Grand Rapids, Michigan
As a private, four-year Catholic liberal arts institution, Aquinas College offers over 100 major and minor choices that help create the next generation of big thinkers. Aquinas College prepares students for employment, lifelong learning, critical thinking, leadership and service while helping to develop a sustainable and just global community. Students receive more personalized attention and foster deeper relationships through smaller class sizes and smaller student to professor ratio.
Aquinas College is a private, Catholic institution founded in 1886 with more than 1,200 students in undergraduate programs. Its close-knit educational environment develops students who thrive in all dimensions of life by adhering to the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, service, and community.
Get to know Aquinas College
COMMON INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCES
An Aquinas education offers unique areas of study, experiential learning opportunities, and the flexibility to tailor education to meet students’ independent needs. Students enrolled at Aquinas College have access to service-learning opportunities, the AQ Advantage Center, Insignis Honors Program, and numerous cultural learning experiences.
Aquinas College recognizes the importance of stimulating intellectual curiosity in all disciplines, and students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research related to their discipline. Aquinas facilitates these research opportunities by hosting a yearly Creative Activity Symposium, and available research opportunities are continuously updated on the AQ Advantage Center website.
Aquinas College believes that service-learning trips allow students to put their faith into action and practice the Dominican charisms of prayer, study, community, and service. These service-learning opportunities engage students in civic responsibility, critical thinking, and structured reflection by actively involving them in organized community service. Aquinas uses service learning to prepare students for a lifetime of personal growth and social responsibility.
“My experience opened my eyes to issues of social justice that I had not thought about before. I also learned a lot about myself from being out of my comfort zone.” – Service-Learning Participant
Through its sister-school relationship with fellow Dominican-rooted institutions around the country, AQ students can experience another campus for a semester while remaining an Aquinas student. As a guest student, participants are able to enroll in any class offered at the host campus, providing they meet the course prerequisites. This program is an excellent alternative for students on an accelerated or exacting academic plan. Students can choose to attend Dominican University in San Rafael, California; Barry University in Miami, Florida; or St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 139 | 10-19: 213 | 20-29: 123
30-39: 11 | 40-49: 3 | 50-99: 1 | 100+: 0
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 3%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 4%
White, non-Hispanic: 69%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 12%
Freshmen at Aquinas College are required to take three different courses in their first year. Incoming freshmen are assigned to a section (of no more than 15 students) that is led by a full-time faculty member who also acts as their freshman advisor, allowing them to develop close relationships early on in their academic career. These first-year courses include:
- GE 100 First-Year Experience – College in the 21st Century: An introduction to the liberal arts designed to provide students with tools to make sense of their college experience and to be successful students.
- GE 101 Inquiry and Expression (Integrated Skills Course): An integrated collegiate skills course that introduces students to academic discourse, including writing, reading, research, oral communication, and critical thinking.
- CD 100 Career and Self Awareness: Theoretical and practical study that assists students with identifying their skills, interests, abilities, goals, and values as they relate to careers. With this information, students explore disciplines that may be a good fit.
The Study Away Office is an integral part of the academic experience, and all academically eligible students can participate in credit-bearing education abroad programs that develop intercultural competence and globally relevant leadership skills. Study abroad opportunities are available in spring, summer, and fall semesters with varying destinations, including England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Poland.
There are many study abroad options available at Aquinas College, including faculty-led, short-term trips. Programs led by faculty can last anywhere from one to two weeks. Students can choose from the following in 2021:
- Tokyo – the City Experience: Students can satisfy their Aquinas Global Seminar, General Chemistry II, and Business Special Topics requirements by attending this 8-day trip. Plenty of time is spent in the capital to experience what makes Japanese culture unique.
- Iceland: Students can satisfy their Aquinas Global Seminar or Geography and Culture of Iceland credits by attending this 2-week trip. Highlights of this trip include experiencing the incredible scenery and history of the island, learning from local experts, hiking on glaciers, seeing lava fields, and more.
- Education in Finland & Sweden: Students can satisfy their Current Issues Early Childhood Ed and Independent Study Contract by attending this 8-day trip. Students will learn how the Finnish Board of Education afforded a tuition-free education for its students, and gain an enriching perspective on the region’s progressive educational practices.
- Costa Rica: Students can satisfy their International Perspectives in Sustainable Business credit by attending this 2-week program. Unique opportunities that students will experience include traveling around Costa Rica and learning from local sustainability experts.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Cooperative education program
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Exchange student program (domestic)
Liberal arts/career combination
Teacher certification program
AQ offers 40 registered student organizations that give students the opportunity to gather with their peers to build community around shared interests, hobbies, areas of study, and much more. The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement works to provide students the tools to create meaningful experiences and innovative programming that promotes co-curricular learning, personal and leadership development, and community engagement. Students can choose from organizations that fit their interests, such as the Writers Guild or Aquinas College History Club organizations.
The Campus Ministry and Service-Learning Offices embrace a Catholic tradition, grounded in the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, service, and community. Campus Ministry’s mission recognizes AQ as a diverse community, and they are committed to cultivating each individual’s unique journey towards God. Through their commitment to providing faith filled, joyful, liturgical worship where all are welcome, students are encouraged to seek out service learning opportunities, which demonstrate Gospel values and enhance their relationship with God, humanity and creation. The Campus Ministry aims to serve as role models, mentors, and teachers in Christian formation.
The Aquinas College Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) offer primarily second year students the opportunity to experience independent living in the comfort of a house on campus. Each LLC features its own programmatic theme that generally focuses on a Dominican Charism or academic area of study. Themes include the Diversity and Inclusion House, FAITH House, Nursing House, and Express Yourself Fine Arts House. The Living-Learning Communities houses are staffed by a team of Resident Assistants as well as a full-time professional Area Coordinator to help students meet their house programming goals. These community leaders are also always ready to assist students with any personal, academic, or developmental needs they may have.
Aquinas College is committed to equality and believes that diversity is a blessing that brings a richness of perspectives to intellectual, cultural, social, and spiritual life. All members of the Aquinas community, including faculty, staff, and students, are encouraged to respect others regardless of personal differences. The Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (CDI&E) serves as a safe space for all members of the Aquinas community to engage in empathetic intercultural exploration and develop a deeper understanding of their own cultural identity. CDI&E supports the belief that encountering diverse perspectives and experiences prepares students to be successful in a global society.
Located on the eastern edge of Grand Rapids, Aquinas College’s location allows students to reap the benefits of living in Michigan’s second largest city. With over one million people in the greater metropolitan area, students have the opportunity to take advantage of the thriving city that is frequently ranked as one of America’s best mid-sized cities. Grand Rapids’ rich culture and economic health offer attractions that include the Gerald R. Ford Museum, the Van Andel Arena, Fredrik Meijer Botanical Gardens, the John Ball Zoo, and the Fifth Third Ballpark.
AQ Athletics partners with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and is a part of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The athletics program offers over 10 different varsity sports for men, women, and coed teams. Student-athletes receive training in the Champions of Character campus program that includes five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant-leadership.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 81%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
The AQ Advantage Center offers several opportunities through which students can choose to do an internship for course credit or certification. The Washington Internship Institute, the Chicago Semester Program, and the Disney College Program are all available for internship application across several areas of study.
SENIOR CAPSTONE PROJECT
All senior AQ students must complete a capstone project before graduation. Students can choose from options in accounting, art, biology, business, communication, chemistry, economics, education, English, geography, history, kinesiology, mathematics, music, psychology, or world language. Some majors require specific capstone experiences.
Rigor of secondary school record | Class rank | Standardized test scores
Academic GPA | Application Essay | Recommendation(s) | Interview
Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability | Character/personal qualities
First generation| Volunteer work | Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 510 | 75th Percentile: 620
25th Percentile: 500 | 75th Percentile: 610
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 27
Tuition & Cost