Located in San Antonio, Texas, St. Mary’s University, founded in 1852 by Society of Mary (Marianist) brothers and priests, was the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and is the oldest Catholic university in Texas and the Southwest. Located on a 135-acre campus in northwest San Antonio, the institution offers a blend of historic beauty and modern facilities, and provides its faculty and students with a close-knit academic community.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence.
These characteristics are the foundation of a holistic educational experience designed to infuse students’ professional training with an understanding of individual human development, community, the natural world and God. These, in turn, inspire human vocations, ethical engagement and action, and creativity.
Students at St. Mary’s experience a nurturing and vibrant community atmosphere that encourages and facilitates community engagement, undergraduate and graduate research, comprehensive faculty mentoring, and service learning in San Antonio and around the world. That community experience is carried forward and manifested every year in the vocations and service of many alumni, a community of some 36,000, whose goal is to improve the human condition in the world.
Committed to academic excellence and student outcomes, St. Mary’s develops graduates who are ethical leaders prepared for success in their chosen vocation. For many graduates, their St. Mary’s experience is a defining moment in their lives.
Academic achievement, sense of community, and holistic learning are part of what sets a St. Mary’s education apart. With an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, students receive personalized attention from dedicated faculty. At the heart of its undergraduate curriculum is the St. Mary’s Core Curriculum, a unique set of courses that engages students in foundational questions of a liberal arts education. Undergraduate studies include humanities, sciences and business, with options to pursue graduate and doctoral degrees. To enhance their experience, students can participate in research, internships, study abroad and community engagement.
St. Mary’s is a nationally recognized Hispanic-serving institution with a diverse student population of more than 3,500 students, among which about 2,300 undergraduates, of all faiths and backgrounds. The University provides a quality Catholic education experience to students of the Southwest, across the U.S. and from countries around the world. Its approximately 200 full-time faculty members are committed to student success in and out of the classroom. St. Mary’s has four schools and 75 undergraduate, many graduate and law programs, featuring one doctoral degree, five law programs and six graduate certificate options
Like the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Science, Engineering and Technology, the Greehey School of Business, and the School of Law are under the immediate direction of a Dean who reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for all matters within the Dean’s school.
Two libraries support the University’s academic mission and curriculum: the Louis J. Blume Library and the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, the largest legal information center in South
St. Mary’s University’s mission is deeply rooted in both the liberal arts and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, which forms the five fundamental characteristics of a Marianist education:
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is the University's largest school and is the cornerstone of the St. Mary's Catholic and Marianist liberal arts education. The college is home to more than 40% of the total undergraduate population and 70% of the graduate population. In addition to teaching courses within their disciplines, the faculty in the college teach approximately 90% of the courses in the St. Mary's Core Curriculum.
The college is proud of the high participation rate of its students and faculty in community engagement and leadership in their local communities. In an environment that fosters fellowship, understanding and real-world problem-solving, students learn to adapt to change and apply practical tools to global issues.
The College has undergraduate programs ranging from technically oriented fields such as Criminal Justice to highly creative specialties such as Art and Drama. The four largest majors include Psychology, Exercise and Sport Science, Political Science, and Education, while Philosophy, Theology, and History provide foundational liberal arts offerings.
In addition, there are graduate programs in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, with
degrees leading to Master of Arts, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and post-baccalaureate certificates. Popular graduate programs include Clinical Mental Health Counseling, International Relations, and Public Administration. There are numerous combined B.A./M.A. degree programs within the College.
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is the University's largest school and is the cornerstone of the St. Mary's Catholic and Marianist liberal arts education
The Greehey School of Business offers a rich academic environment for students in which individualized experiences are designed to instill ethical leadership, technical excellence, global awareness, and professional orientation. The School’s eight programs are supported through a $25 million endowment from San Antonio businessman Bill Greehey. The school offers eight undergraduate academic programs, from Accounting to Marketing, two graduate programs and one certificate program that are designed to prepare students for real-world leadership in today’s evolving global and technological business environment.
The Greehey School of Business has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) since 1997. Fewer than 7% of the world’s business schools, and only about one-third of those in the U.S., have achieved this distinctive mark of quality.
The School of Science, Engineering and Technology offers a student-centered, service-oriented environment that encourages students to analyze problems through scientific inquiry within the framework of moral and ethical considerations. The school includes 19 undergraduate degree plan options, including seven majors in engineering fields, seven graduate programs, and three post-baccalaureate certificates. The Biology degree has long been the largest and most popular major among undergraduate students due to the University’s reputation and success in preparing them for professional schools. Historically, more than half of graduates who apply are admitted to medical and dental schools.
Historically, more than half of graduates who apply are admitted to medical and dental schools.
The School of Law has been dedicated to educating successful and ethical attorneys. The curriculum mixes theory and real-world applications, enabling students to become professional leaders and effective advocates of legal and social justice. The Center for Legal and Social Justice houses a widely recognized clinical program that offers students of law valuable hands-on training and the opportunity to represent San Antonio’s indigent and disadvantaged citizens. The School of Law hosts the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals every year in its courtroom, and the school’s nationally ranked advocacy teams use it to hone their skill. In addition to the Juris Doctorate, the Law School offers three Master of Law degrees and a Master of Jurisprudence. There are numerous combined M.A./J.D. programs that permit students to simultaneously pursue a degree in law and develop substantive advanced knowledge in a specific discipline.
The curriculum mixes theory and real-world applications, enabling students to become professional leaders and effective advocates of legal and social justice.
Academic Expansion and Innovation
The University is committed to academic excellence and has worked hard to create new and innovative programs, provide support for faculty and student scholarly research, strengthen existing programs and secure funding for several key initiatives. All these initiatives are launched within the guiding framework of the institution’s mission as a Catholic and Marianist University.
St. Mary’s University’s academic excellence is reflected in its new undergraduate and graduate programs. In recent years the University has launched undergraduate programs in Bioinformatics, Forensic Science, Environmental Science, Software Engineering, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Accounting and Data Analytics (Big Data), as well as master’s degrees in Cybersecurity and Jurisprudence. St. Mary’s is the first in Texas to offer a comprehensive Master of Cybersecurity and a Master of Jurisprudence and the first in San Antonio to offer a bachelor’s degree in Big Data. Also new are several certificate programs in Cybersecurity, Business Intelligence and Dual-Credit Teaching.
Active Intellectual Climate
Scholarly inquiry and conversation are central to University life. The newly established Center for Catholic Studies enables faculty and students to explore social policy issues and examine the Catholic Church in society and culture, particularly as it relates to the Southwest region of the nation and its growing Hispanic population in the Church and other Christian religions.
Since acquiring The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition in 2013, the University has launched the Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series, allowing St. Mary’s to share the remarkable handwritten, hand-illustrated illuminations of the pages with faith communities across Texas. This lecture series, as well as the endowed MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Series, the endowed Lin Great Speakers Series, and the annual Conference on Justice and Social Concerns, provide opportunities for ongoing open discussion of critical issues and greater learning opportunities for University constituencies and surrounding communities.
The St. Mary’s University faculty is accomplished, dedicated and much esteemed by students. Nearly 96% of the 200 full-time faculty members hold terminal degrees. The faculty is committed to being master teachers and mentoring students to apply their professional expertise in the world with excellence and ethical considerations, and for the common good. In addition, many faculty members are research scholars who publish regularly and are nationally regarded in their fields.
St. Mary’s is a nationally recognized liberal arts institution with a diverse but predominantly Hispanic and female student population of all faiths and backgrounds. The University is committed to creating a student experience that provides the St. Mary’s edge: helping each student discover, affirm and cultivate his or her unique talents and gifts, and preparing each student to enter the world with the skills and motivation to make a difference.
STRIVE – Successful, Transformative Results from Innovative Vocational Experiences – Career Center. The Center engages campus and community partners to provide vocational and experiential education opportunities. These innovative programs engage alumni, parents, faculty, staff, employers and citizens of the community in strategic partnerships. Our educational purpose is to develop essential life skills and career competencies that bridge professionalism with character-driven values, to inspire students and alumni to pursue a successful career journey.
Career and Professional Development Center
The Center engages campus and community partners to provide vocational and experiential education opportunities. These innovative programs engage alumni, parents, faculty, staff, employers and citizens of the community in strategic partnerships. Our educational purpose is to develop essential life skills and career competencies that bridge professionalism with character-driven values, to inspire students and alumni to pursue a successful career journey.
A central concern of St. Mary’s is that students are academically successful and graduate in a timely fashion. The University’s Four-Year Pledge is a successful tool for enhancing four-year graduation rates at the undergraduate level. St. Mary’s four-year graduation rate for all first-time undergraduate students who entered in 2014 is 48%; and the six-year rate is 59%.
The Rattler Success Center is designed primarily for undergraduate students to help build community by offering professional advising, building student interaction, creating student opportunities and supporting student academic attainment through formal and informal programs and activities. The recently established Graduate Center for Excellence is a collaborative learning space designed exclusively for St. Mary’s master’s and doctoral students to collaborate with classmates and students from other disciplines.
Academic success is further enhanced through a first-year required academic and student life immersion program, the Rattler Success Center, and a formal faculty mentoring program for students.
Special programs feature a National Institutes of Health-funded Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) U*STAR Program — now in its 30th year — which introduces minority students to careers in the sciences and supports the education of the next generation of biomedical research scientists. St. Mary’s is also the home of three federal TRIO programs: Upward Bound, McNair Scholars, and Student Support Services. All three programs assist low-income, first-generation, minority students succeed in obtaining college-level and graduate-level education.
Service for the Common Good
A welcoming Marianist commitment to community infuses the entire student experience, and nearly 70% of students participate in service activities on the campus, in San Antonio, and beyond. The Carnegie Foundation granted St. Mary’s its prestigious Community Engagement Classification for its institutional focus on community engagement and service, highlighting the University’s commitment to its servant-leadership model and its expectation that students, faculty, staff, and alumni be active and engaged citizens in their communities and the world.
Students are involved in some 90 organizations with a variety of interests: academic, cultural, honor societies, law, service, and special interests. Developing leaders is an essential part of many of the student programs. Many of these skills are enhanced and utilized through additional training and a variety of student leadership positions, including Student Government Association, Marianist Leadership Program, Zaragoza Leaders (orientation leaders), President's Ambassadors, and a host of other student intern positions on campus.
Student programming on campus is plentiful — live music performances, trivia contests, movies, cooking classes, open mic nights, murder mystery dinners, NFL and NCAA football game watching gatherings, and more. Rattler Weekends is a series of off-campus excursions that allow students to enjoy what San Antonio and the surrounding areas have to offer.
The University has 11 NCAA Division II intercollegiate teams. St. Mary’s is proud of its student-athletes and claims six national NCAA Division II titles in basketball, baseball, softball (two), and golf (one individual and one academic). Varsity teams at St. Mary’s participate in the Lone Star Conference and include baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. Beginning this coming fall, Rattler Athletics will launch its Esports program, offering students the opportunity to compete in one of the world’s fastest-growing industries — competitive computer gaming.
St. Mary’s University’s vision is, as a Catholic and Marianist University, to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for its graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation, and the world.
The strategic plan, Gateway: A Vision for St. Mary’s University, was launched in April 2013, soon after President Tom Mengler took office in summer 2012. The term Gateway signifies an entry point, a beginning and a pathway to a more significant stage. Gateway symbolizes and reaffirms the enduring role of St. Mary’s as a Catholic and Marianist university, integrating the liberal arts with professional preparation for students to lead purposeful lives. Gateway conveys an image of students arriving at St. Mary’s on individual paths, but joining a global family of men and women collaborating on behalf of the common good in service to God. Finally, Gateway evokes a dynamic vision, a strategic plan for a more vital and integrated role for St. Mary’s as a partner in the future of San Antonio and the region.
A top institutional priority is to create a culture of excellence. This includes recruiting and retaining top students; strengthening and promoting the Catholic and Marianist tradition; advancing the academic mission; increasing fundraising support to the University; excellent strategic allocation and stewardship of resources; increasing financial and capital funding; and graduating ethical leaders who are highly sought after in the workplace after graduation.
The University’s total operating budget is $83 million while the operating budget for the College is $10 million. St. Mary’s endowment as of May 31, 2021, is some $250 million, and over the past four years, the University has surpassed its campaign goal raising more than $130 million in gifts and pledges.
The University has extended the goal for its comprehensive campaign to raise $150 million.
The quality of St. Mary’s academic programs is evident in the recently completed accreditation
reaffirmation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
(SACS-COC), which was granted in December 2014.
Professional accreditations include those from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools
of Business (AACSB), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational
Programs (CACREP), the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the
National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the American Bar Association (ABA), and
the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).
St. Mary’s Campusology and Points of Pride Academics
Points of Excellence and Recognitions
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in Texas, with a population of nearly 1.5 million residents. Located in the south-central region of Texas, the city serves as the seat of Bexar County. Despite its size, the city is known for its small town feel and friendly residents.
The jewel of the city is the River Walk, which runs through the downtown area. Lined with numerous shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the Arneson River Theater, this attraction is transformed into an impressive festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, and is suffused with the local sounds of folklórico and flamenco music during the summer, particularly during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio. The Alamo, located nearby, is Texas’ top tourist attraction, while the River Walk is the second-most visited attraction. SeaWorld, located 16 miles west of downtown, is the No. 3 attraction. San Antonio is world famous for its Mexican, Tex-Mex and cosmopolitan cuisines at fine restaurants throughout the city. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
In San Antonio, culture sings. We celebrate our rich heritage with vibrant parades, food-centric events and lively, local entertainment. We collect medals to show off our San Antonio pride. What started in 1891 as a way to honor the heroes from the Battle of the Alamo has transformed into city-wide party with a purpose, Fiesta. The St. Mary’s Alumni Association hosts one of the largest Fiesta events on the University campus every spring. The Fiesta Oyster Bake, now more than 100 years old, raises funds for scholarships for St. Mary’s students.
San Antonio has a strong military presence. It is home to Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, and Brooks City-Base, with Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley outside the city. San Antonio is home to five Fortune 500 companies; to the South Texas Medical Center, the premiere medical research and care provider in the South Texas region; and to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, the largest inpatient medical facility of the Department of Defense. For more information on San Antonio please visit: www.sanantonio.gov; www.sachamber.org; or www.visitsanantonio.com.
As a Catholic and Marianist University, we are guided by the Characteristics of a Marianist Education, which call us to develop respect for the dignity of the person and educate for service, justice, and peace. St. Mary’s University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are welcome; we actively encourage minorities and women to apply.
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