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To help understand the Mission, it helps to know UIW’s history and how we began. 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 the Christus Santa Rosa Health Care Corporation. Their ministry soon spread to the care of homeless children and teaching and 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 Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Alamo Heights.
College classes were added in 1909, and the name of the institution was changed to the College and Academy of the Incarnate Word.

In 1918, both the College and the Incarnate Word High School were affiliated with the Texas State Department of Education.

The college was fully accredited by the Association of College and Secondary Schools in 1925. The graduate division was added in 1950, and the school became co-educational in 1970.

In 1995, the University again expanded by starting the Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCaP). ADCaP afforded adult learners the opportunity to get a quality education in the evening at an accelerated pace.

In 1996, we became recognized as a university changing our name to the University of the Incarnate Word.

In 2000, the University moved its mission and programs to the country of China, and became the first American university granted approval by the government of China to offer accredited degrees in mainland China.

Also in 2000 UIW added the Universe Online (now called UIW Online), a natural extension of the mission and the entrepreneurial direction of the University. By utilizing computer mediated learning techniques, the University addresses the changing needs of adult learners. By maintaining educational standards of the traditional programs, UIW Online offers nationally accredited programs in a convenient format.

In 2007, UIW became the 4th largest private university in Texas. We are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools as well as other accrediting bodies which are specific to disciplines or degree programs.

For more Information on the UIW Mission and History go to the Mission home page at

Curriculum Reflects our Mission

The Core Curriculum of University of the Incarnate Word is, as the name implies, the heart or center of the undergraduate educational experience. The Core Curriculum is an integrated and sequenced course of study, which constitutes approximately 45 semester hours of a student's degree plan. The Core Curriculum is comprised of specific courses from designated disciplines, a Community Service component and demonstrated computer competence.

The content of the Core Curriculum is dictated by the traditional concept of liberal arts education. It includes a carefully devised study of rhetoric (intelligent reading and correct writing), philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, mathematics and the natural sciences, history, the behavioral and social sciences, language, and wellness.

Unique to the University's approach to the liberal arts, however, is a conscious emphasis on integrating their content elements. This emphasis is rooted in the experience of the academic community that knowledge is not acquired in isolated elements and that wisdom derives from an exploration of truth in all its aspects. A whole person is an organism of body, mind, emotions, and spirit and comes to know truth by way of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic exploration of reality.

In addition to the content of the liberal arts and their integration, the Core Curriculum addresses itself to the major processes identified as requisites for success as an effective participant in the contemporary world, namely, critical thinking and learning, social interaction, wellness development, values formation, and ethical decision making. Because its mission, founded in the Catholic tradition, is based on the premise of a sound faith relationship between the creature and the Creator, the University of the Incarnate Word includes in its Core a study of religion.

The core is a common experience for all UIW students and represents a major vehicle for transmitting the mission values of the University. The Core and Major (specialized curriculum in a particular field of study) are intended to assure that every student accomplishes ten broad educational goals. Objectives under each goal specify learning outcomes to be developed by all undergraduates who complete a degree at UIW.


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Join us at the Alumni "Plus One" Connections Mixer held Thurs., October 4 from 6-8 p.m. at Piatti - Hotel Eilan. Door prizes, refreshments and cash bar.

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