History & Core Values

History & Core Values

University of Saint Joseph: A Bold Beginning


In 1932, the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut set out to establish the first liberal arts college for women in the Hartford area. They were determined to develop a curriculum that balanced professional studies with the liberal arts; focused on service to others; and infused the Catholic intellectual tradition while welcoming students of all ages, races, religions, and cultures.

Throughout the history of the University of Saint Joseph, this inclusive mission has never been compromised. Guided by this vision, the University has flourished and is now recognized for outstanding programs that prepare graduates to serve their communities in dedicated and meaningful ways throughout their lives.

In addition to its traditional undergraduate women’s program, the University of Saint Joseph has grown to include the following coeducational programs of study: graduate master’s and certificate programs (introduced in 1959); the undergraduate Program for Adult Learners (1985); and professional doctoral degrees (2011).

Two renowned laboratory schools — the School for Young Children (1936), a nationally-accredited preschool; and the Gengras Center (1965), a special education program for elementary, middle and high school students — also serve to train University of Saint Joseph students.

As the University of Saint Joseph has evolved into a vibrant educational complex, it has never strayed from its original vision: a steadfast commitment to preparing students for insightful leadership and service to others.