Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be Catholic to attend the Mount?
Absolutely not. It’s true that the education you will find at the Mount is founded in the Catholic liberal arts tradition, but we don’t expect every student to be Catholic. Around 70 percent of our students are Catholic, but more important to us is a willingness to be open to your and others’ beliefs, and recognize the value of ministry and community service efforts that stand at the heart of our vibrant liturgical life.
Can I find the major I’m looking for at the Mount?
We certainly hope so. Mount St. Mary’s University offers more than 40 majors, minors, concentrations and special programs, including special bachelor's/master's combinations in partnership with other Universities.
What is the Core Curriculum and how is it different from similar programs at other colleges?
The Core Curriculum is the center of your liberal arts education at the Mount. We’re not talking about general education courses, but an approach to learning that will give you an in-depth exposure to the big ideas and great thinkers who have shaped our civilization. Because of the range of study and its duration—the Core is a three-year program—it differs greatly from other programs. Along with everyone else in your freshman class, you will embark on a four-year odyssey—integrating subjects from theology to history—that will give you a sturdy intellectual foundation while sharpening critical thinking and communications skills.
How well do Mount students do after they graduate?
The Mount has a well-deserved reputation for alumni success. 93 percent of our graduates are employed in their field of study within a year after graduation, and 40 percent are enrolled in graduate or professional school.
You will discover the Mount’s graduates in all walks of life, from politics (nine-time U.S. Congressman Matthew McHugh) to sports (Susan O’Malley, president of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics) to diplomacy (Njuguna Majugu, Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations) to business (Scott Newkam, CEO of Hershey Entertainment Corp.).
What is the Three Year Degree Option?
A special opportunity for motivated students to complete their undergraduate degree programs in less time than the traditional four-year programs, and students who wish to enter graduate or law school earlier than their peers. You’ll save up to 1/3 of the cost of tuition, anywhere from $10,000-$15,000. Students in this program can take advantage of the same co-curricular and community experiences that 4-year students enjoy. Any student admitted to the Mount is eligible. Typically, the most successful students in the program have a 3.2 high school GPA. Our admissions staff can help guide you in your decision regarding the three year option. For more information go to www.msmary.edu/degreethree.
How do I find out about athletics?
Wellness of body is an important part of your health, and the Mount offers plenty of opportunities to get involved. Our 16 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s teams have won several Commissioner’s Cups in the Northeast Conference. If a little friendly rivalry is more your style, we also offer club sports and intramural teams in sports such as flag football, soccer, ice hockey and basketball.
Where is the Mount and what will I find nearby?
The Mount is in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and centrally located in the mid-Atlantic region with many regional attractions near campus. Just south of the Pennsylvania border, the Mount offers a quiet rural location an hour or less from major metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Gettysburg, Frederick and Washington, D.C. If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. The nearby Catoctin Mountains offer plenty of outdoor adventures, including skiing, golfing, camping, hiking and river rafting. For driving directions, visit How to Get to the Mount.
Can you tell me about the Mount’s history?
Mount St. Mary's University is the second-oldest Catholic college in the United States and celebrated its bicentennial in 2008. The Mount has played an important role in the evolution of the nation and the American Catholic church.
Are students required to live on campus?
Life beyond classes is an important part of the Mount experience, and 87% of Mount students do live on campus. There are many different housing styles including on-campus residence halls, suites, and apartments. Students who live on campus also have a free micro-fridge in all residence halls and suites, free laundry all four years, and free parking on campus.
Can I bring my car to campus?
The Mount’s campus is intimate enough that you won’t need to drive to class. That said, you are welcome to bring your car to campus, and you do need to abide by some basic guidelines and rules. Although shuttles are offered at select times, students sometimes do use their own transportation or ride with a friend to visit local cities like Gettysburg, PA; Frederick, MD; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, MD; and Harrisburg, PA. During the academic year, students also use their own car for internship opportunities in the region. For more information visit the Department of Public Safety.
What services do you provide for students with disabilities?
It is the policy of Mount St. Mary’s University to make admissions decisions without reference to any physical or mental challenges. If you would like more information on the services available to you, please call the Office of Learning Services at 301-447-5006, or visit Learning Services on the web to find out more.
When should I submit my application?
The final deadline for a completed application is March 1 of your senior year, but we recommend submitting it earlier. The Mount has rolling admissions, which means you will be notified of acceptance soon after we receive your application and all necessary materials. You also might want to think about Early Action (see the next question for more details). For more information about applications deadlines and steps, contact the Admissions Office.
Does the Mount offer Early Action?
Yes. If you have above-average academic credentials and a real interest in the Mount, you can apply by December 1 and will hear back by December 25. Early action offers applicants the opportunity to receive a non-binding acceptance with favorable view of the application file. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.
A recommendation from a teacher or counselor
Your high school transcripts (if you’re applying early, you’ll need to have your final transcripts sent later)
Your SAT and/or ACT scores
A $45 application fee
Although optional, you can also submit an essay that will help the Admissions Committee understand exactly why you’re interested in the Mount, what you hope to get out of the experience, and what and how you can contribute to the Mount experience. Additional recommendation letters, activity lists, personal statements, and other documents are also optional application materials.
Please visit our How to Apply page for more information if you are a homeschool, veteran, international, or transfer candidate.
How much weight does the Mount give to AP or Honors courses?
While there is no one formula to determine admission, the Mount is well-known for its academics, and it is always valuable to demonstrate your past intellectual curiosity and academic challenge. The Mount will grant the appropriate credit to students who have taken Advanced Placement Tests of the College Board (course waiver and credit will be determined by the test grade and the existing university policy.)
Is an admission interview required?
No, although we strongly encourage prospective students to visit campus, especially when class is in session. While a personal interview is not a required part of the admissions process, it can be helpful in providing us with a more complete and personal understanding of you as an individual. Explore our Campus Visit webpage for more information about being our guest at the Mount!
Are the requirements for transfer students the same as for regular students?
Each year, 75 to 100 students transfer to the Mount, some from other four-year colleges and some from community or junior colleges. If you are considering transferring to the Mount, you must submit your college transcripts along with your high school transcript. Additionally, you may also want to include an essay outlining your experiences since high school. To see how well previous credits transfer to the Mount, we recommend you sit down with the transfer counselor from the Admissions Office. For more information, contact the Admissions Office.
How do I personalize my application?
Be honest, be friendly, and be yourself. Mount St. Mary's welcomes applications for admission from all candidates who believe the University can help them reach their educational goals. We seek students who can benefit from our academic program and contribute positively to our community, and we attract students from diverse geographic, economic, racial and religious backgrounds.
Can you tell me more about the freshman class?
Yes! Learn more about the newest class at the Mount...
What kinds of scholarships are available to students?
In addition to need-based financial aid, the Mount offers a variety of scholarships based on academics, athletics ,and dedication to service and ministry, ranging from $5,000 to full tuition. There are even some scholarships based on your interests or choice of major. For a full list of scholarships and grants available, visit the scholarship page.
What percentage of students receive need-based financial aid at the Mount?
More than 90 percent of Mount families receive aid every year, with the average financial aid package totaling more than $25,000 for the class of 2016. In addition, 100% of the class of 2016 received a merit scholarship from the Mount.
What are the deadlines for filing for financial aid and how do I apply?
We recommend completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by December of your senior year. You may submit it online or by mail. For more information about FAFSA and the application process, visit the Financial Aid Office.