Fontbonne University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Fontbonne University
Fontbonne University combines its tradition of service with cutting-edge academic programs to deliver a...

Fontbonne University

St. Louis, Missouri

Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO, is home to a compact campus, strong values, big hearts, and plenty of passionate people, including nearly 2,000 students. The school’s small size fosters meaningful relationships between friends and fellow students, as well as faculty, staff, and even alumni. At Fontbonne, it’s easy to make connections—and difficult to get lost in the crowd.


Founded in 1923, Fontbonne long ago laid a strong academic foundation in the liberal arts, and now, with 43 majors, it also offers rigorous academic programs such as business, deaf education, dietetics, cyber security, social work, fine arts, bioinformatics, and more. Many of Fontbonne’s undergraduate majors continue to focus on care and concern for others, deeply reflecting the school’s mission and values, while others demonstrate an emphasis on the rapidly growing need for a tech-savvy workforce.


Fontbonne Griffins firmly believe in the university’s tagline: “Learn More. Be More.” Academics are critical, of course, and committed faculty and rigorous majors are hallmarks of the institution. But character development and a focus on service also help shape students who are not only “book smart,” but also emotionally intelligent and committed to bettering the community. Students leave Fontbonne knowing how to make a living… and live a meaningful life.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,086 undergraduate students
82% of undergrad students are full time
34% male — 66% female
20% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
75 full-time faculty
136 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
56% of first year students live on campus
34% of all students live on campus

School Location

Fontbonne University is located in Clayton, MO, in the heart of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Nestled among tall trees in a beautiful neighborhood, Fontbonne is just 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis and 10 minutes from an international airport. It is also only a short walk, jog, or ride to Forest Park, home to world-renowned museums, a zoo, and more than 1,300 acres of green space.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

79% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

53% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 7%
Hispanic/Latino 2%
Black or African American 15%
White 71%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


Fontbonne University student-athletes compete on 17 NCAA Div. III teams, and a dance team is also available. The Griffins sport uniforms in the school’s colors: purple and gold.

Men’s teams include: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.
Women’s teams include: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

Academic Programs

Accounting Applied Behavioral Sciences Applied Design (art) Applied Mathematics Art Bioinformatics Biology Biology for Secondary Education Business Administration Chiropractic Partnership with Logan University Communication Studies Computer Science Cyber Security Deaf Education Dietetics Early Childhood Education Elementary Education Engineering – Dual Degree English – Literary Studies English – Professional Writing English for Secondary Certification Fashion Merchandising Fine Arts Global Studies Health Education & Promotion History Human Services Management & Leadership Management Information Systems Marketing Mathematics for Secondary Education Medical Laboratory Sciences Middle School Education Nursing Partnership with Barnes-Jewish College Occupational Therapy – Dual Degree Psychology Religious Studies Religious Studies Partnership with Aquinas Social Science/Pre-Law Social Work Social Work Partnership with St. Louis University Special Education Special Education – Paraprofessional Pathways℠ Speech-Language Pathology Sports Management Strategic Communication Theatre and Performing Arts University Major – Design Your Own Major

More Distinctions

  • Academic Accreditations at Fontbonne University

  • 2017 Military Friendly School

  • The Higher Learning Commission

  • Commission National Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

  • Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

  • Council on the Education of the Deaf

  • Commission on Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Commission on Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Commission for the Council for Social Work Education

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) 

Gap/Launch/Bridge Year

Fontbonne University offers robust summer course offerings that prepare students for a successful transition into the fall semester.

Common Intellectual Experiences

General education at Fontbonne University includes a common experience that integrates mission into the curriculum, highlights distinctiveness, employs high-impact practices to increase student engagement, and prioritizes the concerns of global citizenship in the 21st century. It is critical that Fontbonne students have a consistent foundation from which they can broaden conversations and deepen their understandings for the challenges ahead.

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

It is a common experience for Fontbonne students to be engaged in group projects inside and outside of the classroom.  Fontbonne recognizes that every student brings different perspectives and experiences from which others can benefit. The idea of incorporating those differences through academic experiences challenges students to grow culturally as well as educationally.  Fontbonne’s rich campus culture spans across several spaces on campus and engages students in ways that are unique from traditional educational settings.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research is a key high-impact academic experience at Fontbonne, enriching the learning experience as a cornerstone of students’ education. Because faculty members lead small classes, they easily develop strong relationships with their students and act as valuable mentors throughout the research process. Some of Fontbonne’s undergraduate research projects have earned patents in cybersecurity and created new “best practice” developments in communication disorders and speech pathology.

Diversity/Global Learning

Diversity and inclusion have been a hallmark at Fontbonne University since its inception. Fontbonne incorporates diversity into its common education experience as well as outside of the classroom through several student organizations that promote understanding and tolerance for all cultures. With nearly 300 international students and the highest diversity percentage of private schools in St. Louis, Fontbonne’s campus represents the real world, preparing students to lead inclusively upon graduation.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band  
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band  
Literary magazine  
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper  
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

First-Year Seminars and Experiences

The foundation of Fontbonne’s first-year experience is its first-year seminar, which focuses on issues of historical remembrance, social justice, and diversity. The goal is to build alliances with individuals and organizations that are bringing about positive changes in the global community. The seminar partners students with engagement opportunities in the first semester to broaden understanding and develop a foundation for future learning.

Writing-Intensive Courses

Fontbonne students must take two writing-intensive courses—one at the 200-level or above and one at the 300-level or above—which may be embedded in major, minor, or other requirements. Upon completion of this requirement, students are able to:

  • Implement the writing process from generating ideas through the development of a final written piece.
  • Write in the language and formats appropriate to the discipline

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Mission Core I: Seminar course blending mission into academics

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 155 203 72 3 0 0 0 433


Fontbonne students represent 27 different countries, so the school’s student population is diverse and far-reaching. A robust international department strives to integrate students from around the world into traditional campus life. One of the best examples of this, Fontbonne’s annual International Bazaar, is perhaps one of the most anticipated events of the year. Students proudly represent their countries from around the world through food, dress, dance, and more as they learn from and about one another in a fun, festive environment. Additionally, Fontbonne encourages students to engage in dialogue about diversity and social justice through Peace and Justice Conversations, campus cultural events, and new traditions such as the Tunnel of Oppression.

Student Organization Activities

Throughout the year, Fontbonne offers many campus events and traditions, including Welcome Week activities, Fall Festival and homecoming events, Snowcoming concert, and SpringFest. Approximately 20 student organizations offer a robust calendar of activities that meet the diverse interests of the student body. Students are also encouraged to participate in leadership-development opportunities, including the five-phase QUEST Leadership program and the annual Leadership and Service Academy, a day-long workshop co-sponsored by several other area institutions.


The university’s annual Dedicated Semester takes place each fall and serves as a community learning experience. The entire campus focuses on a single topic of discussion like Disability; Happiness; the Immigrant Experience; and Security, Privacy, & Freedom. Specialized courses, guest speakers, experiential learning opportunities, films, and book clubs make the Dedicated Semester a chance for everyone—students, staff, and faculty alike—to come together to learn.


Service takes top priority at Fontbonne, and the university strives to practice what it preaches. Fontbonne Day, an annual day of service, sees campus doors closed and out-of-office messages on, as all faculty and staff head out into the community to serve. Students are encouraged to attend as well, and more and more groups come out to represent the university each year.

And service isn’t the only way Fontbonne reaches out to the community. A variety of camps for children and even adults, as well as the theatre company in residence, Mustard Seed Theatre, enrich lives on and off campus.


Fontbonne’s home is in the heart of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The city features green space, culture, ethnic diversity, amazing food, professional sports, internship opportunities, eclectic neighborhoods, and more.


Fontbonne student-athletes are first and foremost dedicated scholars; they often have some of the highest average GPAs at the university. And the women’s softball team is consistently ranked among the highest GPAs nationwide in NCAA Division III.

Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates

Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students X
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students X
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

Service Learning, Community-Based Learning

To build upon the common educational experience, service learning and community engagement are embedded inside and outside of the classroom. Many of Fontbonne’s classes incorporate community engagement and service learning into the curriculum. Outside of the classroom, students can celebrate Fontbonne Day, a full day of service to the St. Louis community. In addition to that experience, many of Fontbonne’s student organizations commit significant service learning hours.


Similar to undergraduate research experiences, internships and practicums are critical to the success of Fontbonne’s high-impact learning experiences. Almost all programs require a faculty-led internship experience from which many students are offered full time jobs. The collaboration Fontbonne has with alumni and businesses allow for great diversity and opportunity for internship experiences.

Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience

A capstone experience is required in all academic programs. Consisting of a portfolio completion, research, and presentation process, the intent of the capstone experience is to create a product for future employers to see tangible evidence of the ability and knowledge of the student. Fontbonne believes these experiences are representative of the student’s full body of work and help drive postgraduate success, which currently stands at a professional placement rate of 96%.


Admissions Fall 2015

494 Total Applicants
478 Total Admissions
178 Total Freshmen Enrollment

96.76% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? No

Closing Date: May 1
Priority Date: January 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities

Class rank
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading    
SAT Math    
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math 18 25
ACT English 20 26
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $24,475
Fees $135
Total $24,610
Room and Board (on campus) $9,191
Room Only $4,994
Board Only $4,197
Estimated Total On Campus $33,801



All admitted students receive a merit scholarship ranging from $6,500-$15,000 per year. Need based grants available on top of merit scholarships upon completion of the FAFSA. Additionally, Unique Scholarship Programs are designed specifically for student engagement

Fontbonne University is committed to both access and affordability, as instilled by its founders. The university’s ability to combine that with successful academic programs and postgraduate success create a unique, 4-year experience.

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