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Mission and Vision

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The University of Scranton is a Catholic and Jesuit university animated by the spiritual vision and the tradition of excellence characteristic of the Society of Jesus and those who share its way of proceeding. The University is a community dedicated to the freedom of inquiry and personal development fundamental to the growth in wisdom and integrity of all who share its life.


To be and be recognized as the finest master’s-level, Jesuit university in the nation, The University of Scranton will be boldly driven by a shared commitment to excellence. We will provide a superior, transformational learning experience, preparing students who, in the words of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius Loyola, will “set the world on fire.”

Building On Our Foundation

  • The University of Scranton was founded as Saint Thomas College by Bishop William G. O’Hara, the first Bishop of Scranton, who had always hoped to provide an opportunity for higher education in the Lackawanna Valley. In August of 1888, with few resources at hand, he blessed a single block of granite as a cornerstone for his new college.
  • The college was staffed by diocesan priests and seminarians until 1896 and then, for one year, by the Xaverian Brothers. From 1897 until 1942
    the school, which was renamed The University of Scranton in 1938, was administered for the Diocese by the Christian Brothers. In the late summer of 1942, 18 Jesuits, led by Rev. Coleman Nevils, S.J., arrived on campus to administer the University. The Jesuits restructured and strengthened Scranton’s traditional and pre-professional programs with an emphasis on the liberal arts, which are the foundation for every program at a Jesuit university.
  • The University has flourished under the Jesuits, growing from a primarily commuter school with fewer than 1,000 students to a broadly regional, comprehensive university with a total enrollment of more than 5,800 students in 86 undergraduate and graduate programs. Today, Scranton stands among the top tier of
    universities recognized nationally, with rankings in a multitude of venues, including U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Barron’s Best Buys and the Carnegie Classification for Civic Engagement.