Main Profile

At A Glance

Thomas Aquinas College

"This California liberal arts school provides a unique education. No classes exceed 20 students and there are no majors, textbooks, or lectures. Instead, Thomas Aquinas students read directly from the original works of Aristotle, Einstein, and, of course, Thomas Aquinas, and the rest of Western Civilization's greatest philosophers. "Tutors" lead classes by asking thought-provoking questions."

Offers Baccalaureate Degrees, Heavy Focus on Undergraduate Arts and Science, Liberal Arts College, Religiously affiliated


Thomas Aquinas College's Full Profile

Also Consider

Also Consider



Noodle Says

"This California liberal arts school provides a unique education. No classes exceed 20 students and there are no majors, textbooks, or lectures. Instead, Thomas Aquinas students read directly from the original works of Aristotle, Einstein, and, of course, Thomas Aquinas, and the rest of Western Civilization's greatest philosophers. "Tutors" lead classes by asking thought-provoking questions."

People are saying


Because of the school's unique curriculum, candidates must demonstrate a penchant for scholarship.

The Princeton Review

Thomas Aquinas College says

In the fall of 1971, a small group of scholars set out on a mission that was both audacious in its scope and humble in its reliance on Divine Providence. With neither an endowment nor a steady stream of revenue, with a freshman class of just 33 students, and with only the leased site of a shuttered seminary for a campus, these men inaugurated the first semester of classes at Thomas Aquinas College.

Founded at a time when many Catholic institutions were straying from their loyalty to the teaching Church, Thomas Aquinas College would, by contrast, strive for fidelity to the Magisterium. In place of the burgeoning multiplicity of majors, minors, and electives elsewhere, it would offer a single, integrated curriculum employing the liberal arts and sciences in the pursuit of truth and wisdom.

In lieu of textbooks and lectures, this college's students would study only original works -- the great books of Western civilization -- and examine, sometimes refute, and invariably learn from their claims in small classes that employ Socratic discussions. Moreover, the academic program would be ordered to the study of God in precisely the manner in which the Church has for centuries prescribed, according to the mind of Her Universal Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Four decades later, on a beautiful campus neighboring California's Los Padres National Forest, stands the Thomas Aquinas College of today -- a witness to its founders' faith and diligence. The College's ranks have swelled to the maximum capacity of 350 students, and a roster of distinguished faculty has expanded accordingly. While holding true to its founding vision, the College has earned a national reputation for academic and spiritual vigor, becoming a model for the many new, faithful Catholic schools that have followed. Through God's grace, it has also graduated generations of alumni who have gone on to faithfully serve the Church and society in myriad ways.

It is my delight to share the good news of Thomas Aquinas College and its promise for the future of Catholic liberal education. I invite you to investigate our unique academic program, our community of faith, and the joys of campus life. I encourage you to learn about our admissions process and our alumni,and to explore the many ways friends can support the College. And if you are in Southern California, or you can make the trip, I invite you to visit the campus, to experience our classes, and to see for yourself how we go about this noble mission of forming leaders in service of the truth.

Latest Tweet

Student Life

Student Life

People are saying

Student Body

Total Undergraduates 366
Gender 51% Male / 49% Female
Geography 40% In State / 60% Out of State / 4% International
Socio-Economic Diversity 35% of students received Pell Grants, which are provided by the U.S. government to students from middle and lower income families. It gives you an idea of a school’s socio-economic diversity.
Ethnic Diversity
White 74%
Multi-racial 3%
International 4%
Hispanic/Latino 12%
Ethnicity Unknown 5%
Asian 1%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%


Campus housing is available for undergraduates. Housing deposit is refundable in full if student does not enroll.. Freshman allowed to have car. No pets.

99% of students live on-campus.

100% of freshman live on-campus.

  • Housing Offered
  • Men's Dorms
  • Women's Dorms


  • Dance
  • Literary Magazine
  • Choral Groups
  • Musical Theater
  • Music Ensembles
  • Drama/Theater
  • Campus Ministries

Student Services

  • Academic Support Services: tutoring
  • Computer Services: dorms, libraries, student center, computer center dorms wired for access to campus-wide network
  • Counseling Services: career counseling financial aid counseling health services personal counseling placement services for graduates employment services for undergraduates chaplain/spiritual director alcohol/substance abuse counseling
  • Facilities
  • Special Needs Services: wheelchair accessibility
  • Transfer In Services
  • Transfer Out Services



Popular Majors

Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies (100%)

Majors Offered


A program that is a structured combination of the arts, biological and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities, emphasizing breadth of study. Includes instruction in independently designed, individualized, or regular programs.

Job Opportunities:

Postsecondary Teachers, All Other
All postsecondary teachers not listed separately.

Administration & Faculty

President Michael McLean
Accredited by American Academy for Liberal Education
Accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
Full-time Faculty 31
Student : Faculty Ratio 11 : 1
Faculty Gender (% Male : Female) 87 : 12
Percentage of Faculty Members
Non-Tenure Track Faculty 100
International Faculty 3




Selectivity Score: 58/100

Acceptance Rate: 79.2% accepted of 178 applications

100% of students graduated in the top half of their class.
67% of students graduated in the top quarter of their class.
44% of students graduated in the top tenth of their class.

25th - 75th Percentile
ACTComposite23 - 31
English26 - 33
Math24 - 32
Writing6 - 8
SATMath570 - 640
Reading590 - 700
Writing570 - 690

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Character Personal Qualities, Level Of Applicants Interest, Application Essay, Rigor Of Secondary School Record, Standardized Test Scores, Recommendations

Important: Academic GPA

Also Considered: Work Experience, Class Rank, Extracurricular Activities, Interview, Religious Affiliation Commitment, Talent Ability, Volunteer Work

High School Curriculum (years of study):
Required Recommended
Science Lab 0 2
History 2 0
English 4 0
Math 3 4
Science 2 3
Foreign Language 2 0
Academic Electives 0 3

Other Application Information: Please contact college for information about its use of SAT scores SAT or ACT

Admissions Websites



Average Net Tuition

The average student pays $19,169 for tuition, fees, and other expenses, after grants and scholarships.

Household Income Real Cost
$0-$30K $17,688
$30K-$48K $18,556
$48K-$75K $16,944
$75K-$110K $18,478
$110K+ $25,782

Sticker Price

Total stated tuition is $24,500, in-state and on-campus, before financial aid.

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $24,500 Same as On-Campus
Housing $7,950 $11,268
Books $50 $50
Total (before financial aid) $32,500 $35,818

Students Receiving Aid

75% of students receive some form of financial aid.

Undergrads Receiving Aid Average Aid Amount
Federal Loans 73% $3,388
Federal Scholarships/Grants 35% $4,012
Institutional Grants 73% $13,195
Other Loans 5% $3,813
Pell Grants 35% $4,012
State and Local Scholarships/Grants 12% $7,963
Student Loans 77% $3,414

Financial Aid Websites

Learn more about financial aid at

Estimate the net price for you at

Alumni and Outcomes

Alumni and Outcomes

Graduation Rates

72% of students graduated on time.

79% of students graduated in six years.

87% of full time students continued studying at this school after freshman year.



Latest Athletic Department Tweet



#159 America's Top Colleges


#557 Starting Median Salary Rankings

The Princeton Review

#2 Colleges: Most Conservative Students
#2 Colleges: Most Religious Students
#5 Colleges: Stone-Cold-Sober Schools
#6 Colleges: Don't Inhale
#7 Colleges: Best Classroom Experience
#8 Colleges: Future Rotarians and Daughters of the American Revolution
#8 Colleges: Easiest Campus to Get Around
#8 Colleges: There's a Game?
#12 Colleges: Great Financial Aid
#16 Colleges: Got Milk?
N/A Best Colleges (Western)
N/A Colleges: Best Value Colleges for 2014 - Private

U.S. News & World Report

#77 National Liberal Arts
#183 National Liberal Arts Colleges High School Counselor Rankings

Washington Monthly

#76 Liberal Arts Colleges - Bachelor's to PhD Rank
#76 Affordable Elite Colleges - Overall Rank
#105 Liberal Arts Colleges - Overall Rank
#122 Liberal Arts Colleges - Graduation Rate Rank
#125 Liberal Arts Colleges - Community Service Participation Rank
#125 Liberal Arts Colleges - Service Staff, Courses, and Financial Aid Rank
#138 Liberal Arts Colleges - Research Expenditures Rank
#139 Liberal Arts Colleges - ROTC Rank
#144 Liberal Arts Colleges - Peace Corps Rank
#235 Liberal Arts Colleges - Federal Work-Study Funds Spent on Service Rank
Questions about Thomas Aquinas College

Want more info about Thomas Aquinas College? Get free advice from education experts and Noodle community members.

  • Answer