The University and Its Mission

Niagara University educates its students and enriches their lives through programs in the liberal arts and through career preparation, informed by the Catholic and Vincentian traditions.

Enabling Goals

As a university, Niagara prepares its students for positions of responsibility in the professions and in the broader society. Through teaching, research and service in programs of study at the baccalaureate and graduate levels, Niagara seeks to develop within its students a passion for learning.

The university’s commitment to the Catholic faith provides perspective in the search for truth and meaning. Catholic doctrine and its moral code inspire respect for the God-given dignity of every person and all faith traditions. Students experience the vision and reality of a gospel-based, value-centered education.

As a Vincentian university, Niagara draws inspiration from St. Vincent de Paul, who organized his contemporaries to respond compassionately to people’s basic needs. Continuing this tradition, Niagara seeks to inspire its students to serve all members of society, especially the poor and oppressed, in local communities and in the larger world.

Overall, through its curricular and extracurricular programs, Niagara University seeks to develop the whole person, mind, body, heart and soul, for the benefit of one’s personal and professional life.

Affirmative Action Policy

Consistent with our Catholic mission, it is the policy of Niagara University that there shall be no discrimination against any individual in educational or employment opportunities because of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, national origin, age, marital status, Vietnam Era or disabled veteran status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristic, or other categories protected by law. Also, there shall be no discrimination based on age, although the university shall abide by state and federal laws, regulations, and guidelines with regard to retirement plans and bona fide occupational qualifications. Furthermore, the university maintains an affirmative action program in order to promote equal employment opportunities and to ensure nondiscrimination in all educational programs and activities. All programs that implement this policy are reviewed on an annual basis. For purposes of this affirmative action policy, the term “employment opportunities” applies to all regular full and part-time positions. Temporary student positions (i.e., those temporary positions awarded to students because of their status as students on a school-year basis or less) are not considered “employment opportunities” for purposes of this policy.

Niagara University accepts the important distinction between affirmative action and equal opportunity. Equal opportunity assumes that the concept of merit, which is based solely upon a person’s ability to perform, will govern all personnel and education decisions.

Niagara University is committed to attaining equal opportunity via affirmative action which requires specific efforts to recruit, admit, employ and promote members of groups previously excluded such as women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, disabled individuals, and disabled veterans or veterans of the Vietnam era.

The responsibility of overseeing the university’s compliance with affirmative action requirements has been delegated by the president of the university to the director of human resources who will act as the affirmative action officer. Every member of the university community, however, is charged with the responsibility for its realization.

Educational Vision

The Niagara University undergraduate curriculum is based on the premise that a general education is a necessary balance to career training and that both are essential to a liberal education worthy of the name. NU believes the education of the whole person is possible if we understand that “wholeness” means searching for and working from a human center rather than encompassing all knowledge. Every degree program at Niagara University combines a general education component with a distribution component and a major component. This triad, explained in detail elsewhere in this catalog, is intended to overcome the fragmentation of disciplines which professionalization generally entails, and to encourage in the student a process of integration and consolidation as well as expansion of the mind and spirit.


Founded in 1856 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) Niagara University was first chartered in 1861 as a seminary. In 1883, Niagara was re-chartered as a university for “the instruction of youth in the learned languages and in the liberal and useful arts and sciences.” In the years since its founding, NU has retained this tradition of emphasis on both the liberal and useful arts and sciences while it has grown into a mid-sized university of approximately 3,300 undergraduates, 965 graduate students, and continuing and community education.

NU Shield

Seal — The official seal of the university presents in symbol its history and purpose. The first title of Niagara University, Our Lady of Angels, is signified in the lower half of the coat of arms by the crown, the wings and the cross inscribed in a diamond. The upper half of the coat of arms depicts wavy vertical lines symbolizing the grandeur and power of Niagara Falls. At the top of the shield, on a wreath in purple and white (the university colors), is a golden eagle, indicating the location of the university atop Monteagle Ridge, overlooking the Niagara gorge. The eagle bears a purple diamond displaying a silver heart, symbol of Vincent de Paul. The motto at the base of the shield, “Ut Omnes Te Cognoscant” (Jn 17, 3) expresses the purpose of a NU education: “That All May Know You.”


Niagara University is located on Route 104 on the northern limits of the city of Niagara Falls. The 160-acre campus runs along the top of picturesque Monteagle Ridge overlooking the Niagara River Gorge just four miles north of the world-famous waterfall. The location of the campus, adjacent to the international border between the United States and Canada and relatively near the American and Canadian cities of Buffalo and Toronto, creates an international milieu.

Travel to Canada — Passport Requirements

Includes U.S. and Canadian Citizens

As of June 1, 2009, federal regulations require citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda to have a valid passport, or another government-approved travel document, to enter the United States by land and sea. Previously, federal regulations were implemented requiring these same citizens to have a valid passport to enter the United States by air.

Due to Niagara University’s proximity to Canada, all students should be aware of federal regulations prior to travel to Canada. Niagara University students are not required to have a passport to attend Niagara University unless they are international students; the decision whether to obtain a passport is up to the individual student. However, students who wish to participate in events that are sometimes held in Canada will be required to have the appropriate travel documentation.

For more information on the regulations, known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative(WHTI), refer to the U.S. Department of State website:


The university is governed by a 30-member board of trustees, of whom not more than one-third may be Vincentian priests.

The president is the chief executive officer of the university. He is aided in administering the various colleges and schools within the university by the executive vice president, the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for enrollment, the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the vice president of human resources, and the vice president for institutional advancement. The deans of each college coordinate the educational affairs of the various undergraduate and graduate programs. The goals of each college and school are in harmony with those of the university.


The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 3,000. An additional 1000 students are enrolled in the graduate divisions.


Niagara University’s faculty are characterized by a dedication to excellence in teaching, research and service. They are widely published in first tier journals and have presented their research nationally and internationally. Over 100 universities, including non-American universities, are represented among Niagara’s faculty.