Trinity University

Magellan College Counseling - Trinity Univ fountain at top of hill
Trinity University is a bit of a rarity: a liberal arts college in the middle of a large city. San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the U.S.

If you’re looking for a liberal arts school (or an engineering program) in a large city, Trinity University might be just the right fit for you.

You can hear the passion in Dr. Vanessa Beasley’s voice.  She’s Trinity’s president, and she came here following a position as Provost – Chief Academic Officer – at Vanderbilt University.  She came to Trinity University, a small(ish) liberal arts college in San Antonio, Texas, because she saw here a college with the resources of a larger university, but with the hands-on community feel that helps students build strong and lasting relationships with their professors.  If you have the opportunity to speak with professors, you’ll find that a huge number of them have been here for decades, and plan to stay through their entire career. 

So what’s different about Trinity University?  What separates them from the dozens of other liberal arts colleges in the U.S., and who should consider adding this college to their list?

Trinity is in a major metropolitan area.  San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the United States, and it’s majority Latino.  For a student who grew up in LA, San Francisco, New York or any major city, who’s looking to go to college in an urban environment, Trinity and San Antonio would very much check that box.

Trinity has engineering and business.  In fact – multiple majors are available within both departments.  Most liberal arts colleges do not have either of these.

Founded by the Presbyterian Church but no longer affiliated with any religion, Trinity has 43 majors, and distribution requirements instead of a core curriculum (take a look at these very practical requirements for first year students and beyond).  Strong programs include neuroscience, education, computer science, accounting, communications and entrepreneurship, and the undergraduate engineering program is highly ranked.  The Center for Science and Innovation allows natural science majors and engineers to collaborate in a state-of-the-art facility with significant shared study and presentation space.

Unlike most colleges in Texas, Trinity has about 40% out of state students, giving the student body both geographic as well as ethnic diversity.  Students who are interested in being with people from different backgrounds will feel right at home at Trinity, and the diversity bleeds into the curriculum: some biology classes are taught in Spanish; some business classes are taught in Chinese.  At Trinity, the lines between different groups of students are not sharp; athletes (30% of students are varsity athletes) mix with those involved in Greek life mix with international students.  The fraternities and sororities are affiliated locally, not nationally, and there is no Greek housing.  Students are required to live on campus for three years; the dorm rooms are very large and most have walk-in closets, balconies and suite-style bathrooms (as opposed to an entire floor sharing a bathroom).

Trinity University Center for Science and Innovation
The Center for Science and Innovation houses engineering, natural and social sciences, allowing students and professors to work inderdisciplinarily.

I had lunch with a senior from Seattle, an urban planning major who had taken advantage of San Antonio’s interesting urban design, as well as research and internship opportunities.  Small business is booming in San Antonio, giving students lots of internship and job opportunities.  My tour guide, a sophomore from Las Vegas, said that “Trinity is remarkably affordable if you have good grades,” and she chose Trinity over Cornell for her Communications and Classics double major.

Trinity has a beautiful campus and it is rare to find a strong liberal arts college right in a major city.  Students feed their intellectual curiosity both on and off campus.

Evelyn visited Trinity in February, 2015 and again in February, 2024!  You can scroll through all of the pictures from her visits below.

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