Marks of Distinction

Distinctive for All the Right Reasons 

At Saint Mary’s, you’ll be challenged to think critically and analytically as you develop skills that will benefit you well beyond graduation. Located in the Bay Area, Saint Mary’s students are close to a diverse array of professional, cultural, and service opportunities. Land an internship at Google, attend local food festivals, or immerse yourself in a nonprofit fellowship. Here, you can uncover your passion and find your voice.


Student holds a lightsaber

Unique Academic Experiences

Each January, students have the unique opportunity to explore new interests by taking a monthlong course on an unconventional topic outside their major (on-campus or abroad).
Gaels Basketball game

NCAA Division 1 Athletics

SMC’s 16 NCAA Division 1 teams consistently earn national rankings, giving you lots to cheer about.
student working on STEM research

Over 40 Majors and Minors

Uncover your passion with our variety of majors and specialized programs you won’t find anywhere else.


Money Magazine: Top 20 Most Transformative Colleges in the United States, 2018–2019

The Princeton Review: One of the Best 384 Colleges in the United States, 2022

U.S. News & World Report: Top 5 Western Regional University 2022

Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education Rankings: Top 20%, 2019

Awarded in grants and scholarships
to new incoming students

Average mid-career salary, 
Top 8% nationwide for earning potential 


Jolanda Sanchez ’19
Tax Associate, KPM

“The High Potential (HP) Program was my biggest support. From the beginning, I knew I had people on my side. The mentors and leaders of HP make it their goal to help you succeed. They provided resources like tutoring and counseling, and if they couldn’t help us, they would refer us to someone in the College that could.”

Alex Stillings ’08
Executive IT Support Lead, SpaceX

“I feel that I am a much more effective communicator because of the education I received at Saint Mary’s. The seminar classes really pushed us to talk and debate the works we were reading, and back it up with real facts. This is something that a lot of my generation lacks these days, but looking back, Saint Mary’s emphasized that research and facts matter.” 


Mahershala Ali ’96
Actor, Academy Award Winner

“You have the capacity to leave a lasting impact and indelible impression upon this world… Claim the sacred spaces of your minds; nurture and cultivate a vision of fulfillment; and move toward that destiny with patience, perseverance, and prayer.” 


Research Opportunities

Our Summer Research Program offers unparalleled opportunity to work with dedicated professors on groundbreaking topics such as NASA exoplanet discovery, rising ozone levels and environmental justice, and the behavior of breast cancer cells.

Transformative College

This nonprofit organization, dedicated to a student-centered, best-fit college search process, has named Saint Mary’s among a list of just 45 Colleges That Change Lives.

World-Class Educators

Our top-notch faculty focus on teaching and offer a supportive, challenging environment.

Finding Your voice

See What Makes Saint Mary’s Unique