Each year, universities across the country are ranked for the achievements and outcomes of the exceptional educational experience they provide. We’re proud of the strong recognition ϲʿ’s garners.

What keeps us consistently high in the rankings? It’s the transformative opportunities that await students at St. Edward’s and how Hilltoppers are making the most of those experiences to enrich their learning and fully engage in their education in the classroom, around our vibrant campus, throughout Austin and beyond.

While we could share a lengthy list of the outstanding advantages a ϲʿ’s education offers, here are 10 points of pride that make us honored to be Hilltoppers. 

1.

We’re #6 in the West!

For the 5th year in a row, ϲʿ’s is ranked a top-10 university in the Western Region by U.S. News & World Report, ​​​moving up to 6th place in their 2024 Best Colleges list. This recognition demonstrates our commitment to producing well-rounded scholars who move beyond the Red Doors on to successful careers or further studies, ad who excel without bounds. ϲʿ’s also ranked in the top 10 regional rankings for Best Value Schools, and a top performing university for Social Mobility. We’re proud to be a leading university in the region, and to retain our highly ranked spot for more than 20 consecutive years!

Students pose in front of Main Building Red Doors

2.

Our Goal is for 100% of Students to Participate in Experiential Learning

On the hilltop, courageous and purposeful teaching and academic excellence go hand-in-hand. Through our highly-collaborative community of problem-solvers and innovators, our students have opportunities to engage in dynamic experiential learning through solutions-driven research and impactful internships. Our students discover new paths to creative exploration through opportunities to apply their studies to real-world challenges across the globe. They study abroad to learn about different cultures and dive into innovative creative projects that contribute to society at large. Above all, when our students leave ϲʿ's, they are ready to take on their world.

Professor Jena Heath discusses art with students in Paris
A student poses in front of the Texas Capitol for her internship

3.

Answering Future Workforce Needs through Academic Opportunities

As we develop new academic programs, we are listening to the community and identifying how we can fill critical gaps in the Central Texas workforce and beyond. The launch of nursing, the first program in our upcoming School of Health Sciences is a premier example of how we are responding to growing workforce needs. Additionally, we are tapping into two Academic Clusters connected to the Austin economy and developing new programs in environmental sustainability and in computer science including a focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

4.

We Live Out Our Holy Cross Mission

At ϲʿ’s, our Holy Cross mission has been the heartbeat of our community for more than 135 years, and it's the reason our students thrive on the hilltop. Infused throughout our unstoppable spirit, our mission inspires us to respond to the critical issues of society in our pursuit to become a Destination University for a More Just World. This shared responsibility comes to life in the actions of our students as they engage in our long-standing culture of service and social justice on a local, national and international service level. We foster Hilltopper pride and wellbeing through intentional investment in physical space, arts, athletics and multicultural, social and experiential programming.

As a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) for more than 30 years, ϲʿ’s is a long-standing school of choice for educating and empowering Hispanic students. Through programs like the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP); support of a more than $2.1 million grant from The Hector and Gloria López Foundation (HGLF) to provide full tuition assistance for 15 first-generation Latino students at ϲʿ’s; the investment in new initiatives including mentorship programs, career connections, revamped first-year seminar courses, and diverse national honor societies, our university guarantees that all students feel like they belong and their voices are heard and valued.

Big Event
Students pose with HGLF grant

5.

Our Faculty are Experts in Their Field

Our faculty are often sought after to provide their academic expertise, commentary and analysis on a variety of news topics and current events. From analyzing historic political news and studying air quality for government agencies to earning grants for arts and humanities studies, our faculty have made national and local headlines. They bring their real-world experiences to the classroom with innovations in programming and team up with students on cutting edge research. The values of our university mission are woven into our academics cultivating a robust learning experience.

6.

We're Committed to Building a Sustainable Future

ϲʿ’s University is committed to improving lives and transforming communities by providing an excellent education of distinguished quality that prepares students to create a more humane, just and sustainable world. This commitment includes offering academic programs that immerse students in environmental and sustainability studies, research and internships. Beyond the classroom, students engage in on campus and community activities such as the Environmental Justice team conducting research on energy and water use and reduced food waste, The Food Forest Guild planted an edible ecosystem on campus and Students for Sustainability and Monarchs on the Hilltop established a Monarch Garden, a pollinator waystation for butterflies.

The new Environmental Biology and Climate Change major prepares students to understand the forces that are remaking ecosystems around the world. The program dives into ecological theory, how climate change affects different organisms, how scientists study these impacts and the social justice dimensions of climate change.

Roots and Wings event
A student conducts research at Wild Basin

P.S., Our beloved Sorin Oak was named “Large Tree of the Year” by the City of Austin and TreeFolks and the Arbor Day Foundation named us to its Tree Campus USA list for the eighth year in a row.

7.

Our Students Achieve at the Highest Level

Our students are smart, compassionate, creative thinkers and problem solvers. Academic rigor inspires them and advocating for social justice fuels their passion to improve the world. Since 2008, our students have received more than 200 esteemed national and international awards, including Truman, Boren, Pickering and Gilman fellowships and scholarships … and more than 80 Fulbright Student grants to teach and study abroad. In fact, ϲʿ’s has been named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright Students 12 times and a #1 top producer for two of those years. Meet our 2023 Fulbright Students.

“I am fortunate for the opportunity to live in Morocco for 10 months. During my trip, I will work to be of great service to my students by providing them with the necessary resources needed to further their education. I also want to immerse myself in the culture — I plan on engaging with my community and building connections and long-lasting friendships.”

– Kathryn Brouillette ’22 Global Studies and Political Science

8.

We Build Paths to Advanced Degrees

For more than 20 years the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at ϲʿ’s has had an amazing success rate of helping students from underrepresented segments of society pursue master’s and doctoral degrees. To date, more than 200 students have participated in our McNair Scholars program and 25 have earned PhDs and over 135 have earned other graduate degrees. Financed by the U.S. Department of Education and ϲʿ’s, the program funds faculty-directed research, academic counseling and tutoring, GRE exam preparation, assistance with selecting and applying to graduate school, and more.

We're also leveraging dynamic online learning technologies and innovative course design with a new vision for our graduate programs including our new online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Higher Education. Students in this program gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to identify critical issues challenging all aspects of post-secondary education. The unique curriculum allows students to conduct practice-based dissertation research while completing their coursework.

9.

We Prepare Next-Level STEM Graduates

STEM graduates who can adapt and innovate in a climate of change are pivotal for success in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Our National Science Foundation-funded Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4) focuses on increasing students’ readiness for this global revolution brought on by smart technology. The institute builds skills in interdisciplinary sciences, informatics and emerging technologies. Students can tap into paid summer research internships, tuition awards for STEM courses not offered at ϲʿ’s; events and keynote speakers; networking with employers and graduate programs; and more.

A student at greenhouse
i4 Research

10.

We're a Veteran and Transfer-Friendly University

U.S. News chose ϲʿ’s as one of the “Best Universities for Veterans” in its 2024 rankings - listed in 5th place among more than 30 colleges in the West. In addition to demonstrating academic excellence, schools must be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. And, while we are a top school for veterans, we remain one of the best universities in the West for transfer students. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an organization focused on transfer student success, named ϲʿ’s to its 2023 Transfer Honor Roll joining the top 25% of highest-rated institutions around the country. PTK’s recognition is a salute to the dynamic pathways we’ve created to support transfer students, including cost of attendance, generous scholarships and a vibrant campus life. In addition, our Texas Core Complete status helps transfer students graduate faster. Students who complete their core curriculum at a community college in Texas can save time and money prior to transferring to ϲʿ’s, and experience a more seamless transfer.