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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Reviews

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  • 06/09/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 1 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    SMU has a great drama program and education program. However, all areas of study are of great quality because of the value on professor-student relationships. There are so many opportunities to get involved on campus that there is not a specific type of student that fits on campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you visit campus, do it in early fall because the trees in the bluffs surrounding campus are beautiful.

    Bang for the buck

    SMU seems expensive; however, it is the least expensive school in the MIAC conference. Also, there are A LOT of scholarship opportunities which you automatically apply for when you submit your application to the university.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus has an amazing community atmosphere. I love how I always see friends and familiar faces when walking through the plaza. Also, there are a lot of opportunities on campus to get involved.

    Am learning a lot

    My classes keep me engaged because of my professors' enthusiasm about their class topics.

  • 03/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    very secure and they make sure that no one is out of line and every person on campus stays safe.

    Greek Life

    i think smu only has two. there is a music fraternity, and a music sorority.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are many diverse clubs and activities. there are so many that i don't know them all. but if you come and visit the campus they have a list of all of the activities and clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    students who like small class sizes. there are a lot of business and education majors that go to smu because their programs are really good.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    they say that saint mary's is a haunted campus. there are supposedly three ghosts on campus. one thing that smu does before finals first semester. they host a pancake dinner and before the dinner they have a christmas service and lighting of the tree.

    Bang for the buck

    saint mary's is expensive but it is less expensive than most of the private colleges in mn. they give out a lot of scholarships and financial aid. the programs are solid and the teachers want every student so succeed. all the staff works hard to make sure that you have everything that you need. the quality of the education at smu is very good and the staff will push you to do your best.

    What to do for fun

    saint mary's has different activities that the student life puts on. there are a lot of clubs and activities that you can get involved with. in the basement of toner there is an activities area with pool tables, foosball, and ping pong tables. another place to go is the rac. the rac has an indoor track and four basket ball courts. there is a weight room, racquetball courts, and exercise room as well in the rac.

    Food and Dining

    the food isn't great in the cafeteria. as freshman coming in you have to eat in the cafeteria for every meal. but after the first semester you get to choose your meal plan. there are 3 other places on campus that you can eat. the food is better there than the caf. the dining areas are nice though. they have quite a bit of space for everyone and they are set up nicely.

    Dorm Life

    there are four different freshman dorms and they aren't great but it's a place to sleep and hang out. skemps has the best girls dorms, they are a lot bigger than vlazny which is the other girls dorm. there is also a co-ed dorm and in 2011-2012 some of the girls were having problems with the boys. i have no information on the all boys dorm. skemp has 3 floors, vlazny has 1, eds has 2 (girls on top floor, boys on bottom) and benilde has 2 floors. all of them have sinks in the room except vlazny. they aren't high class dorms but the upper classman dorms are nicer.

    Academic Rigor

    the classes are challenging but there are many resources on campus to help with classes. saint mary's offers tutors, the teachers are willing to help, and other students start study groups. everyone has to put forth effort for almost all of the classes so if you're a person who really tries and wants to do well you probably will get good grades.

    Tips for prospective students

    do over nights no matter where you are planning on going, it is so helpful. if you feel like it's the right one, it probably is. don't limit yourself, you may think a state college is better but you will want to visit both types of schools to see what seems right.

    In three sentences

    the community atmosphere is great! the food isn't the best. but the teachers are really helpful and want you to succeed.

  • 05/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Their great expect on the weekends you need to hide your booze and not play your music loud, and make sure you have a fan blowing the smell of alchol out of your room window

    Greek Life

    We have four Greek organizations: Delta Psi Alpha- Coed multicultural Fraternity they do not do much on campus or throw parties Phi Mu Alpha- is a music Frat they are great guys they do shows all the time and are very active on campus Sigma Alpha Iota- Music sorority the girls are nice they are not that present on campus as well Eta Omega Tau- Is a multicultural sorority that is being established for the 2012-2013 year

    Clubs and Activities

    The school is conservite so we have a club called Pro-Life and a lot of religous clubs, but their is a wide variety of clubs!!! There are fun clubs like Girls and Boys Lacrosse, Ski and Snowboard club, Habitat for Humanity, 3 Greeks organizations, Up till Dawn and much more and agian you can always create a new one easily.

    Great for these types of students

    If you are religious this place is heaven for you. And if your not you get a good laugh making fun of bible thumpers

    Bang for the buck

    The school does need improvement on somethings, but the good thing from it is that it is not that hard to start a new program on campus for one example there is a new sorority being created and new clubs are being made all the time. Office of Campus Ministry is one of the nicest programs on campus they are always creating new trips and volunteer work. You get close with people pretty fast and since the school is so small you can do what ever it is you want doe example I know a few students who found there way on top of the school roof. You can get close with campus security so they do not get mad at you for doing something bad.

    What to do for fun

    Drink. Everyone drinks heavily at school. The school tries to give the students fun things to do, but all of that ends at like 8pm. Not everyone drinks, but a good 89% of the student body does.

    Food and Dining

    We have three eating establishments: Cafeteria, Cardinal Club, and Cotter cafe. The food is prepared by Chartwells which everyone calls it Shartwells and we eat food one level up from prisoners. The meal plans are okay. The Chartwells employees seem angry all the time and do not do your work study in the cafeteria it is depressing. The cafeteria food is okay healthy. Cotter is the healthiest but the most expensive and only open till 2pm everyday. Cardinal club is by far the unhealthiest everything is deep fried , but it is open unitil 10pm so everyone eats at the local Taco Bell.

    Dorm Life

    Everyone lives on campus because the school will take away your scholarships if you live off campus. The freshmen and sophomore buildings are somewhat decent and the upperclassmen dorms are complete crap. There are five dorms for freshman and five dorms for sophomore and then there are three dorms for juniors and seniors. ( because we get a lot of freshmans,but a lot of people leave after that year) There is no air conditioning in 4 of the freshman housing. Their is one sophomore building that is out in the middle of the woods that has rooms smaller then Harry Potters broom closet. Most of the buildings have mold growing in the bathroom the schools solution is to paint over it year after year. The juniors are placed in a village type area that was suppose to be temporary in the 70's , but the trailer like buildings still stand having reports of black mold growing and one student being hospitalized for it. On the plus side they just built a new dorm this year and it is really nice. The Board of Education reserves rooms for example one building will have 40 rooms for sophomores and 100 for juniors and seniors. Housing is not based off of credits in the whole school, but only in your grade.

    Academic Rigor

    We have the basic majors, but everyone who stays is usually a science, business, education, or theatre major. We have so many general education requirements you can have enough credits to create a major. in The science department is not to bad stay away from the physics department! Take the needed courses over the summer this will save you a lot of headaches. The education department focuses a lot on elementary education, so for secondary education majors it is a struggle to listen to the teacher talk in a high squeaky voice while showing the class how to read a story book to your future students. Every year you must take an LCT course that will absolutely bore you to death and it is a waste of time. I am sorry ,but there is no way out of it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not be afraid to branch out and try new friend groups out. Bring what ever you think will be fun for the dorm I brought a slip in slide. Every year you have to take a course called LCT it is a waste of time, but there is no way out unless you get into the Lasallian Honors Program which involves good grades. Take Physics over the summer because there is no way you will get an A or even a BC in the course, the teachers are nice, but have no clue how to teach. Sometimes there are absolutely nothing to do on the weekend your just going to have to deal with it. Hide your liquor well.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a small conservative Lasallian school. It has your basic majors business, education, and science. It is in a very quite town which nothing stays open past 8pm so everyone makes their own fun.

  • 06/27/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    4 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I always felt really safe on campus and there were barely any incidents. Campus safety is on duty 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

    Greek Life

    Some sororities and fraternities starting up, but they don't live together, and they are probably different from what most people looking for Greek life desire.

    Clubs and Activities

    A great variety of clubs, and the ability to start one if you want to participate in an activity that is not currently available.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who love the outdoors and are looking for a small school.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Rubbing the Heffron head. Ghost hunting in Heffron or St. Yon's halls. Hiking to the rock during the day or at night.

    Bang for the buck

    Cheap bars with no cover charge. Affordable Chinese and Mexican food. Lots of fun, free outdoor activities in the bluffs and with outdoor leadership.

    What to do for fun

    Hike in the bluffs. Cross country ski in the bluffs for free with your student ID. Disc golf in the bluffs or by Lake Winona. Bike, walk or run around the bike paths around Lake Winona. Go to Lakeview Drive Inn for a delicious meal. Climb sugar loaf. Look out over Garvin Heights. Canoe and kayak for free on Lake Winona on evenings and weekends during warm months. Lots of bars on 3rd Street for students over 21.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria food is not amazing, but no cafeteria food is. There are plenty of options and it is possible to eat healthily if you want to.

    Dorm Life

    Live on-campus. The community is great, and you'll make many friends and have a lot of fun.

    Academic Rigor

    Coursework is very doable because there are plenty of tutors available and with the low student-teacher ratio, teachers are available and willing to help.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't go home on weekends more than once a month. Staying on campus helps you meet friends and make connections. Make sure to join clubs and take advantage of ways to get involved, because that is a great way to have fun and meet people as well.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a small, liberal arts college. I was drawn to this university by the close-knit community atmosphere. I really appreciated getting to know my professors on a first-name basis and getting a lot of attention and help from them.

  • 11/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very helpful!

    Greek Life

    None

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs and activities at Saint Mary's.

    Great for these types of students

    Students that love to live in a college town, but is also fairly small. Also, students who love outdoorsy activities!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The fourth floor of Saint Mary's Hall is a great place to pull all nighters!

    Bang for the buck

    The professors, entire staff, and students make the money worth it. There are many things to do at Saint Mary's as well.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking in the bluffs is definitely something you have to do. Exploring the SMU part of Winona is extremely beautiful if you are up for an adventure!

    Food and Dining

    Just like all colleges, the food is not what you are used to! However, there are many different options to choose from - which is always nice!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms at SMU, especially the female dorm Skemp is spacious and even has a walk in closet! Every dorm on campus is a good place to live, it just depends on what you like!

    Academic Rigor

    The professors are amazingly helpful and always want what is best for their students.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take your time when searching for a college and make sure you know everything the school has to offer.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's University is an amazing school. The professors, faculty, and students make the school a wonderful place to attend college. The bluffs and weather of southern Minnesota is a huge bonus as well!

  • 02/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 of 13

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Student Activities Committee has unlimited amounts of activities going on on campus.

    Food and Dining

    Chartwells does an amazing job providing a variety of food for us every day!

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is so much fun! The dorms are nice and the RA's care about you!

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are challenging and make you work for your grades. Even though they are tough, the professors care about you and how you are doing in their class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Spend a night here, it will be so much fun and you will get a feel for what it is like in college.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's sense of community is unlike any other school. Professors genuinely care for their students and love to help in any way possible. There are countless activities here on campus, so many that if you go home one weekend, you feel like you're missing out on stuff going on back on campus!

  • 03/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Many different clubs to join!

    What to do for fun

    There are plenty of activities, but it all depends on the people you know!

    Food and Dining

    Food is average!

    Dorm Life

    You are required to live on campus your first year, and personally I think that is an excellent requirement because it helps you get to know people and to experience new adventures!

    Academic Rigor

    Academic is average. There are challenging courses, but the teachers are very helpful!

    Tips for prospective students

    Take the opportunity of attending an overnight visit. You will get to know the school better and make future connections.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's University is a small school located in between the beautiful bluffs of Winona. It is an excellent school for students who want to experience a small college campus experience. The teachers and students are friendly and there is good communication between everyone on campus.

  • 04/15/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    8 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They have campus security and other adults around at all times.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many different interest groups availible!

    Bang for the buck

    The sticker price on the school is huge, but they are so generous with scholarships.

    What to do for fun

    Swimming, work out, music, all sorts of things are always happening on campus!

    Food and Dining

    The food is great!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms vary from being very small to very large, and there are many different living options on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    From what I am learning about this school, there should be some great academics there.

    In three sentences

    I absolutely love the campus! It is small, yet organized so that I will be able to know where I am going once I get there. I can't wait to be there!

  • 05/20/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    We have someone working at the campus safety office 24/7. There are trained professionals as well as student-workers. There have not been any bad incidents on campus.

    Greek Life

    We have three different Greek chapters. Two are music related. One is the all-male music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha. The other is the all-female music sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota. We also have a new multicultural fraternity that has males and females, Delta Psi Alpha.

    Clubs and Activities

    We have many ways for students to get involved. Whether you like music, reading, playing video games, praying, playing sports, or anything in between, SMU has something for you.

    Great for these types of students

    If you like making friends. If you are looking for a place to fit in. If you like nature. If you like going on retreats and going to church. If you like listening to music. (We have SUPER talented people on campus, I have never heard such amazing musicians.)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have a place called The Rock. You have to climb the bluffs and it is a nice long hike. It is an accomplishment if you make it up there. It has a great view of the campus. Perfect for procrastinating on a beautiful day.

    Bang for the buck

    You are paying for a quality Catholic, Lasallian education. It is a little more money, but you have a lot of opportunities at this school.

    What to do for fun

    The Student Activities Committee always has something planned. There is at least one event per week that a student can attend. I personally like going to these events. They range from a musical performance, to movies, to something you create yourself.

    Food and Dining

    We have 3 places to eat on campus. The Caf is the main cafeteria. They have a lot of food options, but they aren't all the best. There are some days where nothing looks appetizing. There is always sandwiches, salad, and pizza; those three things usually safe the day. We also have the Cardinal Club. This place is good but it is all fast food type foods, and it is not the healthiest. We also have the Cotter Cafe. This place is only open for lunch and it is in the main academic building. It has pretty good food, but you have to use your campus dollars. We also have a coffee shop on campus and they sell little muffins or cookies if you are on the run.

    Dorm Life

    We just added a new residence hall this past academic year. It has singles, doubles, quads, and apartment style living. The school also has been renovating a lot of the residence halls. My first-year residence hall was renovated the summer before I started school and it was really nice. We also have apartment style houses you can call them. We have about 13 different places you can live on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    We really focus on reading and critical thinking here. You should get used to writing papers, because it happens in a lot of your classes. Thankfully we have a Writing Center where you can have your papers looked at by former English majors. They help you with grammar and whatever else you may need to edit your paper.

    Tips for prospective students

    It is HIGHLY recommended that you bring some credits in. I always tell prospective students to get as many credits for general education classes in high school. GenEds stink in college and they are a lot harder. I also would say join the Living Learning Community. It is a unique option for first-year students and not many colleges have it. You have the opportunity to live with and around people who have a similar major to yours. You also have a really strong community for your first year. I participated in the first Living Learning Community and it was the best decision. I made amazing friends and I really connected with the faculty involved.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's has a great community feeling, the second I stepped on campus for a visit, I felt welcomed and a part of the community.

  • 06/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 of 13

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are lots of clubs on campus to reach just about everyones interests. Cross coutnry ski trails are accessible throughout the year for both running and walking during the fall, spring and summer, with skiing available during the winter months.

    Food and Dining

    The food at Chartwells is not the greatest, but the student cafe, the Cardinal Club, more than makes up for it.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are clean, with the Hall Directors and RA's always on hand to provide helpful services.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are aimed to be mentally stimulating, posing a challenge for all students regardless of intended majors.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you take a visit to teh schoool before you make a decision to attend. Sme enjoy the smaller atmosphere, while others would rather be part of a larger community.

    In three sentences

    SMUMN is a wonderful school, although somewhat lacking in diversity. The students are generally pleasant to talk to, and with such a small campus, everyone soon gets to know everyone.

  • 07/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe campus

    Clubs and Activities

    Decent amount of options

    What to do for fun

    Hiking in the bluffs. The rope swing and Airport Lake. Downtown Winona. Movie theater. Canoeing or kayaking in the river. Almost anything outdoors.

    Academic Rigor

    Depends on the classes you choose

    Tips for prospective students

    Get to know those that live in your dorm. Join different activities and clubs on campus. Go to class on time and do your homework.

    In three sentences

    Saint Mary's University is a very welcoming, friendly, and open community. SMU does its best to nurture students' different learning styles and abilities. SMU has a wonderful education program for those who want to become teachers.

  • 07/31/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    12 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You can feel their force from a far.

    Clubs and Activities

    Same as any other college.

    Great for these types of students

    Anybody and Everybody... A campus visit really helps decide if this college is right for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    It's a shame I can't list them haha :P

    Bang for the buck

    If your parents make over 120,000 you're not going to get anything from the government or from Saint Mary's other than your basic merit based scholarship, which isn't that great. I will be walking away with at least 70,000 dollars in debt. Also don't even consider moving off campus, because you'll lose a lot of your little aid you do get.

    What to do for fun

    Same as any other college in a decent sized town.

    Food and Dining

    They have a few dining halls, and neat places on campus. Everything off campus is a little ways away though, that a car or bus is usually required.

    Dorm Life

    They have 3 freshman halls, with one of the three being coed, and the other two, one male and one female hall.

    Academic Rigor

    They say that the majority of people graduate in 4 years. They also offer graduate programs too.

    Tips for prospective students

    Start applying to colleges EARLY, I mean by November 1st you should have applied to all of your top schools. Another tip is apply to every school you're considering even if it's just a little bit, because if you decide later that a certain school is right for you, you could have missed some pretty big scholarships from that school.

    In three sentences

    It's a private Catholic school, that's trying to diversify itself, so if you're a minority student that's great, and for everyone else... not so great, scholarship wise anyway. It's a small college with around 1,300 students at its main campus in Winona MN. It offers plenty of opportunities for both incoming students and returning students.

  • 12/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    13 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Small campus -Small classroom -Community -Teacher connection -Familiarity with everyone on campus -Nature -Snow

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Plaza is usually where a lot events are hosted, as well as a place where students relax and hang out. I believe SMU is also one of the most haunted places in the United States. We have numerous ghost stories and sightings. You should come visit to see for yourself ;)

    Bang for the buck

    For me, I was fortunate enough to obtain scholarships and grants to help pay for school. SMU also provides a grant for a large portion of the students and offers scholarships anyone can apply for.

    What to do for fun

    There is always something going on; whether it's in the residence halls, on campus, or downtown, the Winona area has something to offer for everyone.

    Food and Dining

    Of course, this is college and everyone is going to experience college food. I wouldn't call it as great as Olive Garden, but it's not going to give you stomach aches or weeks. Other than the main cafe, we have other clubs, sandwich places, and coffee cafes to buy food. Visiting the restaurants in downtown Winona is also a great idea to get food.

    Dorm Life

    First of all, it's not called the D-word. We call them Residence Halls here at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Being an RA and part of Residence Life, we give 110% of our effort to make sure our residents experience the best college life they can possibly receive. There are numerous programs every week; whether they are in the residence halls or around campus, we make sure our residents always have something to keep themselves occupied!

    Academic Rigor

    College is college, there is no difference than any other school. Little SMU schoolwork is just as rigorous and time-consuming as a big ten school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely go to one of our three music events: Blue Angel (Fall), Fireside (Early-Spring), or Gaslight (Late-Spring). These are all student-run events put on for the campus and the public! I've preformed in all three and highly recommend prospective students to attend them all. Also highly recommended to spend a night in one of the halls, that way you have a better experience!

    In three sentences

    As of now, the small college-vibe is great! Despite feeling slightly weird knowing about 75% of the students, I still feel connected to the student body and university. Being a Resident Assistant on top of it, I am familiar and active with a lot of programs and events on campus!