University of St. Francis - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
University of St. Francis
"The University of St. Francis transforms students into leaders who have been inspired by...

University of St. Francis

Joliet, Illinois

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts. USF is a welcoming community of learners who are challenged by Franciscan values and charisma. Everyone is engaged in continuous pursuits of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, proving to be mindful of the tradition that emphasizes compassion and peacemaking. USF strives for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
1,762 undergraduate students
77% of undergrad students are full time
32% male — 68% female
10% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
106 full-time faculty
234 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

School Location

Joliet, Ill.

Retention Fall 2014

81% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2014

56% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 15%
Black or African American 8%
White 69%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


NAIA, Division I. 19 Varsity Sports.
Men – Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross County, Football, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
Women – Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Spiritline, Tennis, Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor), Volleyball.

Mascot: Bernie, the St. Bernard
Colors: Brown and Gold

Other Information

University of St. Francis is a four-year liberal arts university founded in the Catholic Franciscan tradition in 1920.

Academic Programs


Accounting, Art & Design (Graphic Design, Photography, Studio Art), Biology (Pre-dental, Pre-medical, Pre-optometry, Pre-pharmacy), Biology Secondary Education (6-12), Communication & Media Arts (Media Arts & Broadcasting, Public Relations/Advertising/Journalism), Computer Science, Criminal & Social Justice (Forensics, Language & Cultural Diversity, Leadership, Politics & Law, Psychology, Social Work), English, English/Language Arts Secondary Education (6-12), Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science, Elementary Education (K-9), Finance, Health Care Leadership (Online Degree Completion), Health Care Management, History, Information Technology, International Business,  Management, Management (Online Degree Completion), Marketing, Mathematics, Mathematics/Actuarial Science, Mathematics & Computer Science, Mathematics Secondary Education (6-12), Medical Technology, Music (Generalist in Music, Digital Audio Recording Arts), Music Education (K-12), Music Performance (Voice,) Piano, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Nursing, Nursing/RN-BSN Fast Track, Organizational Leadership (Online Degree Completion), Political Science (American Politics, General / Pre-Law, Public Policy), Psychology, Radiation Therapy, Radiography, Recreation, Sport & Tourism Management (Community Recreation & Park Resources,  Sport Operations Management, Therapeutic Recreation and Tourism & Hospitality Management), Social Science: History Secondary Education (6-12), Social Work, Special Education (K-12), Substance Abuse Counseling, Theology (Pastoral Ministry, Teaching Ministry), Transportation & Logistics Management,  Web Application Development.

“USF students become very close. Everyone gets to know each other. Being at USF has enabled me to understand my purpose in life.” — Jessica Nayder, nursing student

USF students are those who want to be engaged and active in their campus community. Whether they be freshmen or transfer students, residents or commuters, all USF students have countless opportunities to get involved and make a difference.

Student Activities

Clubs and organizations, including USF’s nationally competitive Mock Trial team, provide students with ways for students to pursue their passions and interests, all while preparing them for real-world, professional responsibilities.

Honors Program

Duns Scotus, USF’s honors society, challenges students to excel academically and to exhibit the Franciscan tradition. Students in the program receive annual scholarships and housing discounts.

Study Abroad

Semester-long study abroad courses are offered in England, France, Italy, and Spain. Additionally, annual service trips are offered for students to travel within the United States and to regions in Bolivia.

“My professor has a passion for encouraging students. She’s more than a teacher; she’s a counselor, advisor, and friend.” — Carlos Arechiga, mass communication student

USF’s professors, along with the professionals involved in the Student Academic Support Services, are focused on creating an atmosphere that facilitates critical thinking and exploration. The benefit of USF’s small size is that no student gets lost in the shuffle. Learning is personalized and student success is of utmost importance.

Student Resources

The College of Business’ “Small Business Incubator,” located at USF’s downtown St. Bonaventure Campus, allows Entrepreneurship students to work with developing businesses develop their own “startup” company. College of Nursing students utilize the SIM Lab and Skills Lab, getting hands-on experience in simulated hospital environments before working with real patients. USF even offers a cadaver lab to give biology and pre-health sciences students the opportunity to expand their understanding of anatomy through hands-on dissection. For College of Education students, the annual Chrysalis Retreat gives students time to reflect on themselves and their passions to become teachers.

Summer Academy

The USF Summer Academy provides new students with an experience designed to ease the transition into college life and ensure academic success.

Success Scholars

USF’s Success Scholars is a program designed for first-generation college students in order to prepare them as leaders and prime them for academic and social success.

“I knew USF was the place for me as soon as I walked on the campus.” — Tara Rodriguez, biology student

Once prospective students visit USF, they quickly discover how they might fit into the university’s close-knit community. Students are encouraged to take on leadership roles in the many campus clubs and organizations. Internationally known guest speakers, researchers, and performers are invited to campus each semester for the further enhancement of the educational experience.

An Inviting Home

USF is located in the historic Upper Bluffs area on the west side of Joliet. Surrounded by historic homes, USF’s main campus features SMART classrooms, a digital audio recording studio, a SIM nursing lab, and a state-of-the-art library.

USF’s downtown St. Bonaventure campus is the home to the Art & Design program; the St. Francis Art Gallery, which features both student and professional art exhibits; and a new building that contains a mock-trial courtroom and educational space for the Criminal & Social Justice, Political Science and Recreation, and Sport & Tourism programs.

Campus Life and Beyond

Over 400 USF students live on campus, which is just 35 miles southwest of Chicago. The Saints Shuttle bus can take students to and from the downtown train station, the downtown campus, the Art Gallery, and numerous downtown eateries and entertainment venues.

Great Resources

All USF students are provided with free memberships to the Joliet Park District’s Inwood Recreation Club, which features dance and fitness rooms, an indoor track, an aquatic center, an ice rink, and personal fitness staff. On campus, students can utilize the USF weight & cardio fitness training center, racquetball courts, the indoor golf simulator, and the basketball and volleyball courts.

“USF has sharpened my critical thinking skills and, with a semester of study in Paris, has given me an international perspective.” – Nick Purchase, business management student

A USF education prepares students for professional success as worldly contributors of service and leadership. USF has a network of 44,000 alumni nationwide in all 50 states and 8 foreign countries. Among USF’s alumni are influential CEOs, attorneys, doctors, nurses, teachers, and social workers who all strive to make a difference both locally and globally.

Academic Resource Center

USF students can utilize the Academic Resource Center for guidance as they discover and strengthen their diverse talents and skills. Tutoring, supplemental instruction, and various workshops improve each student’s academic outcomes.

Guaranteed Success

USF students are well prepared to pass professional examinations. USF nursing students have program-wide pass rates of nearly 100% on the NCLEX examination. Accounting students and future teachers also have high levels of success in achieving their certifications.

Career Services

The Career Services staff helps students create resumes and prepare for job interviews. Career Services and the Alumni Office coordinate to create a variety of networking opportunities for students and alumni alike.

Alumni Achievements

Companies that employ USF grads include Advocate Health Care, Argonne National Laboratory, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, CNA Insurance, Mayo Clinic Radiology, and the Merchandise Mart-Chicago.

Among the graduate and professional schools attended by USF graduates are Illinois Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Loyola Medical School, Michigan State, Midwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Tennessee, New York Art Institute and, of course, University of St. Francis.


Admissions Fall 2014

1,509 Total Applicants
763 Total Admissions
216 Total Freshmen Enrollment

50.56% of applicants admitted

Freshmen Profile Fall 2014

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 460 520
SAT Math 460 530
SAT Writing 430 530
ACT Composite 21 25
ACT Math 20 25
ACT English 20 25
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $28,220
Fees $570
Total $28,790
Room and Board (on campus) $8,770
Estimated Total On Campus $37,560


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
78% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$19,425 Average amount of federal state local or institutional grant aid received
$6,977 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

Morayma Barron Receives Latino Foundation Scholarship

University of St. Francis (USF) sophomore business management major, Morayma Barron of Joliet has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation (ILLCF). The ILLCF awards scholarships to “deserving young people...

USF Nursing Grads See Perfect Pass Rates

For the second consecutive year, graduates of the University of St. Francis’ master’s programs for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) have achieved a 100 percent first-time pass rate on...

Johnathan Marquardt Honored by ISMAA

University of St. Francis (USF) student, Johnathan Marquardt, was awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award from the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America (ISMAA) at their Tri-Section Annual Conference. Marquardt’s original research paper...