Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Quad


Saint Xavier University Highlights

Chicago's First Catholic University

  • Saint Xavier University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846 and was the first Mercy institution of higher learning in the United States. It is Chicago's oldest Catholic university.
  • Saint Xavier University is a mid-sized private university serving approximately 4,000 students at its Chicago campus and Orland Park campus.
  • Inspired by its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage, Saint Xavier University's mission is to educate men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

A Nationally Recognized Private University

  • In 2017, Saint Xavier University's Counseling Center was awarded the Agency of the Year Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southwest.
  • Saint Xavier University is named a College of Distinction for 2017-2018, a national list which honors higher education institutions across the country that engage students, offer great teaching, create vibrant campus communities and foster successful outcomes.
  • In 2016, Saint Xavier University has ranked in the top ten "Best Value" of the Midwest universities. The calculation used here takes into account a school's academic quality, as indicated by its 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.
  • In the 2012 U.S. News & World Report, Saint Xavier ranked among the top 25 percent of comprehensive universities in the Midwest.
  • The 2011 U.S. News & World Report recognizes SXU among the top private or public regional universities in the Midwest and in the top six in Illinois.
  • Saint Xavier University is the 10th largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois and in the top 20 percent for enrollment growth since 2002.

One of Illinois' Top Providers of Teachers and Nurses

  • Saint Xavier University has one of the five largest schools of nursing in Illinois.
  • At the graduate level, Saint Xavier University is the second largest provider of teachers in Illinois. At the undergraduate level, Saint Xavier is one of the five largest providers in Illinois. In the metropolitan Chicago area, it is estimated that more than 174,000 school children a day are taught by a Saint Xavier University graduate.
  • Statewide, less than half of new teachers make it to public classrooms. At Saint Xavier University, there is an estimated 4,000 graduates of the teacher education program with an average tenure of 12 years in the classroom. More than 80 percent of our baccalaureate recipients are teaching in Illinois public schools in the first year.
  • Saint Xavier University's School of Nursing recently earned the No. 1 ranking by U.S. News & World Report's 2017 "Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs". Saint Xavier University School of Nursing has ranked in the top three online graduate nursing programs four consecutive years. This is the second time the program has been ranked No. 1 in those four years.
  • For creating an environment that enhances student leaning and professional development, Saint Xavier University's School of Nursing has been consistently desginated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing since 2013.

Accountability and Service

  • Saint Xavier University is a leader in adopting cutting-edge assessment techniques, including the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Lumina Longitudinal Study and the Collegiate Learning Assessment.
  • Saint Xavier University sends $110 million into the local economy every year.
  • Almost 70 percent of Saint Xavier University students are first-generation college students, a significantly larger proportion than at most other four-year colleges and universities, where approximately 50 to 55 percent are first-generation students (2006 Cooperative Institution Research Program).

Saint Xavier University Celebrates Diversity

  • In 2016, Saint Xavier University was ranked No. 8 on U.S. News & World Report's "Campus Ethnic Diversity" list.
  • Saint Xavier University has ranked one of the 10 most diverse student populations among universities in the Midwest. U.S. News factors in the total proportion of minority students, leaving out international students, and the overall mix of groups. The data are drawn from each institution's student body for the 2015-2016 school year.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks the Saint Xavier University student population among the five most diverse public and private colleges and universities in the Midwest and third in Illinois. More than one-third of undergraduate students come from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
  • Saint Xavier is committed to serving lower-income populations. U.S. News & World Report ranked SXU 11th among Midwest master's-granting universities in terms of the economic diversity of its students.
  • Between fall 2005 and spring 2007, Saint Xavier University ranked No. 1 in Illinois in the number of bachelor's degrees in nursing earned by African-Americans and Hispanic nursing students.
  • U.S. News & World Report in 2007 listed Saint Xavier University as the 12th most diverse socioeconomic student body in the greater Midwest. More than one-third of undergraduates have a high financial need.
  • Saint Xavier University is committed to serving the needs of lower-income populations and, to that end, has a large population of students with financial need: 94 percent of our undergraduates and 50 percent of our graduate students receive financial assistance.

Saint Xavier University Athletics

  • In 2017, SXU's women's basketball team was a NAIA Division II National Championship Runner-Up.
  • In 2017, SXU Cougars enter the national tournament as the No. 1 seed and CCAC champions.
  • In 2016, SXU's women's basketball ranked third best team in the country overall in the NAIA Poll.
  • In 2016, SXU's women's softball team ends the season as the NAIA national runner-up. This was Saint Xavier's seventh NAIA World Series appearance and first since 2013.
  • Nine of Saint Xavier University's 12 athletic teams have qualified for the NAIA National Tournament or their respective national playoffs, including: football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's track, women's track and women's soccer.
  • Saint Xavier University's football team took home its first-ever National Championship in 2011.
  • In 2011, the Saint Xavier University football team became NAIA's No. 1 football team.
  • In 2011, the Saint Xavier women's basketball team ranked No. 13 in the NAIA Preseason Poll.
  • In 2007, Saint Xavier University's football program earned a No. 2 national ranking.

Fast Facts

(Data for 2016-17 academic year)

Our Students

Total Enrollment 3,896  
By Gender
Male 1,272 (34%)
Female 2,443 (66%)
By Level  
Undergraduate 2,942 (89.6% full-time)
Graduate 773  
Undergraduates By Ethnicity*
*Based on known ethnicity
Caucasian 1,209 (41.1%)
African-American 340 (11.6%)



Multi-Racial/Other 87 (3%)



Other 105 (3.5%)
Average Age of Students
Undergraduate 22  
Graduate 33  
Undergraduates who are Residents: 16.4%  
Undergraduates with Financial Aid: 96%  

Our Faculty

Faculty with Terminal or Highest Degree 86%
Full-time 153
Portion of Full-time 9
Adjunct 204

Academic Life

College of Arts and Sciences
Graham School of Management
School of Nursing
Continuing and Adult Education
# of Undergraduate degrees


# of Undergraduate degree programs 43
# of Graduate degrees 9
# of Graduate degree programs


# of Graduates in 2016-17 1,011
Student-faculty ratio 13/1

Co-Curricular Life

Nickname Cougars
Colors Scarlet and Gray
Residence Halls McCarthy, Morris, Pacelli, Regina, Rubloff, O'Brien
Student Organizations: 32