See what students say:


Saint Mary’s College of California takes a Lasallian approach to service and learning, using the study of the liberal arts to produce students who are both passionate learners and committed citizens. The diverse core curriculum is centered around the Collegiate Seminar, a series of courses in which undergrads read, dissect, discuss, and live the ideas behind major works of Western civilization. This foundation of “interesting texts…allows for students to bring in real world experiences,” and encourages the “student-based discussions rather than professor lectures” that are a key aspect of a SMC education. The academic calendar also includes January Term, a month-long course in which enrollees deep dive into one single topic, which many agree is “a fun and exciting way to keep students engaged.” Undergrads can choose from one of the many robust study-abroad programs to gain valuable experience (and college credit) while immersed in a different culture. Students also have access to a plethora of academic support services, including tutoring, mental health counseling, and the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum. And if there’s anything that attendees need, the administration is committed to listening to student needs: “The staff have been here for all of us students every step of the way.”

There are 44 majors offered across four schools, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 that allows “amazing relationships with professors thanks to the small classroom sizes.” Faculty “makes sure that you know everything that you need to prepare you for life,” and are “always accessible for meetings and office hours because they want their students to succeed.” Additionally, teachers are “an incredible resource for internships, grad school, [and] jobs,” and “are always trying to get us involved in outside events.”

Student Body

There is “diversity both ethnically and intellectually,” and since one-third of Saint Mary’s College’s students are the first in their families to attend college, there is a “great alumni network” that understands the remarkability of what many students have achieved in order to attend SMC, as well as the school’s “ability to produce well-rounded students through a well-designed curriculum.” There’s also a strong “emphasis on culture and ethic identities” throughout every aspect of the school, which students find desirable on account of the way it “fosters a sense of community.” This isn’t a gradual effect, either—students agree with the idea that “From the first day of orientation I knew that the student body was very accepting.”

Campus Life

According to students, this is most definitely “a calm campus,” one that goes hand-in-hand with the chill vibe of the San Francisco Bay and the student population, most of which leads a laid-back life when not engrossed in studying: “People walk around campus, occasionally work out, and get food from local places.” Cooking and watching Netflix are classic pastimes, and “people spend a lot of time exploring the Bay Area,” as the campus is close to Walnut Creek, Oakland, and San Francisco, where the weather is reportedly “beautiful no matter [the] time of year.” In fact, the Campus Activities Board “frequently gives BART tickets for students to take public transportation to go to events.” Game days are some of the biggest of the year, and “basketball is huge here.”

On-campus housing is guaranteed for the first two years, but students may choose to live off-campus their sophomore year. The tight-knit nature of the school creates a “communal, friendly, and intimate” sense of familiarity, as does its modest population of under 2,500 undergraduates: “I enjoy walking to class and knowing eighty percent of the people I pass on the way there.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Gabrielle Tolentino
Associate Director of Campus Visit Experience, Visit Center Manager

Office of Admissions, 1928 St. Mary's Rd
PO Box 4800
Moraga, CA 94575-4800



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
The 1928 Pub
Student Recreational Center
College Chapel
Residence Hall
University Credit Union Pavilion , Oliver Dining Hall

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Downtown San Francisco (Metreon, Shopping
Lafayette Reservoir, Mt. Diablo State Park
Broadway Plaza (Shopping, Dining, Theater)
Golden Gate Park - San Francisco
Downtown Berkeley (Shattuck and Telegraph)

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
M-F, Saturday during Academic year
8:30 - 4:30pm, Sat. 10:00 - 12:30

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: M-F, and Select Saturday
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

M-F, Saturday

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Faculty through Admissions, Coaches through Athletics

Advance Notice
3 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

Provided for admitted students only


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Several private shuttle services are available from both San Francisco and Oakland International Airports. Please be sure to book your ground transportation prior to arriving at the airport. Listed are several companies that provide this direct service. Prices may vary and round-trip arrangements may be more economical than 2 one-way passages. Airport Connection 650-401-8300, Bayporter Express 510-864-4000, East Bay Connection 800-675-3278, and Leisure Living Transportation 925-943-1512. Public transportation is availble on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit Rail System), which operates rail service in San Francisco and the East Bay (www.transitinfo.org/BART. or www.bart.gov

Driving Instructions to Campus
From San Francisco Bay Bridge or San Rafael/Richmond Bridge: Take Highway 580 toward Hayward and then Highway 24 toward Walnut Creek. Once through the Caldecott Tunnel, take the third exit which will be marked Orinda/Moraga. Turn right and follow Moraga Way about 5 miles. Turn left onto Moraga Road, then right onto Saint Mary's Road. The College is about one mile farther on the right. From Walnut Creek/Highway 680: Take Highway 24 west (Oakland direction) to the Central Lafayette exit. Go right under freeway, right onto Mt. Diablo Blvd. One block, left onto Moraga Road 1/3 mile, and left onto Saint Mary's Road about four miles; the College will be on the left. From BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit): Take the S.F./Colma-Pittsburg/Bay Point train to either the Orinda or the Lafayette station. From there, take the County Connection bus (Route 106 or 206) to Saint Mary's College. County Connection buses operate to and from the College from approximately 6:00 am until 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. For exact times of bus schedules or more information, phone County Connection at 925-676-7500. WEBSITE: www.cccta.org

Local Accommodations
There are a number of overnight accommodations near Saint Mary's College campus in Moraga. While we don't endorse any particular establishment, for your convenience, we have listed those most often used by campus visitors. Ask these hotels if they have a Saint Mary's discount. https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/about-smc/the-campus/where-to-stay The Lafayette Park Hotel (3287 Mt. Diablo Blvd., 800-368-2468) located in Lafayette, CA is within 15 minutes of the campus.


Applicants: 4,275
Acceptance Rate: 88%
Average HS GPA: 3.60



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

Articles & Advice