Marks of Distinction

Marks of Distinction Marks of Distinction

A transformative education. Close-knit community. Real world experience.

Our beautiful Bay Area campus is nestled in the rolling hills of Moraga, just 23 miles east of San Francisco. Saint Mary’s College of California is more than a place to get a stellar education in a stunning location (although that part goes without saying). We’re an inclusive and supportive community where highly respected faculty guide Gaels to learn and explore. We offer small class sizes, and professors know students by name. Those are a few reasons Saint Mary’s earns a spot in the U.S. News & World Report list of the top five regional universities in the West. Through internships in Silicon Valley and beyond, and with ample hands-on research opportunities, you’ll gain real-world experience that prepares you for more, no matter your path in life. Take the opportunity to grow, lead, and serve—whoever you are and wherever you go. 


Top 4 Western Regional Universities
U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges, 2023
Top 6% in US for highest earning potential, 2021–2022
$125,000 Average Mid-Career Salary, 2021–2022

Grants & Scholarships

3 students walking on campus with backpacks

$20 Million

Awarded in grants and scholarships to new incoming students.

Gael Alumni

Jolanda Sanchez

“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.”

Jolanda Sanchez ’19 | Tax Associate, KPMG

Successful First Gen Student

Jolanda Sanchez is the first in her family to graduate from college. She credits Saint Mary’s Lasallian commitment to helping first-generation college students realize their higher education dreams. For her personally, this changed her life. 

Alex Stillings ’08

“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.”

Alex Stillings ’08 | Manager, Executive IT Support, SpaceX

Liberal Arts Education

Alex Stillings ’08 has no trepidation about exploring new horizons. As manager for executive IT support at SpaceX, Stillings ensures information technology continuity for the executives of the rocket manufacturing firm. No matter how complex the business environment he finds himself in, he believes his Saint Mary’s academic foundation has prepared him to thrive.  


Mahershala Ali

“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.”

Mahershala Ali ’96 | Actor, Academy Award Winner

Two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award

In the midst of his busy filmmaking career, Mahershala Ali always takes the time to support Saint Mary’s students. In 2017, the College announced the establishment of the Moonlight Scholarship, created by Ali and private donors. On a 2022 visit to campus, Ali joined Saint Mary’s students, staff, and faculty on a February afternoon for a private screening of Swan Song in LeFevre Theatre.

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

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

World-Class Educators

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

It's a Great Time to Be a Gael!