Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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Franciscan University of Steubenville

Quick Facts

Students: 2,454
Location: Steubenville, Ohio
Founded: 1946
Majors: 41
Med. ACT: 25
% Catholic: 97%
Med. H.S. GPA: 3.8
How Much? $33,060
tuition, room and board
For admitted & enrolled traditional undergrads.
Most up-to-date information from the University


Join Franciscan Online:
Phone: 800-783-6220  Address: 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952
Email: Send Admissions a question or comment
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Academic Quality






Core Curriculum


Programs of Study


Chaplaincy or Campus Ministry


Residence Life


Student Activities & Services


Student Body


Institutional Identity




President's Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Franciscan University of Steubenville students pour their hearts into their education and their prayer life; they desire to fall in love with God and the Church, and strive to become saints. Through their witness, they encourage me to become a better friar and priest—and all of us at Franciscan to respond without reservation to the many invitations that God extends.

Our Catholic Core, a newly revised curriculum, immerses our students in the treasures of Western Civilization and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. They study the best minds of the past from Augustine and Aristotle to John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. At Franciscan, academic excellence means producing Catholic graduates as ready for their careers as they are for the challenges of a secular culture.

If you desire an academically excellent education rooted in passionate Catholicism, if you want to be prepared to meet the challenges of the secular world, I invite you to learn more about Franciscan University . . . where you will also learn more about yourself and the person God created you to be.

In Christ and St. Francis,

Rev. Sean O.Sheridan, TOR

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Information from Career Services Office
Grounded in the belief that students’ skills and talents are of immense value to society and the Church, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Career Services Office helps students prepare for internships, graduate school, the job market, or their religious vocation.  

Career Services recommends that students read What Does God Want? by Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Franciscan University president emeritus, as a first step. This practical book guides them to make career and life decisions that conform to God’s will for their gifts and their talents and that will lead to ongoing conversion, a Franciscan charism.

Franciscan University offers more than 40 undergraduate majors that can lead to hundreds of career and vocation choices. Career Services provides help early in the academic journey, so students can choose or switch to the academic major best suited to their strengths and goals.

Individual counseling and the Myers-Briggs and other assessment tools may be used to help identify skills, abilities, interests, and values that can lead to success within a particular field.

Among the many ways Career Services helps students: individual help preparing résumés and cover letters, and interview training; workshops on how to conduct a job search, select a graduate program, how to research an employer, transition from college to employment, and more; worldwide job placement through College Central Network as well as long-established relationships with employers including many alumni, dioceses, and Church organizations; assistance locating internships; Student/ Alumni Networking Day (sponsored by the Alumni Office) connecting students with successful alumni; Career and Lay Vocation Fair that brings over 40 employers to campus; Graduate School Expo that attracts representatives of 40 graduate programs; Etiquette Dinner that teaches proper business etiquette and the opportunity to practice social skills in a professional setting; follow-up support after graduation.

Contact Nancy Ronevich, director, Career Services at 740-284-5251 or nronevich@franciscan.edu. 

Information from Financial Aid Office
Offering competitive tuition and a variety of financial aid resources is a priority for us at Franciscan University. Each year, more than 80 percent of our students receive financial aid worth more than $14 million. These awards are based upon academic merit, financial need, or both.

We offer nearly 100 endowed scholarships and over 50 restricted scholarships. The full-tuition Father Michael Scanlan Scholarship ($24,320 in 2015-2016) is awarded to at least two outstanding students through a scholarship competition held on campus. Attendees are invited to compete based on their SAT/ACT scores and High School GPA. Additionally, the President’s Scholarship, Chancellor’s Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship and St. Clare Academic Scholarship are awarded to new students based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The application for admission serves as the application for these scholarships.

Additional grants and loans offered include Family Discounts, Institutional Grants, Federal Grants, State Grants, Federal Work Study, and Federal Loans.  We will award financial aid to all eligible students. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Our team of financial aid professionals will help make a Franciscan education an affordable reality for you.  We even offer an interest-free payment plan. For more information, visit our website at www.franciscan.edu/TuitionFinacialAid/ or email us at finaid@franciscan.edu.

Franciscan University was founded in 1946 at the urging of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, which turned to the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance to teach returning war veterans. The University’s ownership and the responsibility for its Catholic identity rest with the Franciscan community based in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

The University is located 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on a hill overlooking Steubenville, a small, industrial city with a population of about 19,000. For many Catholics, the term “Steubenville” has come to represent the University, rather than the city. The 2,454 students are 97 percent Catholic, hailing from 50 states and 13 countries.

Franciscan University provides an abundance of opportunities for both academic and spiritual growth, and the role of the friars is at the core of both. Fifteen Franciscan friars serve students through spiritual direction, teaching, chaplaincy, or providing Sacramental needs. “Our greatest strength is our commitment to the charism of Franciscan joy lived out in fidelity to the magisterium,” says President Father Sean O. Sheridan, T.O.R. “As a university that is rooted in our Franciscan and Catholic identity, we have an obligation to educate, to evangelize, and to send forth joyful disciples.

Father Sheridan outlines four elements that make Franciscan distinctive. “The academically excellent nature of our school, the quality of our professors and the personal interest they take in our students, our unique Catholic culture, and our evangelistic outreach that focuses on the New Evangelization.”  

A largely lay board of 25 trustees reports to the Order. Traditionally, the minister provincial of the province is chairman of the board. Seven other members of the board are also Franciscans.

The University offers majors in mostly typical liberal arts fields, as well as three religious-oriented majors in humanities and the Catholic culture, catechetics, and theology. It boasts the largest number of students majoring in theology and catechetics of any Catholic university in the United States, and so too the largest number of students majoring in philosophy.

Franciscan’s tuition rate is lower than the average for private institutions in Ohio. The undergraduate cost for tuition, room, and board for 2015-2016 is $33,080.


Under the rubrics of the new core curriculum adopted by Franciscan University in 2012, undergraduates at Franciscan complete an integrated liberal arts core curriculum of 45 credits for B.A. majors and 42 credits for B.S. students, based on the Western intellectual tradition and the Franciscan character of education and in accord with the Catholic mission of Franciscan University.  The core includes 18 hours of philosophy and theology courses for B.A. students, and 15 hours of philosophy and theology courses for B.S. students.  In addition to the core requirements, B.A. students must prove proficiency through the intermediate level of a foreign language, which is satisfied by most students by 12 hours of foreign language instruction.

Students can choose from 41 majors, including a new engineering dual degree program, and 34 minors.  The minors include human life studies and Franciscan studies. Franciscan also offers majors including catechetics, education, biology, business (with six programs of study), nursing, communication arts, psychology, and a concentration in bioethics for its Master’s in Philosophy. Five of the majors are reserved for associate degree candidates. There also are pre-professional programs including medical fields. Students can pursue an eight-seminar or 32-credit honors program that relies on the Great Books and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

In addition to an online MBA and an online Masters of Science in Education, Franciscan now offers an online Masters of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization, with courses taught by renowned full-time faculty members including Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Alan Schreck, Dr. John Bergsma, Professor Bob Rice, and Sister M. Johanna Paruch, FSGM, PhD.

There also is an impressive study-abroad experience for undergraduates. Approximately 200 students per semester, most in their sophomore year, study for one semester at a former Carthusian monastery in the Alpine town of Gaming, Austria. Coursework is four days a week, allowing students to travel throughout Europe. A 10-day Rome-Assisi trip and a 10-day break are built into the experience. Approximately 50 percent of all graduates participate in this program.  There are also several other study-abroad opportunities, including a semester at Oxford.

Ninety-four percent of the faculty is Catholic. Theology department faculty members and all new campus ministers take an Oath of Fidelity.

Spiritual Life

The most prominent building on the 252-acre campus is Christ the King Chapel, a 44-year-old modern-looking structure noted for a large steel cross atop its roof.

Seven or eight priests hear confessions four times a week, and there are 20 Masses celebrated each week. Daily Masses are held Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m., 12:05 p.m., and 4:45 p.m., and attract more than 700 students each day. All four Sunday Masses are filled to capacity.

The Masses are reverent. Most are charismatic or contemporary. An Extraordinary Form High Mass is offered monthly and Low Mass is offered weekly. The Rosary and other devotions are prayed daily. On Tuesdays, students gather for Praise and Worship and prayer. There are monthly Festivals of Praise and frequent retreats, including silent ones, throughout the school year. Solemn vespers and Benediction are held in the chapel every Sunday evening for students.

The University offers a priestly discernment program that helps about 40 men discern vocations. An annual Vocations Awareness Day showcases nearly 75 religious orders and dioceses. There also is a Franciscan house on-campus where some young men live in a “mitigated program” of scheduled prayer and quiet as part of the spirituality of the Third Order Regular. There are days of discernment for women who might consider religious life as well.

Additional opportunities for prayer exist at the small chapel known as the Portiuncula; it hosts 24-hour Adoration in the spring and fall semesters. There are also a Marian Grotto, outdoor Stations of the Cross, and a life-sized creche. The campus has Eucharistic chapels in every residence hall.

The Tomb of the Unborn Child is a unique memorial with an eternal flame that pays tribute to aborted babies and reflects the University’s strong pro-life commitment. About 750 students attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C., each January.

Residential Life

More than 70 percent of the undergraduates live on campus. Franciscan has a three-year residency requirement. There are 12 single-sex residence halls and a nearby apartment complex that houses men and women. Residence halls mix lower and upper classmen together. Each residence hall has a director to ensure that the hall’s activities conform to the University’s policies and guidelines.

David Schmiesing, vice president for student life, said, "Franciscan University's residence life program, centered around household life and the presence of students from all undergraduate classes in each residence hall, is uniquely designed to promote the integration of faith and reason in students' lives and the promotion of Christian maturity."

Wireless access is available in the student center, the library, and other places on campus. Student wireless access in on campus is filtered. The student cafeteria is not equipped with wireless access in order to foster conversation between students.

Opposite-sex visitation in student rooms (Open House) is restricted to Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and in common areas from noon to 1:00 a.m. Doors must remain open when someone has a guest of the opposite sex. There is a defined and enforced code of conduct and modesty is encourage, but there is no dress code at the University.

Students of age are allowed to have alcohol in their rooms, but not in the presence of minors. While some drinking problems have been reported, most occur off-campus. The campus is safe; most crimes committed pertain to petty theft.

Students often congregate in the J. C. Williams Center, the active student center located near the middle of campus, to hear bands and visit the Pub deli. The center includes a lounge, Cuppertino’s Café, student mailboxes, a bookstore, meeting rooms, and an art gallery.

A health center staffed by a nurse practitioner treats routine matters. Trinity Health Systems operates a hospital and walk-in clinic in Steubenville. There are a number of larger hospitals in nearby Pittsburgh.

Four hotels are located near campus. A variety of restaurants, a mall, and other retail businesses are located slightly farther away. At the bottom of the hill from campus are a coffeehouse and a café.

The city of Steubenville is an old industrial town that has seen better days. The downtown is rather dilapidated and has a higher than average crime index.

Downtown Steubenville is known for its 25 large art murals, and Pittsburgh has a wide variety of sports, cultural, and entertainment opportunities. The Pittsburgh International Airport is a half-hour away.

Student Activities.

Students can participate in more than four dozen organizations and student-led programs, including an unusual number of groups engaged in spiritual and Catholic outreach efforts. These include Latinos for Christ; Ut unum sint Society for Christian Unity; Anscombe Society, which promotes marriage and sexual integrity; a club that advocates pro-life issues at the United Nations; and Knights of Columbus.

The Students for Life club is very active. In addition to participating in the annual March for Life, they have a prayer ministry outside abortion clinics four days a week, train sidewalk counselors, and host prominent speakers. Annually, a coffeehouse is held to raise money for a pregnancy help center in Steubenville.

Other groups include Excite, which sponsors entertainment and social events, theatre, an equestrian club, student government, and the weekly student newspaper, The Troubadour.

Students participate in community outreach programs such as Project St. Nicholas, which works with needy Steubenville residents. The Works of Mercy outreaches and other programs assist with food kitchens and other ministries, such as ministering to the homeless in Pittsburgh and working with local youth.

Missions of Peace sponsors international mission trips during breaks to places such as Belize, Jamaica, Honduras, and Ecuador. Domestic mission trips have included: Chicago, Fargo, Florida, New Mexico, New York, and Steubenville.

A unique aspect of the University is the “faith household” system. Three or more students of the same sex can come together as a household to support each other spiritually, academically, and in other ways under the guidance of an advisor. Nearly 900 students are involved in a household.

In addition to a wide variety of campus activities, households each sponsor their own events

Homecoming provides the opportunity for the St. Francis Festival on campus. The chaplain blesses animals, and some students dress in medieval period costumes. An evening service commemorates the death of St. Francis.

The athletics program intentionally integrates faith and sports. The intercollegiate athletic program includes 15 Division III NCAA teams, an intercollegiate rugby team, and five intramural sports that attract hundreds of student participants. Most head coaches are Catholic, and all support the University’s unique mission.

The Bottom Line

There’s no place quite like Franciscan University of Steubenville, and its students’ enthusiasm for serving God both during and after their college years is most refreshing and exciting.

Few institutions share Franciscan University’s reputation for strong Catholic identity, including a powerful witness to the pro-life cause and evangelization, which penetrates everything the institution does. Still a center for charismatic Catholic worship, the University today embraces other orthodox approaches to Catholic spirituality and attracts a diverse population of students, albeit nearly all of them Catholic.

Catholic families will find in Franciscan University a thoroughly Catholic environment that prepares servants of God for every walk of life, while offering a solid education and vibrant campus life.
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