Frequently Asked Questions

About SJC



Financial Aid/Costs

International Students

Living on Campus

About SJC

Where is Saint Joseph’s College?
Saint Joseph’s College is located in southern Maine, just 18 miles from sophisticated Portland – Maine’s largest city – and two hours from Boston. Easy access to ocean beaches, ponds, lakes and mountains put you truly in the heart of a four-season recreation area.

The campus sits on the shore of Sebago Lake, Maine’s second-largest lake. Our 430 acres offer magnificent views of the lake and White Mountains. From the upper floors of the academic center, the panorama is stunning.

How many students attend Saint Joseph’s?
The current full-time undergraduate enrollment is approximately 1,000 students. Seventy-three percent of these students live on campus, making Saint Joseph’s a residential community.

What is the female/male ratio?
Males make up 34 percent of our students; while females make up 66 percent.

Does Saint Joseph’s welcome students of all faiths?
Absolutely! While Saint Joseph’s is a Catholic college, we are an inclusive community that is open to students of all faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds. Roughly 50% of our students are Catholic.

What makes Saint Joseph’s College of Maine unique?
With 1,000+ students enrolled, the size of Saint Joseph's fosters a strong sense of community. Students are able to receive individual attention and support to achieve their goals. Accessible and dedicated faculty are here to nurture the intellectual, spiritual, and social growth of students.

Opportunities for growth are not limited to the classroom but extend into the neighboring communities. Students can earn academic credits by applying what they learn in the classroom to real-world service. Through community-based learning projects, students volunteer at food pantries, work with senior citizen health issues, help Habitat for Humanity, explore environmental issues in the nearby Casco Bay and Sebago Lake, and tutor low-income students and immigrants in reading. In a recent academic year, more than 480 students participated in service learning projects at 40 community sites.

What kind of student goes to Saint Joseph’s College?
As the expression goes, “It takes all kinds!” Here at Saint Joseph’s College, there is not one kind of student, but many individuals who share a common commitment to academic excellence, social enrichment and service to the community. When you come to campus you will meet writers, athletes, activists, musicians, future doctors and business leaders, just to name a few. No matter what your interests may be, you will find others who share your passion for success. Meet a few SJC students.

What is the academic profile of the average admitted student?
Our average first-year student academic profile is a 980 (math and verbal) SAT score and a 85 GPA.

How many students return after their first year?
Saint Joseph’s College is committed to helping students choose the best college for them. The current retention rate is 78 percent.

What is the average class size?
The average class size is 17 and laboratory classes generally have only 15 students.

What is the student to faculty ratio?
The student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1.

What are athletics like at Saint Joseph’s?
We proudly offer 19 women's and men's intercollegiate sports teams at the NCAA Division III level. Our student-athletes compete in basketball, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, baseball, softball, cross country, lacrosse, swimming, golf, indoor track & field and outdoor track &field. We encourage all students to be active by offering club sports (cheerleading, men's ice hockey), a vibrant intramurals program (flag football, softball, indoor soccer, volleyball, etc) as well as various recreational and fitness activities. Find all you need to know at

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What academic programs does Saint Joseph’s offer?
We offer more than 40 academic programs, including majors in accounting, biology, biochemistry, business administration, business and sports management, chemistry, classics, communications, criminal justice, elementary education, English, environmental science, environmental studies, exercise science, finance, fine arts, health & wellness promotion, history, human resource management, international business, marine science, marketing, management, math, nursing, philosophy, physical education, political science, psychology, sociology, sports management, theology and writing & publishing.

Communication majors can choose to concentrate in journalism/public relations, new media, business communications or sports communications. Students in biology, chemistry, English, history, and math can choose to minor in secondary education and then get certified as a high school teacher in that field. Partnership programs include tracks for pre-physician assistant and pre-optometry.

The college offers minors in art, biology, business administration, chemistry, classics, communications, criminal justice, English, environmental science, gender studies, history, journalism, marine science, math, philosophy, political science, psychology, secondary education, social justice, sociology, sports management, sustainability studies, theology and writing.

What is the classroom environment like?
There is a spirit of excitement that is shared by students and faculty in a Saint Joseph’s classroom. Our 14:1 student-to- faculty ratio allows collaborative learning to take place. A typical class size is 20-25 students, though laboratory classes generally have only 15 students. As students progress further into their major area of study, classes often become even smaller to allow for more in-depth discussion.

Education in the classroom is supplemented by real-world experience. Opportunities abound for fieldwork, internships, research, and study abroad. Students graduate from Saint Joseph’s prepared for the next chapter in their life, whether it be graduate school, entering into a career, or both.

What can I do with a degree from Saint Joseph’s?
The Saint Joseph’s graduate leaves knowing that they can make a difference. Employers say our graduates are extremely well prepared and ready to contribute professionally. Alumni of Saint Joseph’s College are vice presidents of international banks, emergency room nurses, television reporters, teachers, principals, and successful entrepreneurs. Students who choose to continue their education attend graduate schools across the country and abroad.

The Career Services Center assists with career planning, job search strategies, and the graduate school application process. In a recent survey conducted by the Career Services Center, 95 percent of graduates were either employed or attending graduate school within eight months of graduation.

Are any classes taught by graduate students?
No. All of our classes are taught by faculty members and instructors.

How accessible are the faculty?
Very accessible. Small classes and dedicated, accomplished professors foster an atmosphere of mutual engagement. Our faculty will get to know you and you will get to know them.

How will my AP classes be treated?
The College will award credit for Advanced Placement grades of 3 or higher on any AP exam. The Registrar's Office and the academic department involved will determine the specific course(s) credited.

Does Saint Joseph’s College have a program for students with diagnosed learning disabilities?
Yes. Students with diagnosed learning disabilities should contact the Accommodations Coordinator upon admission to the College. The coordinator will evaluate each case on an individual basis. The College offers a variety of services, as determined by submitted documentation and testing, to students with learning disabilities.

Do you offer internships?
Yes, we encourage students to participate in internships as a valuable learning tool. Students get a chance to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom and relate it to the real world. All types of businesses – including accounting firms, TV stations, schools, social services agencies and health care agencies – help our students get ready for the real world.

What types of research are the faculty doing?
Faculty research topics are too many to name all, but include bacterial response to environmental stresses, psychological factors affecting physical health, the cultural history of cosmetics, interactions between red tide algae and the rest of the marine food chain, comparative state income tax structures, mortality of juvenile clams in the Gulf of Maine, the effects of using technology in education, how to conduct online literature discussion groups for school-age children, cross-cultural business management styles, the theory of functions on geometric objects in three-dimensional space, and the cultural history of the 1960s and 1970s.

What is your service learning program like?
Students can earn academic credits by applying what they learn in the classroom to real-world service. Through community-based learning projects, students have volunteered at food pantries, mentored schoolchildren, worked with senior citizen health issues, helped Habitat for Humanity and tutored low-income students and immigrants in reading. In a recent academic year, more than 480 students participated in service learning projects at 40 community sites.

What is the Honors program like?
Our Honors program offers students unique enrichment through more in-depth core courses. Seminar-style discussions, enhanced academic study and special off-campus cultural events round out an Honors student’s experience. In the senior capstone project, Honors students contribute a significant number of service hours to an organization of their choice.

What is the job placement rate?
Last year, 85 percent of Saint Joseph's graduates had jobs within 8 months. The Career Services Center will assist students with advice on résumé writing, interview skills and job search strategies. They sponsor on campus job fairs, post career opportunities and maintain a resource library.

Do you recognize International Baccalaureate (IB) Transfer Credit?

Saint Joseph’s College recognizes IB level work. Credit may be awarded for higher level examinations (HL) completed with a grade of 5 or better. The college will determine the number and equivalence of actual transfer credits after evaluating the applicant’s individual program of studies. Credit is awarded only upon receipt of the official International Baccalaureate transcript with the examination scores. Grades and GPA do not transfer. Saint Joseph’s College does not award credit for Standard Level IB Examinations.

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Are interviews mandatory?
Interviews are encouraged, but are not mandatory.

What standardized tests are required for applicants?
Applicants are required to take SAT or ACT, including transfer students with fewer than 15 college credit hours.

What is more important – a high GPA or honors level classes?
Academic rigor is important. Applicants need to take at least college preparatory classes. If an applicant has a lower GPA but took honors classes, then the applicant is considered a stronger candidate because of the honors challenge.

Does Saint Joseph’s College have early action and/or early decision?
The college offers an early-action admission plan. Students interested in this nonbinding admission plan need to send their application along with all required supporting materials by November 15. Beginning mid-December, we will begin the notification process.

What are the application deadlines?
Early-action applicants are due by November 15. The regular admission priority deadline for nursing applications is January 15 and for all other programs is March 1. Students may apply until August 1, if space is available. The financial aid priority deadline is March 1.

Can I use the Common Application to apply?
Yes, we accept the Common Application.

What do I need to send in order to be considered for admission?
Applicants will be considered for application when the Admission Office receives the completed application form including an essay, official high school transcript and official copies of any course work, a recommendation from a guidance or college counselor, a recommendation from a teacher and SAT or ACT score.

How soon will I find out if I am accepted?
Beginning mid-December, we will begin notifying Early-action applicants. Regular admission applicants are generally notified 2 to 3 weeks after their application becomes complete.

What should I expect from an admission interview?
The admission interview is a way for us to learn more about you and it allows us to answer any questions you have about Saint Joseph's.

When can I visit?
We offer open houses throughout the season as well as focus program for prospective students interested in nursing. If you prefer, individual tours are available Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In April, we host an open house for high school juniors. To visit the campus, please call the Admission Office at (800) 338-7057 or (207) 893-7746.

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Financial Aid/Costs

How much does it cost to attend?
For the 2014-2015 academic year, tuition is $30,800, room and board is $11,900, and general fees are $1,120—for a total of $43,820. We offer students a very competitive financial aid package. More than 90 percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance, generally a combination of grants, scholarships, work opportunities, and loans.

Does Saint Joseph’s College offer academic scholarships?
More than 90 percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Saint Joseph’s College commits approximately $11 million of its own resources to assist students. Many of these are through academic scholarships.

What is your Title IV Code?
The College's Title IV code number is 002051.

Should I wait to hear if I am admitted to the College before I apply for financial aid?
Not necessarily. It is important to meet our priority deadline to be considered for all aid programs. You may submit your documents even if you have not yet received word regarding admission.

When will I hear about financial aid?
We begin mailing new student awards at the beginning of March. Returning student awards are not mailed until after spring grades and credits have been reviewed.

For more detailed information about financing your education, check out financial aid.

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International Students

What kind of student goes to Saint Joseph’s College?
As the expression goes, “It takes all kinds!” Here at Saint Joseph’s College, there is not one kind of student, but many individuals who share a common commitment to academic excellence, social enrichment, and service to the community. When you come to campus you will meet writers, athletes, activists, musicians, future doctors and business leaders, just to name a few. No matter what your interests may be, you will find others who share your passion for success. Meet a few SJC students.

Are there any special tests or requirements for international students?
Students are required to take either the SAT, the ACT, or the TOEFL, although we prefer the TOEFL. Minimum scores required on the TOEFL exam are at or above the 50th percentile on the paper-based and computer-based exams.

Once admitted to Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, a student must submit certification of his or her family’s finances. Please refer to the Admission International Student Checklist for more information.

Can I use the common application form to apply to Saint Joseph’s College?
Yes, you may use the Common Application.

What kind of support is available on campus for international students?
Saint Joseph’s College is known for its supportive, caring community. Each student is paired with a faculty advisor and a faculty mentor. Faculty will meet with students regularly during the first semester, helping them to assess their strengths and weaknesses. They will also work with each student to set goals for academic success. Students will also have access to The Academic Center, which provides study skills workshops, writing tutors, career counseling and academic tutoring within various departments.

Is financial aid available to international students?
Financial aid in the form of merit-based scholarships is available to international students. Allocation of funds cannot be guaranteed until the entire application process is complete and a student is admitted.  For more information, visit the Financial Aid Office’s site.

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Living on Campus

What are the residence halls like?
Eighty percent of our students choose to live in our 10 residence halls, which range from traditional-style to townhouses and pod-style living. These include halls that are all-female, all-male or both genders living in separate areas. We also offer substance-free housing.

Is housing guaranteed?
Yes, all students are guaranteed on campus housing.

Can I request a specific roommate?
First-year students can request a specific roommate as long as both students request each other. The Office of Student Life tries to accommodate all requests. About 50 percent of first-year students request a specific roommate by either knowing them before they come or by finding someone at summer orientation. The other 50 percent fill out a survey about themselves and the Office of Student Affairs matches them up by compatibility.

Are the residence hall rooms connected to the Web?
Every student room offers a free e-mail account, cable television, high-speed wireless internet connection and telephone with voice mail.

Is the campus safe?
Yes, and the surrounding suburban area has very little crime. Campus Security operates by 24-hour patrol, is available for late-night escort and offers self-defense education. Located throughout campus are emergency call buttons for student use. Doors to residence hall floors are locked and each hall is equipped with smoke alarms that automatically transmit to the fire department.

Are first-year students allowed to bring cars?
Yes. There is a $100 parking fee to park on campus.

What do students do for fun?

With more than 20 clubs to choose from, there is something for everyone. Throughout the year, campus is full of activities and events including kayaking tours, comedy nights, magicians, winter carnival and weekly Chalet events. With a shuttle to Portland every weekend the waterfront area with fine restaurants, fun shops and lively nightlife is always an option for students. With the mountains just an easy drive away there is always opportunity to ski, snowboard or go tubing.

At the Alfond Center students can work out in the fitness room, climb the rock wall, swim in the pool, run the indoor track, take an aerobics class or participate in one of the intramural leagues. When the weather warms, students can enjoy all that living on Sebago Lake offers!

How is the food?
Great. Pearson’s Café chefs use fresh ingredients and are committed to using products free of antibiotics and hormones whenever possible. Turkey and beef are roasted in-house daily for deli meat. Soups, salsas, pizza and marinara sauces are made from scratch. Canola oil, free of trans fatty acids, is used in all fryers.

The dining hall is open, airy and looks out to the lake, lawns and woods. Students can choose from the main entrée, salad and sandwich bar, pasta bar or the grilling station. Vegetarian options are always available.

Students can also stop at Mercy Market, which serves gourmet coffees, cappuccino, espresso, frozen drinks, specialty sandwiches with artisan breads, salads, soups, fresh fruit, yogurt and fresh baked goods. Flex dollars can be purchased at any cash register and used at Mercy Market.

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