About

See what students say:

Academics

Thomas Aquinas College is a small, private Roman Catholic-affiliated liberal arts school located in Southern California. Students have a wide spectrum of terms with which to describe their unique education: “difficult, mind blowing, extremely enjoyable, and intensely interesting.” Instead of taking the standard mix of general education requirements, electives, and coursework for majors and minors, TAC has a set curriculum for all first-years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors that is comprised entirely of reading and discussing the great books of Western civilization with the goal of “grappling with the greatest thinkers directly instead of … through a secondary text.” Students say professors are excellent at facilitating discussions, “always accessible outside of their class hours,” and “strong role models and mentors.” With class sizes of “just over a dozen students,” they typically rely on the Socratic Method with little to no lecturing. Students say the combination of curriculum and pedagogy allows them to “find the truth themselves,” hone their critical thinking skills, and, by senior year, grasp essential “core ideas of the highest nature such as relativity, time, space and being.” Some do note that courses could focus more on developing writing skills by assigning “more essays and papers” in addition to the heavy reading. By contrast, some students feel that while a classical education “may not prepare one for a specific job, it prepares one to be a good man [or woman].” One student sums the academic experience up by saying, “You have to work very hard, but … you see [it] pay off instantly in class.”

Student Body

With a student body of about 400 undergrads, “each individual is a relevant member of the community.” TAC students take pride in the “culture of casual kindnesses,” where everyone “is friendly and comfortable with each other” and is “always willing to have a good conversation.” Additionally, students describe their peers as “kind,” “quirky,” “genuine,” and united by “a desire for [pursuing] knowledge for its own sake.” This sense of community is bolstered by a “wide range of backgrounds and cultures,” primarily from a traditional Catholic or Christian background—“most students attend mass daily.” One student sums it up: “There are the athletic students, the studious students, the party-goers, and the introverted students,” although “we joke that . . . everyone falls under the common category of nerd.”

Campus Life

During the week, Thomas Aquinas College students focus on preparing for class and on their work-study jobs, if they’ve taken one on. When they’re looking for a break, they often find it in the college’s intramural sports, which are “open to all students regardless of skill.” Sports like basketball, ultimate frisbee, tennis, soccer, baseball, or volleyball “bring the community together without taking over” campus life. Outside of athletics, students would like more variety in school sponsored extracurricular activities, but this outdoorsy student body has a plethora of options in their backyard. The campus is “a mile walk from the Los Padres National Forest, which is a beautiful location for hiking and mountain biking,” and the local beach in Ventura is a popular swimming and surfing destination.

Campus rules “strongly reflect [TAC’s] Catholic identity” and include a dress code and curfew. For some, this conservative culture “does not feel like college life but high school life,” while others say it creates a peaceful environment where it’s easy to prioritize coursework. Instead of traditional campus nightlife there are frequent “small, informal waltz or swing nights.” (Drinking isn’t tolerated on campus, so those looking for such activities must head off campus.) Classes take turns hosting monthly themed dances, which are “often highlights of everyone’s year.” When they’re not busy with this wide array of options, students simply “sit around and talk in the commons,” play board games, read poetry, make music and movies, sing in the choir, knit, and hang out in the coffee shop.

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Jonathan P. Daly
Director of Admissions

Address
Thomas Aquinas College
10000 Ojai Rd.
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone
805-525-4417

Email
admissions@thomasaquinas.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
St. Joseph Commons
St. Patrick's Coffee Shop
Dorm Commons
St. Bernardine Library
St. Cecilia's Performing Arts Hall
Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel is frequented by both students and visitors alike, offering beauty and serenity to all who enter.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Ventura Beach/City of Ventura
Santa Barbara's State Street
Getty Museum
Garman's Santa Paula
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Rabalais' Coffee, Bakery and Bistro Walt Disney Concert Hall Magic Mountain LA Dodgers Stadium

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday - Friday
8:30am -5:00pm
805-525-4417

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
As requested, by appointment

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
Other

Contact Email Address for Visit
admissions@thomasaquinas.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
1-3 weeknights recommended

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Ventura County Airporter, RoadRunner Shuttle service, College Courier, Amtrak, Greyhound. Oxnard (OXR) closest airport. LAX most popular. Burbank and Santa Barbara also closer, but shuttle services are more limited.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Via U.S. Highway 101: From the north or south, take US-101 toward Ventura, exit California Highway 126 East toward Santa Paula. Travel east on CA-126 for about 12 miles, then take the 10th Street exit in Santa Paula. Turn left onto 10th Street. At the fourth traffic signal (the cross-street is Santa Paula St.), bear slightly to the right; at this point 10th Street becomes Ojai Rd./CA-150. You are approximately five miles from the campus. Watch for the entrance to Thomas Aquinas College on the right-hand side of the road. Via Interstate 5: From the north or south, take I-5 toward Santa Clarita, exit California Highway 126 West toward Ventura. Travel west on CA-126 for about 28 miles, then take the 10th Street exit in Santa Paula. Turn right onto 10th Street. At the fourth traffic signal (the cross-street is Santa Paula St.), bear slightly to the right; at this point 10th Street becomes Ojai Rd./CA-150. You are approximately five miles from the campus. Watch for the entrance to Thomas Aquinas College on the right-hand side of the road.

Local Accommodations
Santa Paula: Ocean Gateway Inn, Santa Paula Inn Ojai: Ojai Valley Inn, Casa Ojai, Capri Motel

Admissions

Applicants: 170
Acceptance Rate: 76%
Average HS GPA: 3.81






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