The Catholic University of America
Out door class in front of Caldwell Hall.

University Facts

Located near the heart of Washington, D.C., The Catholic University of America is unique as the national University of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. It is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning.

Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 3,694 undergraduate and 3,144 graduate students from all 50 states and 86 countries enrolled in 12 schools of architecture and planning, arts and sciences, business and economics, canon law, engineering, law, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, social service, and theology and religious studies. Eighty percent of undergraduates and 57 percent of graduate students are Catholic.

The University motto is ‘Deus Lux Mea Est’ — ‘God is My Light.’ Academic colors are gold and white. Athletic colors are red and black.

A Capital Location

Students at Catholic University have the best of both worlds: they study and live on the largest campus in Washington, D.C., where they can enjoy a complete collegiate experience, but they also are located in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Traveling by Metrorail, which is near the edge of campus, students are only a 10-minute ride away from Union Station, Capitol Hill, and the Library of Congress, and within easy reach of the abundant array of educational, cultural, social, political, and professional opportunities that make Washington a unique laboratory for learning.

Many first-time visitors to campus are captivated by the University’s expansive setting among tree-lined, rolling hills where the skyline is dominated by the adjacent, majestic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States.

A Wide Range of Programs

All 12 of the University’s schools offer graduate and/or professional degrees. Undergraduate degrees are awarded by nine schools — architecture and planning, arts and sciences, business and economics, engineering, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, and social work.

All undergraduates combine a base curriculum in the liberal arts with more in-depth courses from their major fields of study.

The Metropolitan School of Professional Studies provides accessible opportunities for adults who wish to earn baccalaureate or master’s degrees or to participate in continuing education and certificate programs.

Catholic University is the only American university with ecclesiastical faculties granting canonical degrees in canon law, philosophy, and theology. Theological College, the University seminary, prepares men for the priesthood who come from many dioceses of the United States.

Accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools as well as many disciplinary accrediting organizations, CUA enjoys a distinguished history and has filled an important niche: doctoral programs in philosophy and social work that are among the nation’s oldest; the only university music school in Washington, D.C.; the largest architecture school in the area; a law school that is a pioneer in clinical education; and a drama department that has been the educational incubator for acclaimed playwrights, directors, and actors.

Diverse Opportunities

The University’s Washington, D.C., location provides many opportunities for internships across a wide spectrum of fields and organizations. Internships can be obtained at private and public organizations, including congressional offices.

Education abroad and international internship opportunities are available through short-term, semester, and yearlong programs on five continents through CUA’s schools.

Students have numerous opportunities to participate in athletic, recreational, and fitness programs at CUA. Catholic University’s Cardinals compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III’s Landmark Conference and, in football, the division’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The University fields 21 varsity intercollegiate teams. For women they are basketball, cross-country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor), and volleyball. For men they are baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor). The Department of Athletics also offers an array of club sports, a comprehensive intramural program, and a state-of-the-art student fitness center.

Personalized Attention

Catholic University excels in offering to its students a welcoming and cooperative learning environment with personalized attention from its faculty and staff. This attention is the reason many students give for choosing to attend CUA. Faculty are dedicated to nurturing the whole person, preparing students for success in life. The shared Catholic identity is an essential, binding element of the CUA community, which embraces members of other faith groups as well.

Spiritual Life

The Catholic University of America provides a variety of experiences from the rich tradition of Catholic spiritual life. Its Office of Campus Ministry offers numerous venues for spiritual devotion and growth, including daily Mass, night prayer, campus RENEW prayer groups, weekly eucharistic adoration, and 10 student-run retreats each year that enable students of all religious traditions and of all levels of spirituality to deepen their faith. Students participate in campus liturgies as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, readers, altar servers, sacristans, and music ministers. They pray and worship at the University’s two main chapels and at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Community Service

Campus Ministry offers many opportunities for community service in the Washington, D.C., area, in other parts of the United States, and abroad. Students volunteer with organizations such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, Habitat for Humanity, and St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home. They deliver food to people who are homeless, serve in soup kitchens and shelters, and tutor in after-school programs. They also volunteer for mission service trips at a number of international mission sites.