St. Mary’s College of Maryland
St. Mary's City, Maryland
The Source of Knowledge
As the National Public Honors College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland offers the kind of undergraduate, liberal arts and sciences education and small-college experience found at exceptional private colleges, all while remaining committed to its ideals of affordability, accessibility, and diversity. By combining the virtues of public and private education, St. Mary’s College provides a unique alternative for students and their families. This special identity underpins the College’s success along with its reputation for excellence.
St. Mary’s College is a four-year, public, coeducational, liberal arts college founded in 1840. As Maryland’s public honors college since 1992, and as one of only two honors colleges in the country, St. Mary’s College has excelled with an outstanding faculty, talented students, high academic standards, a challenging curriculum, small classes, a sense of community, and a spirit of intellectual inquiry.
Since 1959, St. Mary’s College has been regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the College’s Chemistry program has been accredited by the American Chemical Society since 2003, and in 2016, the Biochemistry program received accreditation from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. St. Mary’s College is the only public institution in Maryland with an accredited Biochemistry program, and one of only about 50 programs nationwide. The accreditation of these programs allows students to obtain nationally certified degrees in chemistry or biochemistry, signaling its true standards for excellence in chemistry education.
Get to know St. Mary’s College of Maryland
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Model UN
- Music ensembles
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Symphony orchestra
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
- Veteran Services
- Peer Mentors
- Gender & Sexuality Center
At St. Mary’s College, unique opportunities abound. Students study archaeology in Greece; investigate marine biology in fresh- and saltwater labs; paint, draw, and sculpt in art studios; and act in (or direct!) theatrical productions. The possibilities are endless, and those who come to St. Mary’s College with numerous interests are not limited in their studies, but rather encouraged to explore many different disciplines.
“St. Mary’s challenged and expanded my narrow worldview and sparked a desire to better understand the contours of the world order. This spark inspired my career path as an international development and humanitarian worker and, in all honesty, changed my life. The public honors college experience fostered intellectual debate about international affairs and politics within a community of individuals who were all, in one way or another, looking to leave the world a little bit better.” – Dave Elseroad ’01, political science major who currently works in Switzerland for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
WORLDWIDE LEARNING THROUGH RESEARCH
Research puts students in the driver’s seat. At St. Mary’s College, many students earn academic credit doing individual research and independent study projects in collaboration with a faculty member. First- and second-year students often join ongoing projects, and advanced students get the added benefit of pursuing their interest under the mentorship of a favorite professor. St. Mary’s College’s small size affords students the opportunity to play a significant role in the design and execution of research projects, some recent examples of which include: The Effects of Family Dynamics on Aggression, Nondestructive Coral Health Monitoring, Improving Science Literacy Among Elementary School Children, U.S.-Cuban Relations: Where Do We Go From Here?, The Emergence of A Political Theater in South Africa, and Defining a New Internet Language.
Study Abroad at St. Mary’s College is a serious subject. Unlike many colleges that expect students to sort out the details for themselves, St. Mary’s College designs unique international programs that truly explore other cultures. Some of the most popular semester abroad programs include Stellenbosch University in South Africa, China’s Fudan University, Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, France’s Sciences Po University, and James Cook University in Australia. There are also short-term study tours to Belize, India, Greece, Peru, and England, among others.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 91 | 10-19: 205 | 20-29: 85
30-39: 9 | 40-49: 3 | 50-99: 1 | 100+: 0
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 0%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 9%
White, non-Hispanic: 72%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 4%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 5%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
With a low student-to-faculty ratio (10:1), small, discussion-based classes, and an excellent core curriculum, St. Mary’s College offers a remarkable liberal arts and sciences education. St. Mary’s College is the National Public Honors College, meaning that all undergraduates are held to a higher level of expectation. Students are offered the kinds of academic opportunities, challenges, and results usually reserved exclusively for students in honors programs.
“[Dr.] Dennis was an awesome mentor. He was always there to give me advice and suggestions to solve the problems that occurred during the experiment. We had productive conversations about the project’s next steps and his support and trust in whatever I decided to do for the project helped make me more independent, confident and allowed me to grow as a scientist.” – Nhu Chau ’20, who is researching the elimination of side effects for the treatment of Parkinson Disease under the guidance of faculty-mentor Dr. Torry Scott Dennis, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience.
CHART YOUR OWN COURSE
St. Mary’s College Core Curriculum introduces students to the liberal arts tradition, exposing them to the breadth of human knowledge and teaching them the important skills of effective reading, writing, and critical thinking.
St. Mary’s College is a leader in interdisciplinary study. Students can engage in multiple fields of study with such options as African and African Diaspora Studies; Asian Studies; Democracy Studies; Environmental Studies; Materials Science; Museum Studies; Neurosciences; and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Recent course offerings have been as unique as The Neuroscience of Sex and Gender.
Incoming students are quickly immersed in the St. Mary’s College experience via their First-Year Seminar courses. Students may choose from dozens of small, discussion-focused courses, all of which are taught by professors from every discipline at the College. Past topics include: The Art of Political Protest, The Many Lives of Lincoln, and The Evolution of Altruism. The First-Year Seminars serve as a gateway to the honors college by encouraging students to engage deeply with an intellectual topic. Thanks to its small class size and focused attention from faculty, every seminar serves to foster students’ ability to write, speak, research, and think critically.
THE ST. MARY’S PROJECT
The St. Mary’s Project is a year-long, 8-credit, independently designed and executed course of study that serves as a capstone experience for a student’s time at St. Mary’s College. Designed to engage students close conjunction with one or more professors, the St. Mary’s Project provides the opportunity to explore any idea or question that a student finds especially intriguing. Many projects are interdisciplinary, bringing together threads from earlier classes taken across the curriculum. They are typically highly personal, involving creative or innovative work that ties together students’ individual four years of study in a meaningful way. Past projects include: “A Defect of the Confederation: The Crisis of Virginia’s Western Cession;” “Geospecific 3-dimensional Databases for Real-Time Visual Simulation”; “Economic Aid for Women-Centered Cultures; “A Miracle Manifested: A New Vision of Public Education;” and “Patients versus Patents: The Economics of Essential Medicines in Poor Countries.”
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Exchange student program (domestic)
St. Mary’s College is a highly residential campus, with nearly 85% of undergraduate students living on campus in townhouses, suites, apartments, and dormitories. Students can find plenty to do on campus, with freely available waterfront activities like kayaking and sailing, a strong intramural and varsity athletic program, vibrant academic lectures and artistic performances, and nearly 100 different student-run clubs and organizations.
“This campus really spoke to me. I’ve been to so many other schools, and there was something about being on the water. Anybody you meet on this campus says, ‘Hi. Good morning. How are you?’ I definitely feel like I have a family here. It feels like home.” – SMCM student Taylor Wigglesworth ’22
St. Mary’s College is an active community of friendly people and aspiring scholars. Innovation ignites the campus through a variety of lecture series and guest speakers. For example, the annual Margaret Brent Lecture and Carter G. Woodson Lecture bring speakers of notable accomplishments to campus to speak about gender and race issues, while the Goodpaster Lecture in Leadership and Honor brings an important national leader to campus each fall to speak with students. Past speakers have included: Carl Bernstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and famed Watergate journalist; Ellen Weintraub, Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission; Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange; John Callahan, literary executor of Ralph Ellison’s estate; and lawyer and activist David Kendall.
On a lighter note, the Mark Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture hosts nationally recognized humorists and speakers—like Scott Dikkers and Tig Notaro—to fill the campus with laughter among all students, faculty, and staff.
WAVE OF FRIENDSHIP
Students play a major part in shaping and directing campus life through student government and campus organizations. Opportunities to get involved are endless, with options ranging across the sunset club, travel club, Take One! Improv, and the dance club. There’s a group for almost every interest, but students who don’t see a club they’d like to join among the nearly 100 available can always rally together a group of friends to start a new one!
Whether one plays on a Seahawk varsity team, joins a club sport, or organizes friends on an intramural team, athletics are a major aspect of campus life. St. Mary’s College fields 19 varsity teams in NCAA Division III (and other national associations) competitive play. The College’s nationally ranked sailing team competes against powerhouses like the U.S. Naval Academy, Georgetown, and Harvard, and has won ten national titles. Additionally, there are more than 30 club and intramural sports available, ranging from cheerleading to fencing to Ultimate Frisbee.
NCAA Division III, Capital Athletic Conference
19 varsity sports
8 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis
9 women’s: basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, sailing, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball
1 coed: sailing
11 club sports and 21 intramural sports
Colors: Blue and white
St. Mary’s City, MD. 70 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., and 95 miles south of Baltimore.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 93%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
Special housing for international students
St. Mary’s College of Maryland boasts the highest four-year graduation rate of any state-supported college or university in Maryland. The education provided from this strong liberal arts institution prepares graduates for the challenges that they will face throughout graduate school, the workforce, and the rest of their lives.
“I’ve had professional dinners with some of my professors. We sit around and talk about research. I presented at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference. I’m an undergraduate researcher and my professor has taken me to London to do more work. I’m published! When you walk out of here, you don’t just have a degree – you’re a practical physicist who can go out into the real world and problem solve. You’re always a step ahead.” – SMCM student Rose Young ’20, physics and math major
Contributing to the sense of community that defines St. Mary’s College, many students go beyond campus to contribute to the surrounding area. Working in local schools, aiding those in need, and preserving the environment, students are always finding ways to conduct instructive and rewarding service. In addition, many academic departments offer service-learning in conjunction with school work, allowing students to earn academic credit as they make a difference in their community. Just a few examples of the organizations through which students have engaged in service-learning include: America Reads, Christmas in April, St. Mary’s Hospital, and local schools. They also provide tutoring for the GED and at-risk youths.
A CLASS ACT
St. Mary’s College is the place to be for any student interested in advanced studies. About 65% of St. Mary’s College students continue their education in graduate or professional school. Graduates of the College choose some of the most prestigious programs in the nation; a small sampling includes: Duke University of Law, Scripps Research Institution, College of William and Mary, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia School of Medicine, and University of Virginia.
Even in a less-than-stellar job-market, St. Mary’s College alumni succeed in the workplace. Over 90% of graduates seeking employment have a job within six months—with nearly a third of graduates securing their first job before even graduating. A small sampling of St. Mary’s College employers includes Lockheed Martin, US Department of Labor, NASA, the Portland Stage Theater Company, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Post, the International Spy Museum, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Peace Corps.
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Standardized test scores
Application Essay | Recommendation(s)
Class rank | Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability
Character/personal qualities | Volunteer work
Interview | First generation | Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence | State residency | Racial/ethnic status
Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 540 | 75th Percentile: 650
25th Percentile: 530 | 75th Percentile: 640
25th Percentile: 23 | 75th Percentile: 28
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 28
25th Percentile: 21 | 75th Percentile: 27
To complete the admission process, applicants should submit the following materials:
- A completed Application for Admission through the Common App
- Official transcripts of all completed high school work
- SAT I and/or ACT scores; TOEFL scores for International Students
- Two letters of recommendation (with the option to send up to four letters total)
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $11,878
Tuition (out-of-state): $27,640
Room & Board: $13,202
In addition to need-based aid, St. Mary’s College awards several merit-based scholarships each year, with an average amount of $4,655. These scholarships, given on a competitive basis, recognize academic achievement and significant co-curricular accomplishments outside of the classroom. Recipients of merit awards are often those who have challenged themselves with a rigorous course of study through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or honors courses. Merit scholarships are awarded with a consideration of a student’s academic record, strength of curriculum, and standardized test scores.
Merit awards are renewed for up to four years (8 semesters) of full-time study at St. Mary’s College on the condition that the student remains in good standing and maintains at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in each semester.
St. Mary’s College Academic Achievement (Trustee, Presidential, Excellence) Scholarships are given for outstanding academic achievement in the amount of $3,000 to $17,000. Academic excellence often is demonstrated by a cumulative GPA above 3.0 in academic courses (3.5 weighted GPA), or a combined total SAT score above 1100.
First-Year Excellence Awards are offered on a competitive basis for students who complete their first year of study at St. Mary’s College with excellent grades in 16 or more credits. Ranging from $500 to $2,000, these awards are limited to students who did not receive a scholarship from St. Mary’s College upon entrance to the College.
St. Mary’s Transfer Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to transfer students with outstanding academic records at another college. Academic excellence can be demonstrated by a cumulative GPA above 3.5 in academic courses and a rigorous course of study. Awards range from $1,000 to $6,000 per year.
CollegeBound Partnership Scholarships match the awards given to Baltimore public high school students who have received scholarships or grants from the CollegeBound Foundation.