University of Saint Joseph - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
University of Saint Joseph
The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) acts as a catalyst for distinctive success, propelling...

University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford, Connecticut

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) acts as a catalyst for distinctive success, propelling students forward with rigorous academics and experiential learning opportunities. Its exceptional faculty are focused on student accomplishment, and its impressive network of flourishing alumni enable students to explore and expand their potential. Reflecting values of personal integrity and responsibility, USJ’s career-focused programs are designed to help students prepare for fulfilling, challenging, and meaningful futures.


Founded in the Roman Catholic tradition, USJ is proud to offer an engaging liberal arts education to students of varying cultural and religious backgrounds. Its vibrant community is alive with performing arts and sports programs that promote ethical values.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
843 undergraduate students
86% of undergrad students are full time
1% male — 99% female
7% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
134 full-time faculty
167 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
61% of first year students live on campus
29% of all students live on campus

School Location

The University of Saint Joseph is situated on a magnificent suburban campus in West Hartford, Connecticut, just minutes away from major employers and a robust network of alumni throughout Downtown Hartford and the greater Capital region. Students are sure to enjoy many beaches and museums, situated in the beautiful state of Connecticut and only two hours from both Boston and New York City. Ranked as one of the top twenty of the country’s best places to live, West Hartford is a thriving community with no shortage of things to do—shopping, entertainment, dining, and cultural events.

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 X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

75% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

55% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 16%
Black or African American 16%
White 55%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 5%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%


As an NCAA Division III school since 1993, the University of Saint Joseph hosts twelve varsity teams as well as numerous intramurals and recreation programs. The University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). Its talented Blue Jays have won GNAC championships in volleyball, basketball, softball, and tennis.

USJ offers varsity programs in basketball, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball, soccer, cross country, softball, and swimming & diving. Its intramural sports are badminton, basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, a multi-sport club, and the walking club. And, for recreation, students may participate in the Holiday Challenge, Cardio Across America, Zumba, and other diverse athletic opportunities for the campus community.

Academic Programs

The University of Saint Joseph offers 26 undergraduate majors and 42 undergraduate minors. Undergraduate majors include Accounting, Art History, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Business/Management, Chemistry, Child Study, Criminal Justice/Restorative Justice, Education/Teacher Certificate, English, Family Studies, History, Management/Business, Mathematics, Nursing, Nutrition & Dietetics, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy and Advocacy, Religious Studies, Social Work, Spanish, Special Education, and Women’s Studies.

Pre-Professional Areas of Study include Dental, Law, Medical, Pharmacy, Physical therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant, and Veterinary.  Undergraduate Certificates are offered in Bilingual Career Development, Health Care Coordination, Juvenile Justice/Human Rights, and Latino Community Practice.

More Distinctions

  • Economist ranked USJ #1 in Connecticut based on students’ actual earnings after graduation, compared with what would have been expected, and USJ was 13th highest in the nation.  

  • Best Colleges in Connecticut described USJ as an academic institution that “offers an exceptional college experience, ranked #6 in state.

  • Wall Street Journal U.S. College Rankings: Ranked in top 28%

  • U.S. News and World Report: Ranked in the Top Tier of Regional Colleges in the North

  • Money Magazine ranked USJ as one of their “Top 50 Colleges That Add Value”

University of Saint Joseph students have endless opportunities to lead, serve, and explore.


USJ’s Center for Student Research and Creative Activity commits to making education as engaging as possible. Its facilities and events enrich the University’s curriculum, opening the doors to cutting-edge research and grant-funded projects that develop meaningful solutions to local and global issues. It also houses many resources that facilitate the creation students’ original artwork, performances, and other works. USJ students can even present their research to the greater community during Symposium Day, an annual event that honors academic scholarship.


At the University of Saint Joseph, students with the enthusiasm to lead do not go unrecognized. As both a celebration or and workshop for their passion to make positive change, the University’s annual Student Leadership Conference challenges students to discover and develop their potentials as leaders. Every club and organization sends its leaders to attend the Conference’s sessions on communication, wellness, and programming, ensuring that USJ is a community aptly led by informed and creative students.


The University of Saint Joseph is home to two highly regarded laboratory schools, the Gengras Center School and The School for Young Children. These facilities provide USJ students with extraordinary, easy-to-access opportunities that integrate their classroom academics with hands-on experience. The Gengras Center School is a private special education institution that thrives off the participation of USJ’s education and social services students, and The School for Young Children acts as a fulfilling teaching model for students interested in early childhood development.


In partnership with the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry, USJ’s Wellness Center promotes healthy living to those in need throughout Hartford. Among the Center’s community outreach programs is the Manna Community Meals, an initiative that provides day shelter, meals and other support services to the city’s underserved population. USJ’s naturally philanthropic students change lives, volunteering provide health screenings and education while practicing the skills they gain in the classroom.


The University of Saint Joseph makes international opportunities accessible and affordable with its generous study abroad scholarships. The University’s International Office works hard to connect any interested student to a program that fits their interests and majors, paving the way for such opportunities as summer Business programs in Spain and Nursing experiences in Argentina.

USJ offers a distinctive Guyana Immersion Experience in which students and faculty provide disaster relief in hospitals and local organizations.  It connects students with Guyanese nurses to conduct research on the health and needs of the nation, exposing them to the challenges of international healthcare.

As a partner of the HAN University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands, USJ also offers a study abroad program that provides students with the opportunity to learn about the social and political concerns and cultural traditions of a modern Northern European country.

In Tokyo, Japan, USJ students study at the Otsuma Women’s University to experience both the modern and ancient traditions of Japan after a semester of instructional coursework on the nation’s Philosophy and Poetry.

Activities Offered

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

At the University of Saint Joseph, students not taught by graduate students, but rather by professors who are experts in their fields.


USJ’s Interdisciplinary Writing & Reasoning program was founded on the belief that articulate communication is a crucial platform for critical thought. Because competent writing and communication are essential for success in the professional world, all USJ students are expected to hone their writing skills as part of their college careers. By the end of their time as undergraduates, they develop writing portfolios that showcase their growth.


The University of Saint Joseph’s First Year Seminar addresses the academic, social, and emotional challenges of the first year of college, all while acting as a springboard for students to develop their college-level critical thinking and skills. The Seminar encourages students to participate in University activities as well as interact actively with professors and other students both in and out of class. Led by engaged peer and faculty mentors, each First-Year Seminar class ensures that every student’s first year at USJ is successful.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts  
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 63 100 45 3 4 2 0 217


The University of Saint Joseph has an array of dynamic and engaging student organizations, providing students with numerous avenues through which to pursue new and lifelong interests. The campus’ student clubs and organizations include: Accounting and Business Society, B.R.A.V.E. Girls Leadership Club, Commuter Advocacy and Resources Society (C.A.R.S), Dance Ensemble/Team, DETx Club, Diversity in Action, Latina American Student Organization, Blue Jays Against Cancer (Love Your Melon), Pre-Pharmacy Club, Public Health Society, Queene’s Company, Science Book Club, Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (SAGA), Social Work Student Alliance, Student Government Association (SGA), Student Nursing Association, Student Programming & Events Council (SPEC), TriBeta, USJ Nutrition Club, and Voices of Praise.


The newly established Center for Women’s Leadership Development encourages, empowers, and coaches women to be confident leaders. Through the use of inspiring workshops, panel discussions, and career-development courses, the Center pushes the women of USJ to excel in everything they do. It continually conducts research in order to better understand the social forces that often limit women’s leadership potential in the professional world, informing its staff to develop the most useful initiatives for its students.


The beautiful Hoffman Auditorium rests in the heart of USJ’s arts center, a thriving venue for Hartford and USJ’s most dazzling performing artists. In addition to such annual festivals as the 5×5 Dance Festival and the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival, this auditorium hosts local, regional, and national artists throughout the year.

The Art Museum at the University of Saint Joseph piques the creative interests of students all throughout the year, jam-packed with more than 2,000 works of art, six exhibition galleries, changing installations, and a print study room. At USJ, imagination is sure to flourish.


At the University of Saint Joseph, education extends beyond the classroom through high-impact learning. Amidst textbooks and lectures, students complete internships, clinical rotations, and fieldwork, effectively applying course material to everyday situations and gaining experience that will help them rise above stiff competition in the job market.

Minutes away from downtown Hartford, USJ’s location offers students access to the bustling city’s numerous businesses and organizations that can provide unparalleled real-world experience. 95 percent of USJ students participate in these experiential learning opportunities, ensuring that they are prepared to tackle the challenges of post-graduate professional life.

As USJ’s hub for experiential learning, the Career Development Center and its dedicated staff focus on matching students and alumni with the careers of their dreams. With workshops on networking, career planning, and résumé writing, the Center prepares students for life outside USJ’s campus—both through undergraduate internships and post-graduate job placements.


Experiential education is a priority at USJ. 92% of USJ students graduate having with some kind of significant, pre-professional, and workplace-based experience. Their internships help them earn academic credit while expanding their real-world experiences and professional networks. Past internships offered to USJ students have included positions at major insurance companies, leading cultural institutions, major hospitals and healthcare facilities, business and financial services firms, educational institutions, and state agencies.

Honors Program

The Honors Program at the University of Saint Joseph offers highly motivated students the opportunity to excel in a challenging yet supportive academic environment. The program establishes strong student-mentor relationships with distinguished faculty as well as network connections with successful USJ alumni. Those in the program are afforded countless opportunities to take on challenging assignments, exploring topics with deep and critical insight.


Martha Gervasi ’83 is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for The Hartford. Under Ms. Gervasi’s leadership, The Hartford has been named the “Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles” by the National Business Group on Health and a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign. It is also included on the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI), which recognizes companies that demonstrate strong commitments to gender equality. Ms. Gervasi serves on USJ’s Board of Trustees and has been instrumental in creating the Women’s Leadership Center.

Jahana Hayes ’12 is the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. A highly regarded History teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, Ms. Hayes created the HOPE (Helping Out People Everywhere) Club to encourage civic engagement and leadership among high school students. Annually, she and her students participate in the Walk for Autism and Relay for Life, raise thousands of dollar for charity, and provide food and other means of care to those in need. Ms. Hayes earned her Associates in Science at Naugatuck Valley Community College, her Bachelor of Science at Southern Connecticut State University, her Masters of Arts from University of Saint Joseph, and her Sixth-Year Educational Leadership Certification from Southern Connecticut State University.

Sheila Horan ’69 joined the FBI in 1973. One of the earliest women to become a field agent, she received the agency’s highest honor as well as the highest rank given to a woman in the FBI. Ms. Horan held several senior executive positions, including Acting Assistant Director of the National Security Division, which oversaw all Counterintelligence cases. Most notably, Ms. Horan was the on-site commander during the East African U.S. Embassy bombings. It was her and her team’s efforts that brought the bomber to justice. Ms. Horan holds a master’s degree from Fairfield University.

Ann Uccello ’44 began her career in politics in 1963 when she was elected to Hartford’s city council. After serving two terms on the city council, she was elected as the first female mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, making her the first female mayor of a capital city in the United States. Ann was re-elected in 1969 and left office in 1971 to accept an appointment at the Department of Transportation in Washington D.C. where she served as Director of its Office of Passenger and Consumer Affairs. She returned to Hartford in 1977 and had a distinguished career in the insurance industry.



743 Total Applicants
647 Total Admissions
126 Total Freshmen Enrollment

87.08% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA

Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank Recommendation(s)
Character/personal qualities
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Standardized test scores
Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 430 560
SAT Math 400 540
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 24
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $35,220
Fees $1,710
Total $36,930
Room and Board (on campus) $11,095
Estimated Total On Campus $48,025


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 estimated

$28,228 First year students
$20,487 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016 estimated

65.9% on average, the percentage of need that was met
10% of financial need students that had need fully met

$20,487 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$5,817 Average need-based loan

Financial Aid Information

The Office of Student Financial Services is available to assist students and their families throughout the process of applying for financial aid. Through federal, state, and institutional grants, scholarships, and loans, the University strives to make education affordable for all students. Information on aid programs can be found here. External scholarship opportunities are also provided to students via the Bruyette and TD Bank Financial Literacy Center, which is located within the University’s main office. Additionally, students and alumni may also find free financial literacy opportunities at

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Diverse Student Experiences at USJ

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Students Benefit From USJ Career Connection Opportunities

The number of University of Saint Joseph students participating in different forms of high-impact learning experiences outside the classroom has risen to 92 percent in the past few years. Individuals across all subject areas are...

Cultivating Critical Thinking

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Internship Success: Jacqueline Scaraggi ’19

Jacqueline Scaraggi ’19 is an Accounting major at the University of Saint Joseph. In the fall of 2017, she was an intern at Community Accounting Services, Inc. – an organization that offers free assistance to low-income individuals,...