The Catholic University of America

  • The Catholic University of America

    Washington, DC

  • The Catholic University of America

    Washington, DC

  • The Catholic University of America

    Washington, DC

  • The Catholic University of America

    Washington, DC

  • The Catholic University of America

    Washington, DC




Catholic Faculty


Catholic Students


On-campus students in single-sex dorms


The Catholic University of America is the only pontifical university in the United States that serves primarily lay students. With the support of Pope Leo XIII, the American bishops founded the University in 1887 for the initial purpose of graduate studies in theology, philosophy, and canon law. 

Today Catholic University has about equal numbers of undergraduate and graduate students, with an undergraduate program that is distinctly and reliably Catholic. The largely Catholic student body has a wide variety of schools and majors from which to choose—unique features for a comprehensive university that embraces a strong Catholic identity. 

The University’s mission statement reads in part: “As the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See, The Catholic University of America is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church.” 

John Garvey became the University’s 15th president in 2010, after several years as dean of Boston College Law School. The Harvard-educated legal expert has earned much respect with his public defense of Catholic institutions from the Obama administration’s violations of religious liberty. In addition, he made the University a standard-bearer for other institutions to follow with his announcement in 2011 that student residence halls would no longer be co-ed. 

The school’s Catholic identity has also been enhanced by strengthening the campus ministry and by hiring professors and staff members who reflect Catholic identity. More than 110 former Catholic University students have entered religious life over the past decade. 

The University is governed by a 50-member board of trustees: 48 elected and two members—the president and the chancellor, who is always the archbishop of Washington, D.C—by virtue of their position. Half of the elected members must be clerics, with at least 18 of them members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Located in northeast Washington, D.C., in the residential Brookland neighborhood, the University is about three miles north of the U.S. Capitol. Students must beware of crime in the neighboring area, but they also will find numerous Catholic institutions like the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The recent opening of Monroe Street Market on the University’s campus brings new restaurants, retailers, and an arts walk to the community. 


Garvey has been forthright about hiring faculty who support the University’s mission: “The universities themselves will only be distinctive and distinctively Catholic if they hire people who want to make them that, and to do that you have to count, and not just count people who have a baptismal certificate, but those who really care about putting those things together. In hiring non-Catholics, you need to pay attention to what they will contribute to the culture of the institution.” 

Currently, about 59 percent of the faculty is Catholic. Nearly 40% of the theology faculty members are clerics or religious, including Benedictines, Dominicans, and Franciscans. All Catholic theology faculty members have a canonical mission, which substitutes for the mandatum at pontifical institutions. The five non-Catholic professors in the School of Theology and Religious Studies have received the venia docendi, or permission to teach in the name of the Church. 

Among the University’s 12 schools are: architecture and planning; arts and sciences; business; canon law; engineering; law; music, drama, and art; nursing; philosophy; professional studies; social service; and theology and religious studies.

As with any large university, several departments have surfaced in our interviews that require prudence when pursuing courses there. These include anthropology, modern languages, and history. The same holds for the National Catholic School of Social Service, although we have been impressed by some recent changes. And at such a large university, students should be diligent in seeking out professors in every discipline who embrace the University’s Catholic mission.

For students who qualify, there is an honors program that includes a core curriculum organized into a number of four-course sequences. Those successfully completing one or more sequences are honored at graduation. Graduation requirements vary according to the school to which the student is admitted. 

Catholic University offers a variety of scholarships to students, such as the $1,000 alumni grant awarded to a freshman nominated by a graduate, and the Parish Scholarship whereby parish priests can nominate students for a $3,000 annual renewable scholarship. 

There are a number of institutes and centers at the University. Students have abundant opportunities for international enrichment, choosing from over 20 education abroad programs to locations such as Spain, Ireland, Australia, China, and the University’s premiere program in Rome. 

One ongoing concern has been the low retention rate in the University’s undergraduate program, but it has improved substantially in recent years. About 20 percent of students at Catholic University leave before their junior year. To enhance undergraduate education, Catholic University now includes a freshman “First-Year Experience” program that creates learning communities integrating five specific courses. The school’s Washington, D.C., location offers unparalleled opportunities for internships with more than 2,000 organizations, including political parties, radio and television networks, museums, social service and government agencies, The White House, and many more.


Four Conventual Franciscan Friars, a religious Sister, and four lay people staff the campus ministry office. With the help of priests from the faculty and student priests, the friars offer four daily Masses in St. Paul’s Chapel in Caldwell Hall, the law school chapel, and St. Vincent’s Chapel. There are also two Sunday Masses in St. Vincent’s Chapel. There are six daily Masses and seven Sunday Masses at the Basilica—one offered on Sunday afternoon for the University community. 

Two newer chapels have in student residence halls, one in Flather Hall (Sacred Heart Chapel) the other in Opus Hall (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) provide students with the opportunity to make private visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Monday through Thursday, Mass is celebrated at 10:30 p.m.

Four daily Masses usually average 130 to 150 students total, with as many as 370 participating in the Sunday evening Mass. About half the undergraduate students attend Sunday Mass. Confession is offered twice a week during the academic year, in each residence hall during Advent and Lent, on every University retreat, and by appointment. 

Catholic University holds four special Masses during the academic year at the Basilica: the Freshman Orientation Mass, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Mass in Honor of St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Baccalaureate Mass. 

A Holy Hour with Benediction is celebrated on campus twice a week: Wednesday night Praise and Worship Adoration, and Thursday evening Solemn Adoration.  Daily Eucharistic adoration marks the Lenten weekdays between the 12:15 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. Masses. 

During the first month of every academic year, friars and other priests bless student rooms of all who express interest and dedicate each residence hall to the protection of its patron saint. 

Other opportunities for spiritual growth include nine annual class-based and student-run retreats, the priest-led “Going Deeper” retreat series, and days of recollection for specific student organizations. Campus Ministry sponsors student organizations dedicated to men and women’s spiritual growth, the Church’s teachings on social justice, and her intellectual tradition. Catholic University also has an online “Prayernet” site, a R.C.I.A. program, and a Renew program. 

Campus Ministry coordinates all community service and has sponsored mission trips to Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, Belize, Honduras, Tanzania, and Costa Rica. The University’s Religious in Residence program has expanded to three student priests in three men’s halls and six religious sisters living in three residence halls for women. 


Catholic University is largely a residential campus, with more than 2,200 students living in 17 residence halls available in five distinct areas of campus. About two-thirds of undergraduates live on campus. Access to residence halls is secure. 

The University has completed the transition to all single-sex housing, a process that began in 2011. The campus has a visitation policy, allowing visitors until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends. Overnight opposite-sex visitation is not permitted. 

Students over the age of 21 are permitted to have alcohol in their rooms, but they may not have it in common areas or provide it to others. 

Each residential neighborhood is staffed by a full-time professional, live-in community director, and a team of resident assistants. Student ministers work with Campus Ministry to lead small-faith meetings discussing weekly Gospel readings and offering opportunities for discussion on issues of faith. 

The campus health clinic is located in the Student Health and Fitness Center. University officials say that medical care and advice is consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Student Health Services is staffed by a physician, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, and a nurse. There are a number of urgent care clinics in the area, and Providence Hospital is nearby. 

Washington is easily accessible from everywhere. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is across the river from the city, while the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall and Washington Dulles International airports are about 45 minutes away. Amtrak has a broad network that uses Union Station, and the Metro subway system has a station adjacent to the campus. 


Reflecting the scope of a larger university, Catholic University offers more than 100 student organizations covering a wide range of professional, social, community service, and advocacy areas. 

The pro-life group is very active, expanding its work beyond abortion and addressing lifestyle issues and chastity. In addition to praying and sidewalk counseling outside abortion businesses, it also sponsors Theology of the Body student/reading groups. Surrounding the March for Life, students provide extensive hospitality in housing out-of-town marchers and pro-lifers on campus and at the Basilica. 

The University has a chapter of Catholic Athletes for Christ, the organization’s first college chapter. There are no pro-abortion or homosexual rights groups. 

The music school sponsors about 200 recitals a year, and students have given concerts at the Vatican, Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in a number of U.S. cities, and abroad. The Hartke Theatre features five or six performances annually by the nationally recognized drama department.

In addition to all these organizations and cultural opportunities, Catholic University has a rich array of intercollegiate, club, and intramural athletic programs. The Cardinals compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III’s Landmark Conference and, in football, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), as well as the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC). The University is home to 25 varsity intercollegiate teams. For women they are basketball, cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor), and volleyball. For men they are baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor). The Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the Office of Campus Activities, offers an array of recreational club sports.

Washington offers a wide variety of social, cultural, and entertainment opportunities, a large array of museums within the Smithsonian system, and prominent art museums. Next to the University is the Saint John Paul II Shrine. Washington is also home to several professional sports teams. 

Bottom Line

Catholic University has greatly strengthened its Catholic identity and academic prowess over the past several years, with changes ushered in since 1998 during the presidencies of Bishop David O’Connell and John Garvey. Today the undergraduate program can be an excellent choice for students seeking a mid-sized university in an urban environment. 

“We celebrate our status as the national university of the Catholic Church in America,” said Christopher Lydon, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “And our prominence as a research university, our commitment to undergraduate teaching, and our location in Washington, D.C., add up to a powerful combination.” 

Across the spectrum, the University is on the move. Most importantly, the “bishops’ university” has confidently embraced a well-rounded Catholic approach to higher education. It is exciting that Catholic families today, many who are not seeking a liberal arts college, have the option of an authentically Catholic, comprehensive university located in our nation’s capital. 

Questions & Answers

Each year, the Newman Society asks the colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to answer the following questions. Below you will find the responses that we received directly from The Catholic University of America.

Is your institution accredited by at least one regional or national education association?


Please identify each accreditor and indicate whether it is approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation, Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) , National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation 

Please identify any notable public recognition of your institution’s academic quality in the last three years, such as rankings, awards, etc.

Full institutional accreditation for 10 years, 2010-20, from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; full Pontifical accreditation of three ecclesiastical faculties. Growth of extramural funding for research by 30 percent. Reconstituted First Year Experience Program (which integrates freshmen into the University through small learning communities in which they study theology, philosophy, and writing together) 

What is the median SAT and ACT of your incoming class? (Note that some colleges may not require one or both scores from all students) 

SAT: 1220

ACT: 27

Additional Academic Quality information, clarification or description (optional)

The Catholic University of America offers a personal academic experience with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 and an average class size of 20 students. 

Are more than half of the current members of your faculty practicing Catholics?


Approximately what percentage of your current faculty members are practicing Catholics?


Are members of your faculty officially informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the institution?


Are members of your teaching faculty expected, as a condition of employment, to respect Catholic teaching and comply with Catholic morality in their public actions and statements both on and off campus?


Please identify key undergraduate faculty who are noted experts in their field, have produced important publications, have leadership roles in academic associations, etc. and briefly describe such accomplishments (optional):

John Garvey – University President
Constitutional Law 

In Spring 2016, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the HHS Mandate. More recently, named to the Board of Directors for the Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties by Pope Francis. 

John Grabowski – Associate Professor, moral theology
Catholic Moral Teaching (Sexuality & Life Issues), Marriage, Sexual Equality/Gender Issues. The Thought Of Saint John Paul II 

From 2005-2009 he served as a theological advisor to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on Marriage and Family. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Grabowski and his wife to the Pontifical Council for the Family, where they serve as a member couple. 

Will Rainford – Dean, NCSSS
Catholic Social Teaching, Death Penalty, Homelessness, Poverty in America, Hunger and Food Insecurity, Unemployment/Underemployment, Low-income Housing 

Dean Rainford is nationally recognized for his work as a social justice advocate and administrator in social work education. He has received numerous honors, including the Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year, National Association of Social Work-Idaho Social Worker of the Year, and the Boise State University Larry Selland Humanitarian Award. His scholarly work focuses on social development, social work pedagogy, and poverty in America. 

David Jobes – Professor, Psychology
Suicide prevention, collaborative assessment and management of suicidality (CAMS), preventing suicide among veterans 

Jobes has spent approximately 30 years studying suicide prevention and has spoken nationally and internationally on issues related to suicide, including testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families. He also served as one of six civilians on a 12-member Congressionally-mandated Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Task Force. In 2010, Jobes was a featured speaker at the Annual Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Conference in Boston where he presented recent findings of CAMS research. 

Over the last 15 years, he has worked with the military and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to find ways to decrease suicide among service members and veterans. He has been a consultant to every branch of the U.S. military. 

Aaron Dominguez – Dean, arts and sciences
Physics, particle physics, the big bang, creation 

Dominguez, whose area of research is experimental high energy physics, has a strong history of research and grant activity, starting with a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant and culminating with his most recent cooperative agreement with the NSF for $11.5 million. As part of the recent award, he leads a team that includes researchers from nine universities in the construction of the next generation of particle detectors for the group’s experiment at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. 

John Convey – Elizabeth Ann Seton Chair in Education
Catholic Education, Strategic Planning for Schools, Catholic Identity in Schools, Education, Elementary Education, Catholic Higher Education, Higher Education 

For more than 30 years, Convey has conducted diocesan-wide planning and evaluation studies for the Catholic schools in the Archdioceses of Altanta, Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Mobile, and Washington, and the Dioceses of Alexandria (LA), Biloxi, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cheyenne, Corpus Christi, Honolulu, and Providence. He also has conducted planning studies for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. 

Convey was the 1991 recipient of the C. Albert Koob Award, given by the National Catholic Educational Association for outstanding national service to Catholic schools. In November 2005 he was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of his service to The Catholic University of America and to Catholic schools. In 2011 the National Catholic Educational Association at its annual meeting awarded him the Neil D’Amour Award for his work with Catholic school boards and the President’s Award at the annual Seton Awards Gala for his research and strategic planning for Catholic schools nationally. 

He has served as a Commissioner on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and a member of the Committee on Education of the Bishops and Presidents Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Does the institution have a department of Catholic theology, distinct from “religious studies” and other disciplines?


Are courses in Catholic theology clearly identified and distinguished from other courses dealing with religion?


Do all faculty in the theological disciplines have a mandatum according to the procedures established by the local bishop or other competent ecclesiastical authority?


Do all faculty in the theological disciplines make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?


Does your institution require that all theology courses be taught in a manner faithful to Scripture, Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium, and also to the principles and methods proper to Catholic theology?


Please identify the theology courses that are included in the undergraduate core or distribution requirements and the professors who routinely teach those courses:

The undergraduate core curriculum features two core theology courses entrance course into the Christian faith, and an integral part of the First-Year Experience at CUA, is TRS 201 (Scripture and Jesus Christ) and TRS 202 (The Church and the Human Person) These foundational course, which every student at the University must take, provide the student with a knowledge of the history of salvation in general — with specific attention to revelation, incarnation, Christology, Christian anthropology, the Church, and the Church’s mission.

CUA students enrolled in arts and science programs take two additional courses in theology and religious studies. The elective courses can be either gateway courses that introduce them to theological reasoning across a wide variety of disciplines or more specialized courses in particular theological disciplines, i.e., Biblical, Moral, etc. The only exceptions are students in professional schools, who take three rather than four courses in philosophy and theology. The four-course requirement in philosophy and theology at the foundation of CUA’s core curriculum is one of the most rigorous in the world.

TRS 201 sections are taught primarily by teaching fellows pursuing doctorates at the university and full time faculty members in our Scripture area because of the heavy concentration of Scripture in this course. TRS 202 sections are taught by full-time faculty members from all areas of theology and pastoral studies. Every faculty member is expected to teach in these courses on a cyclical basis.

Please describe the place of Catholic theology in your institution’s undergraduate curriculum and how it is distinct from other institutions.

As seen in the core four-course requirement, Catholic theology occupies a central role in the undergraduate curriculum. Moreover, we have a large and ever-growing number of theology majors and minors. The rigor of our core in philosophy and theology is equaled only by a few other institutions. But what sets the place of Catholic theology in our undergraduate curriculum apart from other institutions is the quality and experience of the faculty teaching those courses. Our faculty are world-class experts, outstanding scholars who place their cutting-edge scholarship at the service of their teaching. Many are consulted by the offices of the Vatican on the most pressing theological issues of the day. Our faculty are training the graduate students who go on to become professors at other institutions faithful to Rome and to Catholic orthodoxy. Our undergraduate students, therefore, have access to the best and most orthodox theological teaching in this country.

Moreover, the University integrates service learning as an integral part of its educational experience. There are special theological courses aimed at missionary activity. The curriculum integrates theological issues with the concerns of various disciplines to provide the student with the depth of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Additional Theology information, clarification or description (optional):

Catholic University strives to integrate theology into all of its curricular activities. The School of Theology and Religious Studies views theology as the discipline that unifies all other disciplines at the University.

Among all colleges and universities in the United States, Catholic University has one of the last remaining theologates as envisioned by Cardinal John Henry Newman in The Idea of the University. The school is divided into traditional theological areas (Biblical Studies, Catechesis, Church History, Historical and Systematic Theology, Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology, Pastoral Studies, Moral Theology/Ethics, and Spirituality). As the name suggests, we have specialists in religion and culture who offer courses on religion generally and on world religions specifically. All Catholic University students receive serious exposure to Catholic theology, but they also have the opportunity to learn about other religious traditions.

The University has three schools or faculties that grant ecclesiastical degrees: Canon Law, Philosophy, and Theology and Religious Studies. Two of the University’s ecclesiastical faculties (Philosophy and Theology and Religious Studies) are governed by the norms of two apostolic constitutions: Sapentia Christiana (promulgated on April 15, 1979) and Ex corde Ecclesiae (promulgated on Aug. 15, 1990). This is because the faculties grant both civil and ecclesiastical degrees. The ecclesiastical faculty of Canon Law is governed solely by Sapentia Christiana, since that faculty grants only ecclesiastical degrees.

Since the ecclesiastical schools are governed by Sapentia Christiana, Catholic University’s faculty in these schools obtain a missio canonica (canonical mission) from the Chancellor of the University (who is always the archbishop of Washington). Unlike the mandatum, which professors at other theology schools obtain from the diocesan bishop, the “canonical mission” comes from the Holy See, and only the institution can ask for it on behalf of the professor. Professors who are non-Catholic receive a venia docendi, or permission to teach as part of an ecclesiastical faculty.

Nearly 30% of the theology faculty members are clerics or religious, including Benedictines, Dominicans, and Franciscans.  All Catholic theology faculty members have a canonical mission, which substitutes for the mandatum at pontifical institutions. All tenured professors receive a Nihil Obstat from Rome. The four non-Catholic professors in the School of Theology and Religious Studies have received the veniadocendi, or permission to teach in the name of the Church.

Catholic University students benefit from interaction with the many seminarians and religious who study here. The frequent presence of visiting prelates from the United States and beyond—including the last three Popes, most recently Pope Francis in September 2015 — makes the Catholic experience at Catholic University unique for undergraduate students.

Please identify any course that every undergraduate student must take:

Dedicated to the complementarity of faith and reason, The Catholic University of America sets for its undergraduates a rigorous general curriculum anchored by courses in theology and philosophy. All first-year students take two philosophy courses (The Classical Mind and The Modern Mind), one theology course (Faith Seeking Understanding), and one English composition course (Logic and Rhetoric) as members of small learning communities. In these communities, students search for truth about God, the world, and themselves through class discussions, study of original philosophical and theological texts, a rigorous writing curriculum, service learning projects, and D.C. excursions.

Please identity the courses that students may choose from in order to satisfy common curriculum distribution requirements:

All students are required to take courses in theology, philosophy, composition, and the liberal arts. In addition, Bachelor of Arts students must study foreign languages, the humanities, literature, and the social and natural sciences. The number of required courses and the distribution of those courses across the various disciplines depend on the student’s academic program.

How many credits are required for graduation and what percent are from core / distribution courses?

120 credits     50% (Bachelor of Arts)

Under Core Curriculum at the undergraduate level, we have a general common core of 24 credits distributed across the following areas.

3 credits of English

6 credits of Philosophy

9 credits of Theology

6 credits of Liberal Studies

The philosophy, English, and three credits of the theology common core are actually the same, common courses.

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more courses in which they are taught authentic Catholic doctrine and practice?


If yes, please describe them generally and note how many courses are required?

All students must take at least one of three or four required theology courses in the Catholic theological tradition. Students may choose courses, taught by members of the ecclesiastical faculty, in the Old or New Testament, Catholic theology, Catholic liturgy or spirituality, Catholic moral teaching, or the Church and culture.

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more interdisciplinary courses relating theology or philosophy with other disciplines?


List the major, minor and special program areas that students may choose for specialization while pursuing an undergraduate degree:

School of Architecture and Planning
Four-Year Bachelor of Science in Architecture
Dual Degree Program with Civil Engineering

B.S.E.S. Environmental Studies, B.A. Architectural Studies, B.S. City and Regional Studies

School of Arts and Sciences
Chemical Physics
Classical Civilization
Classical Humanities
Classics-Greek and Latin
•    Early Childhood
•    Elementary
•    Secondary
Education Studies (non-teaching)
English Language and Literature*
Environmental Chemistry
French and Francophone Studies
German Studies
Hispanic Studies
Italian Studies
Media and Communication Studies
Medieval and Byzantine Studies
•    Philosophy concentration
•    Pre-Law concentration
Spanish for International Service
*Indicates areas of study that are also offered with Secondary Education Minor 

School of Business
International Business
International Economics and Finance

School of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
•    Construction and Engineering Management
•    Dual Degree with Architecture
•    Structural and Geotechnical Engineering
Computer Science
•    Alternative and Renewable Energy
•    Environmental 

Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art
Art History
Art: Studio
Bachelor of Art, Music
•    General
•    Performance
•    Music History and Literature
Bachelor of Music
Collaborative Piano
Music Education
•    General-Choral Music Education
•    Instrumental Music Education
•    Combined General-Choral and Instrumental Music Education
Instrumental Music Education/Orchestral
Instruments (dual degree)
Musical Theatre
•    Orchestral Instruments
•    Organ
•    Piano
•    Voice
Piano Pedagogy

School of Nursing
Four-Year Bachelor of Science

School of Philosophy
Philosophy Program of Concentration
Pre-Law Program of Concentration

National Catholic School of Social Service
Social Work

Theology and Religious Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts
Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Pre-Professional Studies
Note: Students interested in Pre-Professional Studies must also select an official major, such as biology, biomedical engineering or politics.

Metropolitan School of Professional Studies
Information Technology
Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Minors

Asian Studies
Computer Science (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Global Migration Studies (Anthropology and Sociology)
Islamic World Studies
Latin American and Latino Studies
Medieval and Byzantine Studies
Peace and Justice Studies
Sustainability (Architecture and Arts and Sciences)
Rhetoric and Writing (English and Media Studies)

Certificate Programs
Digital Art and Design
European Studies
Irish Studies
Islamic World Studies
Latin American and Latino Studies
Pastoral Ministry
Spanish for Healthcare
Video Production and Digital Storytelling

What are the three most popular majors or specialty disciplines for undergraduate students, and about what percentage of undergraduate students specialize in these disciplines?

Nursing – 10%

Politics – 9%

Psychology – 8%

Does each undergraduate degree program require Catholic ethical formation related to the student’s major field(s) of study?


Does your institution regularly provide academic events to address theological questions related to specialized disciplines?


If yes, please describe:

The University regularly invites speakers, hosts colloquia and symposia, and sponsors film screenings that bring leading Catholic thinkers to campus to talk about theological aspects or implications of scientific research, political events, and cultural life.

Does your institution require cooperation among faculty in different disciplines in teaching, research and other academic activities?


Does the local bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) select or approve the appointment of your chaplain?

Yes. The Archbishop of Washington is the chancellor of the University. Both as the Ordinary of the Archdiocese and the University chancellor, he confirms the appointment of the University chaplain proposed by the President.

Does your institution offer Mass on campus at least on Sundays and other days of obligation?

Yes. We offer 4 daily Masses in the three University Chapels and 3 Sunday Masses – 2 on Campus and 1 in the Crypt Church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

On average, about what percentage of undergraduate students attend Sunday Mass (including the Saturday vigil Mass) during the academic year? 

Consistently over 50% of our undergraduates self-report that they participate in Sunday and Holy Day Masses. 28.3% self-report participating in Sunday Mass 1 to 3 times each month. 

Does your institution offer daily Mass to students?

Yes. Catholic University offers four daily Masses on campus. There are various other Masses offered by our priests-in-residence that student may choose to attend.

On average, about how many undergraduate students attend daily Mass during the academic year?

On average 250 to 300 students attend daily Mass either on Campus or at the Basilica or St John Paul II Shrine.  

Does your institution offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to students at least weekly?

No. Catholic University directs students to a nearby parish that has a stable community and a long history of this sacred rite. The parish community is also very welcoming to our students. 

Are all of the Masses celebrated on campus reverent and in accord with liturgical norms and directives?


Are the altar servers at your institution’s Masses male only or both male and female?

Both male and female.

Please list the schedule of Masses, noting the following for each Mass: the day and time, the Form or Rite of the Mass, and the style of music, if any (chant, traditional, contemporary, etc.):

Mon: 12:15 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 10:30 pm.  

Tue: 12:15 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 8 p.m., 10:30 p.m.  

Wed: 12:15 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 10:30 p.m.  

Thu: 12:15 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 10:30 p.m.  

Fri: 12:15 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:10 p.m.  

Sun: 11 a.m., schola and traditional hymns

Sun: 4 p.m., schola and traditional hymns, chant

Basilica Crypt Church — 9 p.m., choir, contemporary sacred music  

All are Ordinary Form. For Sunday Masses, the 11 a.m. features traditional hymns, the 4 p.m. features traditional hymns and chant; the 9 p.m. is contemporary Church music.   

Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly?


List the schedule for Confession by day and time:

Wed 10 p.m. 

Sun 10 p.m. 

Other: Confessions are scheduled in each residence hall during Advent and Lent and on every retreat and by appointments or walk-in availability.

Does your institution offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least weekly?


List the schedule for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by day and time:

We 9:00-10:00 p.m.  

Th 9:00-10:00 p.m.  

Every weekday during Lent from 1:15 to 4:45. 

Please identify regularly scheduled devotions on campus for students such as the Rosary and prayer groups:

Our prayer group (Encounter) meets Monday night. Rosary is prayed Monday before the 10:30 p.m. Mass led by the Knights of Columbus. Compline (night prayer) is prayed every night of the week in multiple campus locations. During Lent we pray weekly the Stations of the Cross on Friday afternoons.  Campus Ministry offers preparation for Marian Consecration leading up to December 8th. Renew Groups meet in residence hall weekly for prayer and reflection on the Sunday Gospel. 

Does your institution offer retreat programs available to all Catholic students at least annually?

Yes. We have a varied retreat program. Freshmen and senior retreats; men and women Retreats; silent retreat; online graduate retreats, Mission Trip retreat; individual faith-based student organization retreats.

Please describe any formal programs to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life:

Catholic University feels that college is a time to consider how God is calling young people to serve our Church, nation, and world. In addition to pursuing a career, it is important to discern a state in life —marriage, priesthood, religious life, and the single life. Over the last 10 years, over 85 students (men and women) have entered a program of religious formation, and many graduates are leaders in the Church today. The Office of Campus Ministry continues to give men and women guidance as they consider a call to a religious vocation.  

Discernment meetings occur throughout the semester, separately for men and women. Men’s discernment meets monthly through the Campus Ministry office. Women’s discernment meets monthly as well. . Meetings for both are opportunities to hear from priests and religious about their life, participate in prayer and reflection, and gather with other students considering a religious vocation. The format varies for men’s and women’s meetings.

If your institution has formal vocation programs, about how many students participate in them each year?

On average 25–29 women and 13–16 men are attending discernment meetings this academic year. 

Are you aware of any graduates from your institution (not including seminary students, if any) who are ordained to the priesthood or have entered religious life? Please describe.

Yes. The 2018 graduating class had two women self-identify as entering religious life. The number of graduating men entering seminary or religious life this year is 10. Many additional alumni entered religious life, seminary or were ordained this year.  

Additional Chaplaincy information, clarification or description (optional):

The Office of Campus Ministry is directed toward and seeks to involve all members of the  community: students, faculty, administrators and staff. Campus Ministry is responsible for articulating a vision for this ministry and for acquiring and developing the necessary resources for implementing this vision. The central responsibilities for this office include convening the community for prayer and worship; providing a pastoral presence on campus and in the residence halls; facilitating social justice, community service, outreach, local and foreign mission activities; offering sacramental catechesis and educational opportunities pertinent to faith development; and providing pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, and retreat opportunities. Campus Ministry intensively trains 23 Student Ministers each year and 8 Cardinal Service Corps leaders.   We also advise and work closely with the faith-based student orgs:  Cardinals for Life, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters, Gratia Plena women’s group, Esto Vir men’s group, Confirmation Retreat Team, and Redefined student group which gives high school retreat talks/retreats.    

Please describe options for students to reside on and off campus:

Catholic University is largely a residential campus, with nearly 2,000 students living in 16 residence halls grouped into five “neighborhoods” or clusters. On-campus housing options include traditional-style rooms, suites, and apartments. 

About 53% of undergraduates live on campus. 

Catholic University strongly believes in the benefits that on-campus living has to offer to our first- and second-year students in terms of academic success, personal development, and involvement within the CUA campus community. As such, CUA requires all first- and second-year undergraduate students to live in on-campus housing (an exception is made for students whose families live in the D.C. area and who wish to commute from home to campus). 

Many options exist within the D.C. metropolitan area for juniors and seniors who choose to live off campus.  The Office of Housing Services maintains an Off-Campus Housing resource center to help guide students through this process of living off campus, tenant & landlord rights, negotiating leases and finding places to live. Brookland Ridge, Monroe Street Market, and the Cloisters are popular apartment complexes and many large, older houses that are rented to groups of students are spread throughout the Brookland neighborhood. 

Does your institution offer only single-sex residence halls?


Your institution offers single-sex residence halls for (please put an “X” in front of any that apply):

X  All students
Any Student who wishes
No students
All freshmen (only if not “All students”)
Only freshmen

What percentage of students living on campus live in single-sex residence halls?


If your institution offers co-ed residence halls, how are students of the opposite sex separated (choose all that apply):

When are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit common areas of residence halls?

Students can visit in the common areas of a residence hall from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. any day of the week. Students who reside in the same building can visit in common areas at any time.

Are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit students’ bedrooms? (Not including irregular (once or twice a semester), “open house” events.)


If yes, when?

The campus has a visitation policy, allowing visitors until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends. Overnight visitation by members of the opposite sex is not permitted.

If students of the opposite sex are permitted to visit students’ bedrooms, does your institution have an “open bolt” policy? Please describe.


How does your institution foster sobriety and respond to substance abuse on campus, particularly in campus residences?

Residence Life staff actively monitor residential communities and enforce all policies related to alcohol. Students documented for alleged violation of alcohol polices are referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development for disciplinary interventions. 

Alcohol 101 workshops are offered in each first-year student residence hall within the first six weeks of the fall semester as part of new student orientation. The University recognizes National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, and Safe Spring Break Week with information distribution and campus-wide programming. Alcohol education and training are provided for Resident Assistants, Orientation Advisers, and Resident Ministers each summer. These programs are coordinated by the Office of the Dean of Students and are supported by the Department of Athletics, the Kane Fitness Center, Office of Residence Life, Student Health Services, and the Counseling Center. 

The University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Education program (AODE) addresses the issue of substance abuse within the Catholic University community and its potential impact on academic, professional, and social development. 

The AODE program utilizes motivational methods to engage students in the process of exploring behaviors along a continuum of benefits and consequences, as well as to create and sustain a positive campus community focused on academic and personal success. 

The program addresses the issue of substance abuse within the Catholic University community and its potential impact on academic, professional, and social development by encouraging students to explore their personal beliefs and values pertaining to alcohol and other drugs and assisting students through the on-going decision-making process regarding these choices. The AODE program embraces students using a holistic environmental management approach. 

The program works to create a campus community that collaboratively, as a part of a network of campus departments and community members, promotes and assists students in making healthy, low-risk choices involving alcohol and drugs through assessing students’ normative use and correcting perceptions, identifying community and social influences, offering healthy, low-risk alternatives, and incorporating strategies that seek to maximize both the intellectual and social growth of students through motivational methods that engage students in the process of exploring behaviors along a continuum of benefits and consequences. 

How does your institution foster a student living environment that promotes and supports chastity, particularly in campus residences?

Catholic University, in both policy and action, reinforces the dignity of the body. The University affirms, in our Code of Student Conduct, that sexual relationships are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between husband and wife. Sexual acts of any kind outside the confines of marriage are inconsistent with the teachings and moral values of the Catholic Church and are prohibited. 

Residential staff are expected to confront disruptive and unhealthy behaviors, including those related to sexual activity. Students alleged to have violated University standards in this regard meet with professional staff within the Division of Student Affairs for intervention and consequences within the student conduct system. 

The University encourages conversations about sex, relationships, and marriage, and supports a number of student organizations whose missions involve these topics specifically. Student organizations such as Redefined, Vitae Familia, Students for Life, and the peer education group PEERS bring speakers to campus and host events that focus on love and relationships with emphasis on the Church’s teachings on marriage and family life. Ultimately, the messages students receive is to never settle for less than lives of purity and true love.

Does your institution have formal programs to foster Catholic prayer life and spirituality in campus residences?


If yes, please describe:

Each residence hall is assigned trained Student Ministers who serve as the primary animators of prayer and spiritual growth. Each Student Minister is expected to lead Night Prayer at least once a week if not more times. They hold weekly Renew meetings in each hall using materials written by students under the direction of a Campus Minister. Campus Ministry has been developing a series of six formal discussions and monthly events in each residence hall fostering a deeper encounter with Christ. During the Lenten Season, Student Ministers are required to pass along to every student professionally produced Catholic materials to foster personal growth in faith.

Additional Residence Life information, clarification or description (optional):

The Office of Residence Life is committed to creating residential communities that support the University’s mission, values, and Catholic identity. In the residential communities, students will find values-centered intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social experiences and opportunities that contribute to healthy student development, encourage student citizenship and civility, and create connections to the Catholic University community. The Residence life professional staff members, in conjunction with more than 100 student staff members, work to make living on campus at Catholic U a memorable experience. This experience is articulated by Residence Life’s commitment statement: Residence Life cultivates values-oriented communities that are grounded in the faith-based mission of The Catholic University of America; connects students with campus resources in order to offer continued support and promotes student success; offers opportunities for student learning outside of the classroom in support of the university’s academic mission; establishes and upholds community living standards; recognizes and respects cultural and human differences; and prepares students for civic engagement and responsibility by providing student leadership opportunities and promoting involvement in residence hall communities. Opportunities within the residential communities will contribute to healthy student development; encourage student citizenship and civility; create connections to the Catholic U community; and promote individual responsibility for actions and interpersonal accountability for the common good.

Please identify and briefly describe officially recognized student clubs and activities at your institution that…

foster spiritual development:

RENEW: RENEW groups are small faith communities that meet weekly for fellowship and to discuss the upcoming Sunday’s Scriptures.
Retreat Program: The Retreat Program provides faith formation and spiritual development for students at CUA. Retreats provide student-led talks and meaningful opportunities to encounter Christ through community, prayer, the sacraments, and silence.  Retreats at CUA fall into three categories, Class, Mission and  Preached Retreats. 

Esto Vir: Men striving together to live a life of prayer, brotherhood, chastity, self-sacrifice, and fortitude. 

Gratia Plena: A sisterhood of Catholic women that meets for fellowship, prayer and faith formation. 

Catholic Athletes for Christ: The first college chapter of a national organization that serves Catholic athletes and shares the Gospel through athletics. 

Vocational Discernment: The vocational discernment program at CUA guides students who are considering entering the seminary or religious life. 

Catholic Daughters of the Americas: Catholic women in service of the Universal Church. 

Student Leadership: The formation of Christian servant leaders is vital to the witness of the life of the Church on campus.

Knights of Columbus:  One of the most active college councils in the nation.

Student Leadership: The formation of Christian servant leaders is vital to the witness of the life of the Church on campus. 

engage in corporal works of mercy:

Best Buddies; Habitat for Humanity; Homeless Food Runs: Food donated by University dining services is handed out to the hungry by CUA students; Mission Trips: Students live in community with and serve the poor in the U.S. and abroad during spring and summer break.

address sexual issues (including birth control, abortion, homosexuality):

Esto Vir is a men’s group that strives to live a life of prayer, brotherhood, chastity, self-sacrifice, and fortitude; Students for Life promotes and sustains a culture of life that respects the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death, with particular concern for the protection of the unborn, through education, prayer, and action; Redefined promotes understanding and growth in the virtue of chastity, embracing lives of purity and true love. From that foundation, group members aim to witness to the campus community, helping to form and grow with fellow students in the mission and lifestyle of chastity, challenging themselves to never settle for less than they deserve. Anscombe Society is a University chapter of the Love and Fidelity Network, which seeks to build the next generation of leaders for marriage, family, and sexual integrity.

address issues of social concern:

Colleges Against Cancer, Green Club, Habitat for Humanity, Knights of Columbus, Latin Alliance, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Students on the Mount, Vitae Familiae.

address particular academic interests:

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Bachelor of Arts Social Service Organization (BASSO), Biology Club, Business Professional Society (BPS), Chemistry Club, Chinese Club, Cooper-Herzfeld Anthropology Club, CRUX Magazine for the Creative Arts, CUA Graduate Philosophical Society, French Club – Le Cercle Français, German Club, Global Architecture Brigade, Medieval Society, National Association for Music Education, Phi Alpha Theta History Club, Phi Sigma Tau & Philosophy Club, Psi Chi, psychology service/honor society, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Student Composers, Student Nurses Association, US Green Building Council Students (USGBC SG)

address particular cultural interests:

Arabic Club, Black Student Alliance, Centerstage Theatre Company, Chinese Club, CU Film Society, CUA Break Crew, CUA Chess Club, CUA Dance Team, CUA Debate Society, CUA Gaels, CUA Global Ambassadors, CUA International Society, CUA Swing Kids, CUAnime, Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), International Affairs Association, Iranian Student Association, Italian Culture and Heritage Club, Latin Alliance, Pure Alignment Dance Company, Radius, Redline A Cappella, Spanish Club (El Club de Español), Student Composers, Take Note Acapella, Tower (student newspaper)

provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:

Students have numerous opportunities to participate in athletic, recreational, and fitness programs at Catholic UniversityThe Cardinals compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III’s Landmark Conference and, in football, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), as well as the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) in rowing. The University is home to 25 varsity intercollegiate teams. For women they are basketball, cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor), and volleyball. For men they are baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor). The Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the Office of Campus Activities, offers an array of recreational club sports. The Department of Athletics also oversees a comprehensive intramural program and a state-of-the-art student fitness center.

If applicable, in which athletic Division and Conference does your institution compete? (Please specify NCAA, NAIA, etc. as well as Division Level.) 

What athletic teams are offered for men and women?

How do you help develop the mind, body, and soul of student-athletes?

Club Sports: Catholic Men’s Rugby, Catholic Men’s Ultimate, Ballroom Dance Team, Cheerleading, Club Ice Hockey, Men’s Club Lacrosse, Rowing Association, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, Sailing Team, The Catholic University Dance Team, The Catholic University of America Women’s Rugby Football Club

Intramural Sports

Student Athlete Advisory Committee

Varsity Athletic Teams: The University fields 25 varsity intercollegiate teams. For women they are basketball, cross-country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor), rowing, golf, and volleyball. For men they are baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, rowing, golf, and track and field (indoor and outdoor). The Cardinals compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III’s Landmark Conference and, in football, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.

please list all student clubs not listed in the above categories:

Alpha Phi Omega, Association of Computing Machinery, Business Professional Society, Cardinal Leadership Discovery, Cardinal Yearbook, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, College Democrats, College Republicans, CUA Cheerleading, Delta Sigma Theta, Eta Sigma Pi, Kappa Tau Gamma, Program Board, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Toastmasters, Custos, Stand & Speak (S&S), Student Government Association

Does your institution require all student clubs and activities, including those listed above, to operate in accord with Catholic teaching?


How does your institution address student clubs and activities that may conflict with Catholic teaching?

All student organizations must adhere to the goals and mission of Catholic University and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Does your institution require student services like health care, counseling and guidance to conform to Catholic ethical and moral teaching and directives?


Has your institution’s diocesan bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) officially recognized the institution as Catholic?


Do your institution’s governing documents include or reference the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?


Do your institution’s governing documents or institutional policies require conformity to the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?


What is your institution’s mission statement:

As the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See, The Catholic University of America is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church. Dedicated to advancing the dialogue between faith and reason, The Catholic University of America seeks to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, all in service to the Church, the nation, and the world. 

(approved by the Board of Trustees, December 12, 2006) 

Does your institution have a written policy regarding speakers and honorees that at a minimum meets the standards established by the United States bishops in “Catholics in Political Life?”


How does your institution address student and faculty invitations to speakers and honorees who have publicly opposed or acted contrary to Catholic moral teaching?

Presentations Policy

I. Preamble
While the CUA president is charged by the trustees with ultimate responsibility for university policy with respect to presentations (films, speakers and performers invited to campus) sponsored by registered student organizations, it is important that he or she have the maximum benefit of meaningful faculty and student participation in those rare cases where the manner or subject matter of such a presentation is objected to by others in the university community. To achieve this goal, the following policy and procedures are hereby promulgated.
II. Policy for Presentations and Balanced Programs
The Catholic University of America as a university is dedicated to the pursuit of truth wherever it can be found. Faculty and students enjoy the academic freedom essential for genuine scholarly study and research. Academic freedom applies to activities of faculty members in their writings, lecturing and teaching. Academic freedom applies to students in their access to all legitimate sources of information and in their participation in academic dialogue. Protection from governmental constraint on freedom of speech is ensured by the United States Constitution for all persons. This freedom to express oneself verbally, in writing, or by peaceful demonstration, even in significantly controversial matters, may be constrained in a private university by other values which are held to be equal, greater or prior. The Catholic University of America, as a private institution, is not required to provide a forum for advocates whose values are counter to those of the university or the Roman Catholic Church. The university recognizes a distinction between objective explanation and advocacy in the presentation of issues. This means, therefore, that it may refuse permission to prospective speakers who in its judgment promote or advocate such counter values. This also means that balanced programs explaining positions on both sides of controversial societal, political, moral and/or ecclesiastical issues may be staged in the pursuit of a more complete educational experience and a greater understanding of the issues. Hence, in such matters, even in those in which the Roman Catholic Church has expressed clear and unambiguous official teaching, programs involving knowledgeable spokespersons representing opposing viewpoints may be considered to be appropriate within the university setting. Conversely, programs designed to promote action rather than understanding, while not necessarily inappropriate in themselves, are not clearly “educational” in a strict sense. The university refuses to allow advocacy programs judged by the administration to be inconsistent with the university’s underlying value base and in so doing exercises its freedom as a private, value-based institution.
~Approved by Board of Trustees, June 5, 1990.
The university, operating within the framework of the foregoing, is committed to its various constituencies to avoid the following:
1.blasphemy: the act of expressing irreverence for God or those things held sacred;
2.pornography: explicit sex lacking any artistic merit, portrayed in a vulgar and exploitative manner;
3.calumny: false and malicious accusation;
4.advocacy: meaning the act of pleading for, supporting, inciting or recommending active espousal of (as opposed to scholarly and abstract discourses), examining or questioning the legal, academic or moral propriety of the subject under discussion, constituting a clear and present danger of:
a. the violent overthrow of the government of the United States or any political subdivision thereof;
b. the destruction of, damage to, or the unlawful seizure or subversion of the university’s buildings or other property;
c. the disruption, impairment or interference with the university’s regularly scheduled classes or other educational functions;
d. coercion, threats, intimidations, blasphemy, defamation, physical harm or other invasions of the lawful rights of the members of the university community;
e. any campus disorder of a violent nature;
f. illegal acts constituting a deprivation of the civil or property rights of others.
III. Implementation and Enforcement
The Office of Campus Activities is routinely responsible for the implementation and enforcement of this policy. Any member of the university community should feel free to contact OCA with questions regarding the policy.
OCA will establish procedures for the implementation of the policy. Those procedures will be published in the Student Organization Manual and placed on the OCA web site.
Advance approval must be obtained by all registered student organizations before program planning. It is suggested that student organizations solicit the input of students, staff and faculty before presenting a proposal to OCA. Student organizations should be aware of the intellectual and/or moral climate and the spirit of the times before planning a presentation. A controversial program during certain critical times may promote unnecessary or undesirable ill will from within and without the university community, with no resulting benefit to anyone.
With all presentations, it is understood that speakers, performers and/or films do not necessarily reflect the views and values of the university or of the Roman Catholic Church.

Additional Institutional Identity information, clarification or description (optional):

Among all Catholic colleges and universities in the United States, Catholic University is unique. It is the only one founded by the Catholic bishops of the U.S. and the only one with three ecclesiastical faculties. The archbishop of Washington is ex officio the chancellor of the University and serves as its liaison to the Vatican.

Describe the makeup of your institution’s undergraduate student body with regard to sex, religion, home state/country and type of high school (public, private, homeschool):

Students: 3,332 

Male: 46.7%  Female: 53.3% 

Roman Catholic: 80.5%  Protestant: 3.85%
Muslim: 2.65%  Other: 13.0% 

Number of states represented: 47 (not including PR and DC) 

Top three states: Maryland (19.3%), New Jersey (12.9%), Pennsylvania (12.0%) 

Catholic HS: 50.77.6%  Homeschool: 1.07%
Public HS:  42.47%  Private HS: 4.74% Religious HS: 0.47% Unspecified: 0.47%

Most up-to-date information provided by the University

Editor’s Note: Campus safety and security information for most colleges is available via the U.S. Department of Education website here.

Are prospective and current members of your institution’s governing board(s) informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of your institution?


Are more than half of the current members of your institution’s governing board(s) practicing Catholics?


Do Catholic members of your institution’s governing board(s) make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?


Is your institution’s president a practicing Catholic?


Does your institution’s president make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?


Additional Leadership information, clarification or description (optional):

The Board consists of three types of trustees: Fellow trustees, bishop trustees, and appointed trustees. The number of Fellows varies because many are ex officio. All cardinals serving as diocesan bishops in the U.S. are Fellows (unless they don’t consent), as are the Chairman of the Board, President, Chancellor, and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. There are also four bishop Fellows, who must be serving as diocesan bishops, and two appointed Fellows, who are chosen by the Fellows from the appointed trustees. There are three bishop trustees, who are not Fellows and are diocesan bishops in the U.S. Then there are 20–40 appointed trustees, 90% of whom must be Roman Catholic. These are generally “lay” trustees but can include clergy and professed religious; for example, we currently have two monsignors, a deacon, and a religious sister among the appointed trustees. 

 Most of the work of the Board is conducted by the full board, but the Fellows must meet at least once a year. They have responsibility for electing members of the Board, electing the President, approving any changes to the bylaws, and ensuring “that the University maintains its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning in perpetuity.”

A Message from the President

Dear Parents and Prospective Students: 

As the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, The Catholic University of America is the only higher education institution sponsored by the U.S. bishops. We are the only American university honored by visits from three popes: St. John Paul II (1979), Benedict XVI (2008), and Francis (September 2015). 

Blessed by Pope Leo XIII on Easter Sunday in 1887 (Quod in novissimo conventu), Catholic University has served the Church, our nation, and the world for more than 130 years by educating students in the Catholic intellectual tradition. We shape the culture through world-class research and scholarship. 

We seek out the truth — in 12 schools, across myriad disciplines — about humankind, the universe, and God. And we do all of this in the light of the truth revealed in Jesus Christ and taught by his Church. Students at The Catholic University of America choose from nearly 200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Our faculty are outstanding scholars in their academic fields. They introduce their students to the great riches of the Catholic intellectual tradition so that our graduates can bring its wisdom to today’s most pressing questions. 

At Catholic University, we don’t just want students to know the truth. We want them to love it, and to let what they know affect how they live. For that reason we cultivate moral as well as intellectual virtues, and encourage students to grow in their faith. We make the sacraments readily available, and our vibrant Campus Ministry provides students daily opportunities to worship, serve, and learn more about the faith. 

There is no university like The Catholic University of America. With its location in the heart of Washington, D.C., Catholic University offers unparalleled opportunities for students to learn both in and out of the classroom. Our students have exposure to global thought leaders, access to the arts and premier scientific institutions, and a front row seat to American politics that no other city can offer. 

Catholic University stands right in the heart of the culture, preparing students to permeate it and to leaven it. We hope you will come and join us. 

John Garvey 


Visit Campus

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620 Michigan Ave N.E.
Washington, DC 20064

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