Saint Leo University is a private non-profit liberal arts university located in Saint Leo, Florida. It was established in 1889 by a group of Benedictine monks from Saint Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania. It functioned as an English-style prep school from 1920 to 1964 when it temporarily phased out its college and was known as the Saint Leo College Preparatory School. This first Catholic school in Florida reopened its college department in 1959 with the assistance of the Benedictine sisters at Holy Name Monastery. This paved the way for the change of name to Saint Leo College. It obtained university status in August 1999. The university also maintains the Channelside Tampa Education Center offering continuing education classes in the evening as well as 16 other centers in different locations.
The university was named after Pope Saint Leo the Great and has been continuously providing educational programs based on the Catholic Benedictine tradition. This does not however prevent it from making its academic programs available to students belonging to other religious denominations. The core values of Saint Leo University include excellence as an educational enterprise; hospitable Catholic learning community regardless of location; respect of individuals as modeled by Jesus Christ; development of mind, body, and spirit for a balanced life; responsible stewardship of abundant resources; and integrity in living its mission and delivering its promise.
Saint Leo University’s educational programs are comprised of at least 40 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs and certificate programs in the liberal arts. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Specific programs have additional accreditations from applicable entities such as the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education for business programs and the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation for its sports programs. It is also a member of the Private College and Universities of Florida.
The offered degree programs by the School of Arts and Science include Bachelor of Science degree programs in Biology, English, Medical Technology, and Environmental Science; Bachelor of Arts degree programs in History, International Studies, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, and Sociology. Offered minors include Anthropology, Arts, Chemistry, Engineering, Music, Philosophy, and Theatre. The School of Business offers B.A. programs in Accounting, Applied Science, Business Administration, Communication Management, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Healthcare Management, Human Resources Management, International Hospitality and Tourism Management, Management, Marketing, and Sports Business. Other undergraduate programs are also offered in Criminal Justice, Education, and Social Work. Graduate degree programs are offered in Theology and Business Administration. Some of these programs are also offered online. Certificate programs are only offered in the online format.
Estimated annual educational cost for full-time undergraduate is $27,990.00 inclusive of tuition, fees, and room and meal plan. Students can avail of financial assistance through the offered financial aid packages through grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. Saint Leo University has a good number of institutional scholarships offered to students.
There are more than 14,000 students enrolled in the university. At least 1,000 of these students attend the main campus and the remaining either attend one of the seventeen Continuing Education Centers found in seven states or through the Center for Online Learning. About 58% of students are female while 42% are male. White Non-Hispanics comprise almost half of the student population while Black Non-Hispanics comprise almost 30%.
The university is a member of the NCAA Division II. It fields its teams known as the Lions in basketball, lacrosse, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. It is also a charter member of the Sunshine State Conference and the Deep South Lacrosse Conference.