In 1847, six Franciscan monks of the Catholic order of Franciscans founded a small boys’ academy in Loretto, Penn. The academy soon became a liberal arts university, and it served as one of the first co-ed Catholic colleges in the United States. In addition to the flagship campus, Saint Francis operates three satellite schools in Pennsylvania (Altoona, Johnstown, and State College), as well as a sister campus in Ambialet, France. St. Francis University’s online programs also offer a unique education for remote and part-time students.
The Loretto campus is a 600-acre facility tucked away in the Laurel Highlands, easily accessible from Pittsburgh. True to St. Francis of Assisi’s love of nature, the school promises scenic views and opportunities to enjoy the countryside at several nearby state parks, as well as access to a championship golf course. Campus life includes an extensive Greek program, a thriving community of social and service organizations, and opportunities for spiritual pursuits and service projects (an aspect of faith that is highly encouraged by the Franciscans).
Saint Francis offers a comprehensive array of more than 50 liberal arts degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate degree programs are organized through schools of arts and letters, business, health sciences, and natural sciences. The widest variety of majors for undergraduates can be found in literature and languages, history, law and politics; not surprisingly, pre-law majors are quite common at Saint Francis.
Graduate students may choose from degree programs in business, education, and health sciences. Saint Francis also offers an extensive adult and continuing study program for working students. Post-baccalaureate certificates are available in accounting, computer sciences, paralegal studies, and management. Working adults pursuing degree programs are accommodated through St. Francis’s online courses, as well as Saturday and evening classes. Most notably, the university offers half-priced tuition to its adult learners.
A rigorous, but self-paced, Honors Program is available for full-time undergraduate students. To participate in this program, priority registration must be granted prior to enrollment. Honors students work very closely with advisors, and may develop an individualized course of study that meets personal interests while still fulfilling degree requirements. Discipline is entirely left to students, making this program ideal for self-starters. The university has also dedicated a 6,000-square-foot space entirely to students in its Honors Program. This space contains state-of-the-art technology, seminar and lecture spaces, 24-hour quiet study areas, and a limited number of residence rooms.
The Franciscans believe that travel and appreciation of other cultures is an important part of a well-rounded education. Saint Francis continues this tradition by offering its student an unusually broad range of options for study abroad. Through various degree programs and options during breaks, students may choose from a summer in France, spring break in Italy, scuba diving in St. Lucia, spring break in London, major-specific studies in Australia, Bolivia or the Galapagos Islands, or service trips elsewhere in the world.
St. Francis lives up to its legendary namesake by providing a well-rounded, service-oriented education to students who attend. This storied university is ideal for men and women of any age who desire academic credentials by way of courses, faculty members, and living accommodations that are anything but traditional.