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Science & Engineering Profile

Distinguished by the personal attention it provides its students, Sacred Heart University (SHU) is known for its commitment to academic excellence, Division I athletics, cutting-edge technology, and community service. With 8,300 students enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs, this dynamic university is an innovative presence within Catholic higher education. SHU offers bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, and computer science as well as accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs leading to graduate degrees in chemistry, cyber security, and computer science. The Princeton Review ranks SHU’s graduate program among the top 25 graduate schools in the United States for video game design. 

SHU biology students benefit from hands-on study, strong connections with faculty, and top-notch facilities. Biology laboratories (general biology, anatomy and physiology, cellular/molecular, and ecology/organismal), a climate-controlled greenhouse, and instrumental research laboratories house modern equipment, ensuring students develop the skills necessary for graduate education and employment. 

Undergraduates conduct supervised research with SHU faculty members in an array of topics, including opportunities for paid, full-time summer research experiences. Students are supported in securing internships within private industry or public service, with recent locations including zoos, aquariums, veterinary clinics, university laboratories, and corporate sites such as Unilever and Pfizer.

In addition to the traditional biology concentration, students may elect to concentrate in molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, ecology & conservation, or the exciting new coastal & marine science concentration. Sacred Heart boasts an international coastal research center at the University’s site in County Kerry, Ireland, where students partake in international research and study experiences led by faculty members. Closer to home, SHU’s proximity to the Long Island Sound offers unique research experiences such as Project Limulus, a study and community-based research program examining the American horseshoe crab population in the Sound. 

Recent biology graduates have gone on to work with employers such as the Centers for Disease Control, Harvard School of Public Health, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Bayer, and Unilever, while others have enrolled in graduate programs at schools such as Columbia University, Brown University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, and New York University.  

The strengths of the Sacred Heart chemistry program include small class sizes; extensive interaction with faculty; an award-winning student affiliate American Chemical Society chapter; facilities with the latest innovations in technology, teaching pedagogy, and lab equipment; opportunities for community service; and a comprehensive internship program. 

Eight chemistry laboratories serve the needs of analytical chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry and include a high field (400 MHz) NMR spectrometer funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Pfizer Corporation. 

In addition to pursuing undergraduate research with faculty members and interning in both government and corporate settings, chemistry students gain valuable experience as part of SHU’s nationally recognized student affiliate American Chemical Society (SHUSAACS) club. Students attend the national ACS meeting and present a poster on the club's efforts as well as posters on their own independent research. There they make contacts with leading academic and industrial scientists who have helped shape student careers.

Computer science and information technology
The computer science and information technology curriculum at SHU offers three tracks: computer science, information technology, and game design & development. Students choose the SHU computer science programs for our hands-on approach to learning, small classrooms, and the individual attention that it brings. In addition to traditional lectures, students work together with faculty to solve real problems though computer science. The accomplished faculty are renowned for research in computer ethics, algorithms, and gaming design. Students work with faculty on undergraduate research projects, including a year-long senior project in which students originate research, design, develop, implement, present, and defend a major project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. 

State-of-the-art computing labs, a closed LAN laboratory, and a new motion capture lab for digital editing are available to students. Off campus, students intern at a variety of top companies, including Microsoft, GE, IBM, Morgan Stanley, NBC Sports, Sikorsky Aircraft, and others. 



The Freshman Academic Experience
At the heart of the freshman academic experience at SHU are the connections freshmen form with faculty members as soon as they arrive on campus. In the First Year Seminar program, freshmen explore fascinating topics in an intimate weekly seminar led by a professor. Freshmen also work with an academic advisor in the SHU College in which they are interested in studying, who guides their advisees on curriculum planning and other academic issues. Below are just a few hallmarks of the SHU freshman academic experience.

Students undecided on a major or career path find personalized guidance from professional career coaches and peer mentors in this unique, structured program that helps students choose a major that is a fit for them or verify a choice they’ve already made.

In addition to short-term and semester programs for upperclass students around the globe, SHU offers incoming freshmen the opportunity to spend their first SHU semester in Rome, Italy, or Dingle, Ireland, or attend a one-week program in Ireland before the start of their fall semester on the main campus.

SHU’s learning community extends beyond the classroom to this dynamic online forum that connects students with their classmates, peers, and faculty who post ideas, videos, blogs, and more.

This logic course helps freshmen cultivate reading, critical-thinking, and communication skills necessary to college success.

The Jandrisevits Learning Center offers learning strategies to meet individual students’ needs in the form of tutoring, workshops, Learning Labs, writing support, and group study sessions. The Office of Special Learning Services offers additional services to those students with documented learning disabilities.

LOCATION: New England campus in Fairfield, Connecticut


AFFILIATION: Four-year, private, coeducational Catholic university

STANDARD: Competitive


STUDENT GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: 50 states and 27 countries

ENROLLMENT: 1,290 fall 2015 freshmen; 8,300 total undergraduate and graduate students; 91% of freshmen living on campus

ACADEMICS: More than 60 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the Welch College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, Farrington College of Education, College of Health Professions, and College of Nursing