Inside Higher Ed | Saint Mary’s College

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Saint Mary’s College

Saint Mary’s College

Saint Mary’s undergraduate liberal arts education empowers women to explore, lead, take intellectual risks, and prepare to change the world. Its graduate programs elevate women and men alike to a higher plane of involvement in select professional programs. 

The College
Located in Notre Dame, Indiana, just north of South Bend and across the street from the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who founded the College in 1844.  Traditionally a women’s college, Saint Mary’s will begin admitting men into its graduate programs in 2015.

The campus

Our suburban campus includes 100 acres of trees, gardens, and manicured lawns, historic buildings, and technologically advanced classrooms beside the Saint Joseph River. Across the street, the University of Notre Dame expands the opportunities for Saint Mary’s students, who can attend Notre Dame classes and sporting events, and participate in sports, clubs, and organizations at Notre Dame. Faculty may also avail themselves of the library resources of the university and other area colleges.

The students

There are approximately 1,500 undergraduate students who come from 42 states and 17 other countries. Approximately 90 percent of undergraduate students live on campus and are guaranteed housing all four years. Two graduate programs will be offered in a hybrid delivery mode, with most course work online and periodic campus visits, while the third will be offered on campus.

The education

We have six nationally accredited programs and more than 30 majorsto help you pursue a meaningful career and make a difference in the world. Saint Mary's is ranked among the 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015 published by U.S. News & World Report. We intend to open three graduate programs by fall, 2015.

The faculty

Our faculty consists of top scholars who are recognized for excellence in their fields of study. All of our classes are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. All students enjoy close working relationships with professors in classes averaging 15 students and a student/faculty ratio of 10:1.

Hands-on learning

Approximately 51 percent of 2014 undergraduates studied abroad in Australia, Austria, France, India, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Spain, and other countries. Our focus on hands-on learning takes students into the field for course work and professional internships, available through numerous sources. Our commitment to service is demonstrated by student involvement. Roughly two-thirds of Saint Mary’s seniors volunteer annually.

Student life

Students lead more than 60 organizations on campus, including campus publications, fine arts clubs, community service groups, and social and professional organizations. Students are empowered to make key decisions regarding Saint Mary’s social, education, spiritual, and service opportunities through the Student Government Association.


We have eight NCAA Division III varsity athletic teams and a wide range of club and intramural sports available to Saint Mary’s students through both Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame.

Financial aid

More than 90 percent of Saint Mary’s undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, totaling more than $25 million in institutional grants and scholarships. Graduate students are able to use the Office of Financial Aid for help to defray their professional education.


Fifty percent of Saint Mary’s recent alumnae have careers in business and industry, education, and health/medical services. Thirty percent attend graduate or professional school immediately upon graduation. Saint Mary’s College ranks in the top quartile of the 100 liberal arts colleges whose graduates earn the research-oriented Ph.D. More than 95 percent of seniors report being satisfied with their educational experience at Saint Mary's College.


Diversity Profile: Saint Mary’s College

“Saint Mary's College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  In keeping with the College's mission, Saint Mary's is committed to increasing racial and ethnic diversity at all levels - students, faculty, and staff - and seeks applications from candidates who share this commitment.”

Equal Opportunity Policy Statement

Saint Mary’s College, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, an order of the Roman Catholic Church, was chartered as an institution for women as a Catholic witness in higher education. It has continued to adhere to that focus and mission. As a Catholic institution, the College reaffirms its mission and philosophy which call for a modeling of social justice and Christian principles in our personnel policies and practices.

All College policies, practices, and procedures are administered in a manner consistent with our Catholic identity. With the foregoing understanding, Saint Mary’s College will not engage in discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion (except where religion is a bona fide occupational qualification), age, disability, citizenship status, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Based on our Catholic values, the College also prohibits discrimination based on sexual or political orientation.

In the areas of undergraduate admission, academic year housing, and varsity athletics, Saint Mary’s College will remain exclusive in respect to sex, but not as to any of the other above-mentioned characteristics.

Diversity Hiring Policy

“Saint Mary's College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  In keeping with the College's mission, Saint Mary's is committed to increasing racial and ethnic diversity at all levels - students, faculty, and staff - and seeks applications from candidates who share this commitment.”

Through its commitment to equal opportunity, Saint Mary's College endeavors to promote diversity on campus. Each applicant is asked to complete a survey after applying for a position at Saint Mary's College.

Safeguards have been instituted to ensure complete confidentiality and anonymity of this information. This form will be retained separate from your application and/or resume in the Human Resources Office. Completion of the survey is strictly voluntary and will not affect the status of your application.

Saint Mary’s full Diversity Hiring Policy may be found at:

Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL)

The Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) advances Saint Mary's College's mission of “preparing students to make a difference in the world” by empowering women to realize their call to leadership and to develop the intercultural knowledge and competence critical in today’s increasingly interdependent world. In the spirit of the College’s sponsors, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, CWIL promotes human transformation and systemic change, from the local to the global context, by providing challenging, justice-based educational opportunities.


To develop intercultural knowledge and competence, CWIL promotes transformative intercultural engagement across the Saint Mary’s campus connecting with communities at the local, state, national and global levels. We understand intercultural engagement to consist of two essential parts which combine to result in growth: one is interacting across the boundaries that define identities, circumscribe participation, and shape encounters, and the other is reflection on and interpretation of the complexities of those interactions. Such boundaries include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, area of origin, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, educational level, sexual orientation, age, varying ability, and language. Rooted in a developmental approach, we challenge and support individuals and groups to take the next steps toward deeper intercultural experience, more sophisticated grappling with issues of difference such as power and privilege, and greater appreciation for the diversity and richness of human experience.

To empower women to apply their intercultural competence as leaders, CWIL helps them recognize the leader within. In this fluid approach, women identify their own potential and take their unique place as agents within the larger context of the history of social change, but also encourage the leadership capacity of those around them. Given our Catholic context, we see leadership as flowing from one’s well-examined spiritual and ethical center. We provide opportunities for students to apply their intercultural and leadership skills in practice to create inclusive and equitable processes and communities.

To achieve this CWIL mission, we build collaborative relationships throughout the campus and community, and encourage partnering across departments, disciplines, and other traditional dividing lines. We organize our work into the distinct, but richly synergistic components of Research and Scholarship, Intercultural Leadership, and Global Education. We bridge global and domestic diversity issues, remaining mindful of the distinctions between these but also of their commonalities. We highlight the roles of women in relation to these issues, study the interconnections between gender and culture, and conduct all of our work with the goal of developing the next generation of women leaders.


Our work is firmly rooted in the tradition of the Sisters of the Holy Cross who have a long history of intercultural leadership flowing from their mission to “reflect on the signs of the times, discern needs, and respond”. Today the Sisters work actively around the world to promote non-violent systemic change to end intolerance, inequity, and gender discrimination against women, standing in solidarity with the powerless and building communities of justice.

More information about CWIL may be found at:


AAUP Compensation Survey Data
Saint Mary’s College


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