Saint Francis University Online

Founded in 1847, Saint Francis University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the United States. Today, it’s a university that has almost 2,500 students enrolled at its 600-acre campus in Loretto, Pa. The school emphasizes Franciscan values, skills, and knowledge to encourage a greater understanding of ethical issues and to promote respect for diversity of people, as well as mathematical and critical thinking and computer skills. In its 2012 “Best Colleges” rankings, the U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Francis University as the 15th best value school, and 46th in the northern region.

Programs Offered

The school offers undergraduate degrees in three schools: business, arts and letters, health science, and science. These degrees include accounting, economics, international business, political science, religious studies, and chemistry. Many of these degrees have concentrations. For example, the computer science program has concentrations in gaming/new media design and production, information technology and security, and software development. Additionally, there are 10 master’s degree programs, including a Master of Business Administration (MBA), three professional certificate programs, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree available.

The academic offerings are different for the university’s continuing education program. Students can earn a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting, management, business, and renewable energy, as well as three associate and seven bachelor’s degrees. Classes can be taken online or in the evening at the school’s locations in Loretto, Altoona, Johnstown, and State College.


The university has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1939. It also has specialized accreditations from the American Occupational Therapy Association (2000), American Physical Therapy Association (2000), and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (2001).


To apply to Saint Francis, a first-time student needs to complete the admissions application, submit an official high school transcript and standardized test scores, at least one letter of recommendation from a core class teacher or guidance counselor, and an essay or writing sample. When evaluating a student’s admission application, the school looks at grade point average (GPA), the difficulty of the high school curriculum, SAT or ACT scores, service to school, church, and community, and a class rank if it’s available. Each major also requires a student to have taken a certain number of core classes before they can be admitted into the degree plan.

Meanwhile, transfer applicants must have at least a 2.0 GPA and 12 transferable credits to be considered for admission to most programs. However, the occupational therapy program prefers students with a cumulative 2.75 GPA, and the nursing and physical therapy prefers those with at least a 3.0 GPA. The requirements for graduate applicants change based on the program. A student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and they may need to provide letters of recommendation, essays, and standardized test scores.

Admissions Contact

Saint Francis University
Admissions Office
117 Evergreen DriveP.O. Box 600
Loretto, PA 15940
(814) 472-3100

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