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Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University


Saint Martin's University in Lacey, Washington is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Established in 1895 by monks of the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, our identity as a university is rooted in our Catholic, Benedictine tradition. Saint Martin's is a member of the Independent Colleges of Washington.

Guided by the principles of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Saint Martin’s University endeavors to unite academic rigor and excellence with moral thought and social responsibility – higher education that seeks to serve and promote the common good – higher education that seeks to transform lives by grappling with issues of Faith, Reason, Service, and Community. We come together, faculty, staff, and students, to form a community of individuals who are learning to live a meaningful life. Saints think, pray, serve, play and live with heart.

Fast facts

  • Undergraduate enrollment (approx.): 1300
  • Graduate enrollment (approx.): 250
  • Nationalities represented on campus: 19
  • Faiths represented on campus: 20+
  • First-year profile (entering 2018)
    • Percentage of students who are Catholic: 45%
    • Percentage of students who identify as ethnically diverse: 59%
    • Percentage of students who are first in their family to attend college: 35%
    • Percentage of students with need who receive financial support or aid: 97%

The Order of St. Benedict

The charisms of Community and Balance are uniquely demonstrated and fostered in Benedictine spirituality:

St. Benedict called his monks into a community – a shared life of prayer, work, and study. Benedict was convinced that everything we need to learn about loving God, loving each other, and loving ourselves – is done in the context of community. Benedictine community, while being the antidote to individualism, always has a reverence for uniqueness. By design, we stand shoulder to shoulder with people who may actually be very different from ourselves – this is viewed as an asset – not a hindrance.

Balancing the life of the mind with the life of the spirit and body is decidedly Benedictine. The Rule of St. Benedict distinctly carves out time for prayer, work, and study for all members of the community. This Benedictine balance is reflected in our core themes of Faith, Reason, and Service. At Saint Martin’s we strive to nurture and develop the entire person through excellent and integrated academic, spiritual, athletic and other co-curricular programs.

Our goal is to graduate students who have a life-long passion for learning, are dedicated to developing their spiritual selves, and have a palpable commitment to service that seeks to establish a peaceful and socially just order in our world.



Saint Martin's University is a comprehensive institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Established in 1895, Saint Martin’s is the educational apostolate of Saint Martin’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery of the Roman Catholic Church, whose members pray, work and live together on the University’s campus.

Saint Martin's University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer-review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary re¬sources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities avail¬able to students who attend the institution.

Our undergraduate civil engineering and mechanical engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET; our education programs are accredited by the Washington State Board of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Accreditation (CAEP); our social work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); our School of Business has been accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); the nursing program is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN); the RN to BSN program is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission; the baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Saint Martin’s University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The University is a member of the American Association of Colleges’ Association of Higher Education, Council for Independent Colleges, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Independent Colleges of Washington, National Catholic Education Association, Northwest Association of Private Colleges and Universities, Washington Friends of Higher Education, Service Members Opportunity Colleges and American Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities.

Saint Martin's University programs of study are approved by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board’s State Approving Agency (HECB/SAA) for enrollment of people eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10. This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

Saint Martin’s University reserved the right to make changes it deems necessary in procedures, policies, calendars, curriculum, overall academic programs or majors and costs.



To meet the continued needs of the Saint Martin's community, the Office of Institutional Advancement works hard to bring these dreams to life. Through coordinated efforts and collaboration, campaigns are designed around the initiatives set forth by our Board of Trustees to provide the Saint Martin's community with the resources needed to continue to meet the expectations of our students.

Science Initiative

To meet the increasing needs of students seeking STEM degrees, Saint Martin's University joins a national movement to increase America's science and math graduates with our Science Initiative campaign. Washington State has one of the highest concentrations of STEM jobs in the country, but we are one of the lowest states for producing these graduates. Saint Martin's new science building will be strategically located next to Cebula Hall and the Panowicz Foundry, creating a STEM triangle on campus.

Engineering Initiative

The Engineering Initiative was a successful campaign to improve the facilities of the School of Engineering. Completed in 2012 and 2016, respectively, Cebula Hall and the Panowicz Industrial Lab house Saint Martin’s engineering labs and features unique collaborative work environments for students to maximize their educational experience.

125th Anniversary Initiative

In celebration of Saint Martin's University's 125th anniversary, we are proud to announce a comprehensive fundraising initiative to help fund and support the next 125 years at Saint Martin's. Starting in late 2019, Saint Martin's University will be celebrating with numerous events that will engage alumni, supporters, current students, staff and faculty to facilitate support for the comprehensive campaign.


We, the faculty, staff, trustees, and administration at Saint Martin’s University pledge to provide our students nothing short of the very best education, one that is holistic in nature, and collaborative and integrative in approach.

Saint Martin’s University is an inclusive community of learners and thinkers, rooted in tradition and inspired toward progress. Informed by the Catholic intellectual tradition, Saint Martin’s University endeavors to unite academic rigor and excellence with moral thought and social responsibility: higher education that seeks to serve and promote the common good. Guided by our Benedictine values, Saint Martin’s embraces the ideal of balance: that education involves developing the whole person—the mind and body, heart and soul.

As Catholic and Benedictine, Saint Martin’s has an opportunity and an obligation to educate the next generation of leaders to be mindful citizens of the world, who can exhibit wisdom and compassion in thought and through action.

Here at Saint Martin's students learn to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others. In their studies and activities outside the classroom, They are empowered to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment.

We, the faculty, staff, trustees, and administration at Saint Martin’s pledge to provide our students with nothing short of the very best education.



Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic Benedictine institution of higher education that empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment in all areas of human endeavor. Saint Martin’s students learn to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others through the interaction of faith, reason, and service. The University honors both the sacredness of the individual and the significance of community in the ongoing journey of becoming.


Established in 1895, Saint Martin’s University is the educational mission of Saint Martin’s Abbey, a Catholic Benedictine monastery, whose members pray, work, and live together on the University campus. The physical beauty of Saint Martin’s 300-acre campus reflects the rich intellectual and spiritual nature of its presence in the Pacific Northwest.

Essential features of university life are animated by its Benedictine identity and its participation in the centuries-old traditions of Catholic intellectual thought and the search for truth.

Thus, the University honors students and guides them towards achieving academic excellence. Superior teaching is the expected norm. Rooted in the long tradition of the liberal arts, the university curriculum cultivates creativity and the ability to communicate and pursue ideas; critical thinking and independent inquiry; academic proficiency; the formation of sound ethical judgments; and service to humanity.

Reflecting the Benedictine virtue of hospitality, the University welcomes and, indeed, seeks students not only from the Pacific Northwest but also from other parts of the nation and the world at its main and extension campuses. Saint Martin’s treasures persons of all ages, religions, and nationalities as it encourages cognizance of diverse viewpoints and an appreciation of all cultures.


Campus Features

At Saint Martin's, we strive to create a safe and secure environment as your university home. Our coeducational residential village, which includes traditional residential halls and apartments, offers both privacy and community. We want this to be a welcoming place for you to build relationships, develop social responsibility, and achieve academic success.

    Scholarships and Funding

    Scholarships for international students

    Saint Martin’s University is committed to helping make education accessible and affordable to our international students. The following are scholarships available to all qualifying international undergraduate applicants to Saint Martin’s University seeking to study on an F-1 student visa.

    International students are not eligible to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) but are eligible for scholarships. Please review the eligibility requirements of each scholarship carefully.

    International Undergraduate Scholarships

    Undergraduate Academic Merit Scholarships: (renews annually)

    Cumulative grade point average is calculated on a 4.0 scale. Non-US issued transcripts or mark sheets will be evaluated by an external transcript evaluation agency to determine the cumulative GPA. The GPA obtained at the time of admission will be the criteria used to determine scholarship eligibility.

    CriteriaScholarship Amount
    GPA 3.75-4.00$20,000
    GPA 3.74-3.50$18,000
    GPA 3.49-3.00$16,000
    GPA 2.99-2.75$14,000
    GPA 2.74-2.50$12,000

    Benedictine High School Scholarship (renews annually)

    CriteriaScholarship Amount
    Meet all admissions requirements$2000
    Must be a full-time student
    Must have graduated from a Benedictine H.S.

    English Proficiency Scholarship (renews annually)

    Official score reports must be submitted for consideration. Reports must not be more than 2 years old.

    $1000 scholarship$2000 scholarship
    Type of ExamScoresScores
    TOEFL (iBT)79-9192 or above
    TOEFL (Paper-based Test)550-577579 or above
    IELTS6.57.0 or above
    Duolingo105-110111 or above

    International Partner School Scholarship (renews annually)

    To be eligible for this $2000 scholarship, an international undergraduate student must be a full-time student and transferring from a global partner high school and meet all undergraduate admissions requirements. The eligibility of global partner schools is determined by Saint Martin’s Office of International Programs & Development.

    Campus Visit Award

    Prospective international students who partake with an in-person campus visit or a virtual visit via our website are eligible for a $500 nonrenewable award upon enrollment.

    Alumni and Friends Scholarship

    This scholarship is available for incoming first-year and transfer students only. Alumni, parents, and friends of the University use this form to award potential first-year or transfer students who you believe will thrive in and contribute to the Saints community for an annual, renewable $1,000 tuition award. Recommendation form must be received in the Office of International Programs & Development before the student begins classes at Saint Martin’s University.

    Outstanding Achievement Awards (non-renewable)

    International student achievement awards, $1000 International Leadership Award and $1000 Outstanding Service Award, are available for all qualifying international undergraduate applicants to Saint Martin’s University seeking to study on an F1 student visa. To receive consideration for the International Student Achievement Award an applicant must submit their award application at the time of applying for undergraduate admissions. You may only apply for one award.

    First-year and transfer applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 from their previous educational institution(s). A minimum 250-word essay illustrating either leadership or service experience to be submitted along with a resume.

    International Graduate Student Scholarships

    International Graduate Student Grant

    To be eligible for this grant, an international student must have participated as an exchange student from a global partner school as an undergraduate. The eligibility of the student is determined by Saint Martin’s Office of International Programs & Development.

    Meet all international graduate admissions requirements$5000
    Must be a full-time student
    Must have participated in SMU exchange program as an undergraduate

    International Partner Graduate Student Scholarship (renews annually)

    To be eligible for this scholarship, an international student must be a graduate from a global partner school. The eligibility of the student is determined by Saint Martin’s Office of International Programs & Development.

    Meet all admissions requirements$5000
    Must be FT student
    Alumni from Partner School

    International Kindness Buddhist Scholarship (renew annually)

    To be eligible you must be an international graduate student enrolled in the University. This scholarship is a $500 per year renewable scholarship. Eligibility is determined at the time of admission.

    Why study at Saint Martin’s University

    Students often attend Saint Martin's because of its sense of community. Faculty know their students, staff are willing to assist in ways that make the transition to university positive. We are here to assist you in your success.

    Awards & Accreditations

    #35 in Regional Universities West (tie)

    U.S. News and World Report (2022)

    #33 in Best Colleges for Veterans

    U.S. News and World Report (2022)

    #8 in Best Value Schools

    U.S. News and World Report (2022)

    Campus Life & Facilities

    • International Student Services
    • Career Counseling
    • Recreation Facility, tennis courts
    • Catered Dining Services

    Saint Martin's University offers a wide array of campus activities for students. We have over 200 clubs that will appeal to a student's interest whether it be an academic, social, or sport-focused club.

    We are a NCAA Division II school with a competitive sport in basketball, soccer, volleyball, track & field, cross country, golf, baseball, and softball.

    Saint Martin’s University is in the Top 10 Countries to Study Abroad Top 10 Global rankings 2023 badge Top 10 Global rankings 2022 badge


    • Lacey

      Saint Martin's University 5000 Abbey Way SE Lacey, WA 98503-3200, 98503-3200, Lacey