Skip navigation

School of Arts & Letters

In the School of Arts & Letters, we prepare your mind, heart and soul for the very real world.

  • About Our Programs

    It is tough to know where you are going, if you don't know where you have been. That's why the scripture says, "Know the rock from which you've been hewn." St. Francis put a high premium on the ability of the liberal arts to open the mind and heart-and to help one better understand their place in the world.

    Employers and graduate schools want thoughtful, articulate and creative people who can adapt quickly in a changing marketplace. A liberal arts education provides that—just ask our A&L graduates, who have been successful in the professional, artistic, educational, legal, and corporate worlds. 

    Available Programs



    School Highlights
    • Students can earn A&L Student Research Grants to conduct research or to deliver research papers at local, regional and national conferences.
    • The Communications program features a state-of-the-art electronic media lab.
    • A managing editor of a literature journal and a renowned book reviewer call our Literature & Languages department home.
    • Enjoy or participate in Café Voltaire, Hand-drumming,World Drumming Ensemble, and theatre activities through the Fine Arts Department.
    • Pick up a second, third, or forth language. Choose from among Spanish, French, Italian,German, Latin, American Sign Language, or medical Spanish.
    • History and Political Science offer numerous internships, including the Washington Internship Center and Ann Eppard Congressional program.
    • Self-awareness, critical thinking, civic responsibility, and compassion are the heart of our sociology and criminal justice programs.
    • A majority of graduates from our Psychology program achieve acceptance to their top-choice graduate school.
    • With the Ethics Institute and Consortium for Education Resources on Islamic Studies, the Philosophy/Religious Studies Department emphasizes student community service and undergraduate research.
    • Our Education majors get hand-on teaching opportunities including our community Reading Clinic.
    • In addition to over 75 local and national internship sites, the Social Work Program is accredited by CSWE, so students who graduate with a BSW can enter MSW programs with advanced standing.


    Competitive Advantages

    More than 370 students major in disciplines within the school, and they find plenty of opportunity to grow as scholars and citizens. They are mentored by faculty members who are second to none. The professors have studied and earned degrees at some of the finest universities in China, Europe, Britain, Canada and the United States. They have brought world-class training to Loretto. The faculty not only create knowledge, but they teach knowledge and skills. Teaching is their top priority. And they do it well. Peers and students have bestowed 33 teaching awards upon our faculty during the past two decades. 

    Fearless Research (Intrepid Grants)

    Intrepid is a financial grant program for undergraduate students in the School of Arts & Letters. The three annual grant awards provide motivated and high achieving students with an opportunity to fearlessly embrace their future by designing, executing and completing a boldly original academic, creative or service project. Ideally, the project will be interdisciplinary in nature and exemplify one or more of the eight Goals of Franciscan Higher Education at Saint Francis University. The project should be the apex of the student’s undergraduate academic career.

    Lean more about the Intrepid Program.

  • For more information

    Dean Tim Whisler

    Dr. Timothy Whisler
    Dean, School of Arts and Letters
    E-mail Dr. Whisler
    Phone: (814) 472-3050

    Schedule your visit!
  • A&L Events

  • About the Saint Francis University School of Arts & Letters

    • Christie Olek

      How modern education yielded medieval knowledge

      We caught up with Christie Olek, B.A. in History 2015, to see what she’s been up since graduating from Saint Francis University.


      Learn More

    • Cody Turnbaugh(1)

      A childhood trip to Gettysburg leads to a lifelong passion

      Cody Turnbaugh's determination to shed a light on a Civil War solider led to a research trip to the National Archives.


      Learn More

    • Best Seat in the House

      Aimed toward middle school readers, the story centers on two brothers separated by age and distance who, in the wake of a family tragedy, attempt to reconnect through the game of baseball. 

      Read about Craig's first novel

    • Protests, Parties and Politics

      From interning with Fox News Radio and attending parties with delegates to participating in protests, Amanda Schiavo and Harry Olafsen gained a wealth of experience to guide their futures as they interned at the National Conventions.

      Read about their internships

    • Family Weekend 2016_Spotlight

      A Family-Fun Weekend

      Join us for a full weekend of fun activities planned for you and your family from Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2!

      Learn more and view the schedule of events

    • Back to school

      The move-in dust has settled, and our students are getting down to business with the first week of classes already under their belts! 

      Check out statistics, video links, photo galleries and more

    • Extra, Extra!

      The Spring/Summer 2016 issue of the Saint Francis University Magazine has hit the shelves (and is in the mail)! 

      Catch up on all the latest stories in this issue

    • Elisha Fleig Profile Spotlight

      College to the Cleveland Clinic

      Elisha Fleig, Class of 2013, shares how her double major in Physician Assistant Science and Spanish prepared her to land her dream job as a PA-C at the Cleveland Clinic Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

      Read Elisha's story

    • Extra, extra! Read all about it

      Kimberly Elter, a recent graduate and current intern at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, was featured in the July issue of Blair Business Mirror.

      Read more about Kimberly's internship

    • Standing up for social justice

      English major Tara Fritz describes herself as a strong feminist, standing up for women and all other marginalized people. Her dedication to social justice is reflected in her academics, extra-curriculars and creative writing, and she got an award to prove it.

      Read her story

    • A view from the Hill

      Tori Martin, a fourth-year Master of Occupational Therapy student, is interning on Capitol Hill. The first Occupational Therapy student to intern on Capitol Hill through the Ann Eppard Scholarship, Tori is finding a voice among the people who make decisions about healthcare in the U.S.

      How did Tori get on the Hill?

    • Poland Bound: World Youth Day 2016

      Matthew Fraley (Digital Media/Marketing major) has been selected to take part in the Knights Pilgrimage to Krakow and World Youth Day 2016. Congratulations!

      Learn more about the trip.

    • HIST Madeline Berry Student Story Spotlight

      Senior History Award Winner

      Known affectionately by her classmates as a "hippie" and by her professors for wearing t-shirts bearing the names of bands they have actually heard of, Madeline’s quietly analytical presence has contributed greatly to every history class she has taken at Saint Francis.

      Read about her successes

    • HIST Garrett Lucas Student Story Spotlight

      Teaching the Second World War

      Garrett knew he wanted to design some kind of senior capstone project that would help him be the best high school history teacher he could be. Hoping to connect students with the past, he created a lesson plan that would incorporate local community members’ involvement in World War II.

      Learn about his project

    • HIST Harry Olafsen Student Story Spotlight

      “Real Housewives of the American Civil War”

      Combining his passions for studying war and gender studies, Harry has investigated individual women’s lives during the American Civil War in order to make arguments about the “domestic war” within homes.

      Read about his research

    • HIST Nick Astle Student Story Spotlight

      The Question of Religious Tolerance

      While conducting research as a history major at Saint Francis, Nick's personal commitment to his own faith, as well as current events left him questioning the tolerance of one particular faith -- Islam. 

      Read about his research

    • Study Abroad Beth Wheeler Spotlight

      Going Global

      Entering Saint Francis University as a middle childhood education major, Beth Wheeler never even dreamed about studying abroad, but one little bite from the travel bug and her life changed forever.

      Follow on Beth's journey

    • CHEM SOC_Dallas Mosier_text image

      On the (crime) scene

      Eight-year-old Dallas Mosier wants to be a forensic scientist when she grows up. Fast forward 14 years, and you will find her still in full pursuit of her dreams. 

      Alumni Profile Dallas Mosier

    • Information or Infotainment?

      Senior strategic communications major and pre-law minor Amanda Schiavo presented research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).  Her study explored three major news outlets, revealing that post-debate media coverage of the candidates’ debate statements is not reflective of their statements.


      Read more about Amanda's research

    • Tim Fish

      Riding the Ed Tech wave

      Tim Fish  merged his love of education and technology into a career that has including everything from co-authoring a book on technology leadership to helping his district raise money through a platform designed to evaluate teachers now used in more than 100 districts.

      Read Tim's story

    • Marriage of Art & Health Sciences

      Danielle MacMurtrie, a newly minted Doctor of Physical Therapy, finished off her final years at Saint Francis University creating an anatomy painting series for the School of Health Sciences.

      Read more

      SFU Spotlight

    • Brewing a Career

      Senior Aaron Kirsch, the first student in the new Fermentation Arts program at Saint Francis University, learned  to be the person behind that flavor and texture as he gained hands-on experiences through an internship with Draai Laag in the summer of 2015.

      Read more about Aaron's internship

  • School News

  • A History of Saint Francis University