Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Quick Facts

Students: 1,747
Location: Emmitsburg, Maryland
Founded: 1808
Majors: 30
Med. SAT: 1080
% Catholic: 75%
Med. H.S. GPA: 3.4
How Much? $46,996
tuition, room, board and fees
For admitted & enrolled traditional undergrads.
Most up-to-date information from the University


Join Mount St. Mary's Online:

: 800-448-4347  Address: 16300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg, MD 21727
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Academic Quality






Core Curriculum


Programs of Study


Chaplaincy or Campus Ministry


Residence Life


Student Activities & Services


Student Body


Institutional Identity




President's Letter
Dear Parents and Prospective Students:

The story of Mount St. Mary’s University is a uniquely American one–quite simply, the story of the Catholic Church in America.  Father John DuBois, on a voyage filled with courage, faith and determination, settled on our spectacular mountainside and founded Mount St. Mary’s in 1808.

Now, more than 200 years later, the Mount’s outstanding faculty, staff and students are on a voyage of faith, discovery, leadership and community–a voyage that I invite you to join.
  • Faith: we are proudly a robust and contemporary Catholic university living according to the spirit and letter of Blessed John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (ECE).
  • Discovery: as a university fully consecrated to the cause of truth (cf. ECE 4), at the Mount you’ll not only learn about and encounter the world, but more importantly, you’ll learn about yourself.
  • Leadership: we take our charge to prepare leaders for the Church and the nation seriously, and we expect leadership at all levels.
  • Community: you will become part of the Mount family the instant you set foot on campus... and remain part of it long after you graduate.
At the Mount, in addition to Division I Athletics, you will find award-winning student life programs, accentuated by a thriving campus ministry, FOCUS bible studies, retreats, community service, and outdoor adventure excursions helping students to expand and strengthen their faith. 

I invite you to become more familiar with our campus by coming for a visit.  You are certain to find a beautiful, welcoming, faith-filled home here at the Mount.

I look forward to our paths crossing soon!

Thomas H. Powell

Information from Career Services Office
Starting a career, finding a job or deciding on graduate and professional school is every student’s challenge after college. Approximately 94% of Mount St. Mary’s University students are employed or in graduate school within the first year after graduation. The Mount offers numerous opportunities for students navigating their way through life-after-graduation plans and for alumni looking to change jobs or careers. 

The Mount’s Career Center offers guidance and support, programs and services to both students and alumni. The Career Center counselors believe their work is a calling and aid with career exploration, major exploration, career assessments, resumes, job searching, mock interviews, internships, the graduate school process or any aspect of career development. The Center’s Career Action Plan is a four-year program that guides students through a systematic career development process. 

The Career Center hosts recruiting events throughout the school year and an Internship/Job Fair on campus in the spring. Many companies and organizations come to campus to meet and interview students.  The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Secret Service and the National Security Administration all actively recruit Mount students.  Accounting majors and Education majors have active seasons in the Career Center with employers interviewing and hiring many students.

Faculty advisors also play a key role in helping students take the next step after college. Students are encouraged to get practical work experience through internships, meeting professionals in the workforce and grad-school prep guidance.  

The Mount’s active alumni serve as an influential guidance and networking tool for students.  They serve on advisory boards of the four schools, as well as the pre-law programs. Alumni panels on campus give students a chance to learn more about career fields as well as make contacts to help them in their life beyond the Mount.

Information from Financial Aid Office
The Mount is committed to making a private education affordable – in fact, 100% of the class of 2018 freshmen received a merit scholarship from the Mount, and the average financial aid package for 2013-2014 freshmen was $26,000.

Most families at Mount St. Mary’s receive a wide variety of financial aid including scholarships, grants, loans, and/or work study options.  This aid significantly reduces the cost of attending the Mount.

Merit scholarships are based on GPA, test scores, high school transcripts, recommendations, and other admission file materials.  All students are considered for a merit scholarship at the same time they are reviewed for admission.

Need-based financial aid is available, and the Mount requires students to complete the FAFSA form in order to be considered for loans, grants, and/or work study.

Nestled in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, one of the nation’s earliest havens for Catholic immigrants, Mount St. Mary’s University is the second-oldest Catholic university in America. It was founded in 1808 by the heroic French missionary Father John DuBois, a refugee of religious persecution, and sits on land once frequented by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint and founder of the Sisters of Charity.

What is affectionately called “the Mount” includes the University, a seminary, and a shrine. The University has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 1,700 students from 36 different states and 14 foreign countries, and a growing number of homeschooled students. The seminary is the second largest in the United States and is often referred to as the “Cradle of Bishops,” because 51 of its graduates have shepherded dioceses. The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an idyllic shrine for spiritual reflection located on the hill above the University, is the oldest American replica of the shrine in France.

The University’s historical Catholic identity has strengthened under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Powell, who is in the 12th year of his presidency. Dr. Powell has heavily emphasized the University’s mission statement, which describes four “pillars” of faith, discovery, leadership, and community. Dr. Powell has made the University’s Catholic identity a priority and has earned support from the faculty. Many Mount professors have made significant contributions to the Church.

With its variety of majors, large athletics and recreation programming, and diverse community, the Mount has the feel of a typical private university but with an earnest commitment to authentic Catholic teaching and students’ personal development. Students should not expect the degree of uniformity that can be found at some of the smaller Newman Guide colleges. Some of the faculty and about a quarter of students are not Catholic, and many come to the Mount for secular reasons.

Tuition, room and board, and fees cost $46,996 in 2014-15. When compared to other private institutions in Maryland, the Mount’s actual cost is below the state average. The average freshman financial aid package was more than $26,000 in the 2013-14 school year, and students have the option of a three-year program in any major, which requires summer study but can save on tuition costs.


Students at the Mount can pursue more than 40 undergraduate majors, concentrations, and minors. These include the traditional liberal arts disciplines as well as preparation for careers in business, education, law, medicine, and science. An honors program is also available.

The Mount’s liberal arts core curriculum, the Veritas Program, requires a sequence of 19 courses over all four years. The common curriculum begins with the new Veritas Symposium “to initiate students into a Catholic liberal arts community;” assigned authors include C.S. Lewis, Cicero, and Jean Vanier.  All students receive a solid grounding in Western civilization through a sequence of history, literature, and art courses, as well as five semesters of philosophy and theology, including a “life of virtue” course. Other requirements include courses in science, math, social science, “global encounters,” and at least a year of a foreign language.

The University’s new Institute for Leadership has implemented a four-credit program that helps integrate students’ studies with practical experience. According to Dr. Powell, “Being Catholic is a call to leadership. Yet few colleges require it for graduation.” The Mount is now one of the few colleges to require a leadership experience and portfolio from all undergraduate students before graduating.

Students can take a semester abroad in the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, or the United Kingdom. Summer abroad programs are offered in Austria, Costa Rica, France and Spain. Faculty members join students and usually teach courses on location.

The Mount’s speakers policy affirms the University’s responsibility to support and promote understanding of Catholic teaching, but speakers representing diverse viewpoints are welcome. Controversial topics are handled so as not to cause confusion about Catholic teaching.

Spiritual Life

The Mount has five chapels on campus, including two in residence halls.  There are four Sunday Masses on campus; the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. services are most popular for students. Morning weekday Masses are celebrated at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and daily Masses are also offered at the seminary’s St. Bernard’s Chapel and chapels in two of the residence halls.

Confessions are available every day and by appointment. Eucharistic Adoration is available 40 hours weekly, and students can enjoy praise and worship music weekly.

The Center for Campus Ministry is among the largest student life organizations on campus with more than 60 student leaders. There are more than 20 different groups under Campus Ministry including opportunities for growth in the spiritual life and vocation, men's and women's fellowship, faith and leadership opportunities, Bible Studies, liturgical ministries, Chapel Choir, 10 college retreats/yearly and student led high school retreats. Every year there are national or international pilgrimages available for students.

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) engages more than 230 students through a peer-to-peer ministry that forms leaders in helping students integrate their faith into their daily life and leading others to grow deeper in their faith. There are also numerous opportunities for community service through the Center for Social Justice. 

The Division I athletic department has a unique sports team chaplain program whereby seminarians mentor the teams and help organize opportunities for prayer, team Masses, penance services, team dinners, and talks on topics such as humility and perseverance. The seminarians also attend practices, home games, and encourage athletes to attend campus ministry events.

Located on campus is the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an ideal location for student prayer and reflection with a new visitor center and gallery, and nearby is the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Other spiritual opportunities, including Masses, confessions, Benediction, novenas, and Eucharistic Adoration, are available at St. Mary's Chapel on the Hill, affectionately known as the Glass Chapel.

Residential Life

About 85 percent of Mount students live on campus. Residence halls separate men and women by floor, and each floor has a resident advisor. Opposite-gender visitation is prohibited during late-night hours, and individual floor access is locked with check-in security desks in most buildings.

There are traditional residence halls, suite-style rooms, a variety of apartment combinations (for juniors and seniors), cottage housing, themed housing, separate housing for honors students, and a floor in one hall for women in science.  There are also a variety of themed housing and living-learning options available for students; these include the Faith Development Community and the Leadership Community.

Many students elect to participate in the Summit Housing initiative. These students adopt as a rule of life a healthy living commitment through outdoor activities, service projects, and abstinence from tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.

In addition to the student dining center with a plethora of food options, the Mount Café is open throughout the day, with earlier and later hours.

Opposite-gender visitors are only allowed in the residences during certain hours, and individual floor access is locked. Buildings where freshmen live also have a check-in security desk where all visitors must register.

"The Mount has a vibrant residential community," Dean of Students Michael Taberski said. "Mount St. Mary's is not a 'suitcase' campus where students leave on the weekends - rather it is an active community every day of the week, and most students are active in their studies as well as academic, social, and athletic activities on the weekends.

In an effort to keep parents and families informed about activities at the Mount, the University sponsors a Mount Family Association, coordinated by Dr. Powell’s wife, Irene Quinn Powell. Its activities include a newsletter, the online Mount Family Prayer Memo, orientation, and a fall Family Fest.

The University operates a wellness center, and Gettysburg Hospital is about 15 minutes away.

Mount St. Mary’s is located just outside the small town of Emmitsburg, Maryland, which has a population of 2,400. One of the town’s landmarks is the National Fire Academy, run by the United States Fire Administration, which provides advanced firefighting training to firemen from across the United States. Serious crime and property crime are well below the national average.

Emmitsburg is one hour northwest of Baltimore and 90 minutes from Washington, D.C. Both major cities offer a large number of cultural, social, and sports opportunities. Students often take day trips on their own to these cities, and the University also offers shuttles to Baltimore and D.C. on weekends.

Three major international airports are located about one hour away: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. The university runs shuttles to and from campus during break times for students who need transportation.

Student Activities

Students can choose from more than 80 clubs, ranging from the Knights of Columbus and the Outdoor Adventure program to an Army ROTC program. Intramural sports, Campus Ministry, the Student Government Association, and the Activities Management Program (AMP) are popular organizations on campus.

The Mount Students for Life participates in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., and other activities. Nearly 300 students have attended the March in recent years. The group prays a weekly Rosary at an on-campus memorial for the unborn and at a local abortion center on Saturdays.

The Outdoor Adventures program takes advantage of the Mount's location in the Catoctin Mountains, offering weekly excursions in canoeing, caving, backpacking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, and rafting.

The University has a student-run newspaper, The Mountain Echo, which is available in print and online, and students produce a literary magazine, Lighted Corners, and Tolle Lege, a journal of philosophy and theology. Students are also very active in writing and editing for the Emmitsburg News Journal, a community newspaper. There also is a fully functional student-operated campus radio station, WMTB 89.9 FM.

Students are actively involved in a variety of service projects through the Office of Social Justice. These include service trips during breaks and work with Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, the National Coalition for the Homeless, accessible housing organizations, shelters, and food assistance programs.

Athletics are prominent at the Mount, with one of every five undergraduates a Division I athlete. The University fields 16 intercollegiate teams in NCAA Division I that compete in the Northeast Conference. In addition, there are club sports in dance, equestrian, ice hockey, ultimate Frisbee and rugby. Intramural opportunities are available in nearly two dozen sports, from bocce and dodge ball to volleyball and inner tube water polo.

Campus ministry sponsors a group called Allies for students with homosexual inclinations and others who care about them. The group “strives to promote and live the Christian call to healthy relationships, compassion, chastity, and justice,” according to the University.

Campus Activities hosts more than 140 entertainment events each year, both on and off campus, such as dances, comedians, and live bands. Many of these events are hosted in the newly renovated Club 1808 on campus.

The Bottom Line

Mount St. Mary’s University is a small private university offering a vibrant athletics, student life, and outdoor recreation program, numerous majors, and a solid common curriculum (the Veritas Program) rooted in the Catholic liberal arts tradition. Students have numerous opportunities to grow socially and spiritually.

“Students who’ll thrive at the Mount would be those who are willing to be active and part of a small community,” said Michael Post, vice president for enrollment management. “They have to know that they’ll recognize every face and be recognized. Their professors will ask about them if they’re missing from class.”

Given the University’s idyllic setting and deep heritage, its strengthened embrace of Catholic education, a solid core curriculum, and vibrant student life, the Mount is deservedly getting more attention from families nationwide.
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