Saint Mary's University of Minnesota


Founded as Saint Mary’s College by Bishop Patrick Richard Heffron in 1912; the institution was renamed Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 1995 to reflect its role of graduate and professional programming, and to distinguish it from other schools with similar names. Also referred to as SMU, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private, comprehensive, co-educational University located in the city of Winona, Minnesota. It also has a campus in Minneapolis, and operates several academic centers in Rochester; Apple Valley; Minnetonka; Oakdale; Nairobi, Kenya; and Jamaica.

Information Summary

Ranks 30th in Minnesota and 1127th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 78.6
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $47,290
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 26 / 1240
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 38 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 82% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,560


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools. It is affiliated with De La Salle Christian Brothers, Roman Catholic Church. SMU is also accredited by other discipline-based accreditation agencies such as Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, Global Accreditation Center of the Project Management Institute, and National Association of Schools of Music.

Saint Mary’s University confers a variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in diverse areas of study. It currently offers a doctorate program in Educational Leadership and a doctorate of Psychology. The institute offers programs to both traditional as well as non-traditional students. SMU also offers certifications, teaching licensures, and pre-professional programs.

Schools and Colleges:

The Undergraduate College is a traditional, four-year residential college that offers undergraduate majors, undergraduate minors, general education program, undergraduate pre-professional programs, and undergraduate special programs.

The Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs (SGPP) offers programs for adults seeking personal, educational and career goals. The programs include professional certificates, undergraduate certificates, bachelor completion programs, master’s programs, graduate certificates, specialist program, doctoral programs, and professional development programs for educators.

Most Popular Fields of Study


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Saint Mary’s University boasts an enrollment of more than 5,500 students, including nearly 1,400 traditional undergraduates. SMU processes admission on a rolling basis, which implies it takes applications all through the year for fall and winter semester enrollment. Freshman students must send their GPA and official transcripts along with ACT or SAT score to SMU. The University welcomes transfer students from most of the Minnesota community colleges. Saint Mary’s accepts the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum for students.

International students are encouraged to apply for admission to Saint Mary’s University. The non-native English speakers must take the English as a Second Language (ESL). Students can take the English Language Proficiency course offered at SMU.

Financial Aid

Saint Mary’s University believes in providing equal opportunity for education to all the students. It offers a variety of financial aid programs to enable needy and deserving students to meet their educational expenses. SMU provides financial assistance through loans, veteran benefits and scholarships. All students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Some of the scholarship opportunities offered at SMU include Alumni Children Scholarship, Academic Scholarships, Lasallian High School Scholarship, Diocese of Winona Catholic High School Scholarship, First-Generation Initiative Scholarship, and Merit Scholarships.

A loan is a type of financial aid that must be returned with interest. The types of loans offered at the University are Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program, Federal Parent PLUS Loan Program, and Private/Alternative Student Loans. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota also provides veteran benefits to eligible students and the family members of the veterans.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 1715th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Minnesota.


The Office of student life at Saint Mary’s University encourages students to actively participate in the campus events and activities to enhance their community experience. The Student Government is an on-campus organization that represents the student population at SMU. Students can either join an existing club or create a new one. Some of the on-campus clubs and organizations include Accounting Club, Art Club, Cardinal Athletic Council (C.A.C.), Outdoor Club, Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development (Education), Biology Club. Greek life has its presence on the campus in the form of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity and Sigma Alpha Iota sorority.

Media and Publications:

The Cardinal is the student newspaper of the University. It is published eight times throughout the academic year. There is also an Online Cardinal Blog.

Mosaic literary magazine is the annual literary magazine that accepts submissions of short stories, poetry, black and white photography, and line drawing.

Cardinal Legacy yearbook is published annually and distributed to student, faculty and staff of SMU.

KSMR-FM is the student run radio station of Saint Mary’s University.

Campus Facilities:

The Fitzgerald Library on the Winona Campus provides services for undergraduate and Schools of Graduate & Professional Programs (SGPP) students. The library houses a collection of books, journals, magazines and other reference materials. A librarian is also available for assistance in finding the books. The library services are also available online.

The Jay Johnson Wellness Center of Saint Mary’s promotes the development of the entire personality of an individual and encourages a healthy lifestyle. It integrates the emotional, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and vocational well-being of the students at SMU. The Wellness Center assists students in removing barriers to learning, and allows them to recognize and chase their own personal mission.

Saint Mary’s University offers decent housing facility on the campus. The office of residence life strives to build an environment that supports the educational mission of the institution, and enrich the student’s University experience. SMU’s accommodation options are well-furnished and equipped with modern amenities for the convenience of the students. The residence halls are Saint Benilde Hall, Saint Edward’s Hall, Skemp Hall, Vlazny Hall, Saint Yon’s Hall, Gilmore Creek Hall, Saint Joseph’s Hall, Hillside Hall, Heffron Hall, Pines Hall, Ek Family Village, New Village, La Salle Hall, and Watters Hall.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Saint Mary’s University’s athletic department sponsors men’s and women’s teams that compete in diverse varsity sports such as baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, golf, tennis, track & field, hockey, cross country and volleyball. Their sports teams are nicknamed the Cardinals and they compete as a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). The Cardinals participate in the NCAA Div. III sports. Their colors are Red, White, & Navy.

Sports facilities at SMU include Max Molock Field, SMU Field, SMU Outdoor Complex, SMU Gym, SMU Ice Arena, SMU Gym, Jul Gernes Pool, Winona Tennis Center, Cedar Valley Golf Course, and SMU Outdoor Complex / Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Intramural Sports:

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota also offers intramural sports programs for students, faculty and staff. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the various recreational sports which includes 6s sand volleyball, wiffleball, dodgeball, team handball, indoor soccer, indoor volleyball, broomball, 4s sand volleyball, outdoor soccer, kickball, and softball.


  • Regina Barr, Founder/CEO of Red Ladder Inc.
  • Tony Calabrese, Noted Expert on Alcatraz in Minnesota
  • John McDonough, President of NHL champion Blackhawks
  • Todd VonBastiaans, Prominent Gallery Owner and Art Collector

Additional School Information

The Office of Outdoor Leadership at SMU encourages students to enjoy the outdoors through adventurous sports and activities such as canoeing, skiing, backpacking, kayaking, dogsledding and snowshoeing excursions. Some of the popular outdoor activities available to SMU students as well as public are Challenge Ropes Course, The Woods Disc Golf Course, and Saint Mary’s network of trails.


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. 2011.

Peterson’s. Snider, Mark D. Colleges in the Midwest. Peterson’s, 2009. Print.

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