St. Edward’s has been ranked No. 8 in the category of Best Regional University in the West in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report college ranking.
We’re proud of being a top-10 school in the region, but we’re more than a number — just like you will be when you attend St. Edward’s. Our students get a personalized education that supports them in becoming compassionate, globally oriented creative thinkers and problem solvers. In honor of our ranking, here are 8 (OK … it’s actually 15 because we had a really hard time limiting ourselves!) reasons to become a Hilltopper.
1. All incoming freshmen get a success coach.
You’ll be matched with a coach who will help you navigate all the opportunities St. Edward’s offers. Together, you’ll create a personalized road map that helps you access the full college experience: classes, internships, research, service projects, clubs, study abroad. Your map will help you ensure you have the full college experience and graduate prepared for a meaningful career — and a purposeful life.
2. We offer small classes and a 15:1 student-faculty ratio.
Our professors teach at St. Edward’s because they want to be in the classroom, getting to know their students as individuals and helping them discover their passions. (U.S. News & World Report also named us No. 8 for Best Undergraduate Teaching.) Because classes are small, it’s easy to find your professor-mentors who will connect you with research and career opportunities. Plus, you’ll build connections with fellow students in discussions and active learning projects that help the community.
3. Our campus is beautiful.
Visit and see for yourself. We’ve got light-filled residence halls, a beautiful library with a glass-walled reading room, castle-like Main Building, gardens with burbling fountains and swings, hills that are covered with bluebonnets in the spring, and the very best view of downtown Austin.
4. You’ll live in a capital city.
The St. Edward’s campus is only fifteen minutes from the Texas State Capitol building. You’ll have the chance to intern with representatives and senators from around the state and from both sides of the aisle during Texas’ every-other-year legislative session. Classes also learn how to lobby for passage of important bills, like a civics education initiative championed by assistant professor of Political Science David Thomason and his students last spring.
5. You’ll take fascinating courses …
… starting your first semester. Here’s a selection of the classes open to freshmen this year:
- The World Turned Upside Down: Utopia & Dystopia in American History & Pop Culture
- Exploring Sustainability on Campus and in the Austin Community
- Best of Times/Worst of Times: College Student Mental Health
- Private Lives, Public Spaces: How Gender Affects Our Experience of Public Space
6. You can take your pick of study-abroad locations, including 21 international partner universities.
Embrace other cultures and perspectives, learn a new language, and travel independently. Live with a host family in Angers, a medium-sized city in Loire Valley, and study at Universite Catholique de l’Ouest. Spend two years in Beppu, Japan, and earn a dual degree in Asia Pacific Studies from St. Edward’s and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Choose from semester or summer programs at universities around the world, including in Australia, South Korea, Scotland, Argentina and Spain.
7. Our graduates get into the nation’s top medical, professional and graduate schools.
This year, St. Edward’s students were accepted to graduate programs in chemistry at Rice University, educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, counseling psychology at Columbia University and journalism at Syracuse University — that’s just a sample — as well as multiple law schools, every medical school in Texas, and the world’s top publishing program at Oxford University.
8. You’ll have access to world-class internship and career experiences in a tech innovation hub and culture capital.
Austin is the nation’s 11th-largest city and the location of choice for startups and software giants alike. In the past year our students have interned at the software company VMware, Texas Monthly magazine, the Austin Film Society, Charles Schwab, Livestrong, the video game company Electronic Arts, the mayor’s office, and the Sustainable Food Center — just to name a few.
9. Students do graduate-level research as undergraduates.
You’ll learn the skills and techniques to start developing your own research agenda, and even present your work at conferences. Our students recently have studied how exposure to four commonly used pesticides affects honeybees’ immune systems; how math can be used to determine whether racial gerrymandering was used in the drawing of congressional districts; and what relationships exist among sexual desire, jealousy and hormones like testosterone.
10. You’ll confront the critical issues facing society.
Our students aren’t afraid to learn — and take action — about tough topics. Service Break Experiences in 10 states and six countries will give you a chance to work alongside people who are tackling deprivation and injustice in their own communities. Learn about immigration and the border during a week in El Paso, repair homes damaged by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, volunteer at a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that serves former gang members, or work with children at risk in India or South Africa.
11. We’ll support your entrepreneurial instincts.
Be part of 3 Day Startup, which offers a crash course in building a startup from scratch. Develop your pitch for the business plan competition. Earn a seat at Capital Factory, the downtown incubator that’s a hub of innovation. And learn from graduates of St. Edward’s who have gone on to start companies including food trucks, a venture capital fund and a smart pillbox that reminds users when to take their medications. The proof? U.S. News & World Report also named us No. 9 for Most Innovative.
12. Our faculty are thought leaders.
Beyond teaching, our professors conduct research and produce creative work that makes an impact. Robert Denton Bryant, director of Video Game Development, presented at this year’s Game Quality Forum Global in Amsterdam about how to hire and retain the best game testers. Poet and novelist Carrie Fountain (pictured), writer-in-residence at St. Edward’s, has published two volumes of poetry and a young-adult novel, and was named the 2019 Texas Poet Laureate. Laurie Cook Heffron, assistant professor of Social Work, has researched the toll that immigrant detention takes on Central American women seeking asylum.
13. Our students win prestigious scholarships and awards that send them around the world.
In the past few years students at St. Edward’s have traveled to Brazil, Morocco and Spain with support from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which offers grants to undergraduates of limited means to study or intern abroad. Others have won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships to Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia and India. Curious? Your success coach and staff in the Office of Fellowships will help you decide which awards to aim for, starting your freshman year.
14. Our graduates get cool jobs.
Yes, St. Edward’s alumni become excellent doctors, lawyers, teachers and entrepreneurs. We’re also proud to claim a fashion designer for stars like Zendaya and Lady Gaga, an Emmy-winning news anchor, the head of corporate responsibility and sustainability at an Austin semiconductor company, state department officers in Italy and Morocco, and a brand strategist for Google’s Unskippable Labs, which helps companies improve their digital advertising. When you come to St. Edward’s, you’ll have support charting a course to your dream job, whatever it may be.
15. You’ll live in one of the country’s most exciting — and beautiful — cities.
In your free time, check out Barton Springs and Zilker Park, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the shops and people-watching on South Congress, the nightly bat flight downtown, miles of paths to hike or bike, food trucks with everything from tacos to vegan barbecue, and more murals than you could Instagram in a semester. Austin’s got it all.