Quick Facts about St. John’s College

FOUNDED: The college was founded in Annapolis, Maryland in 1696 as King William's School and chartered in 1784 as St. John's College.  A second campus was opened in 1964 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. St. John's is a four-year, coeducational, liberal arts college with no religious affiliation.

CURRICULUM: This is an interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences program based on reading and discussing seminal great works of western civilization. By engaging in lively discussion-based classes, St. John’s students learn skills of critical analysis and collaborative inquiry. Students also refine their ability to think, write, and speak across all disciplines by writing substantial annual essays and defending them in oral examinations. All undergraduates follow the same course of study:

Seminar: 4 years – Seminar is considered the heart of the Program.  It is in seminar that students participate in far-reaching, free, and yet carefully disciplined conversations about the great works of literature, philosophy, political theory, theology, history, economics, psychology, etc., from Homer and the Greek historians, playwrights, and philosophers in the freshman year; through about the Renaissance in the sophomore year, into the Enlightenment as juniors, and finally into Modernity in the senior year.

Mathematics: 4 years – Beginning with Euclid and Ptolemy in the freshman year and ending with Lobachevski and Einstein in the senior year, the mathematics tutorials take a reflective approach, focusing on proofs, logic, the nature of mathematical objects, and what it is we are doing when we do math. Throughout the four years, students move from geometry and astronomy, to algebra, calculus, and relativity.

Language: 4 years – Freshmen and sophomores study Ancient Greek, while upperclassmen study modern French.  The aim is not to acquire fluent speaking abilities but subtle and robust translation skills.  In addition to refining their understanding of Greek and French, students read English poetry and prose toward a study of language itself.

Laboratory: 3 years – Bench work and observations driven by the original scientists' research lead to conversations about natural phenomena and what can be known about the physical world. Throughout the four years, students cover biology, chemistry, atomic theory, and physics.

Music: 2 years – Freshmen sing together in the Freshman Chorus. This lays the groundwork for the exploration of the phenomena of music through a close study of musical theory and analysis of works of musical literature in the sophomore year.  

WHY ST. JOHN’S? A St. John’s College education prepares students for any path they choose following graduation, whether further study or a career. Students gain valuable habits and skills that last a lifetime. Before graduation, many participate in internships, from medical research to teaching to the arts. Through their studies, they acquire powerful analytical, communication, and problem-solving abilities that enable them to continue learning, questioning, challenging, and adapting throughout their lives, giving them the foundations needed to excel in many different professions and to contribute to their communities and countries. In the course of their careers, nearly 70 percent of St. John’s graduates pursue advanced education.


Undergraduate: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts

GraduateMaster of Arts in Liberal Arts (both campuses) and Master of Arts in Eastern Classics (Santa Fe campus only)


CLASS SIZE: Seminars have between 17 to 19 students, led by two faculty members. Tutorials (mathematics, language, and music) and laboratory sessions usually have 12 to 16 students, led by one faculty member.

St. John’s Annapolis is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, www.msche.org; St. John’s Santa Fe is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, www.ncahlc.org.  St. John’s College in Santa Fe also has State approval by the New Mexico Higher Education Department, www.hed.state.nm.us.

Students or prospective students who wish to view St. John’s College accreditation and State approval documentation may do so by contacting the President’s office and making an appointment.

Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation may submit a formal complaint to Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools or the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools at their respective websites.

Students or prospective students who have filed a complaint with St. John’s College, using the procedures stated in the student handbook, but have been unable to resolve the complaint at the institutional level may submit a complaint to the appropriate St. John’s College state approval entity: 

LIBRARY FACILITIES: The libraries in Annapolis and Santa Fe contain over 100,000 and 60,000 volumes respectively. Each library houses a number of special collections, and each campus has a music library.

LOCATIONS: The 36-acre Annapolis campus is in the heart of the historic capital of Maryland, near the Chesapeake Bay.  The 250-acre Santa Fe campus offers both spectacular scenery and the cultural attractions of the Southwest. Nestled at 7,300 feet above sea level in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe is the nation’s oldest capital city.                 

  • Annapolis 
Population: 50,000 
Nearest Metro Areas: Washington, D.C. (32 Miles) Baltimore (27 miles)
  • Santa Fe 
Population: 62,000 
Nearest Metro Area: Albuquerque (57 miles)

STUDENT ENROLLMENT (undergraduate): Undergraduate student enrollment on each campus is typically between 450-475 students. Students come from all 50 states and about 20 different foreign countries. The freshman classes usually represent 30 to 35 states and several foreign countries. The ratio of men to women is about 10 to 9, and diverse students make up 10% to 30%.

SECOND CAMPUS OPTION: Any student in good academic standing may apply for transfer to the other campus for the upcoming academic year. The student must notify the Registrar’s Office of his or her intention to transfer by the third Monday in February of the previous year.  Those students who wish to apply for financial aid must also file their new financial aid forms by March 1. All intercampus transfers must be approved by the deans of both campuses and may be restricted by limitations in various campus resources, such as available space and staffing.

RECREATION AND STUDENT LIFE: Both campuses offer extensive intramural sports programs and extracurricular art courses. Each campus has soundproof music practice rooms, an art gallery, and a music library. Major clubs and activities include musical ensembles, student intramurals, special interest groups, student government, a newspaper, a literary magazine, extracurricular study groups, religious groups, a committee dedicated to supporting and critiquing the academic program, and opportunities for community service. The Annapolis campus has easy access to water and students participate on intercollegiate teams in fencing, crew, croquet and sailing, while the Santa Fe campus offers martial arts, yoga, and 300 days of sunshine a year for outdoor activities such as rafting, skiing, and rock climbing.

RESIDENCE HALLS (undergraduate): Annapolis students live in eight dormitories: six historic buildings are arranged around a central quad; two modern dormitories face College Creek. Santa Fe dormitories are small modern units, clustered around central courtyards. About 82 percent of the students live on campus. Freshmen are guaranteed a room on campus. Dormitories are coed by floor. There are no fraternities or sororities.

ADMISSIONS (undergraduate): Applicants are expected to have pursued a college preparatory course of study, including substantial sequences in mathematics, foreign languages, and the physical sciences. Requirements include a short set of reflective essays, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts of all academic work. The GED is accepted. SAT or ACT scores are optional, but applicants are encouraged to submit them. Interviews and campus visits are recommended.

Prospective students may apply through the Common Application, online, or with a paper application.


Fall Term:

  • Early Action I - November 15  

  • Early Action II - January 15

  • Rolling after February 15

January enrollment (available only on the Santa Fe campus):

  • December 15 
Rolling admissions until January 15

SAT Scores of Current Freshmen

Middle 50% Verbal 600-740 
Middle 50% Math 570-680

* Combined classes of Santa Fe & Annapolis, fall 2012, 51% reporting

FEES: For Academic Year 2014-2015.
See Tuition & Fees in the Financial Aid section.

FINANCIAL AID (undergraduate): The college offers need-based and merit financial aid awards. About 75% of students receive some form of assistance, and about 65% receive grant aid from the college in addition to loans, jobs, and grants under federal programs. 

Average Total Aid Package - $33,873

Average Loan - $6,937 ($3,500 freshman, $4,500 sophomore, $5,500 junior & senior)

Average Grant Assistance - $29,283 (college, federal, and state) 

Work Expectation - $2,600

Percent need met through grant aid - 75%

Percent need met through loans/jobs - 25%

STUDENT OUTCOMES: Additional information including student outcomes may be found on the College Navigator page.