About Canisius

About Canisius

Canisius at a Glance

Canisius College is the premier private university in Western New York, one of 28 Jesuit, Catholic colleges in the nation, and is consistently ranked among the top regional colleges in the Northeast. Founded in 1870 by German Jesuits, Canisius College is named for St. Peter Canisius, a renowned Dutch educator and one of the original members of the Society of Jesus. What began in a single building in downtown Buffalo now consists of 56 buildings located on 72 acres in a residential neighborhood in North-Central Buffalo.


John J. Hurley is Canisius College's 24th president. He took office July 1, 2010. President Hurley succeeded Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, SJ, who had been president since 1993. 


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

Rankings and Distinctions

The high quality of a Canisius education is consistently recognized and ranked in a wide variety of ways, including the following:

Accounting Graduates No. 1 in New York

Canisius College alumni consistently rank in the top tier on the New York State CPA exam. In 2013, Canisius ranked first (1st), overall, on the CPA exam cycle, with a 71 percent pass rate, in the category of large programs.

Graduate School Acceptance Rate for Law School

Over the past five years, 86% of Canisius students who applied to law school were accepted.

Graduate School Acceptance Rate for Medical School

Over the past five years, 86% of Canisius students who applied to medical (allopathic or osteopathic) school through the college’s Health Science Advisory and Recommendation Committee were accepted.

US News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges”

For the second consecutive year, Canisius earned its highest ranking in college history with the 20th spot in the top tier of U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 rankings of America’s Best Colleges, Regional Universities – North. Consistently ranked among the top regional colleges, Canisius also moved up four spots in “Great Schools, Great Prices” category for regional universities in the north.

US News & World Report “Top Online Education Degree Programs”

The Canisius College Online Graduate Program in Education ranked high in U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever ranking of top online education degree programs. Canisius scored well in the categories of Teaching Practices and Student Engagement and Student Services and Technology among others.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Best Value Private University

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Canisius College one of the nation’s best values among private universities for 2011-12. Canisius is the only private college in Western New York to rank in Kiplinger’s top 100 private universities. Only 13 of the 114 private colleges and universities in New York State made the list.

GI Jobs Magazine Lauds Canisius as “Military Friendly”

Canisius received the designation “military friendly” from GI Jobs Magazine. The 2012 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students.

Forbes America’s Top Colleges

Canisius was named to Forbes’ 2012 ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions for quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt.

2011 National Survey of Student Engagement

Canisius earned high marks from its student body in the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement. Ninety-three percent of freshman students reported a favorable image of the college and felt that Canisius demonstrated a substantial commitment to academic and social successes. Eighty-five percent of seniors said they would choose Canisius again, if they had to start their college career over.


The student-faculty ratio is 11:1, which allows students to work closely with their instructors, often publishing or presenting scholarly articles based on joint research. There are more than 200 full-time faculty at Canisius, 95 percent of whom hold a PhD or other terminal degree.

Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry is responsible for the religious life of the campus. Activities are open to students and staff of all faiths and include spiritual retreats, service opportunities and the promotion of social justice. Mass is celebrated in Christ the King Chapel for the college community at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 11:45 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Student Services and Activities

More than 140 college-sponsored organizations offer Canisius students experiences related to service, the media, student government, academics, and religious and social interests.


Total number of students – 5,148

Undergraduate: 3,381
Graduate: 1,767


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Richard J. Wehle School of Business
  • School of Education and Human Services


There are more than 1,000 courses and more than 100 distinct majors, minors and special programs offered at Canisius. View a listing of majors, minors and special programs.


There are more than 40,000 Canisius alumni who live and work in the United States and 52 other countries around the world.

  • 96 percent of Canisius alumni live in the United States.
  • 69 percent of Canisius alumni live in New York State.