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Canisius College


Named in honor of St. Peter Canisius on its inception in 1870 by German members of the Society of Jesus, Canisius College is a comprehensive senior four-year private institution rooted in the Roman Catholic and Jesuit faith. Canisius’ 72-acre urban campus includes 56 historic buildings sprawled over one mile of city blocks in Buffalo, New York State near Lake Erie. Canisius College currently enrolls more than 3,300 undergraduates and 1,700 post-graduates across its three academic schools. The college’s 210 full-time faculty offer liberal arts based coursework leading to over 130 distinct majors. Canisius College follows the mission of providing transformative learning experiences that engage students in our global society.

Thanks to its long-standing tradition of excellence, Canisius is currently ranked as the 27th best regional college, 8th top value school, and 7th best college for veterans in the North by the U.S. News and World Report. In particular, it’s acclaimed for having the 162nd best online graduate education degrees. Canisius has been honored with the “Military Friendly” designation from Victory Media for educating active and veteran service members. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance placed Canisius College among the top 100 best value public universities. Within the National Survey of Student Engagement, 93 percent of Canisius students reported a favorable image of the college.

Canisius College Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2015, Canisius College is formally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Certain academic departments at Canisius have pursued their own discipline-specific, programmatic accreditations. For instance, teaching degrees are accredited by the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Business programs are approved by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Canisius College also has the stamp of approval from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) and American Chemical Society (ACS).

Canisius College Application Requirements

Since Canisius College has a selective acceptance rate of 72 percent, new students must fulfill some rigorous admissions criteria before enrolling. Incoming freshmen must be on track to receive a diploma from a state-approved secondary school. First-year students are required to meet these prerequisites: four years English, four years mathematics, three years laboratory sciences, three years social sciences, and two years foreign language. Students should have a minimum of 16 units of college preparatory coursework. Maintaining a solid high school average of B or higher is mandated. SAT and/or ACT scores will also be weighed.

Undergraduate transfers can enroll at Canisius College with a maximum of 90 credits from a regionally accredited institution. Transfer applicants must still be in good standing with their former college and carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduate students looking to earn their master’s from Canisius must already hold at least a four-year baccalaureate degree from an approved U.S. institution or foreign equivalent. Carrying an overall upper-division GPA of 3.0 or better is required, but several programs have higher grade requirements. Satisfactory scores for the GRE or GMAT may be requested too.

At least 30 days prior to the semester start date, interested students applying to Canisius College should submit a completed admissions application with the following:

  • Official transcripts from each school attended
  • Standardized test and/or graduate entrance exam scores
  • One or more letters of recommendation
  • A current, up-to-date professional resume (graduates)
  • One well-written essay of at least 250 words
  • Payment for the $40 application processing fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Regardless of residence, all full-time undergraduate students at Canisius College can expect to pay $16,641 in tuition every semester, which equates to $33,282 each year. Other mandatory costs include the $283 college fee, $208 activity fee, $112 technology fee, and $100 wellness fee each semester. Part-time undergraduates will pay differently at $950 per credit hour. Graduate students attending Canisius College must afford paying $780 per credit hour of their master’s degree program. This excludes the One Year MBA that costs $38,709 total. Graduates students won’t escape fees, such as the $132 college fee, $90 technology fee, and $100 wellness fee.

For help lowering the burden of these costs, Canisius College automatically considers incoming degree-seeking students for financial aid. 98 percent of Canisius students are supported by some form of assistance. In fact, the average financial aid award is $30,200. After filing the FAFSA form, students can be considered for Direct loans, Perkins loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and Parents Plus loans. Money that won’t be repaid is available through the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, TAP Grant, and Canisius College Grant. Any student taking at least six hours would qualify for Federal Work Study to exchange employment for funding. Merit-based scholarships also are abundant, such as the Ignatian Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship, Trustee’s Scholarship, MLK Scholarship, and WNY Prosperity Scholarship.

Student Experience

Canisius College is one of just 28 Jesuit institutions in the United States, so it’s bound to provide a unique student experience. With a commitment to service learning and social justice, Canisius provides high-quality academics. Students can select from a buffet of over 1,000 courses. Any students needing extra rigor can participate in the All-College Honors Program. Business Administration is the most popular major, but undergraduate programs range from Psychology and Ecology to Urban Studies and Biochemistry. The college has a low student-faculty ratio of 12:1 for accessibility and personalization.

Religion is central to campus life with spiritual activities open to students of all faiths. Mass is celebrated Monday through Friday and on Sunday in Christ the King Chapel. Canisius College is easily accessed on the Buffalo Metro Rail at Delavan Station and Humboldt Hospital Station. Undergraduate students receive an all-zone Metro Pass. The college’s campus is kept secure through 24/7 vehicle patrols, emergency telephones, and controlled dorm access. There are 11 residence halls designed to provide living learning communities for student connections.

Boasting over 140 clubs and organizations for students to join, there’s no time for boredom at Canisius College. In particular, the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is highly regarded for winning the MacArthur Award as the East’s best battalion. Athletically inclined students can try out for Cansius’ 17 sports teams. The Golden Griffins participate in the NCAA Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Other intramural club sports include bowling, crew, rugby, mixed martial arts, fencing, and ultimate Frisbee. Griffins After Dark hosts no-cost, alcohol-free social events often, including the famous 80s prom night. Griffin Spirit Week is packed with fun campus traditions each spring too.

Canisius College is an excellent option for students seeking a small, spiritually based campus in a metro area.