalayas, the Galapagos Islands and many other locales. One group produced a national award-winning video on elephants in Sri Lanka.

Internships. Canisius believes so strongly in the value of internships, they have a full-time director on the job. The school’s location in New York State’s second largest city means real-world opportunities are practically limitless. And not just there – Canisius students also intern out of town, out of state and even out of the country. Just think what you could learn at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland, businesses in Germany, or the set of “The Young and the Restless” in L.A.

Service-learning. Service to the community is embedded in the Canisius philosophy and culture as a Jesuit institution. And, with the economic and social issues typical of cities, Buffalo offers many ways to contribute. In any given semester, you’ll find 50+ faculty members guiding hundreds of students from more than 70 class sections as they apply their classroom learning to a wide variety of endeavors. Business students plan, organize and manage a project to benefit a not-for-profit. Education students transform a barren elementary school courtyard into an urban oasis/outdoor teaching environment. Others help immigrants prepare for job interviews, tutor school children and run workshops to prevent violence. The possibilities are endless.

Service trips. 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.

Prestigious awards. Canisius is consistently ranked in the top 10% of Northern Universities, but more importantly, its students are consistently recognized for their unique, exciting and world-changing ideas. Canisius is tied for 5th nationwide for the number of Fulbright scholarships awarded to its students; its students have received 18 National Student Awards, and just recently, one of its students was awarded a Boren Fellowship for study of a critical language.

Exceptional Challenges

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, you might spend a few weeks or a whole semester abroad. Picture yourself teaching English to school kids in Poland, France or China. Interning with Parliament – or studying crime and social problems – in London. Or extending your stay in Europe after competing in EuroSim, the international competition that simulates the European Union. From pre-trip orientations to post-trip evaluations, with plenty of support while you’re away, Canisius offers extraordinary resources for students traveling abroad.

Honors program. Students take a challenging honors core curriculum and finish up with a senior thesis based on independent research. Most classes are conducted as seminars. Many are interdisciplinary, often treating topics not found anywhere else in the college – “Technology and Literature,” “Disease and Medicine in American History” or “Pirates and the Atlantic World.” Enriching extra-curricular and co-curricular cultural experiences, field trips and scholarly travel are integral to the program. English honors and history honors are offered as well.


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 to one, close relationships are common. As a Canisius student, you will benefit from exceptional professors who are leaders in their fields, whose priority is teaching and whose focus is on you. Our dedicated teacher-scholars will guide your progress as mentors and friends. In fact, you’ll have your own advisor right from the start…

Life-changing courses

Canisius professors are remarkably visionary, inventing exceptionally innovative courses that the college supports with special funding. Here are some examples typical of our extraordinary Peter Canisius Distinguished Professorships. Participation may truly change your life.

  • The Holocaust in History, Literature and Film. Combines course work with tours of Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin, Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow and Auschwitz where, the professors say, students are “profoundly moved” because “we 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. Also includes lectures, activities and events presented by Native American guests.
  • Christianity on the Road Less Traveled. “Experiential education at its most intense,” according to its professor. Students get a first-hand look at Christianity – and poverty – in such countries a Mexico, El Salvador, India and the Philippines.
  • Canisius College Video Institute. Students produce documentary videos to aid non-profit 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. Intimate, informal conversations with high-profile authors enable students to “hear first-hand how literature is made.” Emerging, established and award-winning artists visit classes and give public readings.

Faculty Expertise

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, writers, economists, historians, social and political scientists, attorneys, musicians, 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 conducted a study of the impact of border security 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 working professional writers, artists and composers in residence at the college. In one major alone – communication studies – faculty members include a PhD 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.

Unlimited possibilities

At Canisius, you can choose from more than 125 majors, minors and special programs, and the flexible curriculum can be tailored to fit you. Dual and even triple majors are encouraged, and combinations range from mainstream to ingenious. So if you dream of mixing digital media arts with psychology, music with political science, biology with studio art, or English with European studies and international business, go ahead – you won’t be the first.


At Canisius you’ll find an inviting environment and a close-knit community that encourages you to plunge in. There are more than 100 student organizations, 16 NCAA Division I athletic teams, numerous on-campus lectures, events and activities plus countless off-campus diversions … and what does it all mean to you? It means you’ll hardly know where to start.

Buffalo, New York’s second largest city, is a vibrant college town and Canisius is right in the heart of it. Live music and theatre, clubs, restaurants and coffee houses, boutiques and shops, the zoo, professional sports, museums and art galleries are all right on our doorstep – not to mention a spectacular Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park with golf, tennis and a track for running, walking or blading. Lake Erie beaches, Niagara Falls and fabulous ski slopes are all nearby. Check the website for favorite student “hot spots.”

  • Buffalo is a dynamic learning lab, too. Canisius students enjoy incredible internships with the region’s wealth of businesses, government and service agencies, arts and cultural organizations, media outlets and practically any other place you could think of. And because we’re on the Canadian border, there are international opportunities as well.
  • No wonder more than 50% of students live on campus – 85% of student residences are new or newly renovated. From suite-style dorms to townhouses and apartments, from international residence options to science and honors floors, there’s a comfortable choice for everyone.
  • Canisius is continually upgrading to keep all of our academic, sports and recreational facilities at the state of the art. Among the countless advantages that students enjoy: high-tech classrooms, wireless zones, fully equipped science labs with professional-quality equipment, a media center completely outfitted for digital video and audio production, advanced computer labs, a Bloomberg terminal for access to world financial markets, dedicated labs and equipment for physical education and athletic training, and a great deal more. Next on the school’s major project agenda: a spectacular interdisciplinary science center.
  • Among the student body you’ll find students from 35 states and 21 countries, making the annual International Fest a truly major event. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff – adults and children alike – celebrate ethnic diversity in music, dance and storytelling, 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.
  • The Canisius calendar is packed with activities, from stimulating lectures to enthralling concerts, exhibits and other arts events. Accomplished authors, distinguished scholars and luminaries from every field of endeavor regularly visit campus and classes.
  • Campus Ministry offers plenty of ways for students – and anyone at the college – 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


At Canisius, you’ll enjoy the flexibility to explore new interests and discover new talents. You’ll have the freedom to blend a myriad of choices into your own custom-made curriculum, aimed at your own rewarding career. You’ll benefit from a “lifetime guarantee” – the privilege of consulting the knowledgeable counselors and state-of-the-art resources of the Career Center at any time. With more than 40,000 living alumni, the Canisius network extends across the country and around the world. And you’ll be part of it for life…

A few ways we measure success

  • More than 92 percent of recent graduates are employed in their field of choice or attending graduate or professional schools. Many receive prestigious grants and fellowships, and are admitted to highly competitive graduate programs.
  • In the last 18 years, 46 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. A current sophomore was just awarded a Boren Fellowship for critical language to study Arabic in the Middle East.
  • Canisius is rated in the top ten percent of liberal arts colleges in the number of graduates who have earned PhDs in the sciences over the past 75 years. The college ranks 15th among all colleges in the sciences, fourth in chemistry, eighth in physics and 19th in the life sciences and mathematics.
  • Canisius biology majors achieve an outstanding rate of acceptance to graduate and professional schools, including medical, dental and veterinary medicine, averaging 90 percent over the last ten years. In the last five years, Canisius has produced three Fulbright scholars and eight graduates were admitted into extremely competitive combined MD/PhD programs.
  • The biochemistry/chemistry department ranks among the top ten percent of all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Thirty-five percent of recent graduates received full scholarships to PhD programs in chemistry or biochemistry.
  • Virtually all physics majors who decide to apply to graduate school are accepted, and many attend some of the most prestigious programs in the country.
  • Ditto for psychology majors, whose fields of study include psychology and school psychology, counseling, social work, law and others.
  • Canisius business school alumni are leading successful for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises everywhere. Recent graduates are working for a wide range of business, banking, investment, accounting and other firms, including major companies in and outside the U.S.
  • The accounting department has a stellar record. Besides our outstanding CPA pass rate (including one student who placed in the top ten out of 93,000 exams) virtually every graduate has secured a job or admission to graduate school
  • Virtually all graduates of the entrepreneurship program are involved in their own business ventures.
  • Canisius has an outstanding law school acceptance record, sending alumni to such institutions as Georgetown, Columbia, Notre Dame and Cornell. One is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.
  • Students in all of the education programs consistently achieve a very high passing rate for New York State teacher certification exams, including content specialties.
  • The physical education graduates have achieved an excellent rate of acceptance into top graduate schools, and many have been awarded assistantships and scholarships.
  • Among the hundreds of accomplished liberal arts graduates are the producer of a national TV news program, a senior vice president at a major movie studio, a business columnist for a national daily newspaper, an editor of a publishing house, the chief of the Paris Bureau of The New York Times, a reporter for USA Today, an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, a consultant to the European Union, members of the New York State Assembly and State Supreme Court, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, an Air Force colonel, plus countless practitioners of law and other distinguished professions.


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 with a priority consideration deadline of November 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.

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