Academic Excellence at the University of St. Francis

Academic Excellence at the University of St. Francis

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The University of St. Francis (USF) is a small private Catholic Franciscan university located in a beautiful historic suburban neighborhood about 35 miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois, a short train ride away! The small size of USF provides international students with an opportunity to be fully immersed in university culture and receive personal attention in their academic studies that is not always possible at larger universities.

Get to Know Joliet: The city of Joliet is 30 miles southwest of Chicago and is known in the local area for its plethora of diverse attractions that will appeal to a range of people. There is a strong dedication to the arts which can be seen in the theaters and galleries that abound in this city, including the Joliet Area Historical Museum. If you are looking for some action, then Joliet is the place to find it, as you can attend fun and adrenaline-packed sporting events such as NASCAR races, as well as baseball games, courtesy of the Joliet Slammers Baseball team.

If local flora and fauna interest you, The Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatoryis located on three acres of land within a 660-acre site, comprised of Pilcher Park and Higginbotham Woods where you can expect to find beautiful flower features, many of which have won awards, and take a guided tour around the facility to learn about the local plants and wildlife of the Illinois area.

Get Involved: With dozens of activities, clubs, and organizationsavailable on campus, there’s truly something for everyone! Whether you want to play in USF’s Marching Band, join a community service project or take on a leadership role through their Student Government Association, you’ll have no shortage of options. Do something you’ve always enjoyed or try something different– you might find a new hobby or interest through club participation.

Earn Your Degree: The University of St. Francis offers undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including the College of Arts & SciencesCollege of Business & Health AdministrationCollege of Education or the Leach College of NursingSome of the most popular undergraduate majors include Art & Design, Biology, Communication & Media Arts, Computer Science, Digital and Recording Arts (DARA), Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Care Management, Information Technology, International Business, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Recreation and Sport Management, Social Work and Transportation & Logistics Management.

USF promotes the inclusion of all students, regardless of their citizenship, ethnicity, religion or background. USF will assist all international students in achieving their educational goals and overcome the challenges of studying and living in a foreign country. They will work with you in applying to USF, help you obtain an F-1 visa to study in the USA and offer a wide variety of support services for international studentsincluding advising, F-1 visa counseling, English language support and international and cultural events.

Cheer on the Fighting Saints: The University of St. Francis is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is part of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Southern Division. USF offers students a variety of sports for men and women, including baseball, American football, golf, soccer, tennis, track, cross country, basketball, softball, volleyball and dance. 

Finding a Home:University of St. Francis students are not required to live on campus after their second year, meaning international students have the option to search throughout the town to find an apartment that will be right for their lifestyle and budget. If your apartment is unfurnished, furniture rental is an economical and convenient way to furnish your home. CORT, the leading provider of furniture rental in the U.S., furnishes thousands of student apartments with everything from beds and sofas to housewares and electronics – all with affordable rental package options.

The University of St. Francis strives for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. Explore the university's website to learn more about their programs and decide if USF is the right fit for your academic goals.


Rob Johnson is an experienced international traveler and Director of Higher Education Sales at CORTFurniture Rental, where he works directly with students and higher education institutions.