Saint Louis University


Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private Roman Catholic research university with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818 by Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest Jesuit university in the United States. It is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. SLU's athletic teams compete in NCAA's Division I and are a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. It has an enrollment of 12,546 students with an additional 7,101 students enrolled in its 1818 advanced college credit program. The 2019-20 student body includes 8,072 undergraduate students and 4,474 graduate students that represents all 50 states and more than 82 foreign countries. Its average class size for undergraduates is 26 and the student-faculty ratio is 9:1.

For more than 50 years, the university has maintained a campus in Madrid, Spain. The Madrid campus was the first freestanding campus operated by an American university in Europe and the first American institution to be recognized by Spain's higher education authority as an official foreign university. The campus has 850 students, a faculty of 110, an average class size of 17 and a student-faculty ratio of 12:1.


SLU's campus in Midtown St. Louis consists of over 282 acres (114.1 ha) of land, with129 buildings on campus. The School of Law is located in downtown St. Louis in Scott Hall.

For the 2018–19 school year, the university installed 2,300 Echo Dots, the hardware for Amazon's "smart assistant," Alexa, in students’ dorm rooms. SLU is the first college or university in the United States to bring an Amazon Alexa - enabled device into every student apartment or student residence hall room on the campus.

Libraries and museums

Saint Louis University has four libraries. Pius XII Memorial Library is the general academic library. It holds over 1 million books, 6,000 journal subscriptions, and 140 electronic databases. Recent renovations, include more seating and study areas, designated noise zones and the creation of an Academic Technology Commons. The Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library holds a unique collection of microfilm focusing on the manuscripts housed in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. The Omer Poos Law Library houses the law collection and is within the School of Law. The Medical Center Library serves the health and medical community at SLU.

Every year, the Saint Louis University Library Associates present the St. Louis Literary Award to a distinguished figure in literature. Sir Salman Rushdie received the 2009 Literary Award. E.L. Doctorow received the 2008 Saint Louis Literary Award.

The University also has three museums, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA), the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA), and the historic Samuel Cupples House and McNamee Gallery.

Saint Louis University's clock tower is in the middle of campus, making it the ideal center stage for student's everyday life. Many social gatherings have been held here, ranging from protests, to philanthropy events sponsored by the school's Greek life.

The clock tower was constructed in 1993 and served to close off the campus from the remainder of West Pine Avenue, which at one point ran through it. In 2011 the clock tower was dedicated to a prominent alumnus of Saint Louis University, Joseph G. Lipic, and was renamed the Joseph G. Lipic Clock Tower Plaza. The clock runs on a turret clock electrical system. In a turret clock electrical system, according to the Anderson Institute, the clock is run electronically using a pendulum system to make the clock turn. Within clock towers, a quartz crystal device makes the clock run precisely on a consistent basis and is only a second off every 10 years. The SLU clock tower also features fountains around the perimeter at the base. These fountains are run by a wind sensor that can detect the wind speeds to determine the height the fountains reach.

Student life

Center for Service and Community Engagement

The Center, with six on its full-time staff, works with campus ministry and student organizations to foster community service. It also helps teachers in more than 80 courses to incorporate service-learning components and to devise community-based research projects. The Center cooperates with the thirteen student service-oriented organizations on campus.

Students at SLU ranked 4th among the universities in the country in hours of community service in 2015, according to the Washington Monthly report. In line with the Jesuit objective of training men and women for others, the Center offers dozens of service opportunities to students. Some areas for volunteers to choose from include: adult education, animals, art and culture, business/employment, children/youth, community centers/neighborhoods, environment, faith and justice, healthcare, housing/homelessness, hunger, law/public policy, mental health/disabilities, multi-cultural, older adults, victims, and women and gender.

The Center offers numerous fairs and special events to assist students and staff to become more involved in service to the local community. These include a Community Service Fair involving over 70 nonprofits, a Social Justice Fair featuring dozens of activity and advocacy groups, and Make A Difference Day when the whole university community, past and present, disperses to "make a difference" at numerous work sites around the city. There are also three donation drives spread throughout the year: KidSmart, Blue Santa, and clothing and toiletries. And October and November find twenty-six different organizations around the city welcoming students to help in their one-day events. SLU was also "the first ever service site for the national nonprofit organization The Campus Kitchens Project". The university also offers the opportunity of the Federal Work Study program.


Saint Louis has both dormitory and apartment space on campus. Up-to-date information on housing options is available on the University's website.

As part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program, students are required to live on campus (unless a commuter from the Saint Louis area) for the first two years of their careers at SLU. The sophomore residency requirement caused controversy when initiated in the 2009–10 school year, as the University lacked adequate housing to house all sophomores and upperclassmen who requested on-campus housing. In the 2010–11 school year, the school announced the transfer of the Student Housing Scholarship (of $1,000 to $2,000) to Tuition Scholarship, which made off-campus housing more affordable and pursued by upperclassmen. Two new residence halls, Spring Hall and Grand Hall, were completed recently, adding capacity for nearly 1,000 additional students and creating a new dining hall, classroom space and other assets.

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