st marys aerial view

St. Mary’s University

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Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
Carnegie Classification
Master's Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs
Religious Affiliation
Roman Catholic

Saint Mary’s University is a small, private Catholic institution in San Antonio, TX, noted for its value and excellence. Founded in 1852, Saint Mary’s is the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest, originally as a small Catholic institute with grade school and college courses. Today Saint Mary’s retains its commitment to Society of Mary values, particularly educational excellence and ethical service to the community, but is also dedicated to meeting the 21st century with grace, peace, and change. Saint Mary’s has been ranked as the #3 regional college in the West for its class, and acclaimed by Washington Monthly as the #1 regional college for social mobility.

Academic Programs

Saint Mary’s curriculum is based on traditional liberal arts and modern professional education, with a Core Curriculum designed around a central question that is explored through every discipline: Who are we as human beings? This central theme reverberates throughout all courses as a tool for holistic education of the mind, body, and spirit. The Core Curriculum is divided into the St. Mary’s Core, which uses the traditional liberal arts of the humanities and sciences to raise self-awareness and self-motivation, and the School-Specific Core, which applies the lessons of the St. Mary’s Core to the student’s career path.

Saint Mary’s is best known for the Greehey School of Business and the School of Law, two of the most respected and recognized schools in the region. Other highly regarded and independently accredited programs include their engineering and law schools, while pre-professional programs in medicine, law, nursing, and pharmacy are competitive and have shown great success sending graduates into master’s and doctorate programs. According to the Brookings Institute, the mid-career income of Saint Mary’s is second only to Rice University for Texas graduates.

Student Life

With its Marianist heritage, Saint Mary’s is deeply invested in community engagement, making service learning and experiential learning central to student life at the university. The Office of Civic Engagement connects students to opportunities for volunteer service, activism, and leadership experience throughout the San Antonio areas. Saint Mary’s is also the only Fair Trade certified university in Texas, incorporating Fair Trade concepts into the curriculum, events, and student services.  

Spiritual growth and community activities are also core parts of the Saint Mary’s experience, through student-led organizations and clubs, including honor societies, special-interest clubs, and religious groups like bible study and prayer circles. The community atmosphere is a significant part of student support, as students build their own support networks of friends, faculty mentors, and group members. With a 10:1 student/faculty ratio, Saint Mary’s offers everything students could want from a small liberal arts college experience.