Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

| Staff Writers

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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, sometimes known by the acronym SMWC, is one of the oldest private colleges in Indiana. Founded in 1840, Sister Mother Theodore Guerin, the woman responsible for its establishment, later became a Catholic saint. The school functioned like a training academy and only admitted women, but it gained a charter just six years later and became the first institution of higher learning for women in the state. It initially offered degree programs that reflected some of the job opportunities of the time. Many of its students majored in secretarial sciences or home economics, though a large number also enrolled in its teaching programs. The college later added new programs to show women that they could be anything they wanted. One of those programs is its equine sciences program, which ranks among the top in the country.

SMWC also established one of the first distance learning programs in the state. This program gave young women the chance to work on their careers and take classes through the mail to earn their degrees without taking classes on the college’s campus. This later became its online campus, which includes some hybrid programs that let students take classes both on campus and online. Though Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College remains committed to the idea of helping young women, it does accept male students into its online programs. The college also has a Big Sister/Little Sister program that pairs upperclassmen with freshmen to help new students acclimate.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Accreditation Details

Both educational and professional organizations and agencies accredit some of the programs offered by Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, as well as its general college program too. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS) accredited its general program, which gives the college the right to offer degrees and to grant degrees to students who meet all general and specialty requirements. The NCACS is a branch of the Higher Learning Commission. Its undergrad educational programs, which include both classroom work as well as job training at local schools, have accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approval from the Indiana Department of Education. Other professional organizations that grant approval to the programs available from SMWC include:

  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • American Bar Association
  • American Art Therapy Association
  • Institute for the Certification of Computer Professionals
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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Application Requirements

SMWC recommends that prospective students interested in one of its traditional undergrad college programs schedule a campus tour and meet with an admissions counselor. This gives you the chance to sit in on classes offered by different departments, see all the campus facilities and ask questions about the application process. Undergrads will need to apply for a new user account. Once you have a user name and password and confirm the email address that you registered, you can log in with that information and complete the application. The college may ask for additional information, including an official ACT or SAT score and a high school transcript.

Though Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers several therapy programs at the graduate level, those programs have different application requirements. You’ll need to use the online application and submit a transcript from the college where you earned your bachelor’s degree. The college also asks for a writing sample/personal essay that describes your background and two letters of recommendation. You need a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all undergrad courses, and you may need to meet with an admissions counselor too. Depending on which graduate program you want to enroll in, the college may require that you submit a portfolio of your artwork or that you submit an audition tape.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College as an undergrad is around $30,000 a year. If you take any courses that put you over the maximum 18 credits allowed in a single semester, you’ll pay close to $500 for each of those additional credit hours. The college also charges around $11,000 a year for room and board, which only applies to those who want to live on campus. Online students pay close to $500 per credit hour for all their classes. If you enroll in one of its graduate programs, you’ll pay between $565 and $710 per credit hour based on the program. The college also charges fees for the supervised fieldwork that you must do as a graduate student.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College creates financial aid packages based around each individual student and requires that prospective students submit the FAFSA. Whether you are an undergrad or graduate student, you may qualify for both state and federal grants. Undergrads can receive subsidized students loans, but graduate students may qualify for unsubsidized student loans or private student loans. The college also maintains a database of scholarships that students can apply for before enrolling.

Psychology and Counseling

SMWC has an undergrad psychology program that is available both online and on its Indiana campus. Both programs require that students take the same classes, but you have the option of commuting to the campus from home, living in a residence hall or taking all of your courses online. You must take 34 credits of required psychology classes that include statistics, research, learning, abnormal psychology and psychology of women. The college also asks that you take one ethics course and two electives. Those electives include techniques of counseling, human sexuality, crisis intervention and drug and alcohol addiction. You also have the option of doing a research practicum or an internship in lieu of an elective.

Though Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College does not offer a standard graduate psychology program, it does offer two graduate therapy programs. You can get your master’s degree in art therapy or music therapy and use art or music to work with your future patients. The music therapy program requires that you take 43 credits of courses like guided imagery and music, client assessment in music therapy, psychopathology, music therapy in medicine and health care and world music. Its art therapy program includes nine credits of electives and 60 credits of required courses like clinical art therapy, assessment techniques of art therapy and group dynamics and counseling. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College requires that all therapy students do a thesis or major project.

See also: 35 Best Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy, Ranked by Affordability

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