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. Recently named one of the fastest-growing Catholic universities in the country, this dynamic institution is an innovative presence within higher education. 


LOCATION: New England campus in Fairfield, Connecticut


AFFILIATION: Private, four-year, coeducational Catholic university

STANDARD: Competitive


STUDENT GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: 50 states and 34 countries

ENROLLMENT: 1,394 fall 2017 freshmen; 8,543 total undergraduate and graduate students; 92% of freshmen living on campus

ACADEMICS: More than 70 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

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-long programs around the globe for upperclass students, SHU offers incoming freshmen the opportunity to spend their spring semester at SHU's own campus in 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 Services offers additional services to those students with documented learning disabilities.

Engineering programs
The BS in Computer Engineering curriculum balances hardware and software principles and offers various areas of specialization. The program provides a platform for further work leading to graduate studies in Computer Engineering, as well as careers in fields such as business, law, medicine, management, and others. 

Sacred Heart also offers a 3+2 dual-degree Engineering program, providing a broad liberal arts background along with a technical Engineering degree, which sets students apart among engineering graduates. Students spend three years at SHU followed by two years at one of our partner engineering schools: Columbia University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Students earn bachelor’s degrees in both a liberal arts discipline from SHU (Chemistry and Math) and an Engineering degree from Columbia or RPI (Biomedical, Chemical and Biological, Industrial Management, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, or Materials Science) at the end of the five-year program. 

Biology programs
The Molecular and Cellular Biology major emphasizes course work in biotechnology, microbiology, and cell/molecular biology and provides students with extensive research expe
rience through research with faculty and internships with local biotechnology companies. The major is ideal for students preparing for graduate school or employment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The Biology major preparesstudents for a wide variety of careers in the life sciences as well as meeting the requirements for admission at most graduate and pre-professional schools.

The Coastal and Marine Science major emphasizes course work in coastal science, marine science, ecology, conservation biology, environmental restoration, and related areas, plus field work, independent research projects, and internship experiences. At Sacred Heart’s international coastal research center in County Kerry, Ireland, 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 research program examining the American horseshoe crab population in the Sound.

Recent graduates from SHU Biology programs 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.

Neuroscience major
The Neuroscience major emphasizes interdisciplinary course work in biology and psychology. Supervised research with Biology or Psychology
faculty and internships in neuroscience-related health care or biotechnology fields are an integral part of the curriculum. This major is excellent preparation for graduate and professional training in the biomedical sciences, careers in the health professions, or careers in neuroscience-related biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Chemistry programs
The Biochemistry major offers instruction in biochemical theory, techniques, and practices, and graduates are well qualified for laboratory research positions in chemical and life science industries and for continuing training in the health sciences, including medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry.

The BS in Chemistry provides a curriculum with strong, supportive courses in mathematics and physics and is recommended for graduate study in Chemistry or as preparation for an industrial position. Through SHU’s accelerated bachelor’s-master’s degree program, students earn both a BS and an MS in Chemistry in five years. 

The strengths of the SHU Chemistry programs 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. 

School of Computing
SHU offers several majors in addition to the BS in Computer Engineering. The Game Design and Developmentdegree, recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the “Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs” in the country, focuses on the game creation process, game play theory, fundamentals in computer graphics, components of animation, and how to thrive as part of a multidisciplinary team. Students utilize a new Gaming Lab both as an extended classroom and a place to compete as part of the intercollegiate Club Gaming team.   

Degrees are also offered in Cyber Security, Computer Science, and Information Technology. 

Students choose the SHU School of Computing for the hands-on approach to learning, small classes, and individual attention. Students work with faculty on undergraduate research projects, including a year-long senior project. 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.