The Honors College
Officially St. Mary's is the State of Maryland's public honors college, designated by law in 1992 in recognition of the quality of the undergraduate education. At its heart, it is a place where students are challenged to create their own path. All students at St. Mary's are honors students. This isn't a place where a small group of students are selected for an honors program. Rather, the entire school is an honors college. Every student has access to discussion-oriented classes and one-on-one interactions with faculty. It is an intellectual community that includes everyone. It's not about being the smartest-just smart.
St. Mary's is a public institution, dedicated to providing a premier education for students with disparate backgrounds and worldviews. A fifth of our students are first-generation college students, a quarter are from states other than Maryland or from other countries, and a fifth are students of color. The honors college difference means that students make life-long friends both with those who share their views and others who challenge their thinking.
The honors college prepares students for the future by challenging students' limits. In a world where people will change careers multiple times, being educated for the future is the only lasting education.
The College on the River
Located on a horseshoe bend of the St. Mary's River just upstream from the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, St. Mary's College occupies the land where settlers founded the fourth oldest permanent English settlement in North America (1634). The colony's "Act of Toleration" made St. Mary's City an early site of religious freedom and remains an abiding precept of life at the honors college.
It is not just the river and our 361-acre waterfront campus. It is people who are drawn to it and to the concept of an honors college. Creative individuals, who write music, conduct experiments, build computers and put their beliefs into action. Don't just take our word for it. As one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation, St. Mary's is ranked prominently in the major college guides.
As one of only two public honors colleges in the nation, St. Mary's offers the same challenging academics and individualized attention as a small, private liberal arts college. "Public" means we're devoted to accessibility, diversity and affordability--including a reasonable price and a full range of financial aid programs. The honors college is the best of both public and private education.
Another feature of the honors college is that varsity athletes do not have to choose between being a serious athlete and a serious student. They are both. We offer Division III athletic programs and are proud of our scholar-athletes in action.
There are many ways to learn more about St. Mary's. Request information by mail or download Information. Do you want to visit, meet with a professor, chat with a coach, and experience our beautiful waterfront campus for yourself; or just browse some fun facts? The choice is yours. Let us know how we can help.