• University Fact Book

  • General Information


    The purpose of Franciscan University is to further the higher education of men and women through programs of liberal, professional, and pre-professional studies leading to the conferral of the baccalaureate and master degrees in the arts and sciences.

    It is the further purpose of the University, publicly identified as aCatholic and a Franciscan institution, to promote the moral, spiritual, and religious values of its students. The University is guided by the example and teaching of St. Francis of Assisi. To accomplish this mission, the University embraces the following general policies:

    • Intellectual and Faith Community: The specific vocation of a student is intellectual development.
    • Evangelization: Through academic and co-curricular programs, the University promotes the ongoing and deepening of life in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Church.
    • Dynamic Orthodoxy: The University has embraced this concept as a policy standard for its life, thereby striving to promote and maintain a balanced commitment to truth and life in its faith community.
    • Christian Maturity: The University recognizes that its ultimate purpose is to graduate men and women who are able to take a mature, responsible approach to life.
    • Good Stewardship: The University recognizes that its greatest resources are its people and pledges to treat each person with dignity and respect.

    These five general policies are the basis for many specific policies, including:

    • Academic: The University is a teaching institution, which values research primarily for advancing the scholarship of the faculty. The University requires some specific courses and some balanced selection of courses to promote liberal arts education and the importance of theological studies and basic philosophy. The University also promotes responsible academic freedom which includes observance of the 1940 AAUP statement.
    • Student Life: The University desires all its programs to be guided by the law of love. Specifically, the University welcomes entertainment and recreational activities that upbuild the lives of those involved; promotes participation in physical health programs and athletic activities; promotes personal and spiritual development, particularly through faith households; provides, within its means, counseling and other support services as appropriate; supports Christian morality and respect for life; embraces a Catholic worldview; encourages service off campus to the poor as an essential part of a student’s educational experience.

    Finally, the University commits itself to this mission believing that it is promoting a normal, mature, Franciscan, Catholic, Christian way of life for its students. It believes that its norms for both academic and co-curricular development are rooted in long and proven tradition and areas relevant today as they were in times past. The University commits itself to ongoing prayer so that it may be humble before the face of God and receptive to those graces and blessings it needs to serve this mission.


    Though Franciscan University of Steubenville now enjoys a strong international reputation, its beginnings were as unassuming as its patron saint. Francis of Assisi’s simple life, self-sacrifice, and service to others have inspired many believers throughout the centuries – especially the founders, faculty, and staff of the University, who are guided by his example and teaching.

    In 1946, soon after the end of World War II, Steubenville’s first bishop, John King Mussio, invited the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular to establish a college to serve the needs of local students, especially veterans of World War II. After looking over available facilities, the friars purchased the Knights of Pythias Building in downtown Steubenville in June 1946. With no guarantees except that of moral support, the friars invested $350,000 in what would prove to be a great educational venture.

    As the College of Steubenville’s enrollment grew, other buildings were purchased or leased, until it became evident that proper expansion required enough land for a permanent campus. In 1953, the friars purchased a 40-acre tract on a site overlooking the city of Steubenville. In 1960, the North Central Association granted formal accreditation to the College.


    From the first, the College produced men and women of faith whose moral, spiritual, and intellectual formation enabled them to provide exemplary leadership in their careers, communities, and churches, and as parents, priests, or religious.

    Six presidents have shaped the University into an internationally recognized, Christ-centered institution: Father Daniel W. Egan, TOR, Father Kevin Keelan, TOR, Father Columba S. Devlin, TOR, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Father Terence Henry, TOR, and now Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, who plans to further enhance its reputation for academic excellence and passionate Catholicism.


    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, the College nearly failed. Reeling from the social and cultural upheavals that rocked schools nationwide, the College found itself facing a serious identity crisis and declining enrollment. Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, who became president in 1974, helped restore the institution to the Catholic, Franciscan vision of its founders.

    The College achieved university status in 1980, changing its name to Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1986. During its 68 years of existence, the University has grown to a 249-acre campus with 25 buildings and a study abroad program site in Gaming, Austria. In 2008, the University purchased Assisi Heights, an apartment complex adjacent to campus, which, in addition to a community building, includes 41 apartment buildings with 93 student apartments. It also houses the Christian Outreach Center, the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, the Franciscan Sisters, TOR, Santa Chiara Mission House, and the Franciscan Friars, TOR, Vocations House. Franciscan University now educates over 2,400 students each year who come from 50 states and 13 countries and nearly 300 students in distance education and online courses. The University also reaches over 50,000 other Catholics through its 27 adult, young adult and youth conferences.

    Though a relatively young institution, Franciscan University has achieved national recognition from a variety of sources, including The Templeton Guide for Colleges That Encourage Character Development, National Review’s Guide to America’s Top Liberal Arts Schools, The Templeton Foundation’s Honor Rolls for Education in a Free Society, Barron’s Best Buys in College Education, U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Colleges, The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, and Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine's list of "Best Values" in private education, and the Forbes list of America's Top Colleges.

    Franciscan University’s growth from just 258 students in 1946 to over 2,700 students today is evidence of the faith of its Franciscan friars, the leadership of its presidents, and the determination of its trustees, advisors, faculty, and staff.


    • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly the National League of Nursing)
    • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs
    • Council on Social Work Education
    • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
    • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
    • Ohio Board of Regents
    • Ohio Board of Nursing
    • Ohio Department of Education
    • Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities
    • Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
    • Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio
    • Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
    • Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
    • Council for Higher Education Accreditation
    • Council of Independent Colleges
    • Franciscan Federation
    • The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
    • The National Catholic Education Association
    • The National Education Association
    • The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges

    Franciscan University, in fulfilling its mission of furthering the higher education of men and women through programs of liberal, professional and pre-professional studies, awards degrees at three levels: associate, bachelors and masters. In addition, undergraduate (bachelors) majors may choose from over 30 optional minors.


    Associate of Arts Majors (5)

    Accounting Child Development Theology
    Business Administration General Studies

    Bachelor of Arts Majors (20)

    Biology English (Writing, British & American
    Literature, and Western & World Literature)
    Political Science
    Catechetics (Youth Ministry) French Psychology
    (Clinical or Experimental)
    Chemistry German Sacred Music
    (Organ or Voice)
    Classics History Sociology
    Communications Arts (Journalism,
    Multimedia or Radio/Television)
    Humanities & Catholic Culture Spanish
    Drama(Performance or
    Dramatic Literature)
    Legal Studies Theology
    Economics Philosophy  

    Bachelor of Science Majors (15)

    Accounting Computer Science Management
    Anthropology Economics Marketing
    Biology Education (Elementary, Middle & HS:
    14 different programs for licensure)
    Mathematical Science
    Chemistry Finance Nursing
    Computer Information Science International Business Social Work

    Optional Undergraduate Minors (34)

    Accounting Franciscan Studies Mathematical Science
    Anthropology French Philosophy
    Biology German Political Science
    British & American Literature Greek Psychology
    Chemistry History Sacred Music
    Communication Arts Human Life Studies Sociology
    Computer Science International Business Spanish
    Drama Latin: Classical Theology
    Economics Latin: Ecclesiastical Western & World Literature
    Exercise Science Legal Studies Writing
    Film Studies Management  
    Finance Marketing

    Masters Degrees (7)

    Master of Arts in Catechetics & Evangelization Master of Business Administration
    Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Science in Education
    Master of Arts in Philosophy Master of Science in Educational Administration
    Master of Arts in Theology & Christian Ministry Master of Science in Nursing

    Building Purpose Date Constructed Date Renovated* Area (GSF)
    Antonian Hall Student dining center; Gentile dining room; Keelan room; Schiappa Board Room 1961 2012 26,288
    Assisi Heights Student apartments: 41 apartment building with 93 student apartments; 1 community building; Offices for the Christian Outreach Center and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology; the Franciscan Sisters, TOR Santa Chiara Mission House, and the Franciscan Friars, TOR Vocation House 1957 2013 127,444
    Christ the King Chapel University Chapel; Chapel offices 1969 1995 10,700
    Cosmas and Damian Hall Science center; Pugliese Auditorium 2000 2013 42,920
    Egan/Stafford Hall Classrooms; academic administrative offices; Anathan Theater 1961 2011 73,243
    Finnegan Fieldhouse Indoor athletic facilities including cardio, aerobics, flexibility, Athletic Training Center, Gymnasium, athletic department, & Health and Wellness Center 1992 2014 57,970
    Holy Spirit Friary Franciscan Friars residence 2009   24,231
    J. C. Williams Center Student center; snack bar; bookstore; the Gallery; mail center 1970 2006 42,425
    John Paul II Library Library facilities 1987   28,668
    Lower Campus
    Coffeehouse Brioche Doree and Sandella's 1957 2000 4,752
    Padua Hall Male residence hall 1973 2004 6,022
    St. Bonaventure Hall Female residence hall 1957 2000 8,832
    Scotus Hall Female residence hall 1957 2000 5,246
    Vianney Hall Male residence hall 1957 2000 8,159
    Marian Hall Female residence hall 1961 2012 37,296
    Physical Plant Services Physical plant offices, shops, athletic maintenance 1999 2004 27,581
    Portiuncula Chapel Pilgrimage chapel 1988   677
    Ss. Kolbe and Clare Halls Student residence halls 1997   37,152
    Ss. Louis & Elizabeth Halls Student residence halls 2007   47,925
    St. Francis Hall Male residence hall 1961 2002 26,730
    St. Joseph Center Administrative offices; business department (academic) & MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling department & classrooms 1982 2013 19,964
    St. Thomas More Hall Female residence hall 1964 2006 72,658
    Starvaggi Hall Administrative office; Admissions & Information Technology departments 1961 1996 18,823
    Storage Facilities (2) Armory: Long term University storage; theater accessories 1986 1996 17,318
    Trinity Hall Male residence hall 1963 2013 33,769
    Total Campus Gross Square Footage (GSF) 806,793  
    *Renovation dates reflect the completion date of the most recent major construction/renovation to a major portion of the interior or exterior of the building  


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