About Canisius


Our Mission

Canisius College, a Catholic and Jesuit university, offers outstanding undergraduate, graduate and professional programs distinguished by transformative learning experiences that engage students in the classroom and beyond.  We foster in our students a commitment to excellence, service and leadership in a global society.

At the Core of Our Mission

Catholic & Jesuit

Canisius is an open, welcoming university where our Catholic, Jesuit mission and identity are vitally present and operative. It is rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition’s unity of knowledge and the dialogue of faith and reason.  Founded by the Society of Jesus as a manifestation of its charism, Canisius espouses the Jesuit principles of human excellence, care for the whole person, social justice, and interreligious dialogue.  Jesuit spirituality calls us to seek God in all things and Jesuit education aims to form students who become men and women for and with others.

Transformative Learning & Student Engagement

Steeped in Jesuit ideals, our undergraduate and graduate academic programs are distinguished by academic excellence, student-faculty interaction, and a variety of experiential learning opportunities that engage students and transform the mind and spirit. Our undergraduate core curriculum enriches students’ academic pursuits and delivers a strong foundation in liberal arts, critical thinking, and diversity. Graduate and professional programs promote the application of theory to practice.

Service & Leadership

Benefitting from academically-rich, values-based experiences in their interactions with faculty, staff, and community members, students develop their abilities to lead and inspire others. At Canisius, students practice these leadership skills in the classroom and through co-curricular activities in ways that animate our Jesuit values to serve others and benefit our world.

Our Values

Canisius College is committed to the following values that emerge from our Catholic, Jesuit mission to guide all of our decisions and actions:

  • Cura personalis, care and respect for the whole person, and a holistic approach to education
  • A dedication to the pursuit of magis, excellence, service, and innovation

  • Principled leadership and personal accountability

  • An individual and institutional responsibility to work for social justice and transform suffering and injustice in the world
  • A deep respect for the natural world, and a commitment to its responsible stewardship.

Our Promise

Canisius College, a Catholic and Jesuit university, will provide students with a challenging, engaging education that will enable them to succeed in a rapidly changing global society.  Through close collaboration with faculty, staff, alumni, and peers, our students will cultivate the skills, habits of mind, and values to pursue successful professional careers and lead meaningful intellectual lives.  Canisius will nurture students’ sense of responsibility to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. 

Our Vision

Canisius will be the leading educational choice for those who seek innovative learning opportunities rooted in our Jesuit mission and values.

Canisius seeks to:

  • Be a vibrant and progressive university committed above all else to academic excellence and the authentic search for truth.
  • Embrace its Catholic, Jesuit identity as its defining characteristic and be committed to enhancing and enriching that identity.
  • Recruit faculty with outstanding credentials and foster academic excellence through extraordinary teaching and scholarship.
  • Embrace its urban roots in Buffalo, New York and become more engaged with the world around it by addressing issues and challenges in the neighborhood, city, region, nation, and world.
  • Engage alumni and friends and draw them into a deeper lifelong relationship with the university.
  • Be committed to quality and continuous improvement in everything that we do.

An urban campus with a long history and tradition

As an urban college, Canisius enjoys a special relationship with the city of Buffalo and the Western New York region. The concept of community service on which the college prides itself is best evidenced by the large number of Canisius graduates who have occupied important positions in the professional, educational, commercial and political life of the city and its surrounding communities. Buffalo’s largest private college is named after Saint Peter Canisius, a 16th-century Dutch scholar. The college’s founders were guided by the same educational ideals which inspired several European universities and initiated a tradition of service to student and community.

Starting out in 1870 as a single building in the center of downtown Buffalo, Canisius College has since expanded to cover the more than 72 acres and 36 academic buildings on its campus on Main Street. It is easily accessible by expressway, subway and bus routes.

In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, Canisius includes the Richard J. Wehle School of Business, the School of Education and Human Services, a Graduate Division and a Summer Session, with a total enrollment for 2015 of approximately 3,900 students.

Canisius College is governed by an independent self-perpetuating Board of Trustees under a charter granted by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

The Office of Mission & Identity

The Office of Mission & Identity promotes the deeper understanding and invites the active engagement of the entire Canisius College community, across all our faith traditions and human ideals, in living our university’s Catholic, Jesuit educational mission. Mission & Identity engages people of all faith traditions and those with no particular faith. Catholic, interfaith, and humanist describe the three categories of belief that guide and inspire people on our campus. The Office of Mission & Identity is ready to collaborate with all the members of our community.

The Office of Mission & Identity is different from Campus Ministry. Campus Ministry focuses on providing pastoral, sacramental, and service outreach opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. The Office of Mission & Identity develops and delivers strategic initiatives in the academic, student life, alumni, advancement, and trustee/regent areas of the school. The focus is on our Catholic, Jesuit character and how we can make it real and deepen it in our daily tasks and reflection.

If you are attending classes, asking questions, and engaging your education in and out of the classroom, chances are very good you are already participating in the mission and identity of Canisius. Further opportunities to be involved in the work of Mission & Identity will include attendance at Mission and Identity sponsored talks and activities on campus.

The Faculty

The college seeks faculty members known to be creative and energetic teachers who also seek to engage their students in their research and scholarship. Modest class size is the norm, and interaction among students and faculty is easy and natural.

Canisius’ full time faculty members have degrees from over 100 different universities, including 27 degrees from Europe, ten from Asia/Pacific, 16 from Canada and two from South America. Each of the 225 full-time faculty members has been chosen for his or her academic competence, ability to teach, interest in research and moral integrity. The college’s present faculty is a group of highly trained, dedicated individuals who take a personal interest in the students under their charge. Over 96 percent have earned doctoral or terminal degrees in their fields.

Over 290 individuals from the fields of law, health care, education, business, government, science, technology and the arts contribute as part time faculty members to the mission of Canisius College.


Canisius College received its authority to confer bachelor’s degrees in 1883 when it was incorporated by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. In 1894, the college offered its first course in the graduate program leading to the degree of master of arts.

Canisius College is an accredited member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education1. All of the college’s programs are registered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York through the State Education Department2. The undergraduate programs in Business Administration and the MBA program are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International3. The chemistry major is accredited by the American Chemical Society4, and the athletic training major by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs5. The programs of the School of Education and Human Services designed to prepare students for school-based careers are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education6. The Graduate Program for Teachers of the Deaf is accredited by the Council on the Education of the Deaf.7 The Graduate Programs in Counseling are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.8


Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680. Telephone: 267-284-5000.


University of the State of New York, State Education Department, Board of Regents, Room 110EB, Albany, NY 12234. Telephone: 518-474-5889.


Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International, 777 South Harbour Island Blvd, Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730. Telephone: 813-769-6500.


American Chemical Society, 1155 Sixteenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: 800-227-5558 (US only) 202-872-4600.


Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, 2201 Double Creek Drive, Suite 5006, Round Rock, TX 78664. Telephone: 612-733-9700.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, formerly National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 1140 19th St NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: 202-223-0077.


Council on the Education of the Deaf, Dr. Tony Martin, Lamar University, PO Box 10076, Beaumont, TX 77710. Telephone: 409-880-8175.


Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria VA 22314. Telephone: 703-535-5990. 

The Griff Center for Academic Engagement

The Griff Center provides comprehensive programs, services, and resources to support student academic and career success and a transformative learning experience grounded in our Catholic, Jesuit mission. As a hub for academic and career advising, the center has staff ready to assist students in their academic and professional development. 

The Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library

The quality of any educational institution is determined largely by the proficiency of its faculty and the excellence of the information resources available to support the curriculum.

The ALB Library has evolved into a learning commons to better accommodate collaborative learning styles and to provide additional support for student learning. The Library has a variety of study and workspaces; a Curriculum Materials Center for K-12 teacher training; reservable group workrooms; audio-visual areas to practice presentations; and a Tim Hortons coffee shop. Canisius students have at their disposal an excellent library collection to support student research. The Library subscribes to thousands of full text electronic journals, hundreds of article databases, and hundreds of print journals. Electronic resources can be accessed from computer labs and residence halls on campus and remotely from any connected device. The Library has a substantial complement of equipment, including computers; printers; cameras (digital still or video); projectors; headphones (with or without microphone); e-book readers; and SmartBoards.

Canisius students and faculty have convenient and rapid access to ten million volumes in the ConnectNY academic library consortium and to the extensive research collections of the Center for Research Libraries. Additional library materials are available via Interlibrary Loan.

When school is in session, the Library is open every day of the week for study and research and is open nights until 2:00 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday. Professional librarians and technical staff are available to provide assistance with research or in the use of the Library and its facilities in person, via email, by text, or through chat (24/7).

The Rev. J. Clayton Murray, S.J. Archives & Special Collections, located in Bouwhuis Library, houses information related to the history of Canisius College. It also holds unique materials with strengths in civil rights and social justice, Catholicism, philosophy, local history, and rare books dating to the 15th century. Visitors and researchers are welcome.

Computer Facilities

Wireless networking is available throughout the campus. Instructional computing facilities include over 300 personal computers, as well as scanners and printers. Computers in student labs have access to word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, web development, and statistical analysis software. There are several Internet Plazas located around campus where students may check their electronic mail or access the web. All computers are connected to the Internet and have access to extensive online research databases provided by the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.

Residence halls are wired for satellite TV (including several Canisius-oriented channels) and Internet access. Most classrooms provide video and computer projection for the instructor. Several departments, including Digital Media Arts and Computer Science, maintain a substantial complement of computing equipment specific to their needs.

Canisius College has an extensive website and portal (myCanisius) that includes web-based electronic mail, course materials, course discussion boards and course registration. The myCanisius portal can be reached from the Canisius web site. Most instructors post course materials in our learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L), which is accessed through myCanisius. In addition, access to many student services including web-based electronic mail, course registration, and college alerts is available from this portal.

The ITS Help Desk is available for walk-up assistance in the Library, by phone at 716-888-8340, or by email.


Retention from freshman to sophomore years has been as follows for the last four years:

  • Class of 2015 – 82%
  • Class of 2016 – 80%
  • Class of 2017 – 86%
  • Class of 2018 – 82.5%

As defined by the federal government, the retention rate is the percentage of first-time bachelor’s degree-seeking undergraduates from the previous fall who are again enrolled in the current fall. Freshmen are defined as those who registered prior to their initial matriculation. Sophomores are those still registered following the drop/add period one year later.


Canisius College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion or creed, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran’s status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or disability in administration of its educational policies, employment practices, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs. Canisius admits students of any age, race, religion or creed, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran’s status to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the college. It continues to be the policy of Canisius College not to discriminate on the basis of handicap. No person is denied employment, admission, or access solely because of any physical, mental, or medical impairment which is unrelated to the ability to engage in the activities involved in the education requirements or occupation for which application has been made.