SHU Facts

Basic Facts
  • SHU has been selected for membership in the 2014-2015 Colleges of Distinction, among approximately 300 colleges and universities in the country recognized for outstanding student engagement, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful student outcomes.
  • The 2015-2016 student body is made up of 8,235 total students: 4,435 full-time undergraduate students, 770 part-time undergraduate students, 3,030 graduate students; 68% female, 54% out of state; 16% minority students, 50 states including District of Columbia and one military base (AE) and 32 countries represented.

  • The top four states in which first-year undergraduate students, or first-time-in-college freshmen, and their families permanently reside are New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
  • Selected for membership in the Center for Student Opportunity’s “College Bound Coalition”—SHU is featured in the CSO’s College Access & Opportunity Guide, the first comprehensive college guidebook dedicated to highlighting institutions that provides access and opportunity for traditionally underserved student populations.

Admissions: Class of 2019 (Fall 2015 Freshmen)

  • The Class of 2019 is the second largest freshman class in the history of the University with 1,290 students.

  • 9,259 applications were received for the freshman class and 59% of applicants were offered admission.  

  • Our freshman class is comprised of 65% female and 35% male.

  • 90% of freshmen are living on campus.

  • Average high school GPA of enrolled freshmen: 3.42

  • Freshmen hail from 23 states and Puerto Rico, as well as 8 foreign countries.
  • More than 43,500 degrees have been awarded to over 38,200 alumni.
  • SHU alumni can be found in all 50 states in the United States and in over 50 countries.
  • There are over 1,000 alumni couples (alumnus married to alumnus).

  • 99% of the Class of 2014 are either employed or attending graduate school.
  • SHU’s 263 full-time faculty members educate and advise students and are engaged in scholarly research.
  • The student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, with an average class size of approximately 22 students.


  • Nearly 800 students participate in the University's 32 Division I athletic teams.

  • SHU student-athletes earned the NEC Institutional GPA Award in 2015, with a 3.279 group GPA during the 2014-15 academic year. Four teams – baseball, football, women’s lacrosse and men’s tennis – earned the top GPA in the league in their respective sport, with 467 earning Dean’s List recognition and 423 being honored with conference academic awards.

  • Football player Sean Bell became the third Pioneer in school history to earn CoSida Academic All-America honors when he was name Second Team in 2014.  He also earned the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Men’s basketball player Phil Gaetano became the first player to win that honor three times, while James Cooksey earned his second accolade as a baseball player and Jesslyn Joseph earned the award for women’s lacrosse.

  • The SHU men’s fencing squad has won six consecutive NFC Championships, with the women winning the conference crown in 2013-14. That season the teams combined for an 11th place finish in the NCAA Championships. The fencing squad has had four All-America selections during the past two seasons.

  • The SHU Football Team won consecutive NEC Championships in 2013 and 2014, representing the conference in the FCS Championship both seasons. The Pioneers completed the 2014 season ranked in the Top-25 in both national polls, after posting the programs first two wins over nationally ranked opponents during the campaign. 

  • The Women's Cross Country Team has won three consecutive NEC Championships, capturing the crown in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The indoor track and field team won back-to-back crowns in 2014 and 2015 and the Pioneers won the outdoor crown in 2015, to become only the second team in NEC history to complete the single-season triple crown. .

  • SHU has won NEC Building Communities Award four times in the last five years. This is presented to the NEC school that does the most community service with its student-athletes.  Sacred Heart University's student-athletes had over 12,000 hours of community service in the 2013-14 academic year and have surpassed 8,000 total hours in each of the past five years.
  • SHU offers a wide variety of competitive club sports for the undergraduate student body. There are currently 26 active club sports teams that provide students with the opportunity to compete against other schools and universities, improve athletic ability, and make new friends.
Community Service
  • Sacred Heart was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which recognizes higher education institutions dedicated to exemplary community service.
  • SHU's Habitat for Humanity campus chapter has earned a place in the top five collegiate chapters among more than 500 in the nation. In 2013, our students raised $10,000 and earned $10,000 in matching funds from their affiliate at State Farm Insurance to help build a home in Bridgeport with the Youth United chapter of Coastal Fairfield County Habitat.
  • New England liberal arts colleges pride themselves on a wide range of educational experiences, and at SHU that goes beyond the classroom and into our local and national community. More than 1,200 students and members of the faculty and staff volunteer in excess of 53,000 hours each year largely within the City of Bridgeport, but also regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • In 2014, Sacred Heart won the NEC Building Communities Award for its fourth consecutive year — since the award's inception. The award recognizes the institution that demonstrates the highest dedication to making an impact in the community through the efforts of its student-athletes, coaches and administrators. 

  • In the 2014-2015 academic year, Sacred Heart University students will travel to 8 developing countries as part of service programs that support community development efforts. Countries include: Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti and Columbia.
Campus Housing
  • Approximately 90% of first-year students and approximately 50% of all undergraduates reside in on-campus housing facilities.

  • The University has 10 residence halls on-campus and six additional leased facilities bordering the main campus.

  • SHU broke ground in 2015 on our newest on-campus residence hall, set to be completed in 2016, that will house over 200 sophomore students.

  • Residential Life is comprised of 81 Resident Success Assistants and 9 RHDs, making them one of the largest student-support units on campus.
The Campus
  • Sacred Heart University is set on more than 100 acres in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Its main campus is in Fairfield, which is 90 minutes from Manhattan and 150 minutes from Boston. 
  • The University maintains branch operations for working adults in Stamford and Griswold, Connecticut.

  • In 2015 the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center, as well as the Student Success Center building, were both completed. We also broke ground on our newest academic building, the Center for Healthcare Education, which is set to be completed in 2017.
WSHU Public Radio
  • WSHU is an NPR member station broadcasting news and information programs, locally produced classical music, unique entertainment and regional news coverage.

  • Once a single radio station, WSHU Public Radio is now a group of 7 stations and 7 additional frequencies. WSHU is the principal public radio source for Fairfield and New Haven Counties, CT, and Suffolk County, NY, and also broadcasts in Litchfield, Middlesex and New London Counties in Connecticut, and Duchess County in New York.
  • WSHU’s local news team boasts a number of awards and honors including four regional and national Edward R. Murrow Awards; a Sigma Delta Chi Award—a prestigious national award from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ); Connecticut Associated Press (AP) Broadcast Awards; Focus on Long Island (FOLIO) Awards; Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) Awards and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Awards.
  • Creator and producer of Sunday Baroque, a nationally syndicated, popular program of early classical music heard on well over 100 stations across the country as well as in Guam and the Marianas Islands.
SHU Abroad
  • SHU offers more than 100 study abroad programs in over 30 countries. Spend a few weeks, a semester, or even a year abroad all while earning credits to fulfill general education, elective, or major/minor credits. 
  • International experiences are available to SHU and visiting students— with study abroad programs that support a broad range of educational, professional, and personal goals. 

  • Freshman Fall Abroad (FFA) program is a signature experience of SHU where you can spend your first semester in Dingle, Ireland or Rome, Italy. There is no better way to learn about yourself, expand your worldview, acquire marketable skills, and develop the habits of mind, heart, and spirit that will prepare you to engage purposefully in a global world.
  • Looking at New England liberal arts colleges to study business? SHU has the only American-accredited MBA program in Luxembourg as well as a summer SHU in Luxembourg undergraduate study abroad program. 
  • Spend a semester, summer, or winter at our SHU in Dingle campus in the Irish-speaking community of Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland.

  • Through service abroad, students learn about a new culture, generosity, and the value of servicing others. With our Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, opportunities to volunteer abroad in Latin America and the Caribbean include helping to build homes, schools or medical facilities for those in need.

  • SHU also offers undergraduate and graduate nursing and health professions students the opportunity to complete clinical service hours in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as experience the local health care systems.