Sacred Heart University


Founded in 1963 as an independent, Catholic university, Sacred Heart University is the second-largest Catholic university in New England. SHU is proud to be recognized by The Princeton Review as one of The Best 381 Colleges: 2016 and to be ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the best regional colleges in the north.  Sacred Heart University Online also offers convenient distance learning options. 

However, the true worth of your time at Sacred Heart won’t be measured by the facts you learn or the skills you acquire. Instead, we challenge you to be fearless, both in the classroom and outside, in order to create greater opportunities and chances.

Sacred Heart University Online Programs

Where Is Sacred Heart University?

Sacred Heart University is located at:

  • 5151 Park Avenue
  • Fairfield, CT 08625

Fairfield is a thriving town of roughly 59,000 residents less than 60 miles from Manhattan and roughly 150 miles from Boston. This community has beaches, marinas, parks, and plenty of open space and shopping. Plus, the school offers free shuttles to local shopping for students who choose to live on campus. There’s also the Fairfield BikeShare Program so you can explore Fairfield on your own!

In addition, to students who don’t want to attend SHU on-campus, the school offers a number of online programs so you can attend Sacred Heart University online from the comfort of your current home, without having to relocate.

Admissions at Sacred Heart University

The basic undergraduate admissions requirements at Sacred Heart University are:

  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores, if you elect to send them
  • Completed application

SHU offers a number of different graduate programs, each of which have unique admissions requirements. However, some of the most common graduate admissions include:

  • Bachelors degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose or personal statement
  • 2 letters of recommendation

These are similar to many of the admissions requirements for online programs. However, each of the online degrees offered at Sacred Heart University, especially the various nursing programs, have unique admissions requirements. For instance, some of these include:

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

  • Current, unencumbered RN license
  • Associates degree in nursing (ADN) or Diploma in Nursing
  • 2 letters of recommendation

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Current, encumbered RN license
  • BSN with a 3.2 GPA
  • Personal statement

There may be additional admissions requirements for other programs, so be sure to check with the school for specific requirements before applying.

What Is the Acceptance Rate at Sacred Heart University?

As of the fall of 2015, the acceptance rate at SHU was 59% and the early decision acceptance rate was 89%, making it a selective school compared nationally.

How Much Is Sacred Heart University Tuition?

The full-time undergraduate tuition is $19,785 per semester. For winter or summer semesters, and for part-time students, it is $600 per credit.

At Sacred Heart, the graduate tuition rate varies from degree to degree. Depending on the program you choose, the tuition ranges from $7,185 to $18,800 per semester.

However, the rates mentioned above are different than the tuition for online programs at SHU, which are:

  • RN to BSN: $575 per credit hour
  • RN to MSN: $575 to $690 per credit hour
  • MSN: $690 per credit hour
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): $890 per credit hour
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): $940 per credit hour
  • Master of Social Work (MSW): $750 per credit hour

Check with the school for the exact amount, and any additional fees, for particular degrees. Keep in mind that the school’s tuition rate may go up from year to year.

How Many Students Attend Sacred Heart University?

As of 2016, there were 8,532 students who attended Sacred Heart, which breaks down as:

  • 4,794 full-time undergraduate students
  • 634 part-time undergraduate students
  • 3,104 graduate students

While the top four states in which first-year undergraduate students and their families permanently reside are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 34 countries are represented by the student body. This provides students with a diverse student body so that they can learn from each other’s various experience and perspectives.

What Are Some Online Programs at SHU? Sacred Heart University Online

The online programs at Scared Heart University are:

Sacred Heart University Online Nursing Program

The online nursing program at Sacred Heart is consistently ranked as one of the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. These programs, including the RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs, are designed for registered nurses who want to pursue a degree that may help them move into leadership roles.

In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80% of nurses hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020. In addition, the American Nurses Association (ANA) urges all RNs who graduate with an ADN or a nursing diploma be required to obtain a “BSN in 10”, or to earn a bachelors degree in nursing within 10 years of licensure.

Online Nursing Programs

RN to BSN: This program is designed to help RNs with a diploma or ADN develop skills such as:

  • Health assessment
  • Information technology
  • Evidence-based practice

RN to MSN: Designed for similar students as mentioned above, this program helps students pursue a MSN quicker than if you were to earn a BSN and then pursue a MSN. This is by taking masters level courses while pursuing your bachelors degree. Depending on the MSN concentration you choose, this may allow you to earn your MSN in eight or nine classes as opposed to the typical 12.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): This rigorous program teaches students how to meet the demands of the health care industry through classes focused on developing superior clinical, managerial, and educational skills. The MSN at Sacred Heart University also offer four concentrations, which are:

  1. Clinical Nurse Leader
  2. Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
  3. Nursing Education
  4. Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN – FNP): Choosing this concentration for your MSN prepares you to pass the national certifications from the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). This program teaches family-focused primary care, including diagnosis and prescriptions, to patients of all ages.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): This program builds upon topics and concepts examined while earning your MSN in order to develop the scientific excellence in practice to influence health care outcomes on multiple levels. A DNP from SHU prepares you for:

  • Advanced practice
  • Leadership
  • Teaching
  • Research

Sacred Heart University Accreditations

Sacred Heart University online programs are regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). In addition, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits all of the nursing programs.

This means that the online programs at Sacred Heart University meet the high standard of excellence set forth by these accrediting bodies.  

Student Services at SHU

There are a number of student services offered at SHU in order to allow you to get the most out of your college career. Some of these services include:

  • Weekly Events, such as Outdoor Roller Rink Family Weekend, and others
  • More Than 60 Clubs and Organizations
  • Club Sports, such as Basketball, Sailing, and others
  • Greek Life, which include seven sororities and five fraternities
  • Intramural Sports, such as Flag Football, Volleyball, and others
  • Leadership Programs, such as Navigating Leadership, Workshops, and others
  • Volunteering
  • Student Government

These clubs, organizations, and programs provide students with an opportunity to become active members of the Sacred Heart community and to meet other students with common interests.

Athletics at Sacred Heart University

Playing as the Pioneers, Sacred Heart University offers 32 varsity athletic teams in men’s and women’s sports, such as:

Men’s Sports at Sacred Heart:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Women’s Sports at SHU:

  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

What Division Is SHU In?

The Sacred Heart Pioneers are in Division 1 of the NCAA in the Northeast Conference (NEC), which includes all 32 of the university’s varsity athletic teams.

Sacred Heart University Financial Aid Opportunities

Sacred Heart University offers students a number of financial aid opportunities and financial assistance. Some of these programs include:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Stafford Loans
  • Parent Loans

There may be a number of other financial aid opportunities for students. Often, the first step in the process is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will show the amount of loans you’re eligible for. Plus, don’t forget to research outside scholarships that may help ease the burden of paying for college.

Sacred Heart University Academic Calendar

Sacred Heart University has rolling admissions, but also offers an “Early Decision” option for freshman applicants, which is December 1st. The “Early Action” option is for students who would like to know their admission decision earlier than other students without the obligation to enroll. The “Early Action” deadline is December 15th.

In addition, while there is a rolling admissions process, students are strongly encouraged to submit their application as early as possible and no later than the Priority Deadline of February 15th.

Student Reviews

I chose SHU mainly for its personalized, intimate atmosphere. I wanted to be acknowledged as an individual, not just a number in a professor's grade book.

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