Sacred Heart University
Distinguished by the personal attention it provides its students, Sacred Heart University (SHU) is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, an 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 surrounding neighborhood of Fairfield has its own charm as well; in addition to SHU’s 18-hole golf course a mere 15 minutes away from the main campus, students enjoy the city’s 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 and, in 2018, the town earned an A+ in a ‘report card’ by Niche on “Best Places to Live” in Connecticut and made ADT’s list of safest college campuses in the nation in 2019.
SHU is the second-largest Catholic university in New England and one of the fastest-growing Catholic colleges according to 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. On the main campus, new, world-class academic facilities include the Frank and Marisa Martire Center for Liberal Arts, the Center for Healthcare Education, and West Campus, former home to General Electric’s world headquarters. West Campus houses an engineering IDEA Lab or makerspace, an artificial intelligence lab, an iHub powered by Verizon, a virtual reality lab, incubator space for student-entrepreneurs and other innovation-focused learning spaces.
With nearly 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in over 80 academic programs, this dynamic university is an innovative presence within Catholic higher education. Its campus includes such new residence halls as the Upper Quad, which is located near the JP’s Diner dining hall, as well as the Bobby Valentine Health & Recreation Center, which features a climbing wall and bowling alley.
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 in research, internships, clinical placements, independent study, service-learning, work-study, and study abroad programs.
“The social work program at SHU prepares students for real-world experiences. I had the chance to work multiple internships, preparing me for my social work career. Each professor brought with them years of experience and wisdom that they were happy to share. Having a small cohort of students allowed me to get to know each of my classmates personally. I find myself each day using experiences and lessons that I was taught.” — Katherine S. ‘18
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 Liberal Arts allows students to apply their skills in real-world settings.They excel with the help of SHU’s full-size television studios and motion capture lab. At West Campus, students learn valuable, real-world lessons in the University’s finance lab and trading floor.The Center for Healthcare Education features the latest technology available to health professions students. Students in the sciences utilize new laboratories and state-of-the-art computer labs.
Further from campus, students participate in study abroad programs around the world in semester, academic year, and short-term (one to six weeks) programs, many of which offer internships and clinical experiences. SHU undergraduates also study at SHU’s international campuses, one of which is in the European business center of Luxembourg, the other of which is in Dingle, Ireland. The University’s professors also lead trips to such countries as India, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bermuda, China, and Korea.
Sacred Heart University’s Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) Committee supports undergraduate research by awarding funding to students involved in research with a faculty member. With this financial support, eligible students can purchase the research materials they need and attend conferences or other research-related activities.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education reclassified Sacred Heart University to Carnegie’s newly named Doctoral/Professional Universities category. This Carnegie Classification acknowledges SHU’s doctorate degrees in physical therapy and nursing practice, its doctor of business administration in finance and doctorate in educational leadership. SHU has been investing strategically in graduate and doctoral programs over the past several years with a goal to continue expanding its offerings to SHU students and others across the region. With new, high-quality professional programs, SHU strives to fill both current and anticipated employment opportunities in rapidly evolving professional fields.
A hallmark example of SHU’s focus on active learning is the Welch Experience program for students in the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology. 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.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 109 | 10-19: 420 | 20-29: 569
30-39: 228 | 40-49: 8 | 50-99: 17 | 100+: 3
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 89
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 283
White, non-Hispanic: 4,422
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 8
Asian, non-Hispanic: 125
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 3
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 142
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 238
Total Enrollment: 6,066
FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR AND CRITICAL THINKING
The First-Year Seminar program is anchored by two courses that stress students’ mastery of the communications skills essential for their academic and career success. The first course, the First-Year Seminar, is a small class that can range in diverse and innovative topics. The second course emphasizes logic and critical thinking skills. Altogether, the courses are 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.
“I admire the professors I had during my time as a student in SHU’s English program. They encouraged me to explore new topics and write challenging pieces. I graduated from this program a better thinker and writer. As I move into my profession as an English teacher, I take with me the teaching skills I learned through watching my English professors lead engaging classes.” — Julia F. ’19
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Teacher certification program
“During my college decision process, I 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
Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) in SHU’s residence halls bring together students with shared interests, such as business, health & wellness, gaming & technology, or community service. In addition to living together, students participate in a related, credit-bearing academic course and engage in out-of-the-classroom experiences with a faculty mentor. Additional residence hall options on campus include traditional, suite-style, 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 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 media groups, social organizations, national Greek organizations, Division I athletics, intramural and club sports, service organizations, multicultural groups, leadership programs, and academic honor societies—all contribute to a vibrant campus environment.
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. Sacred Heart students, faculty, and staff contribute over 100,000 hours of community engagement locally and internationally.
Sacred Heart’s location between New York City and Boston means it is in close proximity to world-class hospitals, nationally ranked elementary and secondary schools, a high concentration of Fortune 500 corporations, and employers in Connecticut’s “creative corridor.” Satellite campuses are located throughout Connecticut in Stamford and Griswold. International campuses include Dingle, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
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 sports teams, including such diverse offerings as sailing, golf, gymnastics, rugby, figure skating, and eSports, 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.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 92%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
With a 99 percent success rate (full-time employment and graduate school enrollment) among 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, non-profit agencies, and small and large businesses alike.
CENTER FOR CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Outside the classroom, undergraduates in all majors participate in internships that are facilitated through the Center for Career & Professional Development. Not only do career coaches work with students one-on-one during their internship and job searches, but students can also utilize Handshake, SHU’s online career management platform with internship and job postings as well as access to 300,000 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 interview 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, and social media and job search workshops.
Sacred Heart students fully engage in internships in all fields, including business and finance, communications, government, graphic arts, health care, information technology, sales, social services, and the sciences. The Center for Career & 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 that students are on the path to success, the University offers the opportunity to participate in the innovative “Major in Success (MIS)” program. This program is designed to assist students in making the right choices about majors and careers by increasing their 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 35 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 practice, and veterinary science prepare students for the rigorous application process to their respective graduate programs. In addition, all students interested in pursuing graduate studies receive advice from their academic departments and the Center for Career & Professional Development.
“SHU’s speech-language pathology program gives graduate students the opportunities to gain hands-on experience, while working collaboratively with other health-care professionals, beginning in our first semester. The professors and clinical educators are dedicated to all their students in order to ensure success throughout the program. The small class sizes and individualized attention provides a foundation for students to develop professional relationships with the faculty. Being an alumna of Sacred Heart, I couldn’t imagine continuing my graduate studies anywhere else!” — Kayla P. ‘21
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Volunteer work
Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
Class rank | Application Essay | Recommendation(s) | Interview
Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability | Character/personal qualities
Standardized test scores | Alumni/ae relation
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 570 | 75th Percentile: 630
25th Percentile: 550 | 75th Percentile: 630
25th Percentile: 23 | 75th Percentile: 28
Students applying to Sacred Heart University benefit from a comprehensive, holistic admissions process that 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 is a test-optional institution that does not require the SAT/ACT as part of the student’s application. A student may elect to submit SAT/ACT scores if they believe it will strengthen their application and is reflective of their individual potential as a first-year college student.
Completion of the Common Application, a high school transcript, and a letter of recommendation are required along with 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.
Tuition & Cost
Room Only: $11,230
Board Only: $5,262
Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is required for students seeking federal and state financial assistance. The CSS 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 programs and student employment.
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