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 quality educational experience to 4,000 students at its Chicago and Orland Park campuses with more than 40 undergraduate programs and nearly 30 graduate program options in the College of Arts and Sciences, Graham School of Management (GSM), School of Education and School of Nursing; as well as a variety of program options in Continuing and Adult Education.

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

Chicago, 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. 17 varsity teams:

  • Men’s teams: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track and field, and volleyball
  • Women’s teams: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track and field, volleyball, cheerleading, and dance team
  • Intramurals: 3-on-3 basketball tournament, basketball league, bean bags tournament, bowling, dodgeball, floor hockey, ice skating, ping-pong tournament, softball league, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball league

SXU also has two club sports teams in cheerleading and Paw Prints (a dance team). 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.

  • Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.

Engaged Students

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. Study abroad options for SXU students are expanding. The Center for International Education can help students make it part of their undergraduate experience, whether 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. 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. 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 also have been called to serve in the Mercy Volunteer Corps, which helps people who are economically poor or marginalized. Volunteers commit to compassionate service, simple lifestyle in community and spiritual growth.


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  

Great Teaching

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. But they’re also distinguished by a dedication to teaching undergraduates, with a student-faculty ratio of only 13:1. SXU is made up of five academic divisions, each with a unique mission and academic focus. The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 15 departments offering 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.


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


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

Vibrant Communities

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. At Saint Xavier, students can find dozens of ways to get involved and stay involved, including more than 40 clubs and 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 host a radio show. Whatever interests or special talents students have, there is probably a group of like-minded students. 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. Record numbers of SXU students are taking advantage of the University’s new and expanding residential facilities – more than 800 at last count. But well over half of all SXU students are commuters. The Commuter Services Program helps to keep this diverse commuter population connected to one another and to on-campus activities and events. Not only that, but Saint Xavier lies only 20-30 minutes from downtown Chicago, with its 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, including transportation, to a wide range of attractions and events – from visits to the Chicago Art Institute to Chicago Bulls home games. In addition, students have had the opportunity to hear from world-renowned leaders such as Colin Powell, Elie Wiesel and Madeleine Albright through the SXU Voices and Visions Lecture Series.


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  

Successful Outcomes

Students benefit from an active, collaborative learning environment. Professors will be readily available and will offer the necessary support, encouragement and intellectual stimulation. Perhaps most significantly, students will acquire lifelong skills – writing, critical thinking and problem solving – that are essential in every sphere of life. 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, including accelerated core courses that allow more time for in-depth and advanced study, including the possibility to pursue a double major. Honors students often work closely with a faculty adviser on research and other collaborative projects. Most schools proclaim a commitment to lifelong learning. SXU graduates demonstrate that commitment on a daily basis. What SXU graduates accomplish professionally and, just as important, how they conduct their lives, is a direct reflection of what they learn and achieve during their undergraduate years. The first step to becoming a successful Saint Xavier University student is participating in a FOCUS (First-Year Orientation) session in the summer. FOCUS is designed specifically to make the transition to college life as smooth as possible. One of the philosophical foundations of this program is Success with Purpose, Saint Xavier’s distinctive approach to fostering student achievement in all areas of life. Students attending last year’s FOCUS sessions are still heard talking about the great time they had meeting new classmates and learning about SXU. 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 is recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the Top 10 Most Diverse Private Schools in the Midwest, with more than one-third of SXU undergraduates coming from under-represented ethnic backgrounds. More than 85 percent of SXU students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school.



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