St. Claire City University is located less than ten miles west of the city limits, off highway I-90. It was founded as a liberal arts college in 1953 under the name St. Claire City College. Over the past forty years the school has expanded to include many graduate programs, including an acclaimed medical, dental, and nursing school (run in conjunction with Hilliard Memorial Hospital), a ranger program (run in conjunction with the National Park), and a newly accredited law school. This growth is what prompted the name change from College to University, which coincided with the addition of the medical school back in 1976.
Although SCCU has over 15,000 full- and part-time students enrolled, it is primarily a commuter school; less than 1000 students live in on-campus housing. This by no means indicates that there is little activity about the campus. The university has many intercollegiate sports teams, student clubs, sororities and fraternities, several student publications, and an FM radio station. In an effort to meet the needs of the community it also offers continuing education classes, weekend and evenings classes, and a newly established series of video-taught courses in the core undergraduate curriculum.