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About Saint Leo

One of the Top-Ranked Universities in Florida

As the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in Florida and one of the top universities in Central Florida, Saint Leo University has a century-long tradition of welcoming students of all faiths.

Our liberal arts campus—located 30 miles north of Tampa—educates more than 2,400 students each year. Total enrollment across our Central Florida campus,16 regional locations, and online programs is nearly 18,200 each year. Saint Leo offers over 50 undergraduate degrees, programs and endorsements as well as master's, doctoral and certificate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education & Social Services, and College of Health Professions.

U.S. News & World Report Ranking

Saint Leo is proud to have been consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" list. 


The publication Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranks Saint Leo among its Top 100 institutions graduating minority students with baccalaureate degrees. We're a small school, but we have an incredibly diverse student body composed of 41%  students from underrepresented populations, representing 44 U.S. states and territories, and over 80 foreign countries. 

Community Service

The university has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll each year since its inception in 2006. Saint Leo students, faculty and staff subscribe to a culture of service and volunteerism in the spirit of our core values.

We are traditional, but we are cutting edge

Established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida, the university seeks balanced growth in mind, body and spirit for all members of our community. Saint Leo has grown from a peaceful campus in the rolling hills of Central Florida to an institution of international consequence—ranked one of the best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report

Our Tampa-area campus remains committed as ever to student-centered liberal arts education, and is strengthened by the global reach of our regionally accredited online programs and Education Centers in seven states across the U.S., including on many military bases.

Catholic Roots

Saint Leo is proud to be one of the oldest Catholic universities in Florida, and the largest of four Catholic higher education institutions in Florida.

Faith is one of those qualities that lives inside each of us, remaining constant when dedicated and unwavering beliefs are present.

At Saint Leo University, faith has remained a constant since 1889, when the Florida legislature authorized the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida to establish the university. Saint Leo Abbey remains active today, a living embodiment of our history and our future.

We are Catholic, but we are for everyone

Our determination to make higher education more accessible to all has made Saint Leo a world leader in redefining the 21st century university. Saint Leo now serves more than 13,000 students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, three U.S. territories, and over 80 countries. Saint Leo is also one of the nation's leading providers of higher education to the U.S. military.

While we are proudly Catholic, we teach students not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic. And our faith compels us to imagine and contribute to a more socially just society.

Respect for All

Our mission to truly live the rich Catholic values of individual and collective excellence is still as firmly intact today as it has been from our beginning. In the spirit of this mission, we welcome learners of all faiths, and those with no religious affiliation.

A living-learning-serving community, our University Campus thrives in bringing together students, faculty and staff from all paths of life through service and leadership. Across our University Campus, Education Centers and online programs, our vast history of integrity and responsible stewardship is uniquely woven into our academic curriculum. As part of their general education core, all our undergraduate students take courses in religion and philosophy, with no Christian or Catholic-specific subject requirements.

Living Our Catholic Faith

Opportunities abound at our University Campus for faith and spirituality in action. University Ministry programs include eucharistic adoration, Sunday and weekday Mass and confession, as well as:

  • Voice of Christ: Student choir and band
  • Imago Dei: Pro-life group
  • Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA): A scripture- and community-based process of learning more about the Catholic faith and practice
  • Peer Ministry: Students are selected and trained to serve as spiritual partners for their campus peers

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