Welcome to Villa Maria College
Villa Maria College is the premier student-centered institution in Western New York. What does that mean? It means we put our students first, every single day, and that everyone here has the ultimate goal of helping each of our students meet their academic, social and career goals. It means our experienced faculty members bring their real world experience into the classroom, and spend time teaching students how to apply their talents to the real world. It means we have a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which gives our students almost unlimited access to faculty, facilities and equipment. It means that we offer academic programs, athletic programs and student life programs that give students a complete college experience, and leaves them prepared to succeed after graduation.
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A Brief History of Villa Maria College
Villa Maria College’s student-centered philosophy can be traced back to its founding by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Felix (Felician Sisters) as a teacher-training center for its sisters in the education apostolate. Wanting their sisters to have the best, individualized education possible, they pursued this dream of higher education. The congregation, founded in 1855 by Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska in Poland, is a Franciscan community dedicated to providing education, social service, and health care to the poor and needy. The congregation’s mission spread to American in 1874 and on to Buffalo, New York in 1881.
Mother Mary Annette Guzowski, Provincial Superior of the Buffalo province, together with the congregation, founded Villa Maria College in 1960. The College was established as an affiliate of the Catholic University of America. In 1961, a provisional charter was secured from the Board of Regents of the State of New York to grant Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees to women religious. In 1965, the charter was renewed and extended to include lay women who wished to pursue an associate degree. In 1968, the College was granted an Absolute Charter and was recognized as a co-educational institution. In 1974, the Associate in Science (A.S.) degree was added. In 1972, the College became fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. That accreditation has continued to the present. In 2005, the Absolute Charter was amended for the College to offer its first baccalaureate degree. Since then dozens of new majors, minors and certificate programs have been added.
The college’s recent history has been a reaffirmation of its vision to be the premier student-centered college in Western New York, inspired by a welcoming Catholic tradition, a dynamic Franciscan spirit supported by the Felician core values. This commitment includes the establishment of the Achieve Center, the first of its kind in the area, providing specialized services to students with learning differences. The college was one of the first in Western New York to join the local Say Yes Buffalo Partnership working in tandem with the Buffalo Public Schools. This national effort works to increase higher education attendance, retention and graduation rates of students from inner-city schools. Buffalo’s success with their local efforts has been recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided nearly $3 million in funding for expanded initiatives. Villa Maria also added an Honors Program, providing scholarships coupled with high-quality, rigorous and rewarding educational experiences for academically high-achieving students. College athletics has been reactivated after years of dormancy and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have been highly ranked nationally in their sports. New programs in health sciences and digital and computer technology continue to draw strong interest and growth on campus. To enhance student social skills, networking and employability the college has strengthened its internship, service learning and community engagement programs.
Villa Maria College is a member of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. Along with Madonna University in Livonia MI and Felician University in Lodi, NJ, Villa Maria College is a Felician Franciscan Sponsored Ministry in Higher Education.
As a small, private, Catholic college focused on student success, Villa Maria College has a lot to offer you, including:
- 3 departments: music, art, and liberal arts/professional studies
- 18 degree programs, including 12 bachelor degrees and 8 associate degrees
- Internship requirements for all students, to help students gain critical real-world experience
- 24+ types of merit-based and endowed scholarships that make Villa affordable for anyone who dreams of attending college
- Over $2 Million recently invested in student success initiatives and campus improvements
- A 17% increase in the number of first-year students in good academic standing since 2013
- A 7.7% increase in student retention among first year students
- A diverse student body consisting of more than 500 students and is growing year over year
- 18 student-run clubs and organizations that make it easy to get involved on campus
- A 9:1 student-faculty ratio
- 94 faculty members: 54% male, 46% female
- Exclusive housing options at Collegiate Village, located just 1.5 miles from campus
- 8 intercollegiate athletic teams that compete in the USCAA. Go Villa Vikings!
- An updated athletic center that contains a regulation-sized basketball court, weight room, and brand new auxiliary gym
Villa Maria College Has Five Accreditations
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
Villa Maria College’s mission is to provide students with a rigorous and enriching educational experience. By offering academic programs with a broad core curriculum, the College transforms and empowers students to realize their intellectual, creative, professional, and spiritual potential. To accomplish this, we use our five core values as a guide to ensure that every decision made is done in our students’ best interests.
Main Building Hours
Monday-Friday: 7:30 AM – 12:00 AM
Saturday: 9 AM – 5 PM
Sunday: 12 PM – 6 PM
Felician Hall Building Hours
Monday-Friday: 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 8 AM – 12 PM
Monday-Thursday: 8 AM – 9 PM
Friday: 8 AM – 4PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed