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  Geology student Sarah Howe, right, and Geology Professor Jeni McDermott, left, work together at a computer in a Geology Lab room in Owens Science Hall on December 11, 2017 in St. Paul.

Transformational learning & experiences

College of Arts and Sciences

Through rigorous intellectual development rooted in the pursuit for the Common Good and the building of transformational faculty-student relationships, we guide students toward purposeful careers and meaningful lives.

With 38 departments and programs, Arts and Sciences is St. Thomas' largest college, spanning the breadth of liberal arts, including:

  • Performing arts
  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Natural sciences

With transformational faculty-student relationships, students are guided toward impactful careers and meaningful lives through rigorous intellectual development rooted in the pursuit of the Common Good.

When you choose to support student scholarships, endowed professorships or experiential learning in the College of Arts and Sciences, you are giving to the essential components of teaching and learning at St. Thomas.


Jennifer Snyder

Director of Development, College of Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Snyder
Phone Number
graphic showing how scholarships, endowed professorships and experiential learning combine in a virtuous circle

Strategic Priorities

To achieve St. Thomas’ mission, we seek to enroll excellent students from diverse backgrounds and locations to foster the national impact of the university. Key to this effort is the recruitment, retention and support of outstanding faculty. They drive the educational programs and learning experiences through their holistic concern for the development of students.

When inspired by the values that underlie Catholic social teaching and intellectual traditions, the result is a uniquely powerful virtuous cycle.

Students chatting and studying at the STEAM Cafe in the Schoenecker Center

Schoenecker Center Opened Spring 2024

Reshaping the Student Experience

The Schoenecker Center is transforming the university’s presence along Summit Avenue, where it adjoins O’Shaughnessy Science Hall. Designed with input from corporate industry partners, the center fosters collaboration among students who otherwise may not have worked together in traditional classroom settings.

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Dean Bill Tolman

Meet the Dean

Dr. William “Bill” Tolman is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas. A widely respected chemistry researcher and scholar with a passion for interdisciplinary education, Tolman spent just under three decades at the University of Minnesota’s chemistry department and was most recently Vice Dean of Research and Entrepreneurship in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Tolman holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Among many other honors, he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society and has published more than 235 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited more than 25,000 times. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of Inorganic Chemistry.

It didn’t feel like I was a student, and they were the teacher. It felt very much like we were learning together, we were discovering together, and we were creating together which was the best part of it all.

Student Researcher Olivia Tjokrosetio ‘22
four students in purple St. Thomas t-shirts


We seek to recruit the best students from across the nation. To bring more promising students to St. Thomas, we are committed to reducing financial barriers through scholarships that enable broader engagement of students from all backgrounds.

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 Professor Paola Ehrmantraut, Modern and Classical Languages, speaks during an International Women’s Day Celebration event

Endowed Professorships

Great faculty draw great students, who in turn motivate faculty to even greater levels of excellence. A powerful tool to feed this "virtuous cycle" and recruit and retain outstanding faculty is to provide them with flexible resources with which to develop innovative programs for students.


Tommie Media students work in the television studio in O’Shaughnessy Education Center

Experiential Learning

A critical nexus for meaningful faculty-student interactions centers on collaborative research, scholarship and creative practice. Partnerships among students and top-notch faculty on diverse projects provide deeply impactful learning opportunities that complement those that occur in the classroom. With 38 departments and programs, donors can connect to their passions and drive stronger outcomes for students.

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Areas of Need


The No. 1 reason students leave St. Thomas before graduation is financial hardship. Scholarships make a critical difference to bridge the financial gap for incoming students. Each student deserves the opportunity to complete their college education as a Tommie.

Endowed Professorships

Flexible, rotating, termed professorships provide incentive and inspiration for not just one, but many professors to flex their creative muscles.

Experiential Learning

When faculty and students have opportunities to broaden their experiences in their field of study, the result is world-class learning. The range of possibilities is wide, and include research projects, music and art intensive experiences, focused study on emerging trends and topics, and more.