Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC), the oldest university in the Western region of the USA, is a private, suburban college located in the hills of Moraga. The 420 acre campus is home to a diverse student body of over 4,000 students. The college ensures that students receive ample support and resources from orientation day, to graduation, and beyond.

According to Susie Miller Reid, Director of Center for International Programs at Saint Mary's College of California, “Saint Mary's offers an exceptional top-ranked education in a safe and inclusive environment. Our graduates join a vast network of alumni that include executives at Fortune 500 companies - like Google, Intel, and Oracle, championship athletes, culinary entrepreneurs, critically acclaimed dancers, and even an Academy Award-Winning Oscar Award Winning Actor. We encourage students and parents to take a closer look at what Saint Mary's College of California has to offer.”

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Revel in California's Bay Area

Saint Mary’s College of California is located in Moraga, California in the famous San Francisco Bay area. Moraga is a beautiful small city filled with trees, fields and hills. Located near three major metropolitan cities (San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Oakland), there is plenty to do in and around the Moraga area.

The communities that surround SMC are full of history, art, dining, shopping, outdoor activities, music and more. Walnut Creek is the nearest large city to SMC and it has a botanical garden, a skate park, and numerous galleries and museums. Plus, the downtown retail area will satisfy any student needs. Berkeley and Oakland are nearby, as is San Francisco, known for its progressive community and excellent dining. Students can also visit Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada or explore Yosemite National Park, both popular destinations for tourists from all around the world.

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SMC Distinctions and Awards

Saint Mary’s College of California prides itself on its excellent academic standards and good value for money. For all their efforts, the school has been bestowed with many distinctions and accolades in various sectors. Payscale.com placed Saint Mary's in the top 5 percent, at number 107, of all U.S. colleges and universities for return on investment. SoFi (Social Finance, Inc.) named Saint Mary’s second in the country for “Return on Education” for its MBA programs.

Saint Mary’s School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) has been awarded AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation, of which only five percent of business schools have achieved. SMC also achieved placement on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the ninth year in a row and this is the second time that they were marked “with distinction”. Last year, students from Saint Mary’s College volunteered almost 47,000 hours of service to communities in the US and abroad. Saint Mary’s is also in the top ten universities in the country to send students abroad on faculty led or independent semester programs at partner universities around the world.

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Inclusive Excellence

Saint Mary’s philosophy of Inclusive Excellence stems from a vision of building a community that is guided by social justice, cultural competence, and engaged citizenship. Increased admission applications every years has improved SMC diverse student population and ensures that all students have equal opportunities to succeed in their academic program and in their future professional lives. The core curriculum at Saint Mary’s directs students to explore different cultures and delve into differing points of view so that students can broaden their horizons.  

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Center for International Programs and Student Success Office

Susie Miller Reid emphasizes that “CIP provides a broad range of services to support students throughout their academic program at SMC, from immigration advising to personal counseling.” CIP staff are there for students all through their academic programs providing support when needed.

In addition, SMC offers all students support through the Student Success Office (SSO), which assigns a personal Coach to work with students throughout their studies. The SSO works to provide students with networks, programs, and opportunities to enhance holistic learning and academic, personal, and professional development. SSO gives students the support and services necessary for them to succeed at Saint Mary’s and achieve their full potential.

The Student Success Office managed the following programs and services: Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS), High Potential Program (HP), Student Disability Services (SDS), Student Engagement and Academic Success (SEAS), and the Tutorial and Academic Skills Center (TASC).

Career and Professional Development Services help students plan for their careers, advises on graduate schools, and connects students to potential employers. They organise counselling sessions, on campus interviews, career and internship fairs, CV guidance, and much more. The Tutorial and Academic Skills Center provides students with tutors for a wide range of subjects. The High Potential Program is dedicated to providing access to education to students from traditionally underrepresented groups in higher education. All of these resources have been implemented to help students reach their goals with maximum guidance from Saint Mary’s faculty and staff.  

SMCC in blog

What sets Saint Mary's apart is the close community. Once you get here, you feel that you belong. Everyone is a friend. Whoever, regardless of age or race.

- Jacob Lagman, an international student at Saint Mary's College of California

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