St. Joseph's University -Philadelphia

I plan on visiting St. Joseph’s University with my son. He plans on being a Math major(possibly secondary education) or majoring in actuarial science.

I have seen threads on CC that St. Joe’s had a reputation for drugs and alcohol. Hopefully, that has changed. He is not a big party person so that would not be his scene. Does the campus clear out on weekends? Does the student association/clubs organize weekend events such as hiking or ski trips? How is the neighborhood around SJU? I have read threads where it is fine and others where the city side of the campus is in a high crime area… The campus looks nice. We recently visited University of Scranton which was nice but Scranton was “dead” on a Saturday night with most of the stores and restaurants being closed. We like the buildings and dorms at Scranton but it was a small campus with not a lot of green space. If anyone has been to Scranton , are SJU’s facilities as nice? Any insight would be appreciated?

A family member has visited both Scranton and St. Joe’s. They had a terrible tour at SJU - summer heat wave. But liked the campus enough that they are going back.

I know a junior at SJU - she is not a big party person but has joined a sorority. She just got back from a semester abroad. I’ve never heard any concerns about the area.

FWIW I think drugs and alcohol are going to be pretty present wherever you go. Being close to Philly would allow for more opportunities to avoid them, I think.

We loved our SJU tour (with both child #1 and child #2). It is true about the crime on the city side, but that’s unfortunately true for a lot of colleges. Students do need to use common sense at night, etc.

SJU is Jesuit and has a nice reputation in our area. It can be pricey but they do offer merit aid.

I’ve only heard great things about SJU. A number of kids I know have gone there. It rated high on their parents’ lists— the kids wanted something bigger. I didn’t hear about neighborhood issues that come up with schools like Trinity and Providence.

Son is a freshman at SJU. He does not drink. He has enjoyed his first semester. He has kept busy - both socially and with class work. On the plus side, he really has enjoyed most of his classes (one “dry” professor), and has really been able to interact directly with his professors and feels engaged. He is in honors college which is a nice fit for him. His largest class is 22 people. His dorm is basic, but a large room, good storage, nice window with a view over the lovely campus, everything is in good shape. He says there are plenty of kids who do drink, and handful like him that do not. No one seems to care much one way or the other. He has not reported experiencing drunken students in the dorms, or that kind of thing. I think his only real complaint is the dorm food which he does not like. He is a slightly picky eater though. And he wishes there was more that was walkable from campus - there are not more than a handful of restaurants and a CVS that are really close. There is uber! and the train isn’t that far - he has taken it into the city with friends. He has used the shuttle to get to Target. I think the biggest strong suit at SJU is the people. The students are very friendly, kind, outgoing and busy. The staff and professors are engaged and care about the students. The campus is beautiful.

1 Like

My son is looking at SJU and would be in the honors program. He’s looking at some other schools that may be somewhat stronger academically and more prestigious but have offered a lot less merit $. Do you feel like the academics there are strong enough for your son?

yes, in a word. Son was in the same position as yours. He went to a big city Jesuit high school with a very strong academic reputation. He has felt the work is doable, challenging, but not overwhelming. Certainly some professors were better than others, some classes more demanding than others too. But on the whole, he feels it is a fit. Perhaps coming from a Jesuit school has made the transition easier? There are always more interesting classes that he wants to take than he has time for. Nice to have options - I hope you are feeling settled with your choice! Its been really a nice fit for our son. The small classes are very appealing to him - fall semester no class had more than 25 students. Very different than our daughter’s massive public University experience.

1 Like

@345winter Thanks again for your helpful input. My son just committed!