In 1889, Abbot Leo Haid, O.S.B. of Maryhelp Abbey in North Carolina accepted a gift of 36 acres on lake Jovita from Judge Edmund F. Dunne, the ex-chief justice of the Arizona territory, to found a Benedictine college. The college was named for Pope Saint Leo the Great, Pope Leo XIII, the reigning pope of the time and Abbot Haid.
The school was formerly dedicated by Abbot Haid in 1890 and is the first Catholic college in Florida. The first student, James L. McDermott, Jr., who was only 12 years old, arrived at the college by train from Key West, paying a tuition, room and board payment of $140. In January 1895, the youngest student, Jesus Mary Fernandez, the seven-year-old son of the Cuban vice-consul in Tampa, arrived at the school. In 1896, Martin Roth, the son of Benedict Roth, began attending the college under a unique arrangement. His tuition was waived as long as his father supplied the school with one gallon of milk per day. Another student traded a cow while another traded a horse and buggy to pay for their tuition.
In 1898, the first black student, Rudolph Antarcha enrolled in St. Leo’s Military Academy at a time when it was illegal for black students to attend classes with white students.
The name of the college was changed to St. Leo University in 1999. St. Leo, although it is a Catholic university, welcomes students of all faiths. There are more than 16,00 students from 49 states and 86 countries enrolled, making it one of the fifth largest Catholic universities in the United States.
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St. Leo University Accreditation Details
St. Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on colleges. In addition, the School of Business is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education as well as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs.
St. Leo University Application Requirements
Incoming freshman who have not earned any college credit must have successfully completed:
- Four years of English
- Three years of Math
- Two years of Science
- Three years of History and Social Science
- Two years of foreign language. Both years must be the same language and must be completed with a “C” or better
- Two years of electives
Students must submit an application as well as an official high school transcript. Students must also submit a letter of recommendation from a high school guidance counselor or teacher. Students may submit SAT or ACT scores but they are not required for admission.
Students who have earned college credits must submit an application as well as an official transcript from every college or university attended. They must also submit a letter of recommendation.
Each graduate program has specific admission requirements so students are encouraged to discuss the application process with an admissions counselor. Applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the term in which they want to enroll.
St. Leo University Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for the St. Leo University online program is $470 per credit hour. For active duty military personnel, the tuition rate is $250 per credit hour. Financial aid is available through grants, scholarships, subsidized and unsubsidized loans. There are also work-study options for students who qualify. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for financial aid at St. Leo.
St. Leo University Online Degree Program
The School of Arts and Sciences online psychology degree introduces students to a wide spectrum of theories used in understanding human behavior. The program provides a well-rounded education and students may customize the degree to meet their needs. Students are not only prepared for a career in psychology but also for graduate study as well. Students gain an understanding of research methods, the psychology of learning and the individual differences and social processes. Students also learn about the biological bases of behaviors, developmental psychology and diversity. There is also instruction in forensic and military psychology as well as industrial and organizational psychology. Students are provided tools used for interviewing and counseling. Students are encouraged to become involved in research and to complete a field practicum or internship.
In addition to providing skills in knowledge in the field of psychology, the program emphasizes leadership skills using the university’s core values and traditions. Some of the unique courses offered to students in the psychology program include:
- Revolution Now! Democracy in Troubled Times
- Psychological Well Being: How to be Sane in an Insane World
- The McDonaldization of Society
- Curves Ahead: Women Artists and the Female Form
- Native American History & Life: More than Tipis & Tomahawks
- Television and the American Family: Your Shows, My Shows
- Building a Multiracial Society
- Once Upon a Time: Readings in Folklore and Culture
- Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming
- Is Evolution True? Your Inner Fish
- Energy and Its Impact on Global Society
- Science in Science Fiction
- Living the Theatre: Dramatic Skills for all Disciplines
- Giants of the Arts
- Spirituals to Rock and Roll: The Story of How American Popular Music Conquered the World
- Love and Desire in Literature
- Monsters and the Monstrous in Literature
- On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative
- Writing Wild: Exploring the Four Genres
- Encountering the Real: Faith and Philosophical Enquiry
- Thinking and Doing Ethics
- The Emergence of Christianity: Examination of Foundational Christian Texts
- Christian Spiritual Vision
- Many are Called, but Who is Chosen? Christian Understandings of Salvation
- World Religions: East and West
- The Psychology Major: Academic and Professional Issues
- Race and Ethnicity in American Culture
- Social and Cultural Foundations of Behavior
Students must also take courses related to psychology, such as Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Psychology of Learning.
The program is offered online so that students are able to meet family, work and social obligations while achieving their higher education goals. Students who complete the undergraduate psychology program at St. Leo University have a better opportunity to advance in a current career or to move into a different career in the psychology field.