St. Thomas offers programs that lead to bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist, juris doctorate and doctoral degrees.
Undergraduate students may choose from more than 90 majors and 60 minors in a variety of degrees, including bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of music, bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and bachelor of science in electrical engineering. More than 60 graduate degrees are offered in a dozen subject areas, including art history, business, Catholic studies, engineering, English, law, music, professional psychology, social work and theology. The university also offers executive and continuing education, certificate and professional development programs in a number of disciplines.
The undergraduate program is built around an extensive core curriculum requiring all students to take eight credits of literature and writing; eight credits of moral and philosophical reasoning; 12 credits in natural science and mathematical and quantitative reasoning; 12 credits in faith and the Catholic tradition; four credits in social analysis; four credits in historical studies, four credits in fine arts; 12 credits in language and culture; and four credits in human diversity.
Throughout its programs, St. Thomas seeks to promote civil discourse. Reflective individuals, responsible citizens and thoughtful professionals committed to the common good must be able to engage with diverse groups of people to discuss significant ideas and issues while standing on a foundation of mutual respect. St. Thomas believes strongly that morally responsible leaders must be committed to civil discourse in principle and practice. It strives to reinforce these values and skills in its students and promote them in the larger community. The College of Arts and Sciences has established an annual lecture series that promotes civil discourse and the discussion of important ideas without the aggression, anger and obstinacy that often cloud such matters in society. The Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy sponsors a university-wide, multidisciplinary speaker series that promotes similar objectives while exploring both the Catholic positions and some challenging perspectives on major policy issues. The university is raising funds to establish an endowed chair in civil discourse.
St. Thomas views the following as the strengths of its academic programs:
- Mission-focused and mission-driven; committed to advance the common good.
- A strong and long-lived commitment to a liberal arts curriculum as the basis for all undergraduate majors, including engineering (a rarity in higher education).
- St. Thomas is a teaching university that defines teaching as the most important aspect of faculty work. As a teaching university, St. Thomas defines scholarship broadly. Its focus is primarily on applied research, not basic research; it addresses community issues and needs.
- A vibrant study abroad program. Each year, more than 1,000 St. Thomas students study in 130 programs available in more than 40 countries.
- Very active and internally funded undergraduate research programs available to all students, regardless of major. Students work in close partnership with faculty members and can obtain funding from the Undergraduate Research and Collaborative Scholarship Program.
- A commitment to make graduate-level education accessible to working adults. St. Thomas pioneered the concept of part-time evening and weekend graduate programs in this region in the 1970s. Today, outside of full-time programs for law and MBA students, virtually all graduate students are part-time students.
- Nationally ranked programs in social work, engineering and business (notwithstanding the absence of Ph.D. programs in those areas).
- Strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs.
- An Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services, one of the few interdisciplinary programs in the country to integrate law, social work and professional psychology disciplines.