Celebrating over 100 years of learning
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has played a vital role in the arena of higher education since its founding in 1912. Beginning as a local college for young men, Saint Mary's has grown to a university offering education to men and women across the globe.
The Founding Years
Bishop Patrick R. Heffron, the second bishop of Winona, founded Saint Mary's as a college in 1912 to provide higher education for young men in southern Minnesota's Diocese of Winona and surrounding areas.
Many Saint Mary's graduates from the 1940s through the 1970s later earned advanced degrees in law, medicine, dentistry, ministry, science, and humanities.
Leading up to 2010
During the 1980s the campus underwent vigorous growth.
Graduate & Professional Education
From 1950 to 1980, the graduate programs offered by Saint Mary’s consisted primarily of summer institute offerings.
The New Millennium
What was a local college providing education for young men in 1912 is today an international university serving women and men of every age, race, and nationality.
Mission & Vision
A dynamic and transformational learning community
Enriched by the Lasallian Catholic heritage, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.
A top-tier vision
Grounded in its Lasallian Catholic identity, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a nationally ranked transformational and innovative university with a global footprint. Saint Mary's graduates gain the advanced knowledge, skills and critical thinking abilities necessary to be lifelong learners, successful workers, good neighbors and ethical citizens that ensure Saint Mary's standing as a well-known top-tier national university preparing tomorrow's leaders.
A 21st century university
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a dynamic and transformational learning community that provides a person-centered educational experience grounded in excellent teaching and engaged interactive student learning. At the heart of a Saint Mary's education is the development of meaningful relationships that help the individual learner realize and achieve their potential in a trusting and respectful environment. In this way, we prepare graduates with the advanced knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities necessary to be lifelong learners, successful workers, good neighbors and ethical citizens.
We are a comprehensive university that offers an innovative combination of liberal education and professional preparation such that our graduates prosper in today’s knowledge economy and are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We provide relevant, engaging personal and online learning experiences, and research opportunities supported by a community of educators in order to ignite the potential of each learner. We prepare our graduates richly for the responsibilities and challenges they face as global citizens – citizens whose judgments, decisions and actions will profoundly affect the decency, integrity and sustainability of the human family and our global environment.
We are a Catholic university that prepares graduates with a distinctive identity in fidelity to the Church’s mission in service of the Good News of the Gospel and with a world vision rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition: a belief in the presence of the divine in all created reality; an appreciation of and thirst for truth and knowledge; an understanding of the unity of faith and reason; a profound reverence for the self, the other and all of creation; a respect for all human life and protection of the vulnerable; the celebration of community and sacrament; a commitment to the issues of peace, justice, solidarity and human equality; and a desire to serve the common good.
We are a Lasallian Catholic university that is a living expression of the vision of John Baptist de La Salle, inspirational 17th-century educational innovator, patron saint of teachers and founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers: excellent quality education; respect for the dignity of all individuals; inclusive and participatory community; interiority; accessibility; civility; innovation; belief in the presence of a benevolent God; an ecumenical and inter-religious openness; solidarity with the poor; and advocacy for those suffering from injustices. We do this as a proud partner with 1,000 schools, agencies and universities that constitute the worldwide Lasallian educational network.
Understanding the complex and evolving nature of higher education in the 21st century, Saint Mary’s University is committed to addressing present-day challenges by striving to remain affordable for the families of our students and through distinctiveness in structure and fluidity in operation. Consequently, we function with a number of strong, innovative and complementary units.
The residential undergraduate College unit – nestled in the extraordinarily beautiful natural environment of Winona and comprised of the schools of humanities and sciences, arts, education, business, and of a seminary for clergy formation – integrates a four-year undergraduate education rooted in the liberal arts and complemented by a dynamic residential community experience that allows learners to cultivate and refine their intellectual, spiritual and professional capacities for mature leadership. Our commitment to relevant liberal education encompasses knowledge of human cultures and the natural world; hones the skills of critical thinking, analytic reasoning, creativity, and effective written and oral communication; and prepares graduates for work, life, future scholarship, and ethical lives of service.
The undergraduate bachelor’s completion unit of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs – in the greater Twin Cities area of Minnesota – recognizes and honors prior educational and life experience, assures an engaging, affordable, and accessible learning delivery model, and opens for students successful pathways for career advancement, career transition, and graduate education.
The master’s and doctoral degrees unit of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs – an established leader in flexible and adaptable scheduling and delivery models in each of its schools of business and technology, education, and health and human services – assures accessible and affordable quality private graduate education in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, provides relevant, rigorous, and relational academic experiences for adult learners through an integration of practical, professional, and ethical education offered in dynamic and caring environments, and utilizes industry and community partnerships and a primarily part-time cadre of competent faculty practitioners to deliver programs grounded in the principles of collaborative team-building, commitment to innovation, intercultural competence, and practical applied opportunities to integrate scholarship in a real-world context.
The international academic initiatives unit makes operational – both in Kenya and in Jamaica – the university’s commitment to strategic global institutional relationships that respond to the expressed educational needs of underserved Lasallian and Catholic populations around the world.
Together and by association each unit of the university – the undergraduate residential College, the adult oriented undergraduate bachelor’s completion program, the graduate studies programs of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, and the international academic initiatives – strives to meet learners where they are and to provide them with opportunities for growth in knowledge, professional preparation, and personal transformation. In these ways, Saint Mary’s has provided students various and flexible learning options and has remained nimble enough to adjust methods as needs and desires change.
Consequently, enriched by the Lasallian Catholic heritage, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota proudly awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership, strives to transform society one learner at a time, and graduates students who have over the years consistently been successful and risen to levels of leadership in the fields of business, health and human services, government, church, and education.
This is who we are – a transformational and innovative national university with a global footprint. Our one-hundred-year story of success is an extraordinary one, and we remain committed to providing the transformative education needed for our day and time as a modern American university in the Lasallian Catholic tradition.
This school offers programs in: