Mount Mary University was the first and only Catholic women’s college in Wisconsin, and though the graduate school accepts men, Mount Mary remains committed to the best Catholic education for young women in a supportive, empowering environment. The School Sisters of Notre Dame established Mount Mary in 1872 as a small girl’s academy, the St. Mary’s Institute. By 1913 the school had built enough higher level programs to be chartered as a college, but its original location, Prairie du Chien, WI, was too small to attract a substantial student body. At the request of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Mount Mary moved to the state’s largest city to begin a new chapter of growth and engagement. Today, Mount Mary is ranked one of the top 100 regional colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Mount Mary operates primarily as a traditional liberal arts college, with all of the benefits and advantages that format offers: class sizes are kept small, and taught only by faculty members, rather than assistants, the majority of whom have the highest degree in their field. A 10:1 student:faculty ratio means students are able to access their professors directly for mentorship, increasing their potential for success tremendously. With its classical liberal arts curriculum, all Mount Mary undergraduates earn a strong grounding in critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, setting them up for success in their majors. Students can choose from more than 30 majors, many of which are nationally accredited for their field, including nutrition, occupational therapy, and social work. Nearly all Mount Mary undergraduates receive scholarships.
Mount Mary also offers 9 graduate programs, and in recent years the population of graduate students has begun to approach that of the undergraduate student body – nearly 600 out of 1400 students. Mount Mary’s graduate programs largely focus on practical professional studies, including the MBA and master’s degrees in counseling, dietetics, and occupational therapy. Mount Mary also offers a rare master’s degree in Art Therapy accredited by the American Art Therapy Association. Mount Mary has had great success placing graduates in careers or graduate school, thanks to its Milwaukee location and its strong ties to the region; occupational therapy has a 100% placement rate. Students benefit from Mount Mary’s reputation in securing internships as well. While the undergraduate programs are still women-only, Mount Mary’s graduate degrees are open to men as well.
Mount Mary is home to 1400 students; 800 are undergraduates, and the majority live on campus. While Mount Mary is a dedicated Catholic university steeped in the traditions of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, students of all faiths are welcome. The School Sisters of Notre Dame are a worldwide religious order dedicated to professional service, composed of doctors, nurses, lawyers, social workers, and other helping professionals, and Mount Mary shares its founding order’s dedication to service. Mount Mary has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and is known for missions work abroad and in Wisconsin, including service to women’s shelters, schools, and health care facilities.
Student life at Mount Mary is not only community service; students take part in more than 40 clubs, professional development organizations, and honor societies. All students are invited to the college’s religious activities, including masses, rosary services, and retreats. The Blue Angels compete in the NCAA Division II in 7 women’s sports as an independent (not part of a conference). Sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball.