SHU Facts

Admissions | Alumni | Faculty | Academics | Athletics | Community Service
Housing | Campus | WSHU | SHU Abroad

Basic Facts

  • Founded in 1963 as an independent, Catholic University by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

  • SHU is the second-largest Catholic university in New England and was the first in America to be led and staffed by lay people.
  • The Princeton Review includes SHU in its The Best 382 Colleges: 2018 and Best 267 Business Schools: 2018 and U.S. News & World Report recognized SHU as one of the most innovative universities as well as one of the best universities in the North in its newly released guidebook, Best Colleges 2018.
  • SHU has been selected for membership in the 2017-2018 Colleges of Distinction, among approximately 375 colleges and universities in the country recognized for outstanding student engagement, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful student outcomes.
  • The 2017-2018 student body is made up of 8,543 total students: 4,982 full-time undergraduate students, 621 part-time undergraduate students and 2,940 graduate students. Students hail from all 50 states including District of Columbia and over 30 countries.

  • 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.

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education examined student enrollment at 111 Catholic schools from 2004 to 2014 and ranked SHU one of the fastest-growing Roman Catholic colleges in the country. Out of the 111 institutions in the publication’s master’s category, SHU ranked 10th for growth.

Admissions: Class of 2021 (Fall 2017 Freshmen)

  • The Class of 2021 is one of the largest freshman classes in the history of the University with 1,387 students.

  • Students were selected from 9,992 applications and 60.3% of applicants were offered admission.
  • Our freshman class is comprised of 67% female and 33% male.

  • 92.1% of freshmen are living on campus.

  • Average high school GPA of enrolled freshmen: 3.5

  • Freshmen hail from 27 states and territories, as well as 11 foreign countries.


  • More than 46,500 degrees have been awarded to over 40,883 alumni.
  • SHU alumni can be found in all 50 states in the United States and in over 50 countries.
  • There are currently 980 alumni couples.

  • 93% of the Class of 2016 are either employed or attending graduate school.


  • SHU’s 297 full-time faculty members educate and advise students and are engaged in scholarly research.
  • The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1, with an average class size of approximately 22 students.



  • Nearly 900 students participate in the University's 32 Division I athletic teams.
  • Student-Athletes combined for a 3.35 GPA in 2016-17, while NEC sponsored sports set a league record for the second consecutive year with a 3.381 GPA. Eighty percent of student-athletes posted a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher and 4 out of every 10 earned Dean’s List recognition.

  • SHU offers a wide variety of competitive club sports for the undergraduate student body. There are currently 29 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

  • Each year, the Sacred Heart University community provides over 100,000 hours of service to our partners in Connecticut, throughout the USA, and around the world. Sacred Heart University works with 100+ non-profit organizations, social service agencies, and schools in the Greater Bridgeport area to provide various community engagement opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.

  • SHU volunteers provide consistent and essential support to students in the Bridgeport public school system and other area schools through more than 20 tutoring and mentoring programs. The Academic Mentoring Program (AMP), funded through a grant from the Jones-Zimmermann Foundation, has matched hundreds of Bridgeport middle school students with SHU mentors for the last 15 years.

  • SHU students have access to numerous international service learning opportunities. SHU has partnered with NGOs and institutions in Bangladesh, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Nicaragua to offer service immersion programs or service learning courses for SHU students throughout the whole year.

  • The SHU Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is an award-winning, nationally recognized, student-run organization with hundreds of members. It has consistently been one of the largest student clubs on campus in terms of membership, involvement, and outreach.   

Campus Housing

  • The University has 11 residence halls on-campus and five additional leased facilities bordering the main campus.

  • The newly purchased 15.6 acres of adjacent land to Sacred Heart’s main campus will be home to one of the newest residence hall projects.

  • Residential Life is comprised of 83 Resident Success Assistants and 9 RHDs, making them one of the largest student-support units on campus.

  • Sacred Heart’s newest resident hall, Jorge Bergoglio Hall, named for Pope Francis, opened just in time for the start of the 2016 fall semester. The building, which took nearly two years to complete, houses 216 students in two-bedroom, four-person pods with a shared bathroom. The building includes a multipurpose fitness facility, a classroom/playroom for video game majors and avid players and a shared kitchen space on each floor.

The Campus

  • Sacred Heart University comprises more than 300 acres of land, including an 18-hole golf course and the former global headquarters of General Electric, now named West Campus. The main campus of the University sits on more than 100 acres in Fairfield, Conn. - located less than 60 miles from Manhattan and approximately 150 miles from Boston. The University-owned golf course is located in Milford/Orange, Conn. It is a signature Tommy Fazio-designed facility that has been ranked fourth-best in Connecticut by The recently acquired West Campus will be used as an innovation campus to expand the School of Computer Science and Engineering and develop STEM field programs. Certain elements of the Jack Welch College of Business, including the new hospitality management program, the Isabelle Farrington College of Education, will be moved to the site.
  • The University maintains satellite campuses for graduate students in the Physician Assistant Program in Stamford, CT and for Graduate education students in Griswold, CT.

  • The Center for Healthcare Education building opened for the fall 2017 school year, housing the College of Health Professions and College of Nursing. The Center is designed to offer students with aspirations in any health-care profession the best possible learning environment to ensure that they are prepared to succeed in the booming health-care industry.

  • Our newest dining hall, JP's Diner, is a '50s-style diner and the first on-campus diner in all of New England. Named for SHU President John J. Petillo, JP’s is located on SHU's newly-constructed Upper Quad.
  • Sacred Heart has started work on the site of the former Jewish Home. This 15.6 acres of land is surrounded on all three sides by Sacred Heart’s main campus and will become a residential village including student housing and a dining hall.‌ The first building, Toussaint Hall, will begin housing students spring 2018.

  • A new facility for our radio station WSHU and the Department of Public Safety was completed in spring 2018.

WSHU Public Radio

  • WSHU Public Radio 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 13 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 long list of honors including seven 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

  • International experiences are available to SHU and visiting students— with study abroad programs that support a broad range of educational, professional, and personal goals.
  • Looking at New England liberal arts colleges to study business? SHU has the only American-accredited MBA program in Luxembourg.
  • 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, capstone projects or service learning hours in Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Uganda, India and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in S. Dakota, as well as experience the local healthcare systems in each nation.