At the University of Saint Joseph, students explore and expand their potential in a welcoming community that offers personal attention and academically challenging programs to individuals who want to succeed and make a difference in society.
The University offers certificates, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to its three primary academic populations: undergraduate students, graduate students and doctoral students. For each group there are specific programs.
Initiated as a Catholic college for women, beginning in Fall 2018 the University of Saint Joseph is now fully co-educational. We offer unique opportunities for students to exercise leadership skills while developing professionally and personally. The liberal arts and professional education complement each other in all our programs, and both are founded in the tradition of Judeo-Christian values. The mix of liberal arts and professional components may differ among disciplines, but these constants remain: the vital importance of both components and the aggressive exercise of classroom and laboratory skills in actual professional settings through clinical placements, internships and other practical experiences.
Each University of Saint Joseph undergraduate completes an educational program incorporating liberal arts requirements (CORE Curriculum) and the academic requirements of the chosen discipline. Education at the University of Saint Joseph is an active process. Every student is expected to select courses designed to develop as fully as possible their ability to:
- Comprehend ideas accurately; to organize and express them clearly and persuasively in writing and speaking
- Define and solve problems by finding and analyzing relationships, by locating relevant resources and critically evaluating and synthesizing findings
- Understand and appreciate the ideas and events that have decisively shaped the course of history
- Understand the impact of science and technology and the implications of living in a globally interconnected society
- Appreciate, enjoy and participate in literature and the arts
- Examine how values are formed, transmitted and revised; identify personal, social and spiritual values, and learn how to make responsible decisions
- Understand the values and charism of the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
- Strive to understand the ultimate questions of the meaning and purpose of human life; develop relationships that are individually satisfying and mutually responsible
Undergraduate students may develop an academic program not only from courses offered at the University of Saint Joseph, but also from the full range of offerings at the undergraduate units of the member institutions of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education. Only undergraduates are eligible.
Alpha Sigma Lambda: This National Honor Society is devoted to the advancement of scholarship and to the recognition of non-traditional students continuing their education. The society was established in 1945-46 to honor superior scholarship and leadership in adult students. Alpha Sigma Lambda is not only the oldest, but also the largest chapter-based honor society for full- and part-time adult students. The University of Saint Joseph chapter is Mu Kappa Omega.
Graduate programs (established in 1959)
The graduate programs were originally designed to serve the higher education needs of prospective and in-service teachers. USJ graduate programs have expanded to scientists, dietitians, counselors, nurses, business professionals, special educators, health and safety professionals, and more. Graduate studies are oriented toward developing a depth of knowledge and skills in specific fields and broadening perspectives in related fields. Opportunities for research, practica and independent study contribute significantly to the advancement of knowledge, as well as the integration and effectiveness of the service-oriented professions. By maintaining excellence of faculty, students and resources, graduate studies foster scholarship and intellectual life of inquiry through in-depth research, study and fieldwork. Students are encouraged to re-examine their sense of values in light of the needs of the community at large and also to develop values that will enrich and unify their professional and personal lives.
USJ currently offers doctoral degrees in the areas of Pharmacy: Pharm.D. Program and Nursing Practice; Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice M.S. to D.N.P..
Organization of the University
Academic programs are organized within schools to take advantage of interrelated resources. Major programs are arranged within each school.
The School for Young Children
The School for Young Children (founded in 1936) is a preschool that provides a high quality, child-centered curriculum to children, including those with special needs. Children come from surrounding towns and represent an economically diverse population. Scholarships are available for those who qualify.
Located in a state-of-the-art facility at 238 Steele Road in West Hartford, the School for Young Children is a nationally accredited preschool program offering a focus on science and nature. The School was one of the first preschools in the state and one of the first student laboratory programs in the nation. College and university students come from a wide variety of academic majors to use the School for supervised student teaching, internships, child observations and various projects.
Gengras Center School and Center for Applied Research and Education (CARE)
The Gengras Center School (founded in 1965), expanded in 2015 to include the CARE building, is an approved, private special education school located on the main campus. It serves as a lab school for students majoring in areas such as Special Education, Social Work, Nursing, Nutrition, Psychology and Applied Behavioral Analysis. The Gengras Center provides a school program for children and young adults with a variety of moderate to severe disabilities, including autism and intellectual disabilities. The students range from 5 to 21.
An integrated academic program, as well as a functional curriculum for students requiring independent living skills instruction, is provided in conjunction with speech and language therapies, occupational/physical therapy and social skills training. The curriculum also features music, art and physical education classes. A comprehensive vocational program is offered to prepare students for the transition to adulthood and the world of work. Assistive and augmentative technology is used to enhance the curriculum and expand each student’s overall level of functioning and communication skills. Students served in the Gengras Center School come from all over the state, representing up to 50 different communities.
The Gengras Center provides many departments at the University of Saint Joseph with ample opportunities for their students to interact with children and youth with disabilities through on-site observations, fieldwork and course-related applications. University of Saint Joseph students who select a practicum or student teaching at the Gengras Center are able to participate in a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary training experience.