BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary has earned the prestigious honor as a College of Distinction. For the second straight year, the University of Mary is the only college in North Dakota, and one of only a select handful in the region, to be recognized as one of the nation’s top places of higher learning.

For years, students across the country have known that they could turn to Colleges of Distinction as a one-of-a-kind resource to find the best-fit school for them. Part of what makes Colleges of Distinction unique is how it evaluates schools based on their ability to provide a high-quality student experience, as well as a thorough liberal arts education.

Already recognized by Colleges of Distinction for its innovative approach to education, University of Mary, has been honored further for its expert blending of the liberal arts with professional programming in Business, education and nursing. The 21st century job market now demands employees who are both stellar communicators and critical-thinkers, and it is with University of Mary’s well-rounded approach to career development that its students are especially prepared to take on the postgraduate world.

“We are ecstatic to celebrate University of Mary for its exceptional commitment to student success,” said Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer for Colleges of Distinction. “Building upon its extensive liberal arts curriculum, as well as its impressive engagement of High-Impact Practices, University of Mary continues to stand out through its stance as a leader in professional education.”

University of Mary students earned college credit and valuable life experience while participating in study abroad programs in several countries, including campuses in Rome and Peru; service learning opportunities in Guatemala and Peru; faculty-led trips to Medjugorje, Israel, China, France and Poland; and a partnership with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy for business students. Also, one of the most noted new educational paradigms for students at the University of Mary is the groundbreaking Year-Round Campus. This paradigm shift in education gives undergraduate students the option of a full and vibrant campus experience over the summer, allowing them to complete a bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and a master’s in 4. This option is an innovative solution to the rising costs, extended completion times, and skyrocketing debt loads currently challenging students seeking higher education.

“Not only are we extremely honored by this recognition, but also very proud to be the only College of Distinction in North Dakota and one of only a few awarded universities in the region,” said University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea. “We have launched some of the most innovative learning initiatives across the U.S.—from our Rome campus, to our Year-Round Campus where students have the option of earning their bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and then their master’s in four—students come to Mary from around the world experiencing a dynamic and comprehensive learning environment at one of the nation’s most affordable universities.”

University of Mary’s new Field of Study badges are true marks of honor in the world of higher education. Colleges of Distinction granted these awards after a comprehensive vetting process, selecting schools based on such qualities as accreditation, breadth of program, and a track record for success.

Education: University of Mary’s future educators are bolstered by an enriching liberal arts perspective, allowing them to be empathetic, creative, and efficient mentors for their students. University of Mary’s education programs include biology education, business education, early childhood education, English education, health education, history education, mathematics education, music education, physical education, social studies education, special education, speech education and doctorate of education.

Nursing: The accredited nursing program at University of Mary has enabled its students to take calculated action, even in high-pressure situations. Their well-rounded perspective allows them to think on their feet and care deeply for their patients. Nursing programs include LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, accelerated 2nd degree BSN and doctorate of education. And, academically eligible students also receive their senior year free through the generous CHI St. Alexius Medical Center Scholarship.

Business: The fast-paced, modern world of business requires effective communication and innovative strategies. University of Mary programs in business administration, business communication, sports and leisure management, marketing, and business management keep their future leaders ahead of the curve and ready to grow alongside the industry.

To view University of Mary’s profile or to find more information about the innovative learning experiences it offers, visit

About Colleges of Distinction: Colleges of Distinction has recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education for over 15 years. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience. For more information, visit

About the University of Mary: The University of Mary continues to be one of the most affordable Catholic universities in America. Founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 undergraduate, and 14 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs in Physical Therapy, Nursing Practice, Education and Occupational Therapy. The University of Mary is also home to the new and innovative Year-Round Campus — where students have the option to earn their degree in 2.6 years and master’s in four years. With over 3,200 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Rome, Italy and Arequipa, Peru as well as vibrant online offerings. For more information, visit