Academics & Study Abroad FAQs
- What is the average class size and the student-to-teacher ratio?
Sacred Heart’s commitment to personal attention is evident with an average class size of 22 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.
- Are all courses taught by professors or are some courses taught by teaching assistants?
Sacred Heart University does not utilize teaching assistants to teach courses.
- Are there academic support services available outside the classroom?
Located in the Sheila Hamilton Student Success Center, the Jandrisevits Learning Center (JLC) offers a variety of support services to all SHU students as well as special services for students with disabilities. Staffed by highly experienced faculty, staff and peer tutors in disciplines across the curriculum, the JLC provides a friendly learning environment where the individual needs of students are of primary concern. Classroom Learning Assistants (CLAs), individualized tutors and monthly workshops around essential academic skills such as reading, listening, note-taking, test-taking, public speaking and time management are offered to the SHU community.
- How does academic advising work for freshmen?
Students work with an academic advisor in the SHU College in which they are interested in studying. Advisors guide students on curriculum planning and other academic issues. Advisors are committed to assisting each student with all aspects of their transition to college while remaining an essential resource for academicrelated matters.
- When do students declare their major? Are double majors allowed?
Students may indicate an intended major upon enrollment or indicate they are undecided on a major within a particular SHU college. Students are connected to faculty and peers in their major and college of interest and complete the official declaration process during the spring semester of their freshman year. Students are required to declare a major by the spring semester of the sophomore year. You may choose to double-major at SHU and will be guided through the process by your academic advisor.
- What if I am undecided about my major?
The Career Development and Placement Center offers the Major in Success (MIS) program which assists students in making the right choices about majors and careers by increasing their understanding of how their unique talents, interests, values and skills match with a variety of careers and corresponding academic programs. This highly effective, structured program is open to all undergraduates, particularly catering to the needs of first- and second-year students. MIS is implemented over the course of several weeks through individual and group career coaching, which also includes the use of assessment inventories.
- Does SHU offer Study Abroad opportunities?
SHU students study worldwide, and special opportunities for freshmen include a one-week pre-fall program at SHU’s campus in Dingle, County Kerry Ireland and two-week programs in January and May. Study abroad options include over 60 programs in 30 countries across the globe in semester, academic year and short term (one to six weeks) programs. SHU undergraduates also study at SHU’s campus in the European business center of Luxembourg and on study trips led by SHU professors to countries such as India, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bermuda, China and Korea. For more information visit studyabroad.sacredheart.edu.
- Are there opportunities to participate in research projects with faculty as an undergraduate?
Promoting undergraduate research is an integral part of Sacred Heart University’s strategic plan, and students conduct research in programs across the University. Students often receive research stipends, including support for attending and presenting research at professional conferences.
- Does SHU offer options for combined undergraduate/graduate degrees?
Sacred Heart University offers qualified undergraduates the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree within 5 to 6 years, depending on the degree program. Options are available in all SHU colleges, and programs vary in length and in timing of the application process.
- Does SHU have a laptop program?
Among the first universities in the nation to offer a wireless campus, SHU continues its commitment to cutting-edge technology and a mobile computing philosophy. Students are required to purchase a suggested model laptop through one of SHU’s preferred vendors (a variety of models are available) and are able to access on-thespot technical support via our Help Desk and Call Center.