Nazareth College will become a university in June 2023

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Nazareth College will be joining other area educational institutions by transitioning to a university.

Nazareth made the announcement on Thursday after meeting with the New York State Board of Regents. The institution will become Nazareth University on June 1, 2023. Nazareth says the transition to a university will take place over seven months.

Colleges across the Rochester area have transitioned to a university after the state lowered its requirements. In January, the state said any institution that offers at least three graduate programs can apply to receive a university designation. Previously, an institution needed at least two doctoral programs to be a university.

Nazareth has more than 25 master’s level graduate programs and a doctorate in physical therapy program. Master’s programs at the school include education, music and arts, health and human services, business and leadership, and humanities and social sciences.

The change will come before Nazareth, founded in 1924, celebrates its 100-year anniversary.

“We thank the New York Board of Regents for changing the State’s definition of university, allowing Nazareth to finally fully become what we have been all along,” said Nazareth President Beth Paul.

Nazareth said it surveyed current students, faculty, staff, and more than 30,000 alumni before making the decision to become a university.

“It doesn’t matter what our name is, it’s still going to feel like home,” said freshman student Gabbie Lawyerr. “Saying Nazareth University just gives me a feeling of pride like, ‘I’ve made it this far.’ It’s an accomplishment.”

St. John Fisher and Roberts Wesleyan have both completed their name change to a university. On July 1st, St. John Fisher College officially changed its name. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said the name change was a way to recognize the innovation happening at Fisher.

On September 13, Roberts Wesleyan changed its name after approval from the NY Board of Regents. The university’s president said the name change came after decades of building acclaimed graduate programs.

News10NBC first learned in May that Nazareth was discussing changing its destination to a university.