Mary Continues to Thrive and Grow as the New School Year Begins Today


BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary in Bismarck reached a milestone for new freshmen and transfers by eclipsing the 600 mark for the first time in school history. That news comes as the 2015-2016 school year begins today with students from 31 states and five foreign countries. Of those, over 52-percent are from out of state.

Michael McMahon, assistant vice president for Enrollment Services, attributes the growth increase to several reasons. “Our new incoming students and their parents tell us we are one of the most affordable Catholic universities in the country, which is something we’ve known for some time. But it goes deeper than that. As a Christian, Catholic and Benedictine school we pride ourselves in being welcoming to people of all faiths and prepare them for the whole of life. Our faculty, and curriculum they adhere to, are some of the best in the world. Students enjoy the small class sizes and our placement rate when they graduate is one of the best.”

University of Mary LogoAlso, a draw for new incoming students and appealing to their parents’ is the new and innovative Year-Round Campus option that begins this school year. It’s a revolutionary degree path making it even more affordable for students to obtain a high-quality, private education. Leaving the four-year degree option intact for those who want it, Year-Round Campus is one-of-a-kind option that enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and master’s in four. By offering the same course load as a traditional program over eight consecutive semesters, including summer, Year-Round Campus reduces the cost and time for a university education and allows students to begin their careers much sooner and accrue much less debt.

“This is a game changer in higher education,” added McMahon. “And, we think this new Year-Round Campus program has helped bring the brightest freshman class we’ve ever had at the University of Mary. This program attracts students who are highly motivated, career path oriented and extremely smart. This class has an average ACT of 23.3 and an average GPA of 3.51. Something this incoming class of 2015 can be very, very proud of.”

McMahon attributes more factors to the enrollment increases. The popularity of our Rome campus and our new campus in Peru are just two of the many study abroad programs students can take part in every year. Since Mary’s Rome campus opened in 2010 it has been a life-changing experience for over 400 students.

The exact total fall enrollment numbers won’t be known until Oct., when they are reported to the federal government.

A Christian, Catholic Benedictine university founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s and 14 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs — in education, nursing practice, and physical therapy. With more than 300 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Rome and Milan, Italy and Arequipa, Peru as well as vibrant online offerings. An NCAA Division II member, the University of Mary offers 17 varsity sports for women and men.