Sacred Heart University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Jan 17, 2019

About Sacred Heart University

In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked Sacred Heart University (SHU) 41 in the 'regional universities, north' category. Founded in 1963, SHU also has locations in Trumbull, CT, Griswold, CT, Stamford, CT, Ireland, and Luxembourg. The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has accredited Sacred Heart University since 1969.


Sacred Heart University has five schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health Professions, the Isabelle Farrington College of Education, and the John F. Welch College of business. The school also houses the University College, which offers part-time, non-credit, and online degree programs. SHU has 45 undergraduate and graduate programs from which to choose. Students can study at the main campus in Fairfield, CT, at various locations throughout the state of Connecticut or even abroad in Ireland or Australia.

Some of the many programs in which students can enroll include economics, nursing, exercise science, religious studies, and the performing arts. Education, business administration and management, and physical therapy are among the most popular programs at Sacred Heart University. Additionally, the university offers eight pre-professional programs, some of which include pre-veterinary, pre-law, premedical and pre osteopathic.

Besides offering an extensive list of degree programs, the school is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes at the Division I level. Students can participate in various sports, such as baseball, basketball, ice hockey, football, and lacrosse. Students also have the opportunity to participate in various activities including research projects, field trips, community intervention, and special events.


For the fall 2013 semester, early decision applications are due on December 1, and priority and regular decision applications are due on February 15th. Application requirements include high school transcripts, one letter of recommendation, and a $70 application fee. Some programs also have additional admission requirements, such as prerequisite high school courses, a minimum GPA, or minimum standardized test scores.

The school accepts the common application, and submission of standardized test scores is optional. International students are required to submit an application for international students, and non-native English speakers are required to demonstrate English proficiency through TOEFL, IELTS, or other language proficiency examination scores.

Sacred Heart University enrolled over 6,400 students in 2011, and had an acceptance rate of 64%. Out of those accepted, 20% enrolled. More females enroll than males; as of 2011, 63% of undergrads were female and 37% were male. The student body consists of 84% full-time students and 70% nonresidents. The school has a young population, with 86% of students being 24 or under.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Sacred Heart University's full-time, undergraduate tuition rate is approximately $16,890 per semester. Study abroad fees can range from $500 to over $4,500 per semester. Each program has its own set of applicable fees that range from $40 per year to $750 per semester. Room and board fees can range roughly from $4,600 to $4,800 per semester. Meal plans cost $575 to $2,100 per semester. The average cost for undergraduate books and supplies is estimated at $1,200 per year.

At SHU, students have the option to pay tuition in one lump sum or to enroll in a monthly payment plan. Approximately 92% of the students received financial aid in 2010. Some of the types of aid available include Pell Grants, Federal TEACH grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), merit scholarships, work-study opportunities, and activity-based awards. Qualifying military students and/or their dependents can also participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and other G.I. Bill benefits. Military classes, as well as CLEP and DANTE (DSST) tests, can award transfer credits.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Certificate, associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctorates*
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Large suburb*
Student Body Nearly 4,200 undergraduates and over 2,200 graduate students in 2011*
Student Housing Freshman and sophomores are required to live on campus; juniors and seniors have the option to live in nearby apartment complexes**
Schools and Programs Five colleges; 45 degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 14 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Associate's: General Studies (3)
Bachelor's: Business Administration & Management (160)
Master's: Education (376)
Doctorate: Physical Therapy (50)
Certificate: Elementary & Middle School Administration/Principalship (53)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates Students who started in 2005:
61% in four years
68% in six years

Students who started in 2003:
57% in four years
66% in six years
66% in eight years*
Admission Rate About 64% in 2011***
Entering Class Size Roughly 968 in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 75% for full-time students*
Application Due Date For fall 2013: Early decision applications are due on December 1, and priority and regular applications are due on February 15**
Tuition Full-time, undergraduate students pay $16,890 per semester (cost for 2012-2013, excluding fees)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010: Federal grants (21%), Pell grants (21%), institutional grants/scholarships (89%), federal student loans (69%), other student loans (11%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 92% in 2010*

*National Center for Education Statistics, **Sacred Heart University, ***U.S. News and World Report.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admission, Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06825
  • Phone: (203) 371-7999
  • Website:

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