Dominican University of California
San Rafael, California
Dominican University of California’s mission is to educate and prepare students to be ethical leaders and socially responsible global citizens who incorporate the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service into their lives. The University is committed to diversity, sustainability, and the integration of the liberal arts, the sciences, and professional programs.
Located in a community known for its extraordinary creative and entrepreneurial energy, Dominican’s commitment to integrating the liberal arts prepares students for lives of purpose. The University balances academics with extensive practical, hands-on experiences, including service-learning, research, and internships with some of the Bay Area’s largest and fastest-growing companies. Upon graduation, students are well prepared to enter professional life or continue their studies in medical or graduate school.
Get to know Dominican University of California
Dominican is known for being close-knit, friendly, and supportive. With a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 16, Dominican provides both the personal attention associated with smaller schools and the academic resources and global opportunities associated with larger universities.
Engaged learning at Dominican University of California includes undergraduate research, service-learning, internships, clinical practice, student leadership development, and study abroad.
Dominican’s research-intensive curriculum has raised the bar for undergraduate science education. The University’s commitment to active learning through enhanced research activities results in a highly competitive and skilled student body prepared for graduate school or their vocational industry.
Dominican students have intentional opportunities to engage with the local community and act with established partners on issues they are passionate about. Dominican’s Service-Learning (S-L) Program, now in its 15th year, is nationally recognized with numerous courses across the curriculum. A 2018 survey shows that out of 750 students, over 91 percent of respondents reported that community engagement supported their learning of class content.
As part of the university’s mission of fostering an appreciation of cultural diversity and global interdependence, students are encouraged to participate in study abroad opportunities while attending Dominican. Students can arrange to study in virtually any country where an accredited study abroad program exists. Opportunities are available for every major on campus and for periods of study from one week to one year.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 55 | 10-19: 144 | 20-29: 106
30-39: 28 | 40-49: 3 | 50-99: 1 | 100+: 0
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 1%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 4%
White, non-Hispanic: 30%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 28%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 1%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 6%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 5%
Dominican offers more than 60 programs of study, reflecting the diversity and creativity of the University’s faculty and students. Some of the most popular and highly regarded programs include business, psychology, education, biology, chemistry, nursing, political science, and occupational therapy.
Throughout its curriculum, Dominican offers small-size classes that are conducive to providing an intense and engaging learning environment, allowing faculty to give students more individualized attention.
In the sciences, students work alongside faculty researchers on federally funded research, including studies that examine breast cancer, climate change, malaria, and neurobiology. Each year, students are invited to present their findings at academic conferences throughout the United States. Dominican sends one of the largest delegations of students to present work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. A significant portion of science students enter some of the top medical schools in the country after graduation.
In the humanities, students can combine dance and musical performance with the study of philosophy, literature, world cultures, and religion. Dominican also offers strong undergraduate professional programs in business, education, and nursing as well as graduate offerings in these disciplines and counseling psychology and occupational therapy. The University also offers a nationally recognized BFA in Dance with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.
The Barowsky School of Business offers undergraduate, graduate, executive education, and leadership programs that provide the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to launch or advance a business career. Minors in business administration, as well as global innovation and entrepreneurship and leadership studies, are offered by the school. The school’s professors have accumulated years of experience in one of the most vibrant business centers in the world—the San Francisco Bay Area. Students pursue internships and other activities in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Sonoma and Napa (“wine country”) counties. Recent graduates are working in some of the best companies in California, the U.S., and Asia, including regional and national financial institutions and global management, marketing, and advertising firms.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Exchange student program (domestic)
Teacher certification program
AN OUTSTANDING LOCATION
The 80-acre campus is at the center in a historic neighborhood located close to downtown San Rafael’s restaurants, sidewalk cafés, movie theaters, live music venues, and a seasonal farmer’s market. Though only 30 minutes from San Francisco, Dominican’s quiet and safe campus is set at the edge of some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the Bay Area. Marin County’s popular Stinson Beach is less than an hour from campus, while Lake Tahoe’s mountain resorts are a favorite weekend destination for skiers and snowboarders.
Dominican’s NCAA Division II athletics program is a member of the Pacific West Conference, which stretches from Arizona and Utah to Hawaii. For the past five years, Dominican has received the PacWest Academic Achievement Award for the highest cumulative grade point average in the PacWest. The University’s recreational sports program offers intramural leagues in flag football, dodgeball, and soccer. Outdoor recreational options include cycling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboard, golf, miniature golf, batting cages, and hiking.
The Associated Students of Dominican University (ASDU) is the primary group to help students plan and provide campus activities, distribute activity funds, initiate changes in policy, and represent themselves to the University’s administration and the broader community. This group of elected student representatives serves both as the student activities association and the student government board. The members of the ASDU Senate are composed of representatives from all four class levels of regular day-program students.
Opportunities exist for involvement in many activities on and off campus. Dominican offers over 30 student clubs and organizations.
Each year, Dominican welcomes individuals from the worlds of literature, business, entertainment, politics, psychology, civil rights, and the media to participate in the Leadership Lecture Series. Recent speakers include John Kerry, Sally Field, Michael Beschloss, Julian Castro, Jason Rezaian, Valerie Jarrett, David Brooks, and Melinda Gates. Dominican students have many opportunities to be involved with this series, serving as ushers, technical assistants, and assistants in the green room.
San Rafael, California, 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Dominican sponsors 11 intercollegiate sports and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and the Pacific West Conference, the largest conference in the NCAA Division II West Region. Dominican also sponsors MCLA Division I men’s lacrosse.
Men’s sports: Basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, and lacrosse
Women’s sports: Basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 11%
Campus housing options.
THE DOMINICAN EXPERIENCE
The Dominican Experience supports the personal and academic success of students in all majors. Students engage in four cornerstone experiences: integrative coaching, community engagement, signature work, and digital portfolio development. Together, these practices integrate knowledge with hands-on experiences, the curriculum with the co-curriculum, and the liberal arts with the professions. Students gain and practice the skills that executives and hiring managers seek in future employees.
Integrative Coaches begin mentoring students before they step foot on campus and continue their one-on-one academic and personal support throughout all four years. With guidance from an Integrative Coach, every student crafts a digital portfolio; develops an education plan as well as a career plan; hones college and life skills; and pairs with a Peer Mentor and a Career Mentor to further support their success.
Through service-learning, global learning, internships, clinicals, fieldwork, or community-based research, students tackle real-world problems in collaboration with Dominican’s community partners. These hands-on experiences deepen students’ learning while helping them hone communication and critical thinking skills, collaborate across disciplines, and work as part of a team.
Theses, capstones, and senior projects are types of signature work that are intended to integrate every student’s classroom learning with applied, real-world experience. Student inquiry and personal interest drive every original project, be it written, illustrated, or performed. Students present their work at Dominican’s annual Scholarly and Creative Works Conference and publish it in Dominican Scholar, the University’s digital repository.
Every student crafts and refines a digital portfolio—essentially, a personal website—to showcase reflections on their learning, milestone assignments, education plan, and career plan. Integrative Coaches or Peer Mentors provide technical and content support from day one. Students and alumni own their digital portfolios to share with prospective employers.
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Standardized test scores
Application Essay | Recommendation(s) | Character/personal qualities
Class rank | Interview | Extracurricular activities
Talent/ability | Volunteer work | Work experience
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 515 | 75th Percentile: 610
25th Percentile: 520 | 75th Percentile: 600
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 25
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 25
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 26
Priority application deadlines: February 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester. Admission decisions made within two weeks of receipt of all admission materials.
Admission interviews are recommended but not required. Each candidate is reviewed on the basis of past scholastic record, present motivation, and potential intellectual development as indicated by all admission materials submitted.
Dominican welcomes applications from all students without regard to race, age, religion, color, gender, ethnicity, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. The University seeks to enroll students who will take full advantage of the academic and extracurricular opportunities available. Offers of admission are contingent upon sustained academic performance and receipt of a final transcript(s). Offers of admission are valid for one semester only. Deferrals may be granted on an individual basis, after review by the Office of Admissions.
Tuition & Cost
Room & Board: $14,210
Dominican commits over $20 million each year for institutionally funded scholarships and grants that directly reduce the cost of attendance, which can be even further reduced by scholarships and grants from other sources (federal, state, or private). In addition, educational loan programs can help finance part or all of any remaining costs.
Completing the financial aid process at Dominican is easy. First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at fafsa.gov. Dominican’s priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 2. Once the Office of Financial Aid receives the completed FAFSA information, they will let you know by email if you need to send them anything else.
Dominican offers scholarships based on academic accomplishments (Trustee, Presidential, Deans, and Dominican merit scholarships), athletic abilities (Coaches and Athletic Housing awards), artistic talent (Music and Dance scholarships), and participation in the Honors program (Honors Scholarship).
At the point of admission, each undergraduate day student is automatically considered for a renewable Dominican merit scholarship. For new freshmen, scholarship eligibility is based on high school grade point average (GPA). For new transfers with more than 24 transfer units, scholarships are based on college GPA for all transferable coursework. Merit scholarships are renewable as long as the student maintains the required GPA and continues as a full-time student.
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