About SMWC

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a coeducational Catholic, liberal arts college where students are empowered to meld intellect and spirituality, direct ambition, attain goals and stretch beyond the imagination in college to Aspire Higher.

Best in the Midwest

Founded in 1840 by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) expanded its mission to include men in all programs in 2015, yet continues to embrace its rich 175-year history as a women’s college in a number of ways.

SMWC thrives by offering a rich liberal arts education, scholarships and financial aid opportunities to make college affordable, individual attention, a value-centered education in a Catholic tradition, and a wide variety of student leadership activities. The College takes pride in its long history of traditions and commitment to academic excellence. In fact, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks SMWC as one of the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest.

The College has programs for traditional and non-traditional undergraduate and graduate students on campus, online and in hybrid format (where online and face-to-face learning are melded to create a unique experience), with a total enrollment of 1,700 students.


The College is fully-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and approved for teacher training by the Indiana Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Additionally, many individual programs of various departments are certified by their professional associations.

Learn more about our accreditation.

The ‘Avenue Moment’

“There’s something about this place,” is a phrase heard often at SMWC, as the campus is located on 67 acres of beautiful woodland, creating peaceful and serene college grounds. Students, parents, alums and friends of the College experience what we call an “Avenue Moment” upon arriving on campus, as a feeling of being home comes over many who visit the campus (the main road into campus is called, The Avenue). And, although the campus is located in a tranquil place, it is still close enough to major metropolitan areas of Indianapolis, Chicago and St. Louis to be considered convenient. The College shares its campus with the Sisters of ProvidenceProvidence Center, the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice.

Le Fer Lake Bridge
SMWC Women


SMWC boasts an enrollment of approximately 1,700 students in its campus-based undergraduatedistance-learning undergraduate, and graduate programs.

The traditional campus-based program is for women only. The Woods Online distance program and our graduate programs serve women and men.