Yes, St. Michael’s College (they refer to themselves as St. Mike’s) is a religious college. But this should help you understand the vibe here: St. Mike’s students made up the largest contingent in the annual Burlington Pride Parade last year. Founded by the Brothers of St. Edmunds, this campus is welcoming for everyone and emphasizes a spirit of community service. In fact, St. Mike’s students staff the town’s volunteer fire station and ambulance service, which operates 24 hours a day and goes on over 3000 calls each year.
St. Mike’s is pretty small, with about 1500 undergraduate students, and about 30% of them are recruited D2 athletes (remember that Division 2 schools DO give athletic scholarships). St. Michael’s College’s women’s ice hockey team and downhill alpine skiing compete at the Division I level. St. Mike’s athletes are a close-knit group and they prioritize their academics, with mandatory study hall for first year students as they get used to managing their time between classes, practice and games. St. Mike’s athletes rank in the top 5 for GPA among D2 schools.
St. Mike’s supports new freshmen through its Purposeful Learning transition class where first year students spend the first 4 weeks of 1st and 2nd semester, with the help of an advisor, exploring and connecting their interests with programs and opportunities in the college and community. Students are required to take two religion courses, but these are more about the history of religion than theological practice, and St. Mikes welcomes all faiths and beliefs – even provides meditation rooms for those who choose a less formal practice. In line with its commitment to service and social justice, St. Mike’s offers one of the few Peace Corp Prep programs in the country, which helps prepare students for service opportunities abroad through language courses and intercultural training.
Academics at St. Mike’s
Not surprisingly, the average class size at St. Michael’s College is small – 18 – and 90% of classes have fewer than 30 students! The student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, so you’ll build strong relationships with your professors here, starting freshman year! The most popular majors are biology, psychology, education, and business. St. Mike’s takes advantage of its prime location in Colchester (right near Burlington, Vermont) and offers a number of outdoor classroom experiences through its Center for Environment, including the Farm, and the Teaching Gardens. St. Michael’s College houses a Phi Beta Kappa honors society chapter, the nation’s oldest and largest academic honor society. High achieving students can apply to St. Mike’s Honors program and have the option to live in honors housing.
Admission to St. Mike’s
St. Mike’s is a little less selective, admitting about 80% of the students who apply. The collaborative environment is supportive for students who are looking for a small school atmosphere in a high-adventure area!
Michelle and Evelyn visited St. Michael’s College in September, 2022, and you can scroll through all of our photos below.