The University is one of the many out growths 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 the Santa Rosa Health Care Corporation. 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 Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
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 respectful interaction advances the discovery of truth, mutual understanding, self- realization, and the common good.
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 also 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 well over 11,000 years.
The 110-acre campus combines the natural beauty of the historic grounds with state-of-the-art facilities and technology. Each building features presentation and wireless technology in the classroom in addition to the technologies specific to the courses taught in that specific building. Residence halls and gathering places, both internal and external, feature wireless technology as well. Additionally, the Burton E. Grossman International Conference Center provides expansive state-of-the-art facilities meeting and conference, as well as housing for visiting foreign dignitaries and students.
Abundant athletic facilities, practice fields and many walking paths provide ample locations to improve upon the student's physical dimension as well as the spiritual and mental dimensions. The park-like atmosphere encourages private reflection as well as intellectual stimulation.
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 eighth 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 art 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, the Hertzberg Circus Museum, and the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.
San Antonio is rich in educational offerings with four private universities, a Catholic theological graduate school, a state university, 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:
American Association for Music Therapy (BM in Music Therapy)
National Association of Schools of Theatre (BA in Theatre Arts)
Dreben School of Education:
State Board for Educator Certification (all teacher certification programs)
H-E-B School of Business and Administration:
National Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs for the following business:
School of Interactive Media and Design
Council for Interior Design Accreditation (B.A. in Interior Environmental Design)
School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering:
American Diabetic Association (BS and MS in Nutrition, and Dietetic Internship)
School of Nursing and Health Professions:
Board of Nurse Examiners for the state of Texas (BSN)
Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (BSN and MSN)
Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (BS Nuclear Medicine Science)
Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Programs (BS Athletic Training)