St. Lawrence University is a vibrant, collaborative community of learners who value thought and action. Students tap their full potential as they embrace the natural environment, engage with global challenges and experience the relevance and adventure of a liberal arts education in a complex and changing world.
Mission Statement: The mission of St. Lawrence University is to provide an inspiring and demanding undergraduate education in the liberal arts to students selected for their seriousness of purpose and intellectual promise.
Founded: April 3, 1856; oldest continuously coeducational institution of higher learning in New York State.
School colors: Scarlet and Brown.
Our name: St. Lawrence University is named for the St. Lawrence River, which is about 15 miles from campus and offers our students and faculty a wonderful research facility, and is the site of our crew team practices and competitions. The St. Lawrence River forms the border with Canada, and our Canadian Studies program has been one of the best of its kind in the United States.
Alma Mater, written by J. Kimball Gannon '24, who also wrote "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
President: William L. Fox '75
Curriculum: A four-year program of study in the liberal arts. The academic calendar consists of fall and spring semesters and optional summer terms. Graduate programs in education.
Degrees Granted: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science; Master of Education; Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration.
Major Fields of Study: African Studies, anthropology, Asian studies, biology, biology/physics, biochemistry, Canadian studies, chemistry, computer science, conservation biology, economics, economics/mathematics, English (literature or writing), environmental studies, fine arts, Francophone studies (French) geology, geology/physics, global studies, government, history, international economics/French, international economics/Spanish, international economics/multilanguage, mathematics, multifield (self-designed), multi-language, music, neuroscience, performance and communication arts, philosophy, physics, psychology, religious studies, sociology, Spanish.
Minor Fields of Study: African studies, African-American studies, anthropology, applied statistics, Arabic studies, Asian studies, biology, Canadian studies, Caribbean and Latin American studies, chemistry, Chinese studies, computer science, economics, education, European studies, film studies, fine arts, gender studies, geology, German studies, government, history, literature [English], mathematics, multifield, music, Native American studies, outdoor studies, peace studies, performance and communication arts, philosophy, physics, psychology, religious studies, sociology, sports studies and exercise science, writing [English]
Special Programs: 3+2 Basic Engineering Combined Plan Program with seven engineering institutions; 4+1 MBA Program at Clarkson University and Union College, Accelerated MBA Program with RIT. Early Assurance program in rural medicine with SUNY Upstate Medical University. Articulation agreements for graduate degree in physical therapy with Clarkson and in nursing with New York University. We offer our nationally renowned Adirondack Semester, and domestic programs with American University in Washington, DC, and Fisk University in Nashville, TN. We also offer a New York City Semester program as well as a Sustainability Semester program in Northern New York.
Most popular majors: For the Class of 2012
International Programs: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, and Trinidad; we participate in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).
Faculty:168 full-time, 30 part-time; 99% with highest terminal degree; 15% faculty of color.
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Sustainability: A core value at St. Lawrence, environmental sustainability is our way of life. Visit the Sustainability pages.
Community service: 70% of our students participate in volunteer work or community service during their time at St. Lawrence. Visit the Community-based Learning program page and Center for Collegiate Volunteerism.
Libraries: Owen D. Young Library and Launders Science Library, with over 1.5 million books, government documents, videos, microforms, journals and special collections.
Brush Art Gallery is an academic resource whose mission is to acquire, preserve, interpret, exhibit and otherwise make accessible works of art for the benefit of a variety of audiences in support of the educational goals of the University. The stewardship of the University ’s 7,000-piece Permanent Collection that includes work by Frederic Remington, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Stella and Yousef Karsh, among many artists.
Computer Facilities: Secure wireless networking is available throughout the campus. There are 675 public access computers plus 200 department computers available for student use. Ninety-nine percent of our students bring computers to campus.
Student Enrollment: In 2012-2013, 2,398 undergraduate and 90 graduate students, 54.6% undergraduates are women and 45.4% undergraduates are men; 11.4% of undergraduates are U.S. students of color, 6.7% are international students. Students come from 42 states, (the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories inclusive) and 50 nations.
For the Class of 2016:
Early Decision: 34.0%
Full Profile of the Class of 2016
Student Activities: Over 100
Residences: 11 residence halls for students;six Greek chapters; several theme cottages and intentional living communities. As a residential campus, 98.1% of our students live in University housing.
Athletics: 32 intercollegiate teams for women and men, dozens of intramural and club options. Some 31% of our students participate in intercollegiate athletics.
Athletic Facilities: Indoor facilities include two field houses, each with artificial turf infield, track and tennis courts; two regulation basketball courts; competition swimming and diving pool; squash center; 133-station fitness center; climbing wall; ice arena; equestrian arena. Outdoor facilities include competition and practice fields for soccer, softball, baseball, football, lacrosse and field hockey along with a lighted artificial turf field; six lighted tennis courts; lighted all-weather nine-lane track and lighted football/track stadium; 18-hole championship golf course. Recreation facilities include jogging/walking trail, cross country/mountain bike trails, intramural fields, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts. Varsity teams number 32 (15 men’s, 16 women’s and one coeducational). Men’s and women’s ice hockey are NCAA Division I; the remainder are Division III, with the exception of equestrian, which is not an NCAA sport. Intramural and club teams flourish in several sports and activities, depending on student interest.
Financial Aid: In 2012-2013, 90.3% of students receive some form of financial aid. The average aid package (grants, loans, work study) is $33,611.
Tuition and fees: Comprehensive fee (tuition, room and board) is $55,835 for 2012-2013.
Alumni: Approximately 31,000 as of June 2011. The St. Lawrence Alumni Association, founded in 1877, represents the alumni body at large. Representatives of class groups are named each year to a governing body — the Executive Council. The Alumni Association assists in admissions, fundraising, career counseling, public relations and recognition of alumni for their service to the University and their communities.
Career and Graduate School Rates: For the Class of 2010 (we survey each graduating class six months after Commencement), 95.3% are employed or enrolled in graduate and professional schools. Respondents said that education was the top field for employment, followed by finance/banking, with government/public administration and sports/recreation tied for third.
In terms of graduate study, education, science & technology and law were the top three fields for graduate study.
Retention Rate for first-year to second-year: For those entering Fall 2011: 92.6%
Assessment and Accreditation: St. Lawrence University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. These resources provide reports and statistics used in assessment and accreditation.
Location: Canton, New York, a county seat and regional business center with a population of 6,400 in the St. Lawrence River Valley.
St. Lawrence University Short History: St. Lawrence University was founded in 1856 by leaders of the Universalist Church, who were seeking to establish a seminary somewhere west of New England and were enthusiastically courted by the citizens of Canton. The denomination, which has since merged with the Unitarian faith, was part of the liberal wing of Protestantism, championing such ideas as critical thinking and gender equality-attributes that surfaced in the new seminary, which was progressive in its teaching philosophy and coeducational from the beginning.
The University as it exists today was created as a "Preparatory Department" to provide a foundation for theological study. That department became today's liberal arts University, while the seminary closed in 1965 with the Unitarian/Universalist consolidation.
Early in the 20th century, the University's graduate program in education came into being; it has since served hundreds of North Country school teachers and administrators. Following a difficult period during the Great Depression and World War II, the student body increased quickly, and with it the physical plant. A four-building campus serving around 300 students in the early 1940s became a 30-building campus serving 2000 students within 25 years, partly through acquisition of the adjacent state school of agriculture campus when that facility relocated across town. The mid-60s also saw the birth of one of St. Lawrence's key components today, its international programs.
In this first decade of the 21st century, the University embarked upon another facilities upgrade program that aimed to take advantage of the electronic revolution in higher education, as well as a curriculum reform to tailor its educational programs to the demands of the next millennium.
Among St. Lawrence's distinguished alumni are communications magnate and diplomat Owen D. Young, for whom the Young Plan for European war reparations was named; Olympia Brown, the first woman in U.S. history to be ordained a minister; author Lorrie Moore; United States Senator Susan Collins; and actors Kirk Douglas and Viggo Mortensen.
Updated February 2013
Statistics are updated continually as data becomes available. At any point, statistics may be derived from different academic or calendar years, with most recently available information posted.