From the School

St. Mary's College of Maryland is designated the Honors College of the State of Maryland in recognition of the quality of our students, faculty and curriculum. St. Mary's offers an undergraduate, liberal arts education and small-college experience like those found at exceptional private colleges. Home to approximately 2,000 students, the campus is located on the St. Mary's River in the heart of the Chesapeake region, about 70 miles outside of Washington, D.C.

The school shares the hallmarks of private institutions: an outstanding faculty, talented students, high academic standards, a challenging curriculum, small classes, a sense of community, and a spirit of intellectual inquiry. By combining the virtues of public and private education, St. Mary's provides a unique alternative for students and their families. The special identity underpins the College's success and its reputation for excellence.

In 1992, the Maryland legislature designated this public, coeducational institution the state's honors college. Over 98% of the faculty holds the Ph.D. or other terminal degree and 11 of the current faculty have received Fulbright Awards. Although professors are exceptionally active in research and writing, the faculty's primary interest and central concern is teaching. The College is home to the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Small classes, dedicated teachers, and an informal atmosphere encourage faculty and students to share in the intellectual life of the College, both in and out of the classroom. Professors serve as academic advisors, work with students in extracurricular programs, involve students in research, and mentor them in individualized projects.

More than 50% of St. Mary's graduates continue on to graduate school. St. Mary's alumni have distinguished themselves in every academic field and creative pursuit. When the State of Maryland surveys graduates of its public colleges and universities, St. Mary's alumni consistently report higher levels of satisfaction with their education than do alumni of other institutions.


From The School

St. Mary's College is a selective institution. We admit students with records of high academic achievements, personal abilities, and accomplishments of superior quality. High school or college grades, the quality of course selection, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation provide evidence of academic accomplishment and potential. These measures are supplemented by the required application essay and resume of co-curricular activities. Individual involvement outside the classroom and in the community also is given attention. Activities that have resulted in honors and awards, or other recognition of special talents, should be listed on the application.

At St. Mary's, we are proud to be a public honors college and are looking for students who are ready to be challenged. We accept applications from first-year and transfer students for the fall and spring semesters. Our Early Decision Deadlines are November 1 and December 1. When students apply under the Early Decision option, they are indicating to us that St. Mary's is their top choice and will attend if admitted. Notification of a decision is approximately one month past the Early Decision deadline. Regular Decision applicants must apply by January 1 and notification will be no later than April 1. Fall transfer applicants must apply February 1 and spring transfer students must apply by November 1. For details, visit

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to come to campus for an interview with an admissions counselor and tour. These visits should be scheduled in advance by calling 800-492-7181.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49

Test Scores

SAT Reading
574 - 650
SAT Math
530 - 633
SAT Writing
515 - 640
ACT Composite
23 - 28


Early Decision
November 1

Early Decision II
December 1

February 15

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay


From The School

Academic Programs

St. Mary's offers a wide and diverse variety of majors and minors and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) for certification in early childhood, elementary and secondary education.

St. Mary's also provides students the opportunity to explore cross-disciplinary studies in African and African Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Museum Studies, Neurosciences, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Cross-disciplinary studies can increase intellectual community across disciplines, encourage cohesion in the choice of electives, and promote combinations of methods and materials that challenge the boundaries of knowledge.

Many St. Mary's students consider careers in professional fields such as medicine, law, and business. Our pre-professional programs work with interested students throughout their four years by providing academic advice, career exploration, and help applying to professional programs. These include pre-dentistry, pre-engineering (3-2 program with the University of Maryland at College Park), pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, and pre-veterinary science.

The Paul H. Nitze Scholars Program is designed for highly motivated students with exceptional academic potential and a proven record of leadership and service. Students accepted into this program have more flexibility in curricular choices than other students. As a small cohort of peers, Nitze Scholars meet some of the components of the core curriculum through a series of thematically organized interdisciplinary courses with special components such as a study-tour abroad and collaborative activities on campus.

In compliance with St. Mary's College's position as Maryland's public honors college, the St. Mary's Project (SMP) is the capstone of study at the College. The project is an eight-credit, independent, sustained endeavor of research or creative expression that is supervised by a faculty mentor and presented in a public forum.

St. Mary's College of Maryland offers semester and year-long international exchange programs, study tours, and international internship opportunities. Participation in our signature programs at Oxford in England, Alba in Italy, Shanghai in China, Chiang Mai in Thailand, or The Gambia in West Africa is at the same cost as attending St. Mary's.

St. Mary's operates on a two-semester academic calendar. Students customarily complete four courses, or 16 credits, each semester and must complete 128 credits for graduation. Students do not need to declare a major until the end of their sophomore year.

Majors and Degrees Offered

Art and Art History
Asian Studies
Computer Science
Engineering: Dual-Degree Program with University of Md.
Human Studies
International Languages and Cultures (Chinese, French, German, Latin American Studies, Spanish, courses in Translation)
Natural Science
Political Science
Public Policy Studies
Religious Studies
Student Designed Major
Theater, Film and Media Studies

Students Say

Undergrads at St. Mary’s College of Maryland proudly boast that from the moment you step onto campus your freshman year, “you are instantly part of a family.” Indeed there’s an “immense sense of community” here, and it’s no surprise that a “friendly atmosphere” reverberates throughout the school. Importantly, as “a public honors college,” St. Mary’s is able to provide “a rigorous academic curriculum” at an affordable price. It also offers a “small and intimate learning environment” with “classes where the professors actually care about teaching and your success.” Classes tend to have “a great combination of lecture, discussion, and experiential learning,” which translates into “a stimulating, challenging and altogether high-quality academic experience.” Additionally, students are quick to brag about their “passionate” and “approachable” professors who are “always available for discussion and clarification.” As one public policy major further explains, “Most [teachers] are willing to meet outside their office hours for as long as needed to help a student and many professors are known to give out their cell phone numbers…in case a student needs to reach them at night.” They truly want “students to succeed” and work hard to ensure you’ll “enjoy even the hardest of classes.” A content senior sums up, “At St. Mary’s, you are not just a number in the classroom, but an essential part of the classroom experience.”

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • Asian Studies/Civilization

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, General

  • History

  • History, General

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions

  • Public Policy Analysis

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Prominent Alumni

W. Michael Kelley ('94)
Author, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Calculus, Precalculus

Elizabeth Graves ('95)
Martha Stewart Weddings, editor in chief

Quentin Hillsman ('93)
Head women's basketball coach at Syracuse

Mark Ivey ('99)
America's Cup Race Management team member, active US Olympic Sailing Coach

Mary Lib Roseberry Saleh ('51)
1st female mayor of Euless, TX, in 18th yr as mayor, SMCM 2011 Distinguishe

Sarah Meik Jones ('98)
Professional Jazz Singer

Neil Irwin ('00)
Reporter for the Washington Post writing about economics & tFederal Reserve


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

St. Mary's College believes that qualified students should have an opportunity for a college education. The primary responsibility for paying for the cost of education is the family's. However, as a public institution, St. Mary's College recognizes that students and their families are not always able to fund the full cost of a college education. For this, the school offers a variety of programs designed to assist in meeting college expenses. These programs include scholarships, grants, loans, work opportunities, and a tuition payment plan. In the end, the goal is to ensure that qualified applicants have the opportunity to obtain a liberal arts education at St. Mary's.

To be considered for need-based aid, including federal, state and college grants, loan, and employment programs, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to be considered for merit-based aid from St. Mary's, students need only to apply to the College. Every accepted student is automatically reviewed by the Scholarship Review Committee with consideration in the areas of academic record, standardized test scores, strength of curriculum, essay, recommendations, and co-curricular resume.

Financial Aid

St. Mary's College believes that qualified students should have an opportunity for a college education. The primary responsibility for paying for the cost of education is the family's. However, as a public institution, St. Mary's College recognizes that students and their families are not always able to fund the full cost of a college education. For this, the school offers a variety of programs designed to assist in meeting college expenses. These programs include scholarships, grants, loans, work opportunities, and a tuition payment plan. In the end, the goal is to ensure that qualified applicants have the opportunity to obtain a liberal arts education at St. Mary's. To be considered for Need-Based Aid, including federal, state and college grants, loan, and employment programs, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to be considered for Merit-Based Aid from St. Mary's, students need only to apply to the College. Every accepted student is automatically reviewed by the Scholarship Review Committee with consideration in the areas of academic record, standardized test scores, strength of curriculum, essay, recommendations, and co-curricular resume.


Financial Aid Rating
Application Deadlines
Feb 28
Notification Date
Mar 15

Required Forms


Bottom Line

Maryland in-staters pay $11,195 in tuition and out-of-staters pay $26,045, with room and board costing $11,930 and fees another $2,629. Seventy-four percent of students receive some sort of needbased financial aid, with the average incoming freshman scholarship package running $11,358. Fifty-three percent choose to take out a loan, with the average loan debt at graduation coming in at $24,624.

Bang For Your Buck

As a state institution of higher education, St. Mary’s is committed to affordability for all qualified students who wish to attend, and families receive individual attention during the admissions and financial aid processes. There are numerous SMCM Foundation need-based scholarships for students who are legacies, are looking to study in specific departments, or who hail from certain areas of Maryland. Additionally, students are automatically considered for merit scholarships when they apply to SMCM, including St. Mary’s Academic Achievement and Trustee Scholarships for those who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and outstanding individual attributes; STEM Navigators Scholarship awards of $5000 to $10,000 for ten financially needy incoming students who intend to major in science or math; and the First-Year Excellence Scholarship for students who did not receive a scholarship upon entrance but complete their first year with excellent grades.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender


Students Say

“Friendliness” is the hallmark of the typical St. Mary’s undergrad, and many are quick to assert that there’s “a very welcoming student body.” Indeed, as this junior gushes, “you could sit down and have dinner with someone you have never seen before, and be completely comfortable.” The average “Seahawk” is also “focused on their studies” and “involved in all sorts of activities.” Students here tend to be “politically aware and left-leaning, and very concerned with the environment.” While many St. Mary’s undergrads do often share these attributes, another junior assures us, “there are many different types of students [here]: some preppy kids, jocks, the artsy kids, bookworms, hippies, country kids, city kids. Everyone finds their niche, but then mixes up with other people.” An excited sophomore interjects, “Quirkiness is more than tolerated here; it is often the norm.” A knowledgeable senior concludes, “With every new class there is an opportunity to make new friends, which makes every semester here exciting.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented



57% female
43% male
9% are out of state
96% are full time
4% are part time


From The School


St. Mary's College of Maryland is located on a horseshoe bend of the St. Mary's River just upstream from the confluence of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. In 1634, the first English settlers arrived here by boat and founded the fourth oldest permanent English colony in North America. By the Act of Toleration adopted by the colonists, St. Mary's City became an early site of religious freedom in the New World, and toleration remains an abiding precept of life at the College, where diversity of thought and expression are highly valued.

Campus Facilities & Equipment

A unique aspect of St. Mary's culture is the influence of the river. Our campus is located on 361 acres and sits on a horseshoe bend of the St. Mary's River just upstream from the confluence of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. You just can't help being affected. It is no wonder we have earned 14 national sailing championships. You don't have to be an expert; the waterfront is open to recreational and novice sailors alike. With our unique location, students also swim, kayak, windsurf, row and are drawn to environmental research. Once you see the campus you'll know you have arrived at a college like no other.

Living at college should be a pleasurable experience. Almost 90% of our students live on campus all four years, contributing a wonderful and safe learning and living environment. Our students enjoy the options of residence halls, suites, apartments and townhouses, and find living on campus an essential part of their college experience.

When our students are not in the classroom, they are busy doing independent research, traveling abroad, interning, and volunteering in the community. They unwind by enjoying the waterfront recreation, watching movies in Cole Cinema, partaking in our 90 clubs and organizations, and competing in intramural and varsity athletics. Our facilities are state-of-the-art and the abundant opportunities provide students a wonderful balance of work and play.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Located about 20 minutes from the College is Solomons Island, a quiet waterfront fishing village offering museums and attractions, shopping, waterfront dining, sailing and other water sports. Historic Leonardtown, located 20 minutes from St. Mary's, boasts one of the state's few preserved town squares. Maryland's state capital, Annapolis, is located 70 miles from the College. The Nation's Capital, Washington, D.C., is 70 miles from the College and the harbor city of Baltimore is approximately 100 miles from campus.

Students Say

Similar to many college kids, undergrads at St. Mary’s have a “work hard, play hard mentality.” While they’re “definitely focused on their studies,” students here also make the most of their time outside of the library. One psych major shares, “There are many opportunities to get involved on campus whether by participating in club activities or taking a student position in campus affairs, or just becoming a student tutor.” The school also sponsors a number of events. For example, “every Thursday we have coffeehouse where artists perform at our local coffee shop, we have comedians Friday nights, and we also have movies showing Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.” Further, “there are intramural events that take place every semester for almost every sport.” Though St. Mary’s is a “non-Greek” campus, “themed and house parties are always a hit.” Fortunately, “nobody’s looked down upon if they choose not to drink.” St. Mary’s students also love to take advantage of their location on the water. An anthropology majors explains, “When it’s nice out, everyone is outside, and on the weekends, the docks are crowded by 11:00 a.m. People throw Frisbees [and] footballs, run around barefoot, grill, and chill.” As an added bonus, “students can take out sail boats or kayaks whenever they want for free.” With all these options, it’s no wonder why one bio student exclaims that undergrads here “will never be bored.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

Quality of life rating
First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Fire safety rating

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Dorms Male
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division
Division III

18% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Seahawks)
8 Sports

Cross Country
Women's Sports (Seahawks)
9 Sports

Cross Country
Field Hockey

Student Services

Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups: St. Mary's Triangle and Rainbow Society (STARS)

Minority Support Groups: These programs or clubs are available at SMCM: Black Student Union(BSU), Multicultural Achieviement Peer Program (MAPP),International Support Services, International Club,Sister to Sister, and Raices Hispanas.


When it comes to going green, St. Mary’s College of Maryland is all about practicing what they preach. Case in point: SMCM derives an impressive 63 percent of its energy consumption from renewable sources. Even better, the college offsets approximately 115 percent of total electricity consumption through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). As a signatory of both the Talloires Declaration and the ACUPCC, SMCM’s Sustainability Committee has established a Climate Action Plan that will help it reach its campus-wide goal of becoming climate neutral. To support this effort, the college established an arboretum committee, and is working to reduce storm water runoff and protect the Chesapeake Bay by planting trees and installing rain gardens and bioswales. The college is also an Energy Star partner. SMCM has determined that all new construction on campus will seek LEED Silver, at a minimum. The college’s first LEED Silver building, Goodpaster Hall, has reduced SMCM’s impact on the environment through not only its construction (recycled or renewable materials were used when possible), but also in its function (the building “saves 300,000 gallons of water annually” and uses “30 to 40 percent less energy than a conventional building”). Currently, an impressive 80 percent of campus buildings have undergone energy-related retrofits. SMCM offers sustainable research opportunities in biology, economics, mathematics, and public policy. And the college doesn’t forget about the role food plays in the environment either. Forty-five percent of food expenditures on campus go toward local and/or organic foods.

Green Rating
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Cash-Out Parking

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling

School Developed Bicycle Plan

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Lindsey Siferd
Admissions Counselor

Admissions Office
18952 East Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3001



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Student Center
Athletics and Recreation Center
The Pub

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Historic St. Mary's City
Solomon's Island
Lexington Park (for food and shopping)
Point Lookout State Park
Patuxent River Naval Air Station (for internships and museum)
Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington, DC are all within a two-hour drive of campus.

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: 9, 10, 11, 1, 2, 3
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

9, 10, 11, 1, 2, 3

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
St. Mary's is within 2 hours by car from three major airports. From Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), follow airport signs to I-97 South and the driving directions from the north (Baltimore) below. From Reagan National (DCA) and Dulles International (IAD) airports, following the driving directions from Washington, DC.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the North (Baltimore, Annapolis) Take I-97 South to MD Route 3 in Bowie, Maryland. Follow Rt. 3 to MD Route 4 in Upper Marlboro. Take Rt. 4 South through Prince Frederick and cross the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge at Solomons. About 3 miles after the bridge turn left at the first traffic light onto MD Route 235 South. Travel 4.5 miles through Lexington Park, turning right onto Shangri La Drive. Proceed through the next traffic light. Bear left at the fork in the road on Willows Road and drive 3 miles to the stop sign at MD Route 5 South. Turn left and continue 4 miles to the College. Once you see the beautiful St. Mary's River on your right, turn left onto College Drive. From Washington, DC Take the Capital Beltway (I-495/95) to Exit 11A for MD Route 4 South. Follow Rt. 4 through Prince Frederick and cross the Thomas Johnson Bridge at Solomons. Follow detailed directions "from the north" in italics above. From the South (Richmond) Take US Route 301 North over the Potomac River Bridge. Turn right at the second set of blinking lights onto MD Route 234. Follow Rt. 234 approximately 23 miles to where it ends at MD Route 5. Turn right (south) on Rt. 5, traveling through Leonardtown and continue 15 miles to St. Mary's College. The campus is located on Route 5. Once you see the beautiful St. Mary's River on your right, turn left onto College Drive.
St. Mary's College of Maryland campus - Image 0
St. Mary's College of Maryland campus - Image 1
St. Mary's College of Maryland campus - Image 2

Key Stats

Acceptance Rate
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists