Saint Leo University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University seeks balanced growth in mind, body and spirit for all members...
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

St Leo, Florida

Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is a private, Catholic, liberal-arts based university with a rich tradition of welcoming students of all faiths and those with no religious affiliation. Located in West Central Florida just 30 miles north of Tampa, our beautiful University Campus location serves nearly 2,300 students pursuing their undergraduate degrees in 46 academic majors as well as 47 minor areas of study. Saint Leo prides themselves on delivering a high quality education in a principled environment at an affordable cost. With an average class size of just 19 students, Saint Leo’s outstanding faculty get to know you on a personal level and are committed to your success. 

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
12,581 undergraduate students
68% of undergrad students are full time
42% male — 58% female
29% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
165 full-time faculty
1129 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

63% of students live on campus.

School Location

Saint Leo University is located in Saint Leo, Florida – 35 minutes north of Tampa and 90 minutes west of Orlando. The university is about an hour drive from the beaches of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, ten minutes to historic Dade City, and 15 minutes from the shopping, dining, and nightlife of Wesley Chapel.

Retention Fall 2014

68% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2014

41% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 11%
Black or African American 36%
White 38%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 9%


Saint Leo University offers 19 NCAA Division II teams within the Sunshine State Conference. Men’s: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, and Track. Women’s: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, and Volleyball).

Colors: Green and Gold

Mascot: Fritz the Lion

Academic Programs

Accounting; Biology (Biomedical & Health Sciences, Ecology, General Biology); Business Administration (various offerings); Communication Management; Computer Information Systems; Computer Science; Criminal Justice (Criminalistics, Homeland Security); Economics; Elementary Education (K-6); English (Advanced Literary Studies, Dramaturgy, Professional Writing); Global Studies; Health Care Management; History; International Tourism & Hospitality Management; Management; Marketing; Mathematics; Middle Grades Education (English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science); Multimedia Management; Political Science; Psychology (B.A., B.S.); Religion; Secondary Education (Biology, English, Mathematics, Social Science); Social Work; Sociology; Sport Business; Pre-professional Studies: Chiropractic, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Veterinary

More Distinctions

  • Recognized consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top universities in the South.

  • Currently the third largest Catholic university nationally, with an enrollment of more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 49 states and more than 80 nations.

  • Noted as the oldest Catholic educational institution in Florida, founded in 1889.

  • Consistently ranked among the top 100 degree-granting institutions for minority students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine

  • Ranked as one of the leading providers of higher education to the military, as noted in G.I. Jobs, Military Advanced Education, and other publications.

  • Named one of “Tampa Bay’s Top Workplaces” in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 by the Tampa Bay Times.

  • Named among 2013, 2014, and 2015 “Great Colleges to Work For®” by the Chronicle of Higher Education, earning Honor Roll status all three years.

  • Is home to the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, a respected source of nonpartisan data on political opinions and cultural attitudes.

  • Boasts more than 355 student-athletes at University Campus participating in 19 NCAA Division II sports.

  • Counts nearly 80,000 alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, five U.S. territories, and 72 countries.

Balanced growth in mind, body, and spirit is at the heart of the Saint Leo mission, and one of the best ways for students to grow is by taking an active part in their learning. Whether it is participating in a service project, interning, or studying abroad – Saint Leo students have ample opportunity to allow themselves to grow.

Internships: Saint Leo University believes experiential education to be a vital characteristic of higher education and pre-professional development. Students in virtually all academic programs have opportunities to participate in practical internships, allowing them to put theory into practice in real-world settings.

SERVE (Alternative Spring Break): During SERVE trips, students use their spring or summer break to travel and provide community service to others. Past trips have taken students to post-earthquake Haiti, a Costa Rican orphanage, and a horse rescue and sanctuary in upstate New York. Students pay only partial trip costs—the university and fundraising efforts cover the rest.

Study Abroad: Saint Leo students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture by taking their studies abroad. Opportunities are available for full semesters as well as shorter faculty-led trips. Saint Leo maintains close partnerships with more than a dozen international universities, including schools in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Community Service: Saint Leo students, faculty and staff all take advantage of a variety of opportunities to come together and donate time and energy to make a difference in the world. Engagement opportunities range from campus-wide Community Service Day held once per semester to smaller outreach efforts at the club and individual level. We work with a range of nonprofit organizations and agencies to demonstrate Saint Leo’s core values in action. Some of the organizations we work with include Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, food pantries, local schools, area animal shelters, and nursing homes.

At Saint Leo University, students choose from more than 50 majors, programs, and endorsements to build the academic path to best suit them. We offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, along with pre-professional and accelerated degree programs through the School of Arts and Sciences, the Donald R. Tapia School of Business, and the School of Education and Social Services. At Saint Leo University, outstanding teaching and active learning go hand-in-hand

  • Saint Leo University offers an environment where the needs of students always come first. With an average class size of nineteen, students receive personalized attention and develop close relationships with highly qualified professors who bring an ideal blend of theoretical and practical experience to their classrooms. At Saint Leo, 84 percent of full-time instructional faculty hold terminal degrees in their fields. In addition, our faculty excel in sharing their real world experience in the fields in which they teach.
  • Professors at Saint Leo challenge their students in the classroom and support them outside the classroom. They routinely meet with students to offer individual assistance, advice, and guidance, including serving as their academic advisors. Students frequently acknowledge the value of their strong relationships with faculty members and remain in touch long after graduation.
  • Saint Leo is committed to embracing technology to support a twenty-first-century education. The university boasts technology such as interactive SMART Boards, iPads, computer labs, state of the art cybersecurity lab and cyberforensic labs, the ANATOMAGE table, 21st-century and simulation classrooms for practicing K-12 classroom scenarios, and more.
  • Saint Leo’s University Explorations general education program is designed to develop students’ essential skills in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, problem solving, analysis, and creativity. These skills – the foundation of a liberal arts education – are what today’s employers demand.
  • Undergraduate students have the opportunity to present their work at national, academic, and professional conferences.

With its lakeside campus and warm, sunny climate all year round, Saint Leo University provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of campus activities. The welcoming and diverse community allows you to connect with friends, get involved, explore your interests, and even discover new ones. With more than 70 clubs, organizations, and programs, from service and leadership to multicultural and Greek life, Saint Leo has an outlet for your passions. Saint Leo students have the opportunity to attend formals, guest lectures, concerts, professional sporting events, theme park trips, community service events, Spring Break SERVE trips, and more. The university also hosts annual Fall Family Festival and Spring Fling events.

Saint Leo continually graduates well-rounded, active learners who understand the importance of contributing to the communities in which they live and work. In a recent survey of graduates, 98 percent of respondents said they would recommend Saint Leo to a friend.

Alumni-Saint Leo alumni have accepted positions with major organizations including Delta Airlines, Defense Intelligence Agency, Ernst & Young, Hyatt Regency, KPMG, Ritz-Carlton, Walt Disney World, and United States Special Operations Command.

Students electing to pursue graduate and professional degrees have been accepted to schools including American University, College of William & Mary, Drexel University, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida State University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Hofstra University, Howard University, King’s College London, Louisiana State University, National University of Ireland, Newcastle University (England), NC State University, Pepperdine University, Southern Methodist University, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, University of South Florida, and Wake Forest University.

Internships Every internship involving a Saint Leo student can count for academic credit if it is guided by learning objectives set by the student and faculty advisor. Internships vary widely depending on student major.  Some past student internship locations include Associated Press, British Parliament, Federal Reserve, Madison Square Garden, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, NASA, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Walt Disney World. Saint Leo students have secured professional sport team internships with organizations in most major professional sports leagues including the NBA (Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats), NHL (Tampa Bay Lightning), NFL (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints), MLB (New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays), and UEFA (FC Bayern Munich).


Admissions Fall 2014

3,459 Total Applicants
2,496 Total Admissions
616 Total Freshmen Enrollment

72.16% of applicants admitted  

Admission Process

To be considered for admission to Saint Leo University, applicants must submit the following:

1. Application: Apply online, or download, complete and return the Application Form. The Common Application is also accepted and may be completed online after August 1.

2. Official High School or College Transcript: Your most recent, official transcript must be sent to us directly by your school in a sealed envelope. Transfer students must submit an official transcript from each institution attended, covering all collegiate-level work completed.

3. Letter of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation sent directly from your high school guidance counselor or teacher.

4. Standardized Test Scores/Test-Optional Policy (Freshmen Applicants): Your standardized test scores should be sent directly to Saint Leo from the testing company (SAT code: 5638; ACT code: 0755). However, SAT or ACT scores are no longer required as part of the admission application. If you choose not to submit scores, you will receive full consideration—without penalty—for admission, and must meet additional requirements, as explained in our Test-Optional Policy (see

Application, recommendation and transcripts can be sent to:

Office of Admissions, MC2008
PO Box 6665
Saint Leo, FL 33574
Fax: (352) 588-8257


Applications for admission are accepted and admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. *These application due dates are priority dates only.

Fall Term: Application Due Date: January 15*; Deposit/Decision Reply Due: May 1
Spring Term: Application Due Date: November 1*; Deposit/Decision Reply Due: December 15


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $19,740
Fees $370
Total $20,110
Room and Board (on campus) $11,280
Room Only $6,480
Board Only $4,800
Estimated Total On Campus $31,390


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

99% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
90% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$13,983 Average amount of federal state local or institutional grant aid received
$6,765 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

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