Saint Xavier University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Saint Xavier University
Education is more than a product that Saint Xavier provides and students consume. SXU...

Saint Xavier University

Chicago, Illinois

Saint Xavier University is a distinguished four-year private institution founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846. Chicago’s oldest Catholic university and the first Mercy college in the United States, Saint Xavier provides a transformative educational experience to 4,000 students at its Chicago campus with more than 40 undergraduate programs and nearly 30 graduate program options in the College of Arts and Sciences, Graham School of Management (GSM), and School of Nursing as well as a variety of program options in Continuing and Adult Education. SXU is consistently recognized as on of the best in the Midwest.



Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
2,954 undergraduate students
88% of undergrad students are full time
36% male — 64% female
3% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
152 full-time faculty
213 part-time faculty
13 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
46% of first-year students live on campus
16% of all students live on campus

School Location

Nestled in a quiet corner in one of the nation’s biggest, most diverse cities, Saint Xavier University is home to approximately 3,800 students from 40 different states and 10 different countries. The University has one of the top 10 most diverse student populations among universities in the Midwest and is one of the safest college campuses in Illinois.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities X
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


74% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)


51% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 35%
Black or African American 13%
White 42%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

19 varsity teams
Men’s teams: baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track and field, and volleyball
Women’s teams: basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball
Co-ed teams: cheerleading and Paw Prints (a dance team)
Intramurals: 3-on-3 basketball tournament, basketball league, bean bags tournament, bowling, dodgeball, flag football, floor hockey, ping-pong tournament, soccer league, softball league, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball league

SXU also has two club sports teams in lacrosse and hockey.

Mascot: Champ the Cougar
Colors: Scarlet and Grey


Saint Xavier University is a four-year, private Catholic university founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

Academic Programs

Accounting, Art and Design, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communication, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Education, English, History, International Studies, Liberal Studies, Music, Mathematics, Natural Science, Nursing, Philosophy, Political Science, Professional Studies, Psychology, Religious Studies, Social Science, Secondary Education, Sociology , Spanish

More Distinctions

  • Saint Xavier University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; nationally accredited programs include business, education, music, nursing, and speech-language pathology. Saint Xavier has also received high national rankings for business and nursing programs.

One of the core values of Saint Xavier University is service, and as such SXU features programs and classes that encourage students to make the most of their education. This includes things like study abroad programs, internships, community service projects, and student-driven research to ensure a well-rounded experience.

Students benefit from an active, collaborative learning environment. Professors are readily available to offer the necessary support, encouragement, and intellectual stimulation. Perhaps most significantly, students acquire lifelong skills in writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving, prepared to take on every sphere of life.

Study Abroad

Study abroad options for SXU students are expanding. The Center for International Education can help students make diversity and global perspectives part of their undergraduate experience, whether that be for a few weeks, a semester, or a full year. Since 2004, SXU students have participated in some 30 different programs at colleges and universities in 14 nations, including Argentina, Ireland, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and Spain. Saint Xavier also offers short-term, faculty-led courses abroad; some locations include: China, Croatia, England, Ireland, and Italy.  

Service Opportunities

Saint Xavier is particularly dedicated to serving its community through the Mercy mission of service, including the S.T.A.T. program and the Mercy Volunteer Corps. Developed in 2008, students in S.T.A.T. (Service Through Action Team) have come together to make nearly 5,000 lunches for distribution to food pantries, ministries, charities, and schools. Students have also been called to serve in the Mercy Volunteer Corps, which helps people who are economically poor or otherwise socially marginalized. Volunteers commit to compassionate service, simple lifestyles, and spiritual growth. Additionally, Campus Ministry offers a week-long service trip for students to serve communities both regionally and internationally.

Honors Program

Incoming freshmen who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and potential (based on test scores, GPA, and other factors) are invited to participate in the Honors Program. Open to students in any major, the Honors Program offers an enriched academic experience that provides more time for in-depth and advanced study. Honors students often work closely with a faculty adviser on research and other collaborative projects.

Activities Offered

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

Passionate Professors

Current students and SXU graduates consistently identify SXU faculty as the best part of their academic experience. SXU faculty are trained as research scholars and recognized as experts in their field of study. Of the nearly 200 full-time faculty, 86 percent have the highest degree in their discipline. More importantly, they’re distinguished by their dedication to teaching undergraduates, openly available to students thanks to a student-to-faculty ratio of only 13:1.


The first step to becoming a successful Saint Xavier University student is through participation in a FOCUS (first-year orientation) session during the summer before classes start. FOCUS is designed specifically to make the transition to college life as smooth as possible, and students continue to talk about the great times they had meeting new classmates and learning about SXU long after their session. Coinciding with the University initiative to educate for character, competence, and career success, this program takes a distinctive approach to fostering student achievement in all areas of life.

SXU Schools

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 15 departments that offer more than 20 majors. It also administers the general education curriculum, which includes courses in writing, mathematics, and philosophy.

The Graham School of Management is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and provides a strong theoretical foundation and hands-on professional experience. SXU is also among the top 5% of business programs worldwide that are AACSB accredited.

The School of Education offers NCATE-accredited undergraduate programs in early childhood education and elementary education, as well as secondary education certification for students majoring in art, biology, English, and other fields. At the undergraduate level, Saint Xavier is one of the five largest private not-for-profit providers of teachers in Illinois. In the metropolitan Chicago area, it is estimated that more than 174,000 schoolchildren a day are taught by a teacher from SXU.

The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing and is one of twenty programs nationwide recently designated “a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.” In addition to the traditional bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program, the school, which recently celebrated 75 years of service, offers LPN to BSN and RN to BSN completion programs.

The School for Continuing and Professional Studies accommodates the educational needs of busy working adults. The professional studies degree is designed for transfer students seeking advancement in business, management, the hospitality industry, and other fields.

Common Core

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

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 129 161 274 118 14 6 0 702

Students can discover countless opportunities to enhance their education through clubs and organizations, athletic activities, and community service. Saint Xavier is a welcoming and inclusive campus community.

Student Activities

At Saint Xavier, over 60 registered student organizations (RSOs) are available to allow students to connect with like-minded individuals in academic, cultural, service-oriented, spiritual, or special interest organizations. Extracurricular involvement allows students to share their interests with others while developing lifelong friendships. It also reinforces the active, collaborative learning environment in the classroom.

Students can play club sports, participate in student government, or even host a radio show. Whatever interests or special talents a student may have, there is probably a group of like-minded students to join. And if there isn’t, Saint Xavier encourages students to start their own. Students can get involved in ethnic and cultural organizations; faith and spiritual organizations; social, political, and special interest clubs; club sports; student media; student government and activities programming; and leadership groups, among others.

Residence Life

Record numbers of SXU students are taking advantage of the University’s new and expanding residential facilities—more than 800 at last count. However, well over half of all SXU students are commuters. The Commuter Services Program helps to keep this diverse commuter population connected to one another as well as to on-campus activities and events.


Saint Xavier lies only 20-30 minutes from downtown Chicago, which is full of world-class museums, shopping, restaurants, theaters, and more. The city is an inexhaustible source of cultural enrichment, recreation, and inspiration. Through the “Discover Chicago” program, SXU makes it easy for students to take advantage of the city’s treasures. The program offers free (or low-cost) access to a wide range of attractions and events, including visits to the Chicago Art Institute and trips to Chicago Bulls home games.

Guest Lectures

Students have had the opportunity to hear from such world-renowned leaders as Colin Powell, Elie Wiesel, and Madeleine Albright through the SXU Voices and Visions Lecture Series.


SXU students come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of interests and goals. Approximately 60 percent are first-generation college students. Saint Xavier University has been ranked highly in diverse student population, with more than one-third of SXU undergraduates coming from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.

Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates

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

Support Services

SXU is deeply committed to student success. The University offers academic resources and support services that encourage achievement not only academically, but also personally and professionally. Academic resources, such as Disability Services, the Learning Center, and the Student Success Program, are designed to facilitate the mastery of study strategies and learning skills to improve overall academic performance. Through services like the Counseling Center and the Health Center, students can also maintain their health and personal growth.

The Career Services team prepares, educates, and empowers students and alumni to explore opportunities, develop skills, and make the connections necessary for lifelong career success. From freshman year through graduate school and beyond, Career Services offers individual career advising, workshops, internship and job fairs, networking events, and alumni career panels, all of which are designed to assist in every step of the journey. With Career Services, students cross the bridge from academic to professional life, equipped with the tools needed to use their SXU degrees to their fullest potential.

Capstone Projects

Saint Xavier University encourages in-depth research and student-faculty collaboration through senior capstone courses.Typically held in a two-semester format, this course allows students across most major programs to encapsulate the cumulative skills and knowledge they have developed throughout their years with the University. Research, analysis, and faculty collaboration prepare the students to present their projects in conferences and other formal settings.


Students from a variety of academic areas also participate in internships with regional professionals. SXU encourages internships to build a career-related work record, which increases marketability and value to employers after graduation.



8,315 total applicants
6,257 total admissions
617 total freshman enrollment

75.25% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2018-19 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Application Essay

Rigor of secondary school record

Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshman Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 435 510
SAT Math 430 525
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math 19 24
ACT English 18 23
ACT Writing    

Admissions Process

SXU has a rolling admission policy, which means there’s no set deadline for submitting an application. However, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible during their senior year of high school. Students can apply for freshman admission to SXU by submitting the paper application or by completing the application online.

Apply online and the $25 application fee will be waived. Freshman applicants must submit a completed application for admission; a $25 application fee (unless applying online); official high school transcript or GED score report; ACT or SAT I score report (unless included on high school transcript); and personal essay.




Tuition $30,020
Fees $900
Total $30,920
Room and Board (on campus) $10,620
Estimated Total On Campus $41,540


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-16 FINAL

$26,904 first-year students
$20,004 all undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-16 FINAL

77.2% on average, the percentage of need that was met
14% of financial need students that had need fully met

$20,004 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,078 Average need-based loan