Saint Mary’s College of California

About the institution

Saint Mary’s College of California is a place where professors know their students as individuals. Our average class size is 20 and our student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. That means our professors, 95 percent of whom hold Ph.D.s, work shoulder-to-shoulder with students in the lab, discuss poetry after class or provide counsel on getting into medical school. We offer advanced study in 40 major fields, plus a variety of opportunities for internships, research and study abroad.

You won’t find any other college that offers the unique combination of academic rigor and experiential learning that is a hallmark of Saint Mary’s. Here you’re an active participant in your own learning. Students participate in Collegiate Seminar, discussion-based classes that examine the big ideas of the world’s greatest thinkers, and in January Term they focus on a single exciting course. You might find yourself at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, dancing the Tango in Buenos Aires or studying the politics of fashion.

Saint Mary’s College distinctions include:

  • The only California, only Catholic and only National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I institution recognized in the prestigious Colleges That Change Lives, a group of 40 select liberal arts and sciences colleges.
  • One of only 5 percent of schools in the world accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), representing the highest international standard in business education.
  • Ranked fifth in the United States by Forbes magazine for colleges that will “raise your earnings potential.”
  • Listed as one of the best 378 colleges in the U.S. by the Princeton Review, which lauded our academic rigor, student access to professors and a commitment to sustainability. Also named among the 311 most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Listed in the top 8 percent of all U.S. colleges and universities for return on investment by
Student demographics

2873 Total Undergraduate Students

2014 Entering Freshmen Profile

San Francisco Bay Area: 44%

Southern California: 13%

Out-of-state: 20%

International: 3%

Students of color: 56%

American Indian: 1%

Asian or Pacific Islander: 14%

Black or African American: 5%

Latino/a: 10%

Multiethnic:    2%


ESL program and/or support services

No ESL programs available. Our international students are supported by the Center for International Programs.


Student Housing options

We offer housing all 4 years.

Click here to learn more about housing.


Application deadlines

First Year Students:

  • Early Action: November 15th
  • Regular Decision: January 15th

Transfer Students

  • Fall: July 1st
  • Spring: December 1st
Admission requirements for first year and transfer students

 English Proficiency:

  • TOEFL minimum: 213CBT/550PBT/79iBT
  • IELTS minimum: 6.5 band

Admissions Process

Freshmen Applicants

Transfer Applicants

International Student visas issued

F1 and J1

Cost of attendance and financial assistance


Tuition & Fees: $41,400

Living Expenses: $14,140

All international students are eligible for academic merit award consideration.  Awards range from $14,000-$24,000.



Internship opportunities

Being located in the Bay Area, our students have access to a variety of internships that range from Apple, Wells Fargo, Chevron, San Francisco Giants, and etc.

Student activities and campus life

As a Saint Mary’s student, you can participate in some 80 clubs and organizations ranging from cultural interests and politics to arts and media. And in 2015, the new 8,000-square-foot Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center will offer students comprehensive fitness resources and an aquatic center.

When you’re ready to explore you’ll have access to everything the Bay Area has to offer—from world-class shopping and beaches to professional sports to world-renowned theater and museums. We’re located about 32 kilometers east of San Francisco. As a Saint Mary’s student, you’ll live a short car ride, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) or bus trip (free for students to and from campus) away.