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Princeton Review

Designated one of 155 Best Midwestern Colleges by the Princeton Review (Fall 2013). Colleges named "regional bests" by the Princeton Review represent only about 25% of the nation’s four-year colleges. Princeton's profile of St. Ambrose University states: "The greatest strength of Ambrose is its size,' and undergrads at this small Catholic liberal arts school in Iowa agree. Students say 'The smaller classes help me focus. I'm not distracted the way I would be in a big lecture hall. Teachers here pay attention to you. They all know you by name.'"

U.S News & World Report

Ranked 30th -- and in the top tier -- by US News & World Report, "Best Universities - Master's By Region, Midwest" (Fall 2013) out of a region of 12 states. The publication uses 15 indicators of academic excellence, including peer assessment, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate, and alumni giving.

Among university strengths related to high rankings are nationally accredited academic programs in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. St. Ambrose offers one of only 41 post-doctoral orthopedic PT clinical residencies nationwide, the only master's level occupational therapy program in the state of Iowa, and a growing Master of Speech-Language Pathology degree program. Our Health Sciences Education Center – with a new wing added in Spring 2014 – offers students state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories.


St. Ambrose University has been honored as a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. This is the fourth year in a row that St. Ambrose has been recognized on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The university was one of 690 Honor Roll colleges and universities, nationwide, commended in 2013 by President Barack Obama for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

In 2006, the Quad City Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognized the philanthropic efforts of St. Ambrose students at its annual Awards for Philanthropy program. The students received AFP's highest honor for Outstanding Youth Group during the organization's Philanthropy Day reception and awards presentation. Students continue to raise funds and provide volunteer support in the areas of education, the environment and affordable housing, to name a few.

In 2005, Davenport-based River Action Inc. presented Ambrose with the Eddy Stewardship Award, honoring the university for working to support and care for the Mississippi River and maintain its viability as a business and recreational resource.

The State Historical Society of Iowa awarded Ambrose a 2005 "Kids Count!" certificate of merit award for excellence in service to youth researchers.

See more about Service at St. Ambrose

Athletics (2013-14)

The St. Ambrose University Athletic Department measures success in three separate categories - Academic Excellence, Leadership Academy and Athletic Success. The 2013-14 academic year was another banner year for the Bees.

Academic Excellence

St. Ambrose University had 13 of its 18 eligible programs earn NAIA Scholar Team status. In fact, 18 of our 24 athletic programs were recognized for achieving cumulative grade point averages above 3.0.

We had 59 student-athletes earn NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition. These individuals earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. Only juniors and seniors are considered for this prestigious honor.

At the conference level, 149 varsity student-athletes (sophomores, juniors or seniors with cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher) earned academic all-conference honors. SAU led the Midwest Collegiate Conference in academic all-conference selections. We also had one Capital One Academic All-American First Team selections, seven Capital One Academic All-American Second Team selections and 17 Capital One Academic All-District selections.

The outstanding academic success of our student-athletes is directly attributed to the priority academics is given by our coaching staff and athletic administration, close monitoring of their student-athletes' academic progress throughout the year, and their ability to successfully recruit high-quality student-athletes to our programs.

- 13 NAIA Scholar Teams
- 18 programs had minimum 3.0 cumulative team GPAs
- 59 NAIA Scholar-Athletes
- 149 academic all-conference selections
- 8 Capital One Academic All-Americans (1 first team, 7 second team)
- 17 Capital One Academic All-District selections

Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy again challenged our student-athletes to participate in a minimum of three community outreach experiences and attend/engage in four personal growth and leadership seminars. More than 800 SAU student-athletes participated during the 2013-14 year.

The Leadership Academy again was very successful in challenging our student-athletes to think outside of their neighborhood and consider the perils of others by expanding their exposure to both the Wounded Warrior Project and the Honor Flight. We had several excellent community service projects highlighted by a number of mini sports clinics, several service projects during Spring Break trips, and developing a relationship with Monroe Elementary School students for future projects. The student-athletes and coaches participated in the normal regularly-scheduled community service projects, including St. Anthony's food basket program, Big Brother-Big Sister programs and the Madison Elementary School Christmas gift-giving program.

New this year, we have reached out to assist Sacred Heart Cathedral and newly-appointed Pastor Fr. Rich Adam, brother of our Fr. Chuck.

Athletic Success

The Athletic Department has once again experienced many outstanding athletic successes.

  • We won the Midwest Collegiate Conference Commissioner's Cup, based on overall athletic success, for the third time.
  • We have finished second in the Cup standings the other four years the award has been presented.
  • This year, we won six conference championships and had eight runner-up finishes. We had nine programs qualify for National Championship competitions.
  • We had 14 student-athletes named All-Americans, eight named conference Players of the Year, 184 recognized as all-conference, and one named NAIA National Player of the Week.
  • In addition, SAU had six conference Coaches of the Year.

Our People

Ambrose's 300-plus faculty members are among the area's movers and shakers. Passionate about education, whether their field is business, science, education or the arts, they receive numerous research grants, share their knowledge at conferences near and far, and publish papers and books every year.

We consider our students to be competent, innovative critical thinkers. They're active in the community, strong on the field, and dedicated to learning. Ambrose students win Fulbright Scholarships; compete at the state, regional and even national level in theatre and communication; and garner recognition for projects and programs they conceive and lead—goals they achieve with sustained, individualized support.