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Princeton Review

Designated one of 153 Best Midwestern Colleges by the Princeton Review (Fall 2011). 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 40th--and in the top tier-- by US News & World Report, "Best Universities - Master's By Region, Midwest" (Fall 2011) 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. A new $11.5 million Health Sciences Education Center 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 second year in a row (2010 and 2011) that St. Ambrose has been recognized on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The university is one of only 511 Honor Roll colleges and universities, nationwide, to be commended 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.


2011-12 was another outstanding year for varsity athletics, with four Ambrose teams winning regular season conference championships, and 10 teams–men's basketball, cheerleading, men's cross country, dance, women's soccer, men's indoor and outdoor track & field, women's indoor and outdoor track & field and men's volleyball–qualified for the NAIA national championships. The SAU Dance Team won a national title in the NAIA Large Dance category while the SAU men's volleyball team was the national runner-up.

Ambrose also had 69 student-athletes rake in 1st team all-conference honors. Such stellar stats led to Ambrose finishing second in the race for the Midwest Collegiate Conference Commissioner's Cup, which honors all-around athletics excellence for the year among its member institutions. Ambrose has finished either first or second in the Commissioner's Cup standings in each of the five years the award has been presented.

Ambrose athletes scored big in the classroom, as well. Fourteen varsity teams received the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Team award in 2012, awarded to teams whose composite 2011-12 GPA exceeded 3.0. Individually, 49 junior and senior student-athletes earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors, awarded for individual GPAs of a cumulative 3.5 or higher. Six athletes also were voted Capital One Academic All-Americans based on their work in the classroom and on the playing field.

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.