Please update your web browser or disable Compatibility View.

Transgender Student Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Nov. 17, 2016

Who is eligible for admission to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University?

The College of Saint Benedict accepts applications from individuals who consistently live and identify as women, and who seek a vibrant Catholic and Benedictine, residential, liberal arts education that is grounded in the traditions and values of its founding and sponsoring monastic community, Saint Benedict's Monastery.

Saint John's University accepts undergraduate applications from individuals who consistently live and identify as men, and who seek a vibrant Catholic and Benedictine, residential, liberal arts education that is grounded in the traditions and values of its founding and sponsoring monastic community, Saint John's Abbey.

Why was this policy created at this time?

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are deeply rooted in their identity and mission as a Catholic and Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college for women and for men respectively.  As such they regularly update their policies so as to advance their mission and values in light of the contemporary social, political and economic landscape.  The new Admission Policy is the result of a thoughtful, well-vetted, process that engaged community stakeholders in reflecting on how we can best remain faithful to the time-tested mission and values of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University while addressing evolving understandings of gender identity. 

The new Admission Policy maintains consistency with our long standing practice of accepting persons with the gender identity they present to us without further substantiation.

What does it mean to consistently live and identify as a woman or a man?

All applicants must identify themselves as a man or a woman, and their application materials must support their self-identification.  Applicants who are concerned about discrepancies in their application materials are encouraged to speak with an admission counselor or to address their concerns in an essay or personal statement.

Are trans women eligible for admission?

Yes, at the College of Saint Benedict, which accepts applications from those who consistently live and identify as women.

No, not as undergraduate students at Saint John's University.  Applicants assigned male at birth who now identify as women are not eligible for undergraduate admission at Saint John's University, but can be considered for enrollment at the College of Saint Benedict.

Are trans men eligible for admission?

Yes, at Saint John's University which accepts undergraduate applications from those who consistently live and identify as men.

No, not at the College of Saint Benedict. Applicants assigned female at birth who now identify as male are not eligible for admission at the College of Saint Benedict, but can be considered for enrollment at Saint John's University.

Are individuals who identify outside the binary (i.e., as neither man or woman) eligible for admission?

The College of Saint Benedict accepts applications from those who consistently live and identify as women.

Saint John's University accepts applications from those who consistently live and identify as men. 

To be considered for admission, application materials should support one's self-identification.  Any applicants concerned about discrepancies in their application materials are encouraged to speak with an admission counselor or address their concerns in an essay or personal statement.

What about students who transition before they complete their degree?

All students who are accepted into the College of Saint Benedict or Saint John's University remain eligible to earn a degree from the institution into which they matriculated.

If a student enrolled at the College of Saint Benedict decides that a women's college no longer offers an appropriate educational environment, the College will offer guidance and resources to assist in making choices that are best for that student.

Similarly, if a student enrolled at Saint John's University decides that a men's college no longer offers an appropriate educational environment, the University will offer guidance and resources to assist in making choices that are best for that student.

Are students who transition while enrolled in the College of Saint Benedict or Saint John's University eligible to transfer to the other institution?

Yes.  Students may transfer from the institution into which they matriculated to any institution for which they meet the admission criteria. The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are committed to facilitating transfers for students who feel their gender identity no longer matches the school at which they are enrolled.

What does this mean for the missions of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University?

The College of Saint Benedict remains rooted in its historic mission as a Catholic and Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college for women that is unwavering in its commitment to respecting the dignity of all persons and to welcoming students, faculty, staff, and guests who find inspiration and value in these commitments.

Saint John's University remains rooted in its historic undergraduate mission as a Catholic and Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college for men that is unwavering in its commitment to respecting the dignity of all persons and to welcoming students, faculty, staff, and guests who find inspiration and value in these commitments. 

How will the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University address logistics such as housing, athletics, and other aspects of campus life?

Over the course of this academic year, each institution will develop plans for implementation that will go into effect for applicants seeking admission for the fall of 2017 (the CSB and SJU classes of 2021).