Maryville University was founded in 1872 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, an order established in France by women dedicated to excellence in education. One of the oldest private institutions in St. Louis, Maryville was originally an academy for young women and was located in South St. Louis. The academy evolved into a junior college and became a four-year college in 1923. It became Maryville University of Saint Louis in June 1991. The institution’s visionary grasp of the growth potential of West St. Louis County sparked its purchase in the late 1950’s of 290 acres adjacent to U.S. 40 and Woods Mill Road. The dedication of the new campus on this site in 1961 marked the beginning of Maryville’s mission as a community-focused institution grounded in the liberal arts.
While Maryville has been an independent institution of higher learning since 1972, we are proud of our heritage as a Sacred Heart institution. Over the past thirty-five years, Maryville has become an independent, coeducational university responding to the educational needs of the community in both liberal arts and professional programs for traditional-age, residential students and working age adults.
This heritage bequeathed to us by the Religious of the Sacred Heart includes a commitment to the education of the whole person through programs designed to meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional students offered in day, evening, weekend and blended formats. We are committed to providing an excellent, challenging, mentoring education where students are free to explore issues of ethics, spiritual place and questions of conscience.