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UST Now Offers a Degree Program in Polish Studies, Study Abroad in Poland


Houston and Texas have a large population of people of Polish Ancestry so the time is right to launch this program in Polish Studies at the University of St. Thomas - Houston.

Study Abroad in PolandUniversity of St. Thomas - Houston announces a new program in Polish Studies. Beginning in fall 2021, undergraduates can earn a minor in Polish Studies in online courses for college credit: Introduction to Polish culture, the history of Poland in the 20th century, and Polish language. Additional courses on Polish art, film, literature and politics will be added.

This program builds on the successful Study Abroad in Poland for undergraduate and graduate students who follow the footsteps of Saint John Paul II in his native country to learn about his life and legacy. It also complements the recently started Saint John Paul II studies program, which is devoted to the study of the life and thought of Saint John Paul II in the context of Polish history and culture. These new programs were recently endowed with a generous $200,000 endowment gift from Dr. Ewa Thompson.

Strong Polish Presence in America, Texas and Houston

There are 10 million Americans of Polish descent in the United States. Poles immigrated to Texas in the mid-19th century, including to College Station, Panna Maria and Brenham where they were farmers. Houston has a large Polish population estimated at 80,000.

Today, many Polish companies are doing business in Houston in the oil and gas sector and the Texas Medical Center. Houston has a Polish/American Chamber of Commerce. Two years ago, Poland opened a consulate in Houston, and only five cites in the Americas can claim the distinction. Houston’s Polish parish, Our Lady of Czestochowa, located on Blalock Road in Spring Branch, celebrates Mass in Polish.

“With the presence of so many people of Polish ancestry in Houston and all over the state of Texas, combined with the rising importance of Poland as an economic and strategic ally of the United States, the time seems right to launch this program in Polish Studies at the University of St. Thomas,” Dr. John Hittinger, director of the JPII Institute, said.

Learn More

For information, contact Dr. Hittinger, director, Saint John Paul II Institute, at the University of St Thomas, 1211 Colquitt Ave, Houston TX 77006. Hittinger@stthom.edu713-525-2155.