Saint Francis University is a four-year, coeducational Catholic liberal arts university in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1847 and conducted under the tradition of the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. The university is situated on 600 acres (243 ha) in the forests and farmland of Loretto.
Located in Loretto, Pennsylvania, Saint Francis University enrolls approximately 1,832 undergraduate students, of which 40.7% are male and 59.3% female; and 617 graduate students. The university offers 25 undergraduate and 7 graduate majors to its students including a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The university maintains an average graduation rate of 69.9%. Saint Francis University has 21 men's and women's sports teams and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I level.
The current president of the university is Fr. Gabriel Zeis, TOR.
Mount Assisi Friary, which is the former mansion of industrialist Charles M. Schwab, is on the grounds of Saint Francis University.
Also contained in the grounds is the main building for the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art which has a number of smaller facilities across the local region.
Immergrün Golf Course is a 9-hole course located on the campus of Saint Francis University. Immergrün has never been altered since it was built by Donald Ross for Charles M. Schwab in 1917.
Also on the campus are The DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness and the Center of Excellence for Remote and Medically Under-Served Areas (CERMUSA) a research and applied technology center.
Saint Francis University is consistently ranked among the top private universities within the state of Pennsylvania. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Saint Francis University the "51st Best University in the Mid-Atlantic states to gain a Masters Degree as well as "The 46th Best University in the North (Tier 1)". The most notable Masters Degree programs are the Masters of Business Administration (MBA)and the Masters of Physician Assistant Sciences program which is consistently ranked among the top 3% in the nation. In addition to these rankings, Saint Francis University released statistics that show 98% of graduates of the university start graduate school or a job within nine months of graduation.
The average student attending Saint Francis University is ranked within the top 20% of his/her graduating class upon freshman orientation.
Saint Francis University also runs a campus at Ambialet, France.
Saint Francis College was established in 1847 by six Franciscan Friars from Ireland who were given land in Loretto by Bishop Michael O'Connor to establish a school. The University was one of the first Catholic Universities in the United States and the first Franciscan college in the nation. Although it originally only admitted males, it became one of the first Catholic Universities to become co-educational. Loretto is the site of the first English-language Roman Catholic Church settlement established west of the Allegheny Front, in what is now the United States, by Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin in 1799.
In 2001, Saint Francis College was accredited with university status and renamed to Saint Francis University.
Athletically, Saint Francis competes in the NCAA's Northeast Conference. Their nickname is the Red Flash. The University has a total of 22 varsity sports teams, with nine men's teams and 13 women's programs all competing in NCAA Division I. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and volleyball, which competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA); while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball. In addition to this, there are also two club sport teams, ice hockey and baseball.