Saint Francis University

Loretto, PA

Saint Francis University

Loretto, PA

Explore Saint Francis University's Featured Profiles:

Undergrad Science & Engineering Health & Medicine Catholic

Health & Medicine Profile

What you study matters; how you use it matters more.

Saint Francis University carries forward the Franciscan health care tradition of our patron, St. Francis of Assisi, through our well-respected programs in the health sciences.  A spirit of achievement humbled by service is at the heart of the Saint Francis University experience. No matter what your dream is, we believe you can become that someone you were meant to be. We support your career and life goals by providing rigorous health care programs that include clinical and service opportunities that honor the Franciscan tradition and prepare you to do great things. In fact, 99% of our graduates are employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation. We will help you write your success story with career advice, internship assistance, one-on-one counseling, and career exploration workshops. 

Exercise Physiology
Exercise physiologists study how and why the body responds to exercise in order to maintain or improve health, fitness, and athletic performance and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The Saint Francis Exercise Physiology program provides students with the contemporary knowledge and skills necessary for immediate employment inthe fitness industry and graduate education in Exercise Physiology, Allied Health, or Medicine. Lab experiences and internships provide practical applications of knowledge.

A degree in Nursing from Saint Francis provides the clinical expertise required of nurses today. The Saint Francis program also helps students understand the faith perspective that is critical when dealing with the emotional and ethical considerations of this demanding profession. The four-year program reflects our belief that a diverse academic base and a strong moral foundation are essential tools for success. Students gain clinical experience in a variety of settings.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists help people across the life span—from pediatrics to geriatrics—face life challenges and regain functional independence through purposeful and occupation-based activities when daily routines are compromised by injury or illness. The Occupational Therapy program at Saint Francis University is a five-year program that provides solid professional education rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Students admitted to the entry-level program who meet academic progression standards will gain a Bachelor of Science and automatically progress into the master’s program.

Saint Francis offers accelerated programs in Pharmacy in conjunction with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). The 3+3 program allows students to complete the three-year undergraduate Pre-pharmacy program based in the liberal arts tradition at Saint Francis then matriculate into the LECOM School of Pharmacy for three years to complete the professional curriculum. Students can gain a bachelor’s and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in six years. In the same way, the 2+3 program gives students the opportunity to earn their PharmD in five years.

Physical Therapy
Physical therapists use physical and therapeutic measures to design treatment plans that optimize quality oflife. They also rehabilitate people affected by pain, disease, or injury. The Physical Therapy program at Saint Francis prepares students to work ascompetent, ethical, caring doctors. Within six years, students gain both a Bachelor of Science with a solid liberal arts foundation and a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Physician Assistant Science
Physician assistants provide healthcare to all, respecting the uniqueness of each person. The Physician Assistant Science program at Saint Francis is a five-year program where students learn to provide competent, compassionate, and comprehensive health care. Students admitted to the entry-level program who meet academic progression standards will automatically move into the master’s program. Simulation lab sessions and clinical rotations round out the academic experience.

Public Health
If the previously mentioned careers aren’t quite what you want but you’d like to work in the health field, consider the Public Health program at Saint Francis. The Bachelor of Science prepares students for challenging careers working with people or applying to graduate school. The Bachelor of Arts prepares students who want a career that impacts people indirectly in environmental or legislative areas. If you’re considering advanced medical disciplines, a pre-professional Bachelor of Science is also available.

Application deadlines vary by program. Visit 


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Named a College of Distinction

Saint Francis At A Glance

Location: Located in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania on 600 wooded acres, our scenic campus is just half an hour from Altoona and Johnstown and less than two hours from Pittsburgh.

Overview: Saint Francis University is a private, coeducational Franciscan Catholic institution founded in 1847 by six friars from Ireland. The University offers accredited undergraduate and graduate education within the context of a liberal arts foundation. The student experience places particular emphasis on developing individuals who will lead or serve with character in their chosen professions and communities.

Enrollment: Our diverse student body consists of approximately 1,700 undergraduates and 2,600 total students.

Student-faculty ratio: An 18:1 student-faculty ratio assures personal attention with more than 100 full-time professors, 79% of whom hold doctoral or terminal degrees.

Class size: Averaging just 18 students, all classes are taught by faculty members. 

Facilities: Our 23-building campus features 10 residence halls and an athletics center that houses a pool, a fully equipped weight room, and courts for basketball, volleyball, and racquetball. An outdoor athletics complex features a multipurpose, artificially surfaced field and all-weather track. Recent building projects include the DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness, a state-of-the-art Science Center, the completion of the School of Business building, and a 10,000-sq. ft. addition to Sullivan Hall, which will provide Health Science majors with a new space to practice real-world health care scenarios.

Athletics: Our intercollegiate athletics program features 21 NCAA Division I sports for men (eight) and women (13) as well as a popular intramural program and club baseball.

Student organizations: Students can become involved in more than 75 clubs and organizations and attend activities year-round, such as film series, lectures, concerts, and theater productions.

An Inside Look

What students are saying about us...

  • “At Saint Francis, there’s something for everyone. Getting involved beyond your classes is key to success here.”

    • Allison M. ’21
      Physician Assistant Science
  • “SFU is my home away from home. It has everything I need, and the staff is really supportive.”

    • Ryan R. ’23
      Physician Assistant Science
  • “When my daughter came back from her first open house, she said, ‘I love it. This is where I’m going.'"

    • Paula H.
      SFU parent
  • “As a parent of an athlete, we love the academic support he’ll receive, and we were impressed by the graduation rate.”

    • Larry S.
      SFU parent
  • “The faculty invest in your success. They’re the reason I’m able to be a critical care flight nurse serving in Afghanistan.”

    • Captain Abby C. ’12