Chapter I.  General Information

The University of the Incarnate Word

The University is one of the many outgrowths of the original mission that brought the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to San Antonio in 1869. The Sisters’ work began with the care of victims of a cholera epidemic and the establishment of the first hospital in the city, an institution recognized today as CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care. Their ministry soon spread to the care of homeless children and to teaching. In 1881, they secured a charter from the State of Texas, which empowered them to establish schools on all levels.

In 1900, the Academy of the Incarnate Word, which had been established first in an area of San Antonio called Government Hill, was moved to the recently constructed Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Alamo Heights. College classes were added to the curriculum in 1909, and the name of the institution was changed to the College and Academy of the Incarnate Word. Both the college and the high school were affiliated with the Texas State Department of Education in 1918. The college was fully accredited by the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1925. The graduate division was added in 1950, and the school became co-educational in 1970. In 1996, it was recognized as a university. In 1998, the University was accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Doctoral degrees, in addition to Bachelors and Masters degrees.

Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word

The first Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who came to San Antonio to minister to the sick and the poor were motivated by the love of God and their recognition of God’s presence in each person. Their spirit of Christian service is perpetuated in the University of the Incarnate Word primarily through teaching and scholarship. Inspired by Judeo-Christian values, the University aims to educate men and women who will become concerned and enlightened citizens.

The University is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. It promotes life-long learning and fosters the development of the whole person. The faculty and students support one another in the search for and the communication of truth. The University is open to thoughtful innovation that serves ever more effectively the spiritual and material needs of people. The curriculum offers students an integrated program of liberal arts and professional studies that includes a global perspective and an emphasis on social justice and community service.

The University of the Incarnate Word is a Catholic institution that welcomes to its community persons of diverse backgrounds, in the belief that their respective interaction advances the discovery of truth, mutual understanding, self-realization, and the common good.

The Campus

The University is located on what was formerly the estate of noted San Antonio philanthropist, businessman, and civil servant, Col. George W. Brackenridge. His home, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, still stands on the campus.

The headwaters of the San Antonio River are located on the campus, and at one time, the natural beauty as well as the clear spring water made it a favored campsite for Native American tribes. Archeological studies have produced Paleo-Indian projectile points that date back 11,000 years.

The 110- acre campus combines the natural beauty of the historic grounds with fully-networked wireless facilities. Each building features presentation and wireless technology in the classroom. Residence halls and gathering places are also wireless. The Burton E. Grossman International Conference Center provides expansive state-of-the art facilities for meetings and conferences, as well as housing for visiting foreign
dignitaries and students. Additionally, the Sky Room, on the top floor of the McCombs Center, features a stunning view of the city skyline. The Sky Room, which can accommodate up to 850 people, is the second largest facility of its kind in the city and can be subdivided into several configurations to meet the needs of specific events.

The University’s athletic facilities, practice fields, tree-lined walking paths, and well-tended grounds provide a comfortable environment for study and reflection.

San Antonio

The city offers a rich mixture of cultural heritages derived from its historical settlement by persons from Germany, France, Ireland, Mexico, and the Canary Islands. Together with Dallas and Houston, it is one of the three largest metropolitan areas in Texas and ranks as the seventh largest city in the nation. The River Walk, or Paseo Del Rio, with its waterside restaurants, hotels, shopping areas, and cultural attractions, has helped to develop the city into a prime location for conventions and tourism.

The city has a flourishing arts community with active theatre groups, dance companies, and music and art associations. Museums include the San Antonio Museum of Art, the McNay Art Museum, the Witte Museum, the Institute of Texan Cultures, and the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

San Antonio is rich in educational offerings with four private universities, a Catholic theological graduate school, two state universities, a state-sponsored medical school, and a public community college system. It is also a center for scientific and medical research based at the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Southwest Research Institute, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, and the Cancer Therapy Research Center.

The campus of the University of the Incarnate Word is located in the north central area of the city adjacent to Brackenridge Park and to the suburb of Alamo Heights, which offers a quiet, well established residential area as well as shopping, restaurant, cultural, and recreational facilities.


The University of the Incarnate Word is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of University of the Incarnate Word.

The University holds national and specialized accreditations in the following disciplines:

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences:

Dreeben School of Education:

H-E-B School of Business and Administration:
Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs for the following business degrees:

School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering:

School of Nursing and Health Professions:


The University holds membership in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the American Association of Universities for Teacher Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, the Texas Independent University Fund, the Association of Texas Graduate Schools, the Higher Education Council of San Antonio, and the United Colleges of San Antonio, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

Application of Bulletin

Changes in Graduate Bulletin rules and regulations, other than course and GPA requirements for a degree, become effective immediately upon approval by the proper University authorities and are not subject to the Catalog of Graduation policy. (See page 17.)

Degrees and Major Programs

The University of the Incarnate Word offers graduate instruction leading to advanced degrees in the following areas of study:

H-E-B School of Business and Administration

Administration (M.A.A.) with concentrations in
 Adult Education
 Applied Administration Online
 Communication Arts
 Healthcare Administration
 Instructional Technology Online
 Organizational Development
 Sports Management  
Business Administration (MBA) (General Business)
Business Administration (MBA) with concentrations in
International Business
Sports Management
International Business Strategy
Accounting (MS)

Dreeben School of Education

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) with concentrations in
Secondary Teaching (Grades 8-12)
All-Level Teaching (Grades EC-12)
Elementary Teaching (Early Childhood-Grade 4)
Education (M.A. or M.Ed.) (General Education)
Education (M.A. or M.Ed.), with concentrations in
Adult Education
Cross-Cultural Education
Early Childhood Literacy
Instructional Technology Online
Organizational Learning and Leadership
Special Education
Teacher Leadership
Education (Ph.D.), with concentrations in
Higher Education
International Education and Entrepreneurship
Mathematics Education 
Organizational Leadership

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Community Psychology (M.S.)
Multidisciplinary Studies (M.A.)
Religious Studies/Pastoral Institute (M.A.)

School of Interactive Media and Design 

Communication Arts (M.A.)

School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering

Biology (M.A. or M.S.)
Research Statistics (M.S.)
Mathematics (M.A.) with a concentration in Teaching
Multidisciplinary Sciences (M.A.)
Nutrition (M.S.) (General Nutrition)
Nutrition (M.S.) with concentrations in
Nutrition Education and Health Promotion     

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Nursing (M.S.N.) or (M.S.N./M.B.A.)
Kinesiology (M.S.)
Sport Management (M.S.)

Feik School of Pharmacy
Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
Information regarding the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program can be found in a separate UIW Feik School of Pharmacy Bulletin and on the School of Pharmacy webpage.

School of Optometry
Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)
Information  regarding the Doctor of Optometry degree program can be found on the School of Optometry web page.  

Universe Online

The University of the Incarnate Word recognizes that our graduate students need a variety of quality programs and delivery methods that meet their needs for a program of study that has flexibility. With this in mind, the Universe Online (also referred to as the Virtual University) delivers graduate degree programs and certificates in an asynchronous online environment. Students will meet the same admissions requirements, but will be able to complete their entire degree program from a distance. There are no on-campus requirements for Universe Online.

Administration (M.A.A.) Online with concentrations in
    Organizational Development
    Instructional Technology
    Applied Administration
    Communication Arts

Business Administration (MBA) (General Business) Online 
Business Administration (MBA) Online with concentration in
    International Business

Graduate Certificates Online 
    Organizational Development
    International Business
    Project Management

Guiding Principles and Objectives of Graduate Study

The Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word provides the guiding principles for all of the graduate studies programs that are offered. The University’s graduate program seeks:

The purpose of the University’s graduate program is to encourage:

For the convenience of employed persons, the majority of the University’s graduate courses are offered in the late afternoon, evening, and on Saturday. Most graduate courses in the Master of Arts programs are available on an eight-week format. Graduate students are expected to assume responsibility for knowing policies governing their program, registration, change of schedule, withdrawal, and other policies and procedures of the Graduate Program. For information about their curriculum and graduate policies, students may call their advisor or the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. 


In accordance with the Mission of UIW, scholarly activity is guided by the principles of respect, truth, and fairness. Research is an integral facet of graduate study, and students are encouraged to seek publication of work done in pursuit of advanced degrees.  In research outside the thesis or dissertation where close collaboration with faculty advisors occurs, it is entirely appropriate for publications to be co-authored.  Order of authorship should be subject to mutual agreement, based on the nature and extent of the contribution by the parties concerned and in accordance with the accepted practice of the discipline.