Student Affairs

Graduate students’ needs are different from the needs of undergraduate students. Many of the activities, developmental concerns and extra-curricular interests which characterize the undergraduate student become less important in the pursuit of an advanced degree. Nonetheless, there still remains an interest in extra-curricular activities and a need for support services and assistance with problems. The availability of these services and programs is largely managed at Canisius by the Division of Student Affairs.

Division of Student Affairs

The Vice President for Student Affairs and her staff determine all student affairs policies and procedures for the college, subject to the approval of the president. Assistance to graduate students is provided by the following offices, programs and functions:

ALANA Student Center

A genuine, pluralistic campus fosters respect, equality and understanding of a mosaic of cultural heritages. Such a campus recognizes the interdependence of cross-cultural student communities and the integrity of each individual. The college aims for all individuals to feel a sense of being participants in the college’s mission and activities, particularly those who have been historically marginalized in America primarily due to the color of their skin.

The staff assists the campus in providing services for *African American, Latino/a American, Asian American and Native American (ALANA) students while educating the entire student population about ALANA cultural patterns and trends in higher education. The staff assists students concerning racial perspectives, self-concept issues and participatory involvement within the framework of the campus.

Although primarily co-curricular focused, the ALANA Student Center also serves students as a referral and support unit with respect to other collegiate matters. ALANA programs provide a place for students to share and discuss cross-cultural experiences and to interpret those experiences.

Campus Ministry

Canisius Campus Ministry is an empowering, pastoral and prophetic presence on campus and we seek to develop programs, activities and services that respond to the spiritual and religious needs of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. We are open to working with all people and we offer retreats, faith-sharing groups, a rich liturgical life, local service, justice initiatives, and domestic and international service-immersion programs that will challenge and inspire you.

The Counseling Center

The Counseling Center actively supports the educational mission of the college. Counseling is intended to assist students toward personal growth. A counselor supports and encourages the student to reflect on personal choices and actions in order to progress as a responsible adult. Participation in counseling may help students improve self-esteem, manage time and life better, and make reasoned decisions. Counseling may help an individual cope with difficult experiences, overcome self-defeating behavior and deal with feelings of anxiety, confusion, anger or loneliness. Through the counseling process, students can also learn to reduce stress and relax. Counseling services are available to all registered graduate students free of charge, from a staff of professionally qualified college counselors who act as objective, responsive listeners and supportive educators.

Event Services

The Office of Event Services assists clients with the scheduling, planning, management, and execution of high quality events held on campus. Whether the event is sponsored by a college department, student group or an outside client, the staff works to ensure that all clients and guests have a quality experience while maximizing the use of the facilities.

The Office of Event Services is located on the tunnel level of the Winter Student Center and is responsible for coordinating all events that take place in the Winter Student Center, Marie Maday Theatre, Palisano Pavilion, Montante Cultural Center, Koessler Athletic Center, Patrick Lee Center and Demske Sports Complex.

Griff Center for Academic Engagement

The Griff Center for Academic Engagement provides comprehensive programs, services, and resources to support student academic and career success and a transformative learning experience grounded in our Catholic, Jesuit mission. The Griff Center assists students in their academic and professional development and provides them with the support and assistance they need to become successful lifelong learners.

The Griff Center includes the programs listed below and also hosts a variety additional workshops to build academic skills in the classroom and beyond. 


The Griff Center uses StrengthsFinder to assist students in identifying and optimizing their strengths and applying them to all aspects of their lives. StrengthsFinder is used by hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the United States and it has been determined that students who are aware of their strengths are more likely to stay in college, earn higher GPA’s, and find success securing internships and jobs.

A student’s Strengths experience begins by taking the StrengthsFinder online assessment, which takes 20-30 minutes to complete. The top 5 talent themes are identified and this is the first step towards developing natural talents into strengths. The Griff Center helps guide students through the different themes, helps the student develop ways to incorporate their strengths into their daily life, and build upon them as they explore academic and career goals. Stop by the Griff Center to make an appointment to learn more about this great opportunity.

The Tutoring Center (OM 315)

Tutoring services are available for all Canisius students and provide a variety of opportunities for them to achieve their own academic success. Group tutoring sessions allow students to receive academic assistance from peer and adjunct professor tutors. Tutors are available in the majority of academic disciplines and employ various academic strategies to help address individual student needs.

The Study Center Program (OM 318)

Open to all Canisius students, the Study Center provides students with an opportunity to focus on academic work in a quiet environment conveniently located near the Tutoring Center where additional assistance may be sought.

Academic Mentor Program (OM 317)

This program presents students with an opportunity to meet one-on-one with an academic mentor on a regular basis to assist with better time management, prioritization of responsibilities, study skills, and assistance needed to achieve academic success.

Accessibility Support (OM 317)

Committed to creating equal access for all Canisius students with disabilities, Accessibility Support helps meet individual needs and oversees the administration of reasonable accommodations and proctoring exams. Academic and non-academic accommodations are determined on a case-by-case/course-by-course basis after review of a student’s official documentation. 

Proctor Site (OM 317)

The Proctor Site assists in proctoring make-up exams for the campus community. Students must determine the feasibility of a make-up exam with their professor prior to making arrangements with the proctor site.

Veterans Support (OM 320)

The Griff Center provides an environment that helps student-veterans achieve their academic and personal goals. Our staff is committed to creating a supportive and friendly atmosphere where students feel comfortable seeking assistance concerning both academic and non-academic issues.  In addition, there is a lounge designated for student-veterans where they may study and relax between classes.

Career Planning and Services:  EXPLORE – EXPERIENCE – ENGAGE (OM 013)

Career development begins on day one at Canisius!  The Griff Center has developed a three-point career action plan designed to help students and alumni:

EXPLORE • Learn about their strengths and interests and how they relate to majors and careers
EXPERIENCE • Gain experience through internships, service, and research
ENGAGE • Network with alumni and employers to launch your career

The Griff Center is here to help students and alumni develop career plans and gain the professional skills needed in today’s competitive job market.

The Griff Center provides personalized, cutting-edge services and programs to meet the complete career development needs of Canisius students and alumni. The Griff Center offers: Career coaching; Assistance with locating internship and job opportunities; Resume and cover letter review; Videotaped mock interviews; On-Campus Interviews with local and national organizations;
On-and Off-Campus recruiting events and professional development opportunities.


The Griff Center provides students and alumni with services, programs and opportunities that will allow them to explore how their academic and personal interests align with their natural talents and professional opportunities, starting their very first semester on campus. The Griff Center is excited to provide students and alumni with free access to Handshake, a new, exclusive platform for Canisius students and alumni to search for full-time, part-time, volunteer, and internship opportunities.

Intercollegiate Athletics, Club Sports, Intramurals

Canisius College conducts an extensive program of intercollegiate athletics at the N.C.A.A. Division I level. While participation in intercollegiate athletics by an incoming graduate student is somewhat rare, there are occasionally opportunities for graduate students to participate. Interested individuals should contact the head coach of the program to inquire about their tryout opportunities. Griffin teams also provide an excellent venue for the sports spectator. Schedules are available at the GoGriffs website. Graduate students are encouraged to participate in both club sports and intramural sports.

International Student Programs

Canisius College welcomes international students and appreciates the cultural diversity they bring to the campus. Our international students come from six continents. The Office of International Student Programs advises international graduate students and assists them with their adjustment to Canisius College and American culture by organizing educational and social programs. To encourage cultural understanding within the Canisius community, arrangements are made for host families. Other services for international students include orientation for new graduate students, assistance with immigration regulations and special tutorial help in English. The Global Horizons Association, a student organization for American and international students, plans additional activities to promote cultural awareness on campus.

Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety, located in the basement of the Bosch Hall, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year providing protection and services to the campus community. The department was established to protect the educational environment of Canisius College, keeping the environment free from the threat of physical harm, property damage and disruptive activity. Departmental objectives include: aiding in the enforcement of federal, state and local laws; preventing crime; regulating non-criminal conduct and preserving the peace.

Uniformed Public Safety Officers primary responsibilities include: patrolling the campus area on foot, on bicycles and in vehicles; security services; emergency response; and requests for assistance involving members of the campus community.

Public Safety also provides a variety of support services that are tailored to meet the needs of the campus community. These services include: conducting crime prevention and personal safety programs, dispatching the campus shuttle system, providing Canisius ID cards, and providing assistance to campus motorists experiencing minor mechanical problems.

For a comprehensive summary of the activities and services provided by Public Safety, visit the Department of Public Safety website.

Crime Statistics

Canisius College complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act by making available information on campus security and personal safety. This information includes crime prevention, public safety, law-enforcement authority, crime reporting polices, disciplinary procedures and other important matters about security on campus. Also available are statistics for the three previous calendar years on reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Canisius College and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. A PDF of the full report is available in the crime statistics part of the Public Safety website and a printed copy may be obtained in the Student Affairs Office, Old Main 102, 716 888-2130.

Residence Life

Housing for graduate students is available. Information about the types of graduate housing Canisius offers is available at the Student Life and Housing website.

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center, located on the tunnel level of Frisch Hall, Room 001 (phone: 716-888-2610), provides service to graduate students Monday through Friday during the academic year. The specific clinic hours are circulated on campus at the beginning of each semester. The clinic is staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners/physician assistants and registered nurses. Graduate students needing more complex medical care and treatment are referred off-campus. For more information, please visit the Student Health Center website.

Sickness and Accident Insurance

Canisius College students should have health insurance to prevent the financial burdens associated with an illness or injury. Students who do not have health insurance are encouraged to consider purchasing the sickness and accident plan offered by the college. International students are required to purchase the college’s health insurance. Information about plan benefits, eligibility, cost and enrollment periods is available at the Student Health website.

All students must carry proof of their health insurance coverage while on campus. Most health insurance companies issue a health insurance card for that purpose. To prevent confusion, it is also recommended that all students know how their health insurance program is administered if a need for health care arises while they are at school.

Immunization Requirements for Class Attendance

Measles, Mumps, Rubella

New York State law requires all students taking six or more credits, attending any classes on campus, and born on or after January 1, 1957 to provide proof of immunity against measles, mumps and rubella to the Student Health Center prior to class attendance. Students must submit proof of two doses of measles (rubeola) vaccine, one dose of rubella (German measles) vaccine and one dose of mumps vaccine, given on or after their first birthday and after 1967.

Meningitis Requirement

All students registered for 6 or more credits and attending class on campus, regardless of birth date, are required to receive information about the risk of meningococcal disease and the benefit of vaccination. Students are required to read the information and either obtain the meningitis vaccine or sign a vaccine refusal statement within thirty days of first class attendance.

Submission Dates and Non-Compliance

Health requirements, including immunization records, must be submitted before the first day of class. Non-compliance with these health requirements results in registration cancellation, removal from college housing, and inability to register with the college for future semesters.  If registration is cancelled, a student may be re-registered once the health forms are submitted and deemed complete. Canisius may charge a fee for re-registration. Compliance with these health requirements is strictly enforced across the campus. 

Students who are only taking online courses are generally exempted from these requirements, although some online programs have established stricter immunization requirements prior to matriculation or course enrollment and these requirements are detailed in the program descriptions in the catalog.

The Student Health Center website has detailed information about health requirements and links to the required forms.

Study Abroad and International Partnerships

Canisius College students who study abroad say it is a life-changing experience which significantly expands their personal and professional horizons. Graduate students do not typically study abroad for an entire semester, however, the college offers diverse short-term and summer study abroad opportunities which may be of greater interest to graduate students.