The University of Saint Joseph is a private, Catholic liberal arts university in West Hartford, CT. Founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut, USJ was the first liberal arts college for women in the area, and from its beginning USJ was inclusive of all races, religions, and ages. Since its earliest days, USJ has grown from the exclusively female undergraduate college to include coed adult education, graduate programs, and professional degrees, as well as fully coed undergraduate programs in 2017. USJ is ranked in the top tier of Northern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and remains one of the most trusted names in Connecticut.
Academic ProgramsFrom its first class the University of Saint Joseph’s goal was to combine the best aspects of the classical liberal arts with the most current, marketable professional studies. The Sisters of Mercy order is known for its commitment to education, and USJ’s undergraduate curriculum stands in line with the Catholic commitment to excellence, fostering a community of support and accountability that has had massive positive influence on students. With a student:faculty ratio of just 10:1, and class sizes averaging 14 students, USJ’s faculty has the opportunity to provide the guidance in academic and spiritual matters that defines Catholic education.
Saint Joseph’s graduate, adult, and professional doctorate programs have been coed since the first graduate programs began in 1959. USJ is consistently praised for the quality of their post-graduate offerings, including their Pharm.D. degree from the highly-respected School of Pharmacy. Located halfway between New York City and Boston, USJ graduates have ample access to two of the busiest job markets in the US, and the excellent regional reputation of Saint Joseph’s to give them an advantage.
Student LifeAs of summer 2017, the University of Saint Joseph is a fully coeducational institution, admitting men to undergraduate as well as graduate programs. Around 2500 students attend USJ, though less than 1000 are residential undergraduates. More than 30 student-led organizations and clubs add to the campus culture, including religious groups, honor societies, and interests such as musical groups. Community service is a large part of student life, in keeping with Sisters of Mercy values, and student groups like the Wonder Women of the World’s Woes and the Brave Leadership Club foster community action and leadership.
Religious life is also deeply embedded in Saint Joseph’s. Though students have never been required to be Catholic, or to even espouse any religious, the Campus Ministry is engaged with students at many different levels and encourages exploration of faith. Weekly Mass is provided for Catholic students and faculty, while students can also take on leadership and service roles within the ministry. Finally, the USJ Blue Jays compete in Division III NCAA women’s sports, including basketball, soccer, softball, and tennis.