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Southern New Hampshire University

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1932
    • Size:
    • Large (>15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Cold (Continental)
    • Location:
    • 2500 North River Road, Manchester, New Hampshire, United States, 03106
    • Phone:
    • +18006681249
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Suburban, town

The History of Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private university located between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. The university is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, along with national accreditation for some hospitality, health, education and business degrees. With its online programs expanding, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States. Southern New Hampshire University uses an open enrollment policy that requires only a high school diploma or GED.

The university was founded in 1932 by second-generation Russian Americans Harry A.B. "H.A.B." Shapiro, an accountant, and his wife, Gertrude Gittle Crockett Shapiro, as a for-profit institution focused on teaching business, under the name New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science. H.A.B. Shapiro died in 1952; there were 25 students enrolled at that time, and his widow, who had increasingly administered the school as her husband's health declined, then ran the school until 1971, continuing as president emeritus until 1986.

Academic Highlights

Southern New Hampshire University offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs through its multiple colleges and schools. The colleges and schools that compose Southern New Hampshire University are:

  • College for America (CfA)
  • College of Engineering, Technology & Aeronautics (CETA)
  • College of Online & Continuing Education (COCE)
  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Business
  • School of Education

Life in Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University participates in NCAA Division II athletics. It is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Northeast-10 Conference. The teams' nickname, the Penmen, is an homage to the university's history as an accounting school. The university's mascot is named "Petey Penmen".

School Ranking

US News & World Report ranked Southern New Hampshire University at #112 in Regional Universities North (out of 196 institutions), and #1 in Most Innovative Schools in the 2019 rankings.


The average GPA at Southern New Hampshire University is 3.06. This makes Southern New Hampshire University Moderately Competitive for GPAs. With a GPA of 3.06, Southern New Hampshire University accepts below-average students. It's OK to be a B-average student, with some A's mixed in.

Notable Alumni

  • Felix G. Arroyo, former member of the Boston City Council and primary candidate for mayor of Boston in 2013
  • Preston Burpo, former MLS player and current goalkeeping coach for the New York Red Bulls[89]
  • Chuck Collins, author, co-founder of United for a Fair Economy, and senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies
  • Edward F. Davis, former commissioner of the Boston Police Department

Acceptance Rate

Southern New Hampshire University admissions is less selective with an acceptance rate of 91%.

Other Campuses
    • 10 Tibbetts Dr # 200, Brunswick, Maine, United States
    • Salem Campus: 25 Pelham Rd., Salem, New Hampshire, United States



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