Mount Marty College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Mount Marty College
Mount Marty College is a private, Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational liberal arts college. Primary emphasis...

Mount Marty College

Yankton, South Dakota

Mount Marty College is a private, Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational liberal arts college. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual, professional, and personal skills and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values.


Mount Marty College enrolls over 1,200 students of a variety of faiths. It is known for value-centered education and professional preparation. MMC is on the leading edge of teaching and learning as defined by student achievement and a high placement rate. Classes are taught by professors, not graduate students. The small student-faculty ratio fosters personalized learning and students are connected with the real world of work through invaluable practicum, clinical, and internship experiences.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,047 undergraduate students
47% of undergrad students are full time
42% male — 58% female
34% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
46 full-time faculty
54 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

92% of new freshman and 66% of the overall undergraduate student body live and learn on campus. Living in residence halls is an exciting and important part of college life. Students learn more about themselves and the MMC community by getting connected to the people and activities in a more engaging way.

“Community is engrained in MMC’s culture and now my classmates and dormmates are among some of my closest friends. Feeling like I belong lets me focus on getting the grades I strive for and making the memories I always thought I would make at college.”
Azure, Human Services Major, Class of 2017

School Location

MMC is located in Yankton, South Dakota, a town of 15,000 people. Located on the bluffs of the Missouri River, the 80-acre campus has a mix of modern and historic buildings. Water recreation along the Missouri River, annual festivals and celebrations, and a thriving downtown shopping and cultural district draw over a million visitors to Yankton every year. Yankton is about a one-hour drive from Sioux Falls, S.D. and Sioux City, IA; just over 2 hours from Omaha, NE; about 5 hours from Minneapolis, MN or Kansas City, MO; and just under 9 hours from Denver, CO.

Retention Fall 2015

69% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

46% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 3%
White 86%
American Indian or Alaska Native 4%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


The Mount Marty College Lancers are NAIA Division II in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. There are 15 varsity sports:
Men – baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, & track and field
Women – basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, track and field, softball, tennis, volleyball

MMC also offers two club sports—archery and trap-shooting—for both men and women.

Mascot: Lancer
Colors: Blue & Gold

Academic Programs

Practical Nursing (LPN)

Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Interdisciplinary Studies, Paraprofessionalism

Accounting*, Biology*, Business Administration*, Chemistry*, Computer Information Systems*, Computer Science*, Criminal Justice*, Elementary Education (K-8), Secondary Education (7-12), Music Education (K-12), Physical Education (K-12), Special Education (K-12, in combination with another program), English*, Exercise Wellness, Forensic Science, Graphic Design + Media Arts*, History*, Human Service*, Interdisciplinary Studies, Mathematics*, Medical Laboratory Science, Music*, Nursing, Pre-Professional, Psychology*, Radiologic Technology, Recreation Management, Religious Studies*, Theatre*

* Denotes minor offered in same area. Other minors include: Art, Military Science, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology and Spanish.

Nurse Anesthesia, Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Education Curriculum and Instruction

More Distinctions

  • Best Bang for the Buck: According to a recently released “Best Bang for the Buck” ranking by Washington Monthly, Mount Marty College ranks TOP 5% among all baccalaureate colleges in the nation. MMC was the only South Dakota institution of higher education in its category. This listing is based on the economic value students receive per dollar spent on their education. The ranking takes into consideration the colleges in America that do the best job of helping students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. Only 349 of 1,572 colleges and universities made the cut as best bang for the buck schools. 

  • Committed to Making a Difference: The 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful and measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.

  • Military Friendly: Mount Marty College was recently named to the 2015 Military Friendly Schools List, which honors the top twenty percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students, and to ensure their success on campus. Now in its sixth year, the 2015 Military Friendly Schools List was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide.

  • Most Effective and Efficient: Mount Marty College was reported by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) to be the Most Effective and Most Efficient private college in the state of South Dakota. The ratings for efficiency and effectiveness were considered separately in the report. MMC is the only school in SD of all public, private, two-year and four-year schools to receive a ranking of “very high” in both areas. The ratings were based on a complex evaluation of graduation rates and the institution’s impact on the rate of timely degree completion.

  • Top Best Value Colleges: Mount Marty College was recently named to the Educate to Career outcome-based College Rankings Index Top Best Value Colleges for 2014. Within the GPAC Conference, MMC ranked second. Overall, MMC was ranked at number 176 among more than 1,200 colleges ranked. The colleges in the top 1/3rd of the index are considered to be ETC Top Best Value Colleges. 

The Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network

The MMC BRIN (Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network) program continues to have a profound impact on students’ exposure and opportunities to conduct research. BRIN is a National Institute of Health (NIH) funded program designed to earmark research funds for historically low-funded states to develop infrastructure. It also encourages undergraduate students to follow research careers by exposing them to bench research. Over the course of the program’s history at MMC, 50 students have been involved, successfully leveraging their BRIN experience and MMC education in gaining acceptance to graduate and professional schools. Statistically MMC boasts the highest placement rate for BRIN students in graduate and professional schools among all BRIN partner institutes in South Dakota.

Hands-on Experience

MMC students majoring in human service and psychology have received a broad range of hands-on experience through internship positions with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Ability Building Services, Cedar Village Assisted Living, Yankton Child Protective Services and Court Services.

Service Trips

Each year, MMC students have the opportunity to serve others beyond the local area through service trips organized through the Campus Ministry department. Recent service trips have included working with the less fortunate in Mississippi and Key West, Florida, helping Habitat for Humanity in Texas and Louisiana, and assisting with tornado clean-up efforts in Joplin, MO. These trips are frequently life-alternating experiences and lessons in gratitude.

European Tour

Mount Marty College embarks on comprehensive European tour on an annual basis. The focus and itinerary varies each year, includes stops in several countries, and typically lasts about 9 days. Students, faculty, staff, family and community members come together to live the core values of community and lifelong learning. Students can also earn college credit for the trip by enrolling in ART-260, Art & Architecture in Europe. This course engages the student in the study of the art, architecture, culture, and history of each country on the itinerary. On-campus classes are held during the fall semester in preparation for this experience.


Paddlefish is a national literary journal written and edited by MMC students and faculty. It is an open submission magazine with original works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Students work as editorial assistants for the national literary journal and meet and discuss craft with award-winning authors.


MMC students get involved in service not only on an individual level, but also as collective units such as campus ministry organizations, academic clubs, athletic teams and more. The scope and variety of service at MMC can be seen by the student’s willingness to give back. Some examples of recent service include donations of venison to Hunters for Hunger, blood drives in coordination with the Siouxland Community Blood Bank, Adopt a Family, and collecting donations of cold-weather gear for Make a Difference distribution.

Thanksgiving Basket Program

Students, faculty and staff come together to participate in the Thanksgiving Basket Program. Campus clubs, organizations and departments collect and donate baskets containing all the fixings needed for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner spread for donation to families in need in the community as identified by local church leaders.

Service Learning

Service is also a component of many academic course requirements in a variety of majors at MMC. Through this avenue, students in the business and accounting programs volunteer with such organizations as the Humane Society, the Boys & Girls Club, the Literacy Council, Sack Pack Program, The Banquet, Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, Youth Soccer Programs, and annual Free Tax Clinic.

Religious Studies

Religious studies students designed a new course to be offered in the department in collaboration with the professor. The students actively gave input on content and outcomes and even named the course.

American Government

Students taking American Government have regularly had the opportunity to see the South Dakota Supreme Court in session. As most of these students are criminal justice majors, it offers an important opportunity to see the court system in action.


The microeconomics class had the opportunity to conduct an economic impact study for the local school district and its effect on the community as a whole. An economic impact analysis attempts to measure or estimate the change in economic activity in a specified region. It tracks the factors of change by judging a specific business, organization, policy, program, project, activity, or other economic event.


In the nursing program, all students take a course called Lakota Medical and Cultural Experience. In this course, students engage in an intensive cultural immersion experience in Mission, South Dakota and the Rosebud Reservation. Students learn about the Lakota culture, examine issues surrounding poor medical access, poverty, oppression and offer nursing and general services to the aggregate population. The students complete assessment of feet and foot care during their time in Rosebud.

Computer Science

Computer science majors regularly travel to programming competitions in Lincoln, Nebraska and typically place in the top ten among all participants.

Cell Biology

Students in the Cell and Molecular Biology course learn how to use several on-line tools to analyze and interpret the genome of a prokaryotic symbiont.

Student Life

Mount Marty College strives to bring its community together—students, faculty and staff—in a variety of ways. There truly are ways for everyone within the campus community to connect, learn, be entertained and have fun!! The full college experience is a key factor in the life of MMC students. Because of its supportive, encouraging community and its small size, students are not limited to any one area in terms of the clubs, organizations and activities. It is common for students to be involved in a variety of intercollegiate or intramural athletics, fine art programs, leadership opportunities, and/or campus ministry activities all while being able to enjoy a variety of social programming opportunities.

Theatre Opportunities

MMC students involved in the theater programs have regularly been represented and received recognitions at the annual American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), an organization that is focused on improving the quality of college theater in the United States. It is important to note that not all these students are theater majors. Students from all academic areas have the opportunity to excel in the arts at MMC. Many of these students are not only active in MMC’s on-campus productions, but also have a strong presence in the local community theater, which typically brings five productions to the stage annually.

The Benedictine Institute of Leadership, Ethics, and Social Justice

The Benedictine Institute of Leadership, Ethics, and Social Justice was established by the Benedictine Sisters. The purpose of the program is to enhance the Benedictine heritage and mission of Mount Marty College through exploration of issues related to the topics of leadership, ethics, and social justice.  Each year, the Institute sponsors a Benedictine Lecture with speakers such as:

  • Award-winning poet, writer and author Kathleen Norris on the topic of “Benedict’s Dakota: Themes of the Rule as Lived on the Plains”
  • Sr. Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, A Catholic Social Justice Lobby located in Washington, D.C., on the topic of “Healthcare Reform and the Poor”
  • Father Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) on the topic of “Hunger and the Poor”

Noon Forums

Noon forums are held on campus every Thursday during the academic year. These forums are presented by a variety of staff, faculty, students and guests from outside the MMC community on a wide variety of topics. A few recent and upcoming topics include:

  • Islam: Tensions and Traditions
  • I Would Walk 500 Miles: The Way of St. James
  • MMC’s ‘Interpret the Genome’ Project; Service: The Key to Love in Key West!
  • Ten Days in Italy: Rome, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Florence
  • Got EQ? Are You Emotionally Intelligent? These events are free and open to the public.

Instrumental Programs

MMC students have the opportunity to get involved in 4 different instrumental programs including Concert Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band and the Weed Brass Quintet. In choral music, there are three options including Mixed Chorus, Chamber Choir and Smooth Benediction, an a cappella choir. The “Smoothies,” as they are affectionately known on campus, have been selected to compete in the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Quarterfinal Rounds in the Midwest Region each year since 2011. MMC is the only school of its size to be selected to compete at this level since that date.

The Arts on Campus

CONCERTS: In recent years, MMC has hosted several full-scale concerts on campus in the Cimpl Arena to include the Christian pop rock band, Newsboys; Canadian contemporary Christian artist, Matt Maher; and American Contemporary Christian musician and actor, Matthew West. Home Free, the American a cappella group made famous by their win on the fourth season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” has also performed in MMC’s Marian Auditorium.

FILM: Foreign film enthusiasts are invited to join Mount Marty College’s Gregorian Club for free Sunday afternoon film showings. The films are hosted by MMC faculty member, Sister Cynthia Binder, and attendees are welcome to engage in discussion about the film following each presentation.

WRITING: Mount Marty College is home to the Great Plains Writers’ Tour, which brings award-winning professional writers to campus for readings and class workshops. Previous authors include former United States poet laureate Ted Kooser, American Book Award winner Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, David Lee, and William Kloefkorn, amongst others.

ART: The Bede Art Gallery provides a cultural center where professional artists can showcase their work. The display is changed monthly and features the works of regional artists in a variety of mediums—paintings, sculpture, photography and much more. For each display, a reception and gallery talk is held for the community to meet the artist and learn more about their work. Also, an exhibit featuring MMC student art is highlighted at the end of each semester. The gallery provides opportunities to share and broaden aesthetic dialogue and perspectives.

THEATRE: Not only does the theatre department at MMC produce an amazing fall and spring production each year, but they also carry out a moving performance of the Stations of the Cross during the Easter season. The department also hosts the National Players Professional Touring Company on campus with two different productions open to the community each spring. In addition, MMC is also home to annual high school oral interpretation and one act play competitions.

Student Affairs

Student Affairs coordinates a wealth of campus programming activities to include a variety of educational, entertainment, leadership, social, wellness, and annual events. Examples would be Zumba, yoga and dancing classes; bowling, ice skating and movie nights; dances and open mic nights; coffee and canvas events; as well as popular entertainment acts such as improv groups, hynotists, magicians and more. Student Affairs also has annual events such as Family Weekend and Homecoming Week that provide a variety of activities. Some of these activities are also open to faculty and staff which only helps to enhance the bonds of community at MMC.


English students have had internship opportunities which are second-to-none in the region. Students have held positions with The Yankton Press & Dakotan, the first & oldest Dakota daily newspaper which began publication in 1861. Another notable opportunity for students has been positions with The South Dakota Magazine which has its headquarters in downtown Yankton. The founder of this respected publication, Bernie Hunhoff, is a Mount Marty College alum and a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Graduate Placement

Overall, MMC has a graduate placement rate of 96%. However, some majors such as Nursing and Education can often boast 100% placement. For example, the Education department graduated 17 graduates in 2013. All 17 had teaching positions secured within 6 weeks of graduation!

MMC takes great pride in its graduates. To illustrate, here are a few stories of MMC graduates.

Nick is a 2007 graduate of MMC’s Nursing program. From 2007 to 2011, Nick worked as a nurse at the Nebraska Medical Center. After the devastating earthquakes in Haiti in 2010, Nick had the opportunity to expand the roots of service that he had learned at MMC and answered to call to help. He spent several months working in a tent-style hospital. After only 3 days on site, Nick was named the Chief Nursing Officer. This was a huge honor considering he was the youngest nurse serving this disaster-relief hospital which was serving over 300 patients of all ages—from newborns to the elderly. In fact, while there, Nick had the joyful opportunity to deliver triplets into the world. Nick is currently pursuing a Doctor of Nurse Practitioner degree through the University of Iowa.

“There were so many professors that were influential in my success as a student and as an adult. Everyone cares that you are able to succeed past the door of Mount Marty. Shelly Luger and Bill Mains … challenged me to become more than a nursing student and to act like a nurse. They gave me motivation to excel beyond the normal expectations that I continue to apply to my life today.”

Erica is a 2011 Graduate of MMC’s education program. She has been teaching 8th Grade English at Gretna Public Schools in Nebraska.
“My education at MMC helped me to be successful in my first year of teaching. While many teachers simply try to survive their first year, I enjoyed mine. There was never a time when I felt like I didn’t belong there or didn’t know what I was doing, and that is largely because of the education, practice, and preparation that I received from my professors at MMC.”

Mark is a 2006 graduate of MMC’s biology program. He went on to earn his PhD at the University of South Dakota and is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2013, he won an oral presentation award at the John Hopkins Cardiology Retreat and also had original research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“Leaving high school, I was not sure what I wanted in life, nor did I know what I wanted to be. MMC allowed me to try a few different paths and find one that I really liked. MMC focused me, and allowed me to realize my potential. After my fellowship, I would like to run my own research laboratory in cardiology. I am interested in deciphering the underlying mechanisms of heart failure and improving therapeutic strategies to treat cardiac disease.”

Tyler is a 2012 graduate of MMC’s English Program. You could say that Tyler’s educational journey was a bit more ‘bumpy’ than most. He actually wasn’t sure initially that MMC was the right college for him and transferred out after one year. However, he returned to MMC within one semester and never looked back. In addition to that, Tyler changed his major six times over the total span of his college career. However, through relationships built with his MMC faculty and careful advising, it still only took Tyler one extra semester to complete his four-year degree at MMC. Tyler just finished a two-year assignment as a rural aquaculture promotion agent with the Peace Corp in Zambia, Africa. His primary role was to help those in his community construct and manage fish ponds and develop other sources of sustainable food, but was also highly involved in HIV/AIDs education. He traveled through Tibet on his way back home and after only a few short months back in the states, Tyler has accepted a position teaching English to a 3rd Grade class in South Korea.
“I was prepared for the Peace Corp by MMC via compassion…people there believed in the goals I set for myself. The classes I took gave me an understanding of the vast, expansive world we live in. I’m still living each day as an opportunity to do great things. I think my experiences while at MMC taught me that more than anything else.”


Admissions Fall 2015

408 Total Applicants 
296 Total Admissions 
112 Total Freshman Enrollment

72.55% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading    
SAT Math    
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 19 25
ACT Math 17 26
ACT English 17 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $22,336
Fees $2,070
Total $24,406
Room and Board (on campus) $7,326
Estimated Total On Campus $31,732


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
85% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$14,593 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,569 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Prestigious Academic Scholarships
Scholastica ScholarshipCompete for up to $1500 on top of Guaranteed Academic Scholarships
Presidential Scholarship:  Compete for up to FULL-TUITION!


  • Minimum of a 3.5 high school GPA AND a 24 ACT/1090 SAT (Reading & Math)
  • Must be admitted to MMC and registered to attend Prestigious Academic Scholarship Day by January 23, 2015
  • Must participate in Prestigious Academic Scholarship Day on January 29, 2015

Guaranteed Academic Scholarships & Awards

Traditional Freshmen:
Starts at 2.5 GPA or 21 ACT/980 SAT (Reading and Math)
Transfer/GED Students: Starts at 2.5 college GPA or 525 GED



Traditional Freshmen
Base Scholarship

Traditional Freshmen
Admitted before 3/1/15

Transfer &
GED Students


























Talent Scholarships
Amount: Variable (see chart below)
Eligibility: Full-time, Yankton campus students participating and/or minoring/majoring in art, band, choir, piano, creative writing and/or theatre. Please see Talent Scholarships for more information.


Scholarship Area


Declared Minor

Declared Major


$500 -$1000




$500 -$1000




$500 -$1000



Creative Writing









$500 -$1000



* Students planning to major and/or minor in multiple talent award areas are eligible for only one full major and/or minor award; however, adjusted scholarship dollars for other areas may be considered based on talent and participation.

Athletic Grants
Amount: Variable
Eligibility: Full-time, Yankton campus students who participate in intercollegiate athletics.

Catholic Leadership Award
Amount: Variable
Eligibility: Full-time, Yankton campus students who are Catholic, meet admission criteria, with prior participation or experience in church activities and/or volunteer activities. This award requires participation in MMC Campus Ministry programs for renewal.
Application: Submit Catholic Award Application by January 31, 2015 and complete an interview by February 15, 2015.

Heritage Award
Amount: $500
Eligibility: Full-time, undergraduate, Yankton campus students who have a parent or grandparent who earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree from MMC.
Application: Gain admission to MMC and submit Heritage Award Application by March 1st, 2015.

Mount Marty Grant
Amount: Variable up to $4,000
Eligibility: Full-time, Yankton campus students who demonstrate financial need. Awarded to Dependent students living on campus or with parents and to Independent students. Must complete the FAFSA.

For additional admission and financial aid information, please visit