Students walk through the Arches during the senior class March Out of the Arches.

About St. Thomas

How far you go depends on where you go

We’re the largest private university in Minnesota, with more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 115,000+ alumni. Eight schools and colleges offer 150+ undergraduate majors and minors and 55+ graduate degree programs.

Our founding was inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, a 2,000-year-old practice of uniting faith and reason to explore the world. As a Catholic university, we develop future leaders of all faiths looking to make a positive impact on the world. And, we are the only academic institution in Minnesota to be designated a “Changemaker Campus,” meaning social innovation, entrepreneurship and caring for the common good are built into everything we do. Our three campuses in St. Paul, downtown Minneapolis and Rome, Italy, offer unique learning and living opportunities.

Who, What & Where

undergraduate and graduate students
undergraduate majors and minors
countries and 41 states are represented in our student body
St. Thomas faith leaders pose for a photo in Aquinas Chapel.

Mission, Convictions and Values 

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good. As a community, we are committed to our convictions: the pursuit of truth, academic excellence, faith and reason, dignity, diversity, personal attention and gratitude.
Hunter Santos speaks to a group at the grand opening celebration of the Intercultural Center.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our community is committed to embodying and championing a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. We believe that each of us is called to protect and enhance human dignity. That’s what it means to be “all for the common good.”
Composite image of the Bernardi, St. Paul, and Minneapolis St. Thomas campuses.

Our Campuses

St. Thomas offers unique opportunities and experiences at our three campuses in St. Paul, downtown Minneapolis and Rome, Italy.

History/Our Founder John Ireland 

Archbishop John Ireland posing for a photo. A typewriting class being held a the University of St Thomas. View of the Interior of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the grounds of the College of St. Thomas, 1945. A historic photo with the first ever female graduates at St Thomas. Students holding signs protesting the proposed name of the University. Work being performed on the clock tower of Terrence Murphy Hall.

Our Beginnings

Archbishop John Ireland founded St. Thomas in 1885 as a high school, college and seminary to provide high-quality education for Catholic immigrants who were suffering social and economic hardship. His legacy lives on in today’s university - one that welcomes all faiths, races, nationalities and genders, and is committed to making the world a better place through empathy, understanding, intellectual rigor and innovation.

1910: Growth of a College

From 1910 to 1919, St. Thomas separated its college and high school, awarded its first bachelor’s degrees and received academic accreditation.

1946: Welcome Veterans

"War Vets Jam St. Thomas Campus," read a 1946 newspaper headline. Thanks in part to the GI Bill, enrollment topped 2,200. To accommodate the surge, the college acquired 26 government-surplus buildings, including 20 double-dwelling huts for married faculty and veterans.

1977: Becoming Coeducational

St. Thomas became coeducational in the fall of 1977, enrolling its first 211 women undergraduates.

1990s: From College to University

In the 1990s, the college became a university with an undergraduate, liberal arts college and several graduate programs.

1992: A Minneapolis Campus

In 1992, it also opened its first Minneapolis campus building, named Terrence Murphy Hall for the university president. The campus hosts our Opus College of Business, St. Thomas Law School and School of Education.
St. Thomas campus quad

Presidential Search

Learn more about the strategic approach St. Thomas is taking as we seek the next president of our university. We welcome insight and feedback from our community. All are invited to participate.

Learn How to Participate