Nazareth College

Written by Traecy Hobson.  Upstate New York is known for its beautiful fall foliage and its unpredictable weather patterns. So, I wasn’t completely surprised when I drove through a few snow squalls in mid-October on my way to meet 20 other counselors for the Colleges of Rochester Tour.

It was a crisp Sunday afternoon when I arrived in Pittsford, NY, a suburb of Rochester and home to Nazareth College. Before joining our group, I walked around the charming town with quaint shops and eateries. I stopped for lunch at a cute restaurant before checking into our hotel. The hotel backed up to the Erie Canal and was directly across the street from an upscale dairy featuring fresh milk, homemade ice cream, and baked goods. The ice cream was amazing!

Our first stop on the tour was Nazareth College, which is home to 2,000 undergraduates. Nazareth began as an all women’s college and was founded by the Sister’s of St. Joseph. Today it’s a co-educational, religiously independent institution. There are still disproportionate numbers of women to men: 70-percent women and 30-percent men.

The campus is located on 150 beautiful wooded acres. No need to worry about the harsh Rochester winters here. Underground tunnels connect most of the buildings. When we were there, however, students and faculty could be seen walking throughout the picturesque campus. Lots of new buildings dot this gorgeous campus and a new science building houses state-of-the-art facilities and a cadaver lab.

Nazareth focuses on the liberal arts with a strong emphasis on human services. All students are required to complete the Uncommon Core, which is designed to enhance critical thinking, persuasive communicators and problem solving. It offers 60 majors, with health sciences, business and the arts being particularly strong. Nazareth has a terrific nursing program and graduate programs in OT, PT and speech pathology. Physical therapy is a direct admit program, but students can apply as an undergraduate if space allows. There is a large on-campus health clinic run by students and faculty that is opened to the campus and the greater community.

We heard from a student panel of six. All but one was from NY State. We asked the students what surprised them about their Nazareth experience. They all told us that they were happy to feel a strong sense of community and develop close relationships with their professors. Another counselor asked students what they do on the weekends. Many of the students said they stay on campus attending campus wide events and parties. Still others said they often go to College Town, a nearby area of Rochester with eateries and bars.

Athletics are popular here. One-quarter of students play division III athletics, while nearly half of all students play club or intramural sports. Varsity players participate in the Empire conference. There is no football here, but basketball and men’s lacrosse have very competitive teams.

Admissions and Financial Aid

Nazareth is test optional for most programs. Students wanting to major in nursing, however, must submit their SAT/ACT scores. A portfolio is required for the visual arts and an audition is required for music, theater and dance. Students applying for financial aid must file the FASFA and Nazareth’s own institutional profile (not CSS profile). Nazareth offers many talent-based scholarships.

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Nazareth College-Strong Nursing and Pre-Health Programs
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