Large freshman class contributes to record-high undergraduate enrollment

Large freshman class contributes to record-high undergraduate enrollment

Another in a series of large freshman classes this fall contributed to highest undergraduate enrollment ever at the University of St. Thomas. Enrollment at the graduate level, meanwhile, remained steady.

Total enrollment this fall is 10,984, up 272 from last year. Undergraduate enrollment is 6,076, which is up 269 students from last year and up nearly 500 students from 2005. Graduate enrollment is 4,908, up three students from last year. This marks the third consecutive year of slight overall growth, after three years of slight declines. The university’s peak enrollment of 11,570 was set in 2001.

St. Thomas has 1,314 new freshmen this year, which is the second-highest in the university’s 122-year history. This year’s number is a little higher than last year’s new-freshman number of 1,299, and a little lower than the record-high 1,325 set two years ago.

Contributing to this year’s undergraduate record are 1,429 sophomores, 1,445 juniors and 1,657 seniors. The total freshman class of 1,406 includes the new freshmen as well as students with some credits, but not enough to be considered sophomores. The undergraduate numbers also include 306 students who transferred here from other colleges; that compares to 298 last year.

The new freshmen are coming to St. Thomas from 392 high schools and 26 states, although a majority come from Minnesota and especially the metropolitan area. Their average high school G.P.A. was 3.56, 10.6 percent had a G.P.A. of 4.0 or higher, and their average ACT score was 25.23; all three numbers are slightly higher than last year. The class also has 20 valedictorians, up from 17 last year, and nine National Merit Scholars, up one from last year.

The percentage of students of color increased this year among new freshmen. Last year, 9.9 percent of new freshmen were students of color; this year, it’s 12.8 percent.

At a time when some colleges and universities are enrolling more women than men, St. Thomas has an overall ratio of 50-50. For the new freshmen, the ratio is 51 percent female and 49 percent male; for all undergraduates it is 49 percent female and 51 percent male; for graduate students it is 53 percent female and 47 percent male. The percentages are similar to last year, when overall 51 percent of St. Thomas students were female.

The percentage of Catholic students also is similar to last year. Fifty-four percent of undergraduates are Catholic; for graduate students, it’s 31 percent.

In other enrollment-related news, the university set a record for the number of resident students. This year St. Thomas has 2,412 students living on its St. Paul campus, up six from a year ago.

The 2,412 residents students do not include seminarians living at the undergraduate-level St. John Vianney Seminary or the graduate-level St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas. St. John Vianney has a record-high 154 seminarians this fall, making it the largest college-level seminary in the United States. The St. John Vianney building on the north end of the university’s campus is full, and seminarians are living in six rented houses near campus.

Enrollment on the university’s St. Paul campus is 7,332, up from last year’s 7,036. St. Thomas is limited to 8,750 students on its main campus under a Conditional Use Permit that was approved by the city of St. Paul in 2004. The highest enrollment in St. Paul was 8,712 in 1991, the year before the university opened its Minneapolis campus. Enrollment at the Minneapolis campus this fall is 3,030, down slightly from last year’s 3,134.

Here’s the graduate enrollment for St. Thomas’ eight colleges and schools:

Graduate Enrollment by Program

Fall 2007

Change from 2006

College of Arts and Sciences


+ 16.8 %

Opus College of Business


-   5.6 %              

School of Divinity


+ 39.5 %

School of Education


+ 1 %

School of Engineering


+ 1%

School of Law


+ 8 %

School of Professional Psychology


no change   

School of Social Work


+ 6.4%