History, Mission, General Operation and Governance
of the University
C. Assessment of Programs
E. Organization Charts
History of the University
The University of
St. Thomas was founded in 1885 by Archbishop John Ireland, less than a
year after he was installed as St. Pauls third bishop.
What began as the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, with 62 students
and a faculty of five - has grown to be Minnesotas largest
independent university with three campuses and over 10,000
Built near a river
bluff on farmland that was still considered far removed from
town in the late 1800s, the universitys main campus is nestled
today in a residential area midway between the downtowns of St. Paul
In its first
decade, St. Thomas was a high school, college and seminary; students
enrolled in either the classical or theological departments.
In 1894 the theological department moved to an adjacent campus
where it became The Saint Paul Seminary.
The classical department, meanwhile, remained on the original
campus and became the College of St. Thomas.
The classical department
gradually grew to a four-year college curriculum.
The first baccalaureate degrees were conferred in 1910 and St.
Thomas was officially accredited in 1916.
The classical departments first four years became the St.
Thomas Military Academy, a high school that moved to a suburban campus
After 92 years of all-male enrollment,
St. Thomas became coeducational in 1977.
Today, 50 percent of the undergraduates and more than 40
percent of the graduate students are women.
Coeducation, coupled with
new graduate programs as well as new campuses, contributed to St.
Thomas growth over the past two decades.
Enrollment increased from under 2,500 students in 1970 to over
10,000 today. The
undergraduate College currently enrolls approximately 4,500 students.
Adult students at the
undergraduate level were served through New College which opened in
1975. The Evening Program
(formerly School of
Continuing Studies), established in 1998, continues to serve adult,
part-time, and non-traditional students at both the undergraduate and
graduate levels with degrees and programs.
Graduate programs in
Education, Human Development and Professional Psychology were first
established in 1950, and now offer degrees at the masters,
specialist, and doctoral levels.
The School of Education and the School of Social Work were both
established in 1996.
Graduate programs in Management, begun in
1974, have developed into the Graduate School of Business, which
offers a wide range of business-related masters degrees.
The Graduate School of
Applied Sciences and Engineering offers master degrees in software
engineering and in manufacturing engineering.
St. Thomas original
classical and theological departments came together once
again in 1987 through an affiliation between the seminary and the
university. Together they
created The School of Divinity which offers graduate degrees in
pastoral studies, divinity and theology.
In 1990, recognizing the
many changes and the addition of graduate programs to the institution,
the College of St. Thomas
was changed to the University of St. Thomas.
The Graduate School of
Arts and Sciences, begun in 1991, offers master-level programs in art
history, English, and music education.
A determination was made
that in order to more fully integrate the business education programs,
the undergraduate departments and graduate programs in business would
be combined into a College of Business. This occurred on July 1,
2001. The College of Arts and Sciences was also created at that
time, which combined most of the undergraduate departments and the
graduate programs in Arts and Sciences into one unit.
The trustees approved
the reopening of a School of Law. It opened for its first class
in August, 2002.
In recognition of the
continued growth of the programs and size of the engineering programs,
the graduate and undergraduate engineering departments were merged
into a School of Engineering on July 1, 2004.
Many non-degree programs
are offered by St. Thomas through a number of specialized centers
devoted to management and business, senior citizens, life-care,
creative studies, Jewish Christian dialogue, and music.
St. Thomas also is home to
the undergraduate St. John Vianney Seminary.
The University of St.
Thomas is a comprehensive, co-educational, Catholic University. It
seeks to develop morally responsible individuals who combine career
competency with cultural awareness and intellectual curiosity. In its
undergraduate program, the University is committed to the development
of the student through a liberal arts education within the living
Catholic tradition and through a high degree of personal attention in
a spiritually and intellectually stimulating campus environment.
Graduate programs emphasize the integration of theory with practice,
enhance the professional competence and ethical judgment of their
students, and foster personal growth and an appreciation of lifelong
learning. In all of its academic programs and other educational
enterprises, the University is committed to meeting the diverse,
changing needs of the community. Throughout, the University fosters in
the student a tradition of service to the public welfare and an
energetic, thoughtful approach to the challenges of contemporary life.
1. The University of St. Thomas is a Catholic, diocesan
University, founded on belief in God and commitment to a life of worship leading to active
participation in the mission of Christ
and the Church to the world. In that context and as an important part
of its religious witness, the University welcomes and respects
faculty, staff and students who do not share this faith tradition. The
Catholic tradition fosters a value-oriented education
needed for complete human development and for responsible
citizenship in contemporary society.
2. The universitys educational program provides a liberal arts
education as well as education for a career. It strives to give a
student a foundation for clear thinking and expression; a sufficient understanding to read intelligently in
fields with which an educated person ought to be acquainted; and
proficiency in an area of specialization.
3. The universitys curriculum emphasizes a search for and
discovery of truth and judgments of value as well as preserving and transmitting
enduring truths and values.
4. The university seeks to create an international perspective
among its students including an appreciation of cultural diversity.
5. The university strives to anticipate and respond appropriately
to changes in its environment.
6. The university emphasizes excellence in teaching. It also is
committed to scholarship and encouraging service to the University and broader community
throughout its faculty.
7. The university welcomes diversity among its students with
respect to age, intellectual talents, financial resources, and credal, racial and geographic
8. The university fosters the total development of the student
through close interaction with faculty,
staff and other students within a supportive campus environment.
The universitys metropolitan setting challenges it to
participate in community life and to develop innovative programs for persons of all ages within the
The university, through its educational programs, student
services, and other resources, assists its students in the transition to further education and
11. The university cultivates lifelong personal contact and
communication with its friends and former students.
The university embraces its role in independent liberal arts
education because diversity is essential to the health of our
educational system, to our national life, and to our
responsibilities in the world community.
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Assessment of Programs
The program to assess
student learning is an integral part of the universitys commitment
to excellent teaching and effective learning.
The assessment effort is sustained by the faculty and is fully
supported by the administration.
Information is systematically collected and examined both to
document and improve student leaning.
The assessment program itself is routinely updated, and the
information gained from the assessment process becomes part of the
As a result, students,
alumni, and employees, are asked from time to time to participate in
testing, surveys, interviews, or other methods of collecting data for
the assessment of the academic program.
The University of St.
Thomas is accredited by the North Central
Association of Colleges and Schools (800.621-7400), the
Association of Theological Schools (412.788-6505), the National
Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (202.466-7496).
All University of St.
Thomas education licensure programs are approved by the Minnesota
Department of Children, Families and Learning (651.296-2046).
chemistry are approved by the American Chemical Society
(800.227-5558); the Social Work program is accredited by the Council
on Social Work Education (703.683-8080); the master programs in
engineering are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering
and Technology (410.347-7700); the music programs are approved by the
National Association of Schools of Music (703.437-0770).
The university is a member
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Council on Education
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
Council on Undergraduate Research
Institute of International Education
International Federation of Catholic Universities
Minnesota Private College
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
National Catholic Educational Association
The university is an
associate member of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.
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