About Saint Leo University

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University seeks to instill in our students:

About saint leo University

Skills and Courage for a Changing World

Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the United States offering more than 50 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 18,200 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing a values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition.

Our determination to make higher education accessible to all has made Saint Leo a world leader in redefining the 21st-century college. Today, Saint Leo serves students hailing from all 49 states, the District of Columbia, three US territories and 95 countries. Saint Leo is one of the nation's leading providers of higher education to the US military. 

We teach students not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic. And our faith compels us to imagine and contribute to a more socially just society.

We Are Traditional, But We Are Cutting Edge

Established in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida, the university seeks balanced growth in mind, body, and spirit for all members of our community. Saint Leo has grown from a peaceful campus in the rolling hills of Central Florida to an institution of international consequence—ranked one of the best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report .

Our Tampa-area campus remains committed as ever to student-centered liberal arts education and is strengthened by the global reach of our regionally accredited online programs and Education Centers in seven states across the U.S., including on many military bases.


The publication Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranks Saint Leo among its Top 100 institutions graduating minority students with baccalaureate degrees. We're a small school, but we have an incredibly diverse student body composed of 41% students from underrepresented populations, representing 44 U.S. states and territories, and over 80 foreign countries.


In educating the individual to the benefit of society, Saint Leo University cultivates the capacity and propensity for life-long learning by fostering independent inquiry and promoting the value of knowledge and discovery. Through innovative undergraduate and graduate programs, Florida’s first college continues its commitment to making a vital contribution to the future of the region and the state.

Saint Leo's vision is that the university will be renowned for transforming student lives through personal and engaging educational experiences. 

Community Service

The university has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll each year since its inception in 2006. Saint Leo students, faculty and staff subscribe to a culture of service and volunteerism in the spirit of our core values.

Core Values

Saint Leo University lives its mission and vision through engagement in the classroom, engagement across campus, and engagement in the region and beyond while valuing:

• Excellence

Saint Leo University is an educational enterprise. All of us, individually and collectively, work hard to ensure that our students develop the character, learn the skills, and assimilate the knowledge essential to become morally responsible leaders. The success of our university depends upon a conscientious commitment to our mission, vision, and goals.

• Community

Saint Leo University develops hospitable Christian learning communities everywhere we serve. We foster a spirit of belonging, unity, and interdependence based on mutual trust and respect to create socially responsible environments that challenge all of us to listen, to learn, to change, and to serve.

• Respect

Animated in the spirit of Jesus Christ, we value all individuals’ unique talents, respect their dignity, and strive to foster their commitment to excellence in our work. Our community’s strength depends on the unity and diversity of our people, on the free exchange of ideas, and on learning, living, and working harmoniously.

• Integrity 

The commitment of Saint Leo University to excellence demands that its members live its mission and deliver on its promise. The faculty, staff, and students pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed.

• Personal Development 

Saint Leo University stresses the development of every person’s mind, spirit, and body for a balanced life. All members of the Saint Leo University community must demonstrate their commitment to personal development to help strengthen the character of our community.

Responsible Stewardship

Our Creator blesses us with an abundance of resources. We foster a spirit of service to employ our resources for university and community development. We must be resourceful. We must optimize and apply all of the resources of our community to fulfill Saint Leo University’s mission and goals.

Mission Statement

Saint Leo is an inventive global Catholic liberal arts university that fosters a personal and inclusive community which educates, prepares, and develops students for success, and consists of diverse learners who boldly confront the challenges of our world through service to others.

Memberships and Accreditations

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Saint Leo University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Saint Leo University’s School of Business received initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) in November 2014. ACBSP promotes continuous improvement and recognizes excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world. Its accreditation philosophy focuses on institutional leadership, strategic planning processes, community relations, quality of academic programs, faculty credentials and services, and educational support. The College is also a charter member of the Florida Council on Teacher Education.

our President

President Edward Dadez, Ph.D.

Our President
As a Saint Leo University alumnus and longtime leader of the university, Dr. Dadez holds a strong passion and appreciation for Saint Leo’s core values; its diverse students, faculty, and staff; and life-changing mission. Before becoming the second provost of the university, he was a visiting professor in Graduate Education. He also held the position of vice president in support of the university’s regional education centers, online learning programs, student affairs, and campus operations.

“Saint Leo University’s commitment to its core values, Catholic heritage, and close-knit community make it a special place—countless students have thrived here and gone on to make an impact in our world,” said Dadez. “I am excited to work alongside students, faculty, staff, and alumni to strengthen the university experience and to help make it possible for more students to pursue their educational and professional goals.”

Prior to Saint Leo University, Dadez held several administrative roles in student affairs and continuing education at Ohio State University, University of Dayton (Ohio), Michigan State University, Bucknell University (PA), and Chowan University (NC).

He is also the author of several academic journal articles and has given more than 85 professional presentations and keynotes at local, state, regional, and national conventions and conferences.

Dadez earned his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Arts degree from Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration from Saint Leo University, and a doctoral degree from Michigan State University.


Our Professors

At Saint Leo, we continue to focus on our mission to build a student-centered, values-based environment where a love of learning is paramount. Our online instructors come to Saint Leo as leaders in their respective fields, providing real-world experience to students motivated to change or advance their careers.

In addition to their professional experience, Saint Leo professors who instruct our undergraduate and postgraduate courses must have a doctorate or master's degree in their teaching area, or a master's degree with a concentration in the discipline they teach (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline). Click here to learn about a few of our faculty members.
Education Meets


Saint Leo University was named one of the best in the United States in online education, according to U.S. News & World Report

AT Saint Leo, YOU CAN.