Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, is a mid-size, academically rich, affordably priced public university located at the crossroads of beautiful New England and sophisticated New York. It comprises four schools and a graduate studies division and has an enrollment of approximately 5,500 students. From its beginnings as a small teacher-training school in 1903, Western has progressed uninterrupted through more than a century of program development and multimillion-dollar infrastructure expansion to become the respected, full-service university it is today.
Only an hour north of New York City, the University’s traditional Midtown campus is complemented by the sweeping landscapes at Westside. Though separated by a short drive, our two campuses are totally in sync with one another. Our students develop leadership and networking skills in our 80+ clubs, organizations, and residence hall associations and participate in activities ranging from sports to fundraisers to carnivals and festivals––on whichever campus they’re held.
Great programs, accomplished faculty—and endless opportunity to grow
As a student at Western, you’ll gain the foundational knowledge, professional training, and critical-thinking and communication skills essential to compete in today’s rapidly evolving world. Choose from one of our nearly 40 majors (90 concentrations!) and you’ll learn from experienced professors who understand the present-day applications of your discipline and will prepare you for a meaningful career in that field.
How do we know WCSU grads are valued out there in the workforce?
Here’s a sampling of employer comments received by Career Services, which helps students obtain internships, build résumés, and connect with local and national businesses and organizations:
• “She is exceptional. . . . She leads by example, provides forward momentum for the business, and is an absolute asset.”
• “He has far exceeded his peers and our expectations.”
• “She has been the lead on several projects. Wish I had five more like her.”
Our alumni are quick to confirm the value of their WCSU education
Sam Kantrow ’09, a popular on-air meteorologist at WTNH News 8 (New Haven), had high praise for the groundbreaking meteorology program he pursued here and the weather professionals who trained him. “Without the knowledge provided by WCSU,” Kantrow said, “I never would have acquired the skill set needed to succeed on the air in a top-30 television market.”
Western takes you out to meet the world . . .
Highly accomplished in their various disciplines, instructors at Western make the most of the advantage the University’s location affords their students. From leading art students on visits to world-famous museums or tours of Wall Street in New York City to involving science majors in important field research on invasive species in our regional lakes, students are encouraged to observe firsthand how facts, concepts, and techniques learned in their classes, studios, and labs are professionally applied.
On their own as well, WCSU students enjoy proximity to the venues and attractions of our exciting tri-state area. Growing their independence, they take day trips to New York’s Broadway or Greenwich Village or head out to great cities like Boston. Many set their sights on future careers, identifying the numerous corporations and organizations that are headquartered from Manhattan on up—many of them right here in Danbury!
Cory Paris ’14, Political Science, transferred to WCSU from a college in Kansas, appreciating the many opportunities our region holds. “Being just an hour from New York allowed me to pursue an internship with the Clinton Global Initiative in Manhattan,” said Paris, who has been offered a role with that organization.
. . . and we bring the world to you!
Over the years, numerous well-known artists, lecturers, and performers have found Western to be a great university at which to speak or perform. Oscar-winning actors have appeared here, as have famous sports figures, jazz musicians, scientists, and writers. The University has even been host to powerful politicians and world leaders.
“Meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Western and attending his talks about compassion was so memorable for me,” said Sheldon Poole, a student in Western’s respected Kathwari Honors Program. Poole graduated with a degree in political science. The events he referred to drew audiences from everywhere and culminated, through the generosity of the Dalai Lama, in the establishment of Western’s Center for Compassion, Creativity, and Innovation.
Brittany Chengeri ’15, B.A., Community Health, emphasized the confidence her instructors helped her develop at Western. “I couldn’t have asked for more encouraging, dedicated professors and advisors,” she said. While studying at WCSU, Chengeri was able to serve as a health volunteer at a community in Africa.
Two campuses, each unique
To visitors at Western, the historic character of its 35-acre Midtown campus is signaled by stately Old Main, the school’s original structure. The architecture here tells a modern story, however, with buildings added over the decades—the latest: the LEED-certified Science Building with its “green” technology, premier Weather Center, and fully equipped labs and classrooms.
Western’s 365-acre Westside campus offers a panoramic view of Danbury’s west side. It boasts a large sports complex and wide range of beautifully designed campus buildings, including the recently opened Visual and Performing Arts Center, home to the School of Visual and Performing Arts. With its state-of-the-art performance, studio, recording, and classroom facilities, the center draws audiences from all over to its hugely successful productions.
What are they saying about Western’s stunning new $97 million, 130,000-sq. ft. Visual and Performing Arts Center?
CollegeDegreeSearch.net, a Web-based search engine, rated it #9 of the nation’s “25 Most Amazing Campus Arts Centers.” And Connecticut Magazine rated it the best college performing arts venue in the state for 2015. “It is rare that the moment you walk into a theater or concert hall a standing ovation seems in order, but that’s the case,” the magazine wrote. “The main theater and separate acoustically designed musical hall are, in a word, breathtaking.”
Living on campus—and enjoying our town
Students who choose to live on campus at Western are housed in six residence halls, three per campus. Safe, with 24/7 University Police presence and full security systems, accommodations range from classic “dorm-room” style living to full apartments for up to five. Students can have their cars on campus, where there is plenty of free parking, but there is also continuous complimentary shuttle transportation between campuses.
A small city with a rich history of cultural diversity, Danbury has many restaurants that feature distinctive cuisines. Movie lovers have choices from art films to blockbusters at the nearby 16-theater complex, and there is plenty of shopping in town or at the vast indoor Danbury Fair Mall, reached by campus shuttle or a short drive from either campus. Outdoors you’ll find easily accessed hiking trails as well as water sports on nearby Candlewood Lake, Connecticut’s largest body of fresh water.
Play, cheer, get into shape: move your way at Western!
Athletics and personal fitness are a great part of the Western experience. With Colonial Chuck as their mascot and spirited fans to cheer them on, the Colonials meet challengers on home courts and fields, in the 2,500-seat stadium of the Athletic Complex, or away at rival schools. Westside’s 80,000-sq. ft. O’Neill Center houses a pool, arena, courts, and workout facilities and is where our students participate in numerous intramural and club sports. At Midtown the WesternRec program and Colonial Fitness Zone provide plenty of opportunity for intramurals, special events, and staying fit.