The University of Sacred Heart began in 1880 in an elementary school building in San Juan. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart established the elementary school as an efforts to reach out to the population of Puerto Rico with education and community programs. In the early 20th century, the higher education program moved to its own campus on the newly acquired grounds of the Count of Santurce. It received its first charter as the College of the Sacred Heart in 1935, and it began granting degrees in 1939.
Originally, Sacred Heart served only female students and was taught by Sisters of the Catholic faith. It later became co-educational (1972) and was transferred to the guidance of a Board of Trustees led by lay people, two decisions that expanded the reach and the offerings of the College.
Today, the institution is known as the University of Sacred Heart (USC). It offers a number of undergraduate programs and master’s degree programs, and has begun reducing its student population to foster strong relationships between students and professors. Student enrollment at USC is approximately 5,500.
The University of Sacred Heart is a Catholic university that teaches a wide range of subject areas and encourages faith and morality in its students. It promotes democratic principles and respect for human dignity, and seeks to create a community that fosters communication and practice of Gospel teachings.
Students at Sacred Heart can choose from four associate, 34 bachelor’s, and 19 master’s degree programs, as well as a number of professional certificates. Courses are offered through a flexible schedule that includes daytime, evening, and weekend classes.
Academic departments include Business Administration, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Communications, Education, and Humanities. Students can specialize within these programs to develop a more enriched degree track; for example, Business Administration students may choose a major in Management with a minor in Insurance or International Business. Students should work with their academic advisor to develop a comprehensive degree program.
Graduate degrees include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Nursing Administration, Master of Arts in Communication, and Master of Arts in Education, among others. Graduate students have the opportunity to serve in leadership positions in the community, work closely with their professors to grow individually, and develop a Christian awareness and ethical standards within their industry.
Students also have access to digital and print resources throughout campus at the computer labs, T.V. and recording studios, and different academic laboratories. The Madre María Teresa Guevara Library offers everything students may need to be successful in their academic careers, including computer workstations, electronic subscriptions to scholarly journals, publication archives, and special collections.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Service Learning Initiative strengthens the degree program by giving seniors real-world experience in their major fields. Through a required capstone course, senior students work one-on-one with community organizations as consultants, helping them to identify problems and solve them within the organization. In 2008, the Service Learning Initiative earned University of Sacred Heart the Curricular Engagement and Outreach/Partnering classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
University of Sacred Heart is a competitive admission college, and accepts qualified, academically promising students for its degree programs. Prospective applicants should be high school graduates or a hold a GED certificate. Students should be ready to present SAT, ACT, or the Spanish-language PAA test scores. They may also be required to submit various test scores or recommendations, depending on their desired program.
To apply, students should fill out and submit an application form, which is available online or from the Admissions and Promotion Office. They should forward any relevant test scores and official transcripts, along with a letter of recommendation from an academic reference. Students must also submit a immunization certificate and a non-refundable application fee.
University of Sacred Heart offers financial aid in the form of federal need-based funds and merit-based funds. Students seeking financial aid should begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is available online at www.fafsa.gov. This form determines eligibility for various federal aid programs, including grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. The FAFSA is also a required supplementary document for many third-party aid programs and scholarship competitions.
University of Sacred Heart also offers merit-based funding to different groups of students. The Athletic Scholarship is available to student athletes who maintain a 2.00 GPA. The José Jaime Pierluisi Scholarship is designed to assist academically successful Business Administration students who also demonstrate financial need. The Madre Rosa de Bolívar Scholarship rewards students in certain student organizations who also maintain a 2.5 GPA with a full-time student status.
Many other specific university-funded programs are available, as well as resources and guidance in finding outside scholarships and aid. More information can be found online or in the Financial Aid Office.
Student Financial Aid Details
University of Sacred Heart has a diverse student culture that has grown from the University’s local origins as a Catholic girls’ school. Nearly two-thirds of the University is female, and more than half are residents of the San Juan Metropolis. There are more than 20 student clubs and organizations, including groups like the Theatre Association, the Nursing Students association, and “La Red.”
There is a thriving on-campus arts program, which includes sponsoring the Museum of the Radio and the University Art Gallery, as well as displaying student art at the Génesis Art Gallery and the José (Pepín) Méndez Art Gallery.
The campus’s cable TV show, TeleSagrado, reports on new school developments and community news, and hosts weekly programs on topics like school refotm, violence prevention, entrepreneurship, and more.
The Emilio S. Beleval Theatre hosts student events and activities year-round. It is an integral part of the arts culture at USC.
Many students choose to live on-campus is one of the school’s residence halls, which accommodate more than 500 students and professors each year. Living on-campus puts students right in the middle of campus life, making it easy to attend club meetings or socialize with other students.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
University of Sacred Heart participates in the Inter-University Athletic League (LAI) in 11 men’s and women’s sports, including volleyball, swimming, track and field, judo, and more. Student athletes compete on an intercollegiate level and often travel to different sporting events and tournaments.
The student center and sports complex is free to all students at University of Sacred Heart. It offers modern facilities and a full-scale gymnasium, including indoor basketball courts, volleyball courts, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a wrestling gym, and a weight-lifting gym. Students can also relax in the game lounge, which provides activities like billiards, board games, and ping pong tables.
- Universidad Del Sagrado Corazón. Web. 04 Aug. 2011.
- University of the Sacred Heart. Institutional Profile 2008-2009. Print.
- University of the Sacred Heart. English Catalog 2002-2003. Print.
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