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University of St. Thomas


The University of St. Thomas is a smaller private college in Houston that has an affiliation with the Catholic Church. Though founded in 1944, it didn’t actually open until 1947. It was a joint effort between the Congregation of St. Basil and the Houston Diocese. Those founders spent several years deciding on the type of courses to offer, hiring professors and building programs for students. As it opened after World War II, some of its earliest students were veterans enrolling and using their GI Bill benefits. More than 20,000 students graduated from the university since it first opened.

Known as St. Thomas or UST, the university has a traditional dormitory that is open to most students and a second residence hall that is open only to adult students. This second residence hall allows those who took time off from school to get the full college experience. UST also releases several publications throughout the year and encourages students to work for those publications, which include a school newspaper and a literary magazine. Though UST admitted fewer than 60 students in its first year, it now has a population of more than 3,000 students. More than 1,600 of those students enroll in UST to work on a bachelor’s degree.

University of St. Thomas Accreditation Details

Students hoping to complete a bachelor’s degree and then go to graduate school need to ensure that the college they attend has regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is also a must for those who want to transfer credits from another college or receive financial aid. The University of St. Thomas has regional accreditation, which comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Part of the SACS accreditation process is a renewal phase, which comes about every decade. This ensures that the university continues meeting all the requirements needed for accreditation. UST also has specialized accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools for its theological programs. Many of those who enroll in these programs later find work as ministers and religious leaders.

University of St. Thomas Application Requirements

If you have an interest in applying to UST, you can either fill out a paper application or complete the application online. With the paper application, you can visit the university’s admissions page, download a copy of the PDF file, print off the application and mail it back to the university once you fill it out. UST offers different application types for transfer, adult, dual credit and other types of students. The application is fairly basic in nature and asks you standard questions, including what grades you earned in high school and whether you earned credits from any other college. You’ll need to answer the same questions when filling out the online version of the application.

As an incoming freshman, you must also meet all other admissions requirements. UST requires that you have a high school diploma or an equivalency diploma like the the GED. High school graduates must have a minimum grade point average of 2.8 on a standard 4.0 scale. You will need to take either the critical reading and math sections of the SAT or the composite ACT and submit your official score from that test. UST also asks that all students submit an essay that explains why they chose the university for their studies. Though you do not need to take the writing portion of the ACT or SAT, you may take that portion and submit your score as part of the application process.

Tuition and Fees

The University of St. Thomas estimates the cost of attendance at around $15,700 a semester, which includes the tuition costs associated with taking a full course load and any fees UST charges as well. Students living on campus will pay more than $4,000 a semester for a meal plan and a dorm room, and the university estimates that students spend around $1,000 a semester on both textbooks and school supplies. A full year of taking classes and living on campus will come to more than $40,000.

Students who receive financial aid will receive a refund check for any aid they receive that goes above what they owe. UST also offers payment plans that let students make a $35 payment when signing up for the plan. Students can then make lower payments towards their tuition. Those who need more help should file that FAFSA prior to the start of the school year. UST recommends that students file the FAFSA by the middle of March before they start at the university. As a college student, you may qualify for both grants and loans from the government. Students may qualify for scholarships and state grants as well. UST also has work study jobs on campus for its students.

Bachelor Degree Students

The University of St. Thomas Houston offers degree programs through six schools/colleges on campus, including its School of Education and Human Services, Cameron School of Business and School of Arts & Sciences. UST has more than 40 education and degree programs available as well as pre-professional programs in topics like law and medicine. Students can also enroll in dual degree programs, which are joint programs offered by UST and a college or university like the University of Notre Dame.

A unique program available through UST is its Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. Designed for students who have interests outside of one specific subject, this program allows students to study two or more subjects from its School of Arts and Sciences as they work on their degrees. A similar program is its Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. Students enrolled in these programs can also gain credit through a study abroad program or an internship.

UST also offers a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing for students who want to write and publish fiction books and stories. Some of the courses in this program allow students to give and receive feedback from their peers, but they also take courses on writing on specific topics and on the work of others. The University of St. Thomas requires that all writing students do a capstone project or a thesis as a senior to show that they developed strong writing skills within the program.