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Campus & Culture

Why SJU is the Place for You

Ten reasons why Saint Joseph’s University should be at the top of your list when exploring your options for college.

Aerial view of Saint Joseph's campus featuring Barbelin Hall

Written by: Kathryn Cirucci '22

Published: December 21, 2022

Total reading time: 6 minutes

It can be hard to know which school is right for you when you’re applying to college — how can any one university check all the boxes?

I know firsthand how overwhelming the college application process can be. But as soon as I stepped onto the Hawk Hill campus, I was sure Saint Joseph’s would be my home for the next four years.

Saint Joseph’s University has so much to offer students. From hundreds of majors to the unmatched beauty of our campuses and everything in between, SJU is the perfect place to broaden your educational horizons. Here are my top nine reasons why Saint Joseph's University should be your nest, too.

  1. Experiential Learning

    College student sitting with elementary school studentOne of the first things that drew me into Saint Joseph’s University was the emphasis on being a well-rounded individual. SJU promotes a range of opportunities that will help you feel like you're making a difference through real-world learning. 

    Service learning programs put students in local communities and allow them to really foster relationships with residents, giving us an opportunity to give back to the city around us. 

    One of the most rewarding experiences for me was working with the students at Gompers Elementary School — located right next to the University’s Hawk Hill campus — where I hosted holiday parties, connected with the kids through tutoring and helped organize field day. 

    Immersion programs also allow students to travel all over the globe during spring and winter breaks to serve communities from Appalachia to other countries. Service is such an amazing way to enrich your own life while giving back — check out all the service opportunities SJU has to offer for more info. 

  2. Division 1 Sports

    SJU women's basketball team gathered in a circle on the courtThere is nothing like being on campus on game day. There is electricity in the air as excited fans and alumni rush to Hagan Arena for a basketball game — it’ll make you feel right at home. 

    I love to throw on my coziest Hawk gear and pour a hot drink for a tailgate in front of Sweeney Field where I can show my support for our team. 

    Saint Joseph’s University is one of 354 Division 1 schools in the U.S. Offering 21 different sports teams, SJU competes at the highest level of collegiate athletics in the Atlantic 10 conference. Our campus is home to state-of-the-art athletic facilities that are constantly being upgraded. Cheer along with our Hawk cheerleaders and get into the spirit while you hear the rumbling echo of “The Hawk Will Never Die!”

  3. Location

    Two students walking in front of City Hall in PhiladelphiaThe location of SJU Hawk Hill campus was a huge factor in my decision to become a Hawk. I can be at a great happy hour in Center City, going on a fun hike in Manayunk or shopping in the main line — and all of it is just 10 minutes from campus.

    Living in a quiet suburb while having access to the train station made me feel like I was getting the best of both worlds. We also have a great University City campus located just west of Center City. 

  4. Campus Beauty

    Students sitting outside the Barnes Arboretum at a tableOur campuses are seriously breathtaking. I can’t believe I have the privilege to walk around such stunning environments every day. I knew I would never take a single detail for granted. Sleek stone buildings adorned with vibrant green foliage give SJU’s campus a stately vibe. One of SJU's amazing amenities is the Barnes Arboretum, where I enjoy spending time by the crystal reflection pool, taking in the beauty of over 10,000 different plant species. Our University City campus explodes with red brick buildings surrounded by budding trees. Even after four years, I will never get bored of the architecture and scenery of my school. 

  5. Research Opportunities

    Students conducting research at a microscopeOne of Saint Joseph’s University’s goals is to encourage students to discover their passion and purpose through research opportunities. Alongside a faculty mentor, students can engage in research on hundreds of different topics. With incredible facilities, library archives and labs equipped with advanced technology, students can conduct hands-on research and in-depth analysis. One of our programs, Summer Scholars, allows students to complete research projects over the summer months and then publish their findings. Additionally, women in STEM can apply for our John P. McNulty Program for Leadership in Science and Mathematics. The scholars have access to funding packages, ongoing faculty mentorship, research, and professional development opportunities. 

  6. Study Abroad / Travel Opportunities

    Student standing on balcony overlooking mountains and lakeWhen applying for schools, I knew one of my points of interest was an opportunity to study abroad with my institution. Although I never had the chance to experience our programs, I have friends who traveled to Greece, Ireland and more. Upon their return, it was apparent how this experience impacted them as students and individuals; they’re always telling stories about their trip and the cultural nuances that they found while overseas. If you have a sense of wanderlust, SJU has tons of travel programs to broaden your educational and cultural horizons, with options for semester-long programs or shorter monthly programs — you pick your destination and how it fits into your schedule. 

  7. Growing Campus

    Aerial view of Saint Joseph's campusThroughout the years I have witnessed so much change and enhancement of St. Joe’s campus and facilities. In 2019, SJU launched a Campus Master Plan to transform the Hawk Hill campus in a way that would enhance the student experience. 

    There’s current construction on campus that’s due to wrap up in the next year or so — one project is for an underpass that would connect both sides of our Hawk Hill campus. The other is for an updated, state-of-the-art fitness and recreation center. It’s going to be so amazing and it’s already making me jealous that I’m graduating this year. 

    It’s truly exciting to walk around campus and see the new improvements going up right before my eyes!

  8. Student Organizations

    A group of students talking and laughing outside at a picnic tableDuring my first year on campus, I attended the career fair to find a group of people that would help my integration into college life. I joined a sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and through it was elected into a leadership position, broadening my skill for organizing a group and public speaking. 

    There are over 90 different student-led organizations and clubs at SJU. If you can’t find one that fits your style, you can always create your own club — lots of students do it and many of them are still active on campus. 

  9. Hundreds of Majors

    Male student writing on white boardWhen I started my college application process, I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue. I ended up enrolling as undecided and SJU gave me the time I needed to figure out what I was truly interested in. 

    I did finally declare my major in communications when I was a junior, having finally found a niche that I didn't think existed. I always enjoyed writing but never imagined focusing on it in college. But, with encouragement from my professors and other opportunities I found around campus, I came to understand my passion for journalism. Alongside my major, I’ve been able to complete minors in art therapy and English, making for a truly unique curriculum that is perfect for me. 

  10. Internships and Co-ops

    Students in white coats holding up a pill bottle in a pharmacyWhen I came to SJU, I knew that obtaining an internship or work experience was a great priority for me. Saint Joseph’s University offers internships and co-ops to grow your confidence, build your resume and test your skills to give a “dry-run” of your career endeavors. 

    Through collaborating with professors and advisors, I was fortunate to be presented with an internship for course credit through Saint Joseph’s communications department. This was the perfect opportunity to test my interest in journalism within the safety net of my institution and with tons of support to guide me. Not only was I able to expand my field of experience in journalism, but I also learned so much about myself in the process and what I was capable of when I put my mind to something. With all of these benefits professionally and personally, my experience interning at SJU is an opportunity I wouldn’t trade for the world. 

So, is SJU right for you? Take a leap of faith and set up a visit to our campus today.