St. Mary’s University began in 1852 when the Brothers of the Society of Mary opened St. Mary’s Institute in San Antonio in order to bring Catholic education to the town. The school committed itself to academic excellence, ethical commitment and service to the community under Marianist ideals. It was the first educational undertaking for the group who were members of a religious order founded in 1817 by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. A French priest who believed that lay and religious societies would help energize the Christian faith after the French Revolution, Father Chaminade sent four missionaries to Texas at the request of Galveston Bishop John Mary Odin.
The school opened above a livery stable with 12 boys enrolled. Within one year, there were 100 boys enrolled in the school and they moved to a new two-story building on Water Street. Financial difficulties by 1866 led the Marianists to consider closing the school, but Reverend John N. Reinbolt, Provincial of the Marianists’ Province of the United States, determined after visiting the school that it should remain open. A four-story building was added in 1877, the tallest in San Antonio at the time causing it to be dubbed “The Skyscraper.” In 1882, the school was renamed St. Mary’s College.
In 1891, 75 acres of land was purchased northwest of the city for just one dollar with a stipulation from the seller West End Town Company, that a college be built within one year. Initially, the school was known as St. Louis College and boarders began attending in grade five. The school taught up through the second year of college until a full college curriculum was added in 1904.
In 1921, St. Louis College and St. Mary’s College merged. In 1923, the school was renamed St. Mary’s College. The first four-year degrees were awarded in 1927. During the Great Depression, the school remained open although construction on the Alumni Gym was suspended and all variety sports cancelled. In 1927, two women received bachelor’s degrees at St. Mary’s College as they were unable to pursue higher education at San Antonio’s two all-female Catholic colleges.
Despite the Great Depression, enrollment continued to grow at St. Mary’s College with graduate studies added in 1936. Enrollment declined after the start of World War II but improved when the Marianists offered programs that were related to the war effort. After the war, enrollment grew considerably as returning soldiers took advantage of the G.I. Bill. The school became co-educational in 1963.
Today there are more than 4,000 students enrolled at St. Mary’s University.
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St. Mary’s University Accreditation Details
St. Mary’s University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation indicates that the school meets or exceeds criteria that demonstrates excellence in education. The following agencies or organizations accredit specific programs at the university:
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the American Bar Association
- Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
- National Association of Schools of Music
St. Mary’s University Application Requirements
Undergraduate students who have not attended an institute of higher learning previously must complete the Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarship. Students must submit official high school transcripts as well as SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must complete the Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarship as well. They must also submit official high school and college transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Transfer students may be required to submit ACT or SAT scores as well.
Each graduate program has its own requirements for admission. Students are encouraged to speak to a graduate admissions counselor before applying for their chosen program to learn what is required.
St. Mary’s University Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate tuition is $13,760 per semester while part-time undergraduate tuition is $855 per credit hour. Graduate tuition is $865 per credit hour. Financial aid is available. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any financial aid at St. Mary’s University. Financial aid is available through scholarships, grants, loans and work-study program. St. Mary’s University also accepts employee and military tuition benefits.
St. Mary’s University Degrees Available
Bachelor of Arts Psychology
The Bachelor of Psychology at St. Mary’s University provides students with an understanding of human and non-human behavior in order to prepare them for a career working with people. Students develop an understanding of psychological theory, research and application with a curriculum designed to teach them to think critically and logically. Students learn about biopsychology, statistics, experimental design and abnormal psychology. Students must design research and present findings at a research conference. All students are provided an education based in the Marianist perspective with a strong Catholic focus.
Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students to become professional counselors through coursework and clinical experiences. Students are able to formulate their own approach to counseling while providing them with the ability to grow into leaders in the counseling industry. Students develop an understanding of identity development, aging, grief, community violence, interpersonal issues, anxiety and depression. The program can be completed either full- or part-time. The program meets the licensure requirements of the state of Texas and to sit for the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.
Doctor of Counselor Education and Supervision
The Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision is designed to prepare student for the three levels required in the educational process, including praxis, theory and philosophical foundation. The program takes three years to complete and requires two-years of full-time study as well as one year of residence. Students develop the skills and knowledge to provide pre-service and in-service counselor education while also gaining the ability to provide counseling services to a variety of client populations. Courses and clinical experience is created using a personal approach with an emphasis placed on the student’s abilities. Courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening so that students with work, family or social obligations are able to attend.
St. Mary’s University has been offering outstanding education for over 100 years. Students are able to attend classes with flexible schedules that meet their own personal needs so that they are able to achieve their higher education goals. St. Mary’s University provides the education necessary for learners to move into a new career or advance in a current career.