Nazareth University

In a historic move, and as Nazareth prepared to celebrate 100 years of educating students for their life's work, the institution officially became Nazareth University on June 1, 2023.

Read: Full news release >


Beth Paul

“A powerful foundation” for the best impact students can have.

Christie Smith

“Greater awareness and opportunities”

Steve Tajc

The university name supports grants for research and instrumentation.

Why switch to Nazareth University?

The New York State Board of Regents changed the definition of a university in 2022 to align with what other states have long done — to recognize higher education institutions that offer a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including graduate programs in at least three state-specified discipline areas.

Nazareth has offered significant graduate offerings since the 1950s, so this name change makes Nazareth officially become what it's been for decades.

As a result of Nazareth's significant graduate programs, it has long been included in the masters category in the Carnegie Classification of higher education institutions. More than 92% of masters institutions outside of New York state are already named "university." Nazareth couldn't pursue "Nazareth University" until New York state changed its regulations in January 2022.

Nazareth has a doctorate of physical therapy program and more than 25 master's level graduate programs in education; music and arts; health and human services; business and leadership; and humanities and social sciences.


Yousuf George

“A close-knit and supportive community… none of that will change.”

Maddie Young

“We should really showcase what we have.”

Eileen Daly, SSJ, trustee

“It’s another time of changemakers… taking the college another step farther.”

Benefits to becoming a university

  • Elevated academic status. Nazareth will be in line with other similar universities nationwide. Nazareth has long been included in the masters category in the Carnegie Classification of higher education institutions, and more than 92% of institutions outside of New York in this category are named “university.”
  • More accurate recognition and competitive recruitment. The change addresses Nazareth’s stature among higher education institutions nationwide and around the globe and the perceived value of a Nazareth degree. In much of the world, “college” refers to what are called high schools in the United States, which makes it harder for a “college” in New York state to attract international students and faculty.
  • The name enables better showcasing of the extensive ways that Nazareth educates students to be changemakers and progress builders. Nazareth University will thrive in attracting students who seek the value of a Nazareth education.


Maureen Finney

“It finally sheds a light on the jewel that we have here.”

Gabbie Lawyerr

“Saying Nazareth University just gives me a feeling of pride.”

Danielle Abramson ‘08

It’s “going to set Naz up for an even stronger future.”

Frequently Asked Questions

I graduated. My diploma says Nazareth College. Is it still valid? Do I say I’m a graduate of Nazareth College or Nazareth University?

Your diploma continues to be valid. You can now refer to your alma mater by either name.

I’m a current student. What will my diploma say?
  • Diplomas issued in May 2023: Nazareth College
  • Diplomas issued after June 1, 2023: Nazareth University
If my diploma says College and I want University, can I get a new diploma?

Yes. Alumni who graduated before June 1, 2023, may request a Nazareth University diploma, signed by Nazareth University's president and provost.


  • Alumni requests for reprints will be free, compliments of Nazareth's Alumni Engagement office, for one year, until May 31, 2024.
  • After that, there is a $10 charge for such reprints.

Timeline: A paper restocking delay in July 2023 is causing a three-week delay. We apologize for the inconvenience and will resume processing requests as soon as possible.

How can I use new Nazareth branding?

See the Branding Toolkit informational webpages for the new Nazareth University logo and branding information, including:

If you have existing printed items such as folders, letterhead, and envelopes that say Nazareth College, it is fine — and fiscally responsible — to keep using them until June 1, 2023.

What is New York state’s new definition of a university?

Previously, New York required doctoral programs and degrees in two or more professional fields. Nazareth has one doctoral program, a doctorate of physical therapy, along with more than 25 master's level graduate programs in education; music and arts; health and human services; business and leadership; and humanities and social sciences.

The New York State Board of Regents adopted this new definition in January 2022:

"University means a higher educational institution offering a range of registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences, including graduate programs registered in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences and social sciences."

Nazareth has met that criteria for decades.

What happens to Nazareth signs?

Nazareth is taking a tiered approach to update signage, prioritizing first what's needed for clarity. Signs such as the bronze plaques on the brick walls at the entrances to campus serve the essential function of letting prospective students, families, guests, and delivery drivers know they have arrived at the proper place.

The highest priority signage will be updated first, as the legal name of the institution officially changes to Nazareth University in June 2023.

Signs that are historic, including those marking donations by graduating classes, will remain in place as heritage signs on campus. The stone posts with lamps on North Campus Drive at East Avenue are one example.

When was this idea first shared?

In November 2021, President Beth Paul participated by invitation in a session with New York State Department of Education leaders to request that the NYS Board of Regents consider amending state regulations to align with all other states across the country.

Since November 2021, an array of Nazareth constituents has been engaged in deliberating whether "college" or "university" is best for Nazareth and its future. Also, prospective students were surveyed for their reactions to "college" and "university."

Prospective students — especially out-of-state students, graduate students, and international students — as well as some prospective faculty and staff, and some alumni, said that that "college" makes them pause, as they believe "university" adds value.

Nazareth's board of trustees voted to change the Nazareth charter at the October 17, 2022, board meeting, to take effect June 1, 2023, so that costs can be planned and budgeted responsibly. The state approved the request in February 2023.

Can I still wear/use my Nazareth College swag?

Wear it proudly! This vintage swag is part of our history and evolution.

How can I get a T-shirt or sweatshirt with the new name?

Items with Nazareth University are available through the campus bookstore.

Are Nazareth's colors changing?

Purple and gold continue as our primary colors.

Is this going to raise tuition?

The name change reflects the breadth of educational opportunities that Nazareth has long provided. Tuition and financial aid support will continue to be set with care to support strong learning experiences and opportunities for students seeking a Nazareth education.

Nazareth's commitment to accessibility and affordability is recognized with a Best Value School designation in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2022-2023 Guide. Nazareth was named a best value college in America by Money Magazine 2022, based on tuition fees, family borrowing, career earnings, and more. Washington Monthly's 2022 rankings designate Nazareth among the Best Master's Universities, based on contributions to social mobility, research, and public service, and recognize it for Best Bang for the Buck — Northeast for helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

Will Nazareth still be a student-centered institution with small class sizes?

Yes. The new name will not change Nazareth's small, personalized education, mentoring, and focus on being a supportive community of belonging. Nazareth will continue at about our current size.

Why not also change the name “Nazareth,” as part of this name change?

"Our name Nazareth University has symbolic power," says President Paul. "The symbolic power of our name is that Nazareth is a place that is known for bringing people together across differences. Bringing people together from different perspectives, different backgrounds to be in deliberate dialogue about peace, and about making our world a better place. So as Nazareth University, those values and that deep commitment continue, and it will continue for the next 100 years plus."

Is donor support still an important contributor to Nazareth’s strength?

Yes. The name change does not change Nazareth's funding sources. Nazareth continues to depend on tuition and individual and foundation support to make possible its enduring commitment to excellence in teaching and learning, rigorous intellectual education, inclusive empowerment, and nurturing collaborative connections with the community, preparing students for lives of meaning and purpose informed by intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and aesthetic values.

Some universities are public/state run. Will Nazareth continue to be an independent institution?

Nazareth will continue as an independent institution.

Is Nazareth’s accreditation still valid when the name changes?

Yes. This is not related to Middle States accreditation.

Have a question that's not addressed here? Please use the form below.