Salisbury University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Salisbury University
With its highly regarded faculty and exceptional academic programs, Salisbury University is recognized as...

Salisbury University

Salisbury, Maryland

Learn. Live. Lead.


Salisbury University (SU) is nationally recognized for academic excellence. Its creative curriculum emphasizes undergraduate research, study abroad, professional internships, and civic engagement. Located on Maryland’s historic Eastern Shore, SU offers 43 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate programs, including a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Doctor of Education program.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
7,657 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
19.40% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
411 full-time faculty
226 part-time faculty
16 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
99% of first year students live on campus
40% of all students live on campus

School Location

Salisbury, MD—on the Eastern Shore. 30 miles from the Atlantic beaches, and 2.5 hours from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

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

Retention Fall 2016

84% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)


67.9% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 14%
White 70%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


NCAA Division III, Capital Athletic Conference and Eastern College Athletic Conference

21 intercollegiate varsity teams
10 men’s: baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, football, indoor and outdoor track and field, cross country
11 women’s: basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball

Club and intramural sports also are available.


Salisbury University is a public, four-year, comprehensive institution founded in 1925. SU is a member of the University System of Maryland.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate: Accounting, Art, Biology, Business Economics, Chemistry, Communication Arts, Community Health, Computer Science, Conflict Analysis & Dispute Resolution, Early Childhood Education, Earth Science, Economics, Elementary Education, English, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Environmental Studies, Exercise Science, Finance, Fine Art, French, Geography, History, Information and Decision Sciences, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Business, International Studies, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Medical Laboratory Science, Music, Nursing, Philosophy, Physical Education, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Respiratory Therapy, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre.

Graduate: Applied Biology, Applied Health Physiology, Business Administration, Conflict Analysis & Dispute Resolution, Education, Educational Leadership, English, Geographic Information Systems Management, History, Mathematics Education, Nursing, Reading Specialist, Social Work, Teaching.
Doctorates: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Education Contemporary Curriculum Theory and Instruction: Literacy Program
Certificates: Health Care Management, Mathematics for Middle School Teachers, Teaching & Learning with Technology, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

More Distinctions

  • SU is home to Maryland’s only collegiate hot glass program, one of only a handful in the nation.

  • SU’s four-octave Brown and Church carillon is one of fewer than 200 traditional carillons in the U.S.

  • Washington Monthly magazine’s “America’s Best Bang-For-The-Buck Colleges” (September/October 2016 edition) for the fourth consecutive year.

  • Forbes magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” for 2016 (August 2016 edition) – 4th consecutive year

  • Money magazine’s “The Best Colleges for Your Money” for 2017 (August 2017 edition) – 4th consecutive year.


  • The Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges and The Best Northeastern Colleges for 2016-2017 (August 2016 editions) – 18th consecutive year.

  • The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges:  2016 Edition (October 2016) – 7th consecutive year. Published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for 2016-2017 (September 2016 issue) for the 18th consecutive year. SU is among the Best Regional Universities in the North and is also included on the “Best Colleges for Vets” list and the “A-plus Schools for B Students” list.


A major part of the SU mission is to prepare global citizens. SU students are engaged internationally.

Global Citizens

A major part of the SU mission is to prepare global citizens. Education majors have taught elementary students in New Zealand, while others have studied children’s literature in Ireland and Wales. Nursing students have provided aid and education to villagers in Africa, and business students have studied economics in France and South Africa. Other students have spent spring break helping with service projects in Costa Rica and Mexico. One philosophy professor even took a group to Japan to explore humanity’s spiritual relationship with nature while hiking and maintaining pilgrimage trails. World leaders consistently visit campus; speakers have included Nobel Peace Prize winners and former presidents Lech Walesa of Poland, F.W. de Klerk of South Africa, and José Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste.

Study Abroad

Study abroad is possible during the summer and winter sessions or for an entire year. Semester-long Salisbury Abroad programs make it possible to study in Ecuador, Estonia, China, and Spain, all at the same cost of tuition at SU. Through SU’s Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, students have researched, taught, and mediated disputes in contentious areas, including Israel, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland. The University’s Center for International Education, as well as its English Language Institute and International Student and Scholar Services Office, offer resources for students and faculty both at SU and abroad.


SU’s 8,700+ students are active citizens locally, nationally, and internationally. Through the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE), students engage in the political process, intern for state and local governments, and attend national political conventions.

Many PACE students are involved in intensive, multi-faceted, year-long civic experiences through the Presidential Citizen Scholars Program.

Common Intellectual Experiences

In addition to the New Student Reader Program, SU’s Sophomore-Year Experience program provides additional opportunities for students to have shared experiences in their second year. Throughout their time at SU, students are also encouraged to take advantage of the University’s Cultural Laureate Program, which gives recognition to those who attend a certain number of SU-sponsored cultural events, such as performances, exhibits, and academic lectures.


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

With its award-winning faculty, a beautiful campus with national arboretum status, exceptional academic and athletic programs, and a dynamic administration, Salisbury is earning recognition as A Maryland University of National Distinction.

Undergraduate Research

Nationally lauded for its dedication to undergraduate research, SU offers students multiple opportunities to assist professors in research as well as perform their own independent studies. Findings are presented on campus during the annual Student Research Conference, and many student-scholars also speak at national and international conferences. SU has twice hosted the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Off-Campus Learning

Much of the learning at Salisbury takes place outside the classroom. Students have assisted with field work both in local old-growth forests as well as in Amazon rainforests. They have also worked inside the Henson Science Hall labs, researching nerve development and preparing payloads for NASA rockets in order to test the effects of cancer metastasis in zero gravity.

Applied Education

Students across disciplines can apply their studies through internships and field placements, all of which are strongly encouraged. In the Perdue School of Business, for example, all majors must complete an applied business learning experience, many of which lead to success in national sales and marketing competitions. Student entrepreneurs may compete for their share of up to $100,000 in cash and in-kind services during annual entrepreneurship competitions. Nursing students consistently have the highest 10-year average pass rate in the University System of Maryland on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX), having out-performed all B.S.- and B.S.N.-granting nursing programs in the state for the past four years. Other programs also provide unique benefits. The SU Honors College, for example, offers thriving seminars and small discussion-oriented classes.

Honorable Faculty

Faculty include many Fulbright scholars, winners of state and national teaching honors, and arts awards. The most popular majors at SU are biology, exercise science, nursing, communication arts, and elementary education.

Learning Communities

First-year students with similar interests may reside and study together through SU’s 18 Living Learning Communities. Topics include art, biology, communication arts, elementary education, secondary education, entrepreneurship, explorers (learning about multiple majors and community service opportunities), global village, green (eco-friendly), honors (multiple communities available), human services, music, theatre, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and wellness.


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


Other: Physical Education


Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 80 284 380 269 27 46 12 1098

In creating a stimulating campus climate, SU not only involves its students, faculty, and staff, but it also reaches out to the community at large.


The University’s Volunteer Center is committed to serving the community by offering meaningful connections between students who care and organizations in need. Among its goals is to foster student development through leadership and service.

Student organizations are heavily involved with the Sea Gull Century, SU’s annual 100-mile or 100-kilometer bike ride, which attracts thousands of cyclists from across the U.S. with an economic impact of some $7 million on the Lower Eastern Shore.

Hundreds of SU students give back to the area annually through I Love Salisbury and The Big Event community cleanup initiatives. SU’s award-winning Relay For Life is consistently named one of the top collegiate Relays, raising nearly $1.4 million for the American Cancer Society since 2002. SU also is home to ShoreCorps/PALS, an AmeriCorps chapter that allows young adults to mentor students in local schools.

Salisbury’s Division III athletics teams are also engaged in the community, offering sports clinics and sponsoring toy and food drives for needy families. The field hockey team, women’s soccer, and volleyball teams have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and breast cancer awareness fundraisers, and baseball and football players have mentored area students to help with reading and making healthy choices.

Cultural Fulfillment

Culturally, SU offers a wide array of activities each semester through its University Galleries and Cultural Affairs programs. Past speakers have included environmentalist Jane Goodall, author and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, Grammy winner Mary Youngblood, feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, and journalist Robert MacNeil. Monks from the Deprung Loseling Monastery in Tibet have regularly visited the campus for week-long residencies.

Student Activities

SU is home to two National Public Radio affiliates, a student radio station, and state-of-the-art broadcasting studios. Students participate in a multitude of musical ensembles, including the Chorale and Chamber Choir and the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. Students also perform in several productions annually through the Bobbi Biron Theatre Program.


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


Other: Living-Learning Communities, On- and Off-Campus Apartments

Internships and Practicums

SU’s Career Services Office calls internships “the single most important thing you can do to gain career-related experience.” Internships and practicums are mandatory for some majors and strongly recommended for all. Students graduating from SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, for example, are required to have an Applied Business Learning Experience (ABLE) that includes both a faculty-guided class and a work-site internship. In the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, practicums are required for communication arts students, while political science students have internship opportunities with elected officials at the local, state, and national levels.

Conflict analysis and dispute resolution majors have interned around the world, including the Hague, while environmental studies students have interned through fellowships at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Nursing and medical careers students in the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology intern at area hospitals and train through SU’s Henson Medical Simulation Center. Henson School students also have interned with the National Institutes of Health and joined surgeons for global medical missions.

In the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies, education students intern in area schools through SU’s national award-winning Professional Development School Program, while social work majors perform supervised field work. Additionally, athletic training students intern not only with major and minor league teams, but also with SU’s own Sea Gulls. This is just a sampling of the many internship opportunities available to SU students.

Capstone Courses and Projects

Many majors and programs offer students the opportunity to complete capstone projects. Senior art majors, for example, may showcase their works in solo or group exhibitions on campus (which often also includes installation and promotion), while music majors often perform senior recitals. Similarly, the SU Honors College allows students to complete capstone projects related to their individual courses of study. All majors are invited to submit research papers and scholarly posters for presentation at SU’s annual Student Research Conference.


Admissions Fall 2016

8,307 Total Applicants 
5,477 Total Admissions 
1,329 Total Freshmen Enrollment

65.93% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Aug 15
Priority date: Jan 15

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA

Class rank
Standardized test scores

Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence
State residency
Racial/ethnic status
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 540 610
SAT Math 540 620
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 21 25
ACT Math 19 25
ACT English 19 25
ACT Writing    




Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $6,846 $15,258
Fees $2,518 $2,518
Total $9,364 $17,776
Room and Board (on campus) $11,350 $11,350
Room Only $6,550 $6,550
Board Only $4,800 $4,800
Estimated Total On Campus $20,714 $29,126


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 ESTIMATED

$8,395 First year students
$6,043 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016

48.4% on average, the percentage of need that was met
12% of financial need students that had need fully met

$6,043 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,252 Average need-based loan