Holy Names University
Nestled in the Oakland Hills with expansive views of the San Francisco Bay, Holy Names University (HNU) is educating and empowering the next generation of conscientious leaders. HNU was established on Lake Merritt over 150 years ago before moving to its current campus on Mountain Boulevard. Its founders, the Sisters of the Holy Names, have ensured that the University remains focused on its social justice mission since day one. This unites and motivates HNU students to both fulfill their potential and improve the world around them.
HNU prides itself on its atmosphere of openness and inclusion. The University is regularly recognized for the exceptional diversity of its students, be it racial, religious, political, or socioeconomic. With a focus on support, small class sizes, and courses in varied formats and schedules, Holy Names University strives to meet the needs of all learners, including first-generation students, adult degree-completion students, and working adults.
Programs in business, criminology, education, nursing, and psychology position Holy Names University students for career advancement and provide new perspectives with a social justice lens. Alumni leave prepared to transform their communities in whatever field they choose.
Get to know Holy Names University
The HNU Experience involves connecting learning to social justice and service. Students begin the experience with the “Connections Project,” part of a comprehensive first-year experience that prepares students to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens. Inherent in the HNU Experience is an emphasis on the total development of students, promoting academic success through experience and reflection on the connections between activities inside and outside of the classroom. Students are encouraged to explore their own interests, strengths, and challenges; to embrace multiple perspectives; to engage in meaningful dialogue with others; and to be active participants in creating a good and just community.
HNU’s Center for Social Justice and Civic Engagement works with faculty members to facilitate service-learning courses. These courses integrate classroom learning with action alongside some of HNU’s many non-profit community partners. Service-based learning offers students the opportunity to apply the theories learned in class to real-life social justice work in the Oakland community, which is a vibrant source of social justice activity.
“I am really into promoting science with underrepresented minorities and low-socioeconomic-status students.” – Muryam G. ‘14, PhD candidate
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 3%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 18%
White, non-Hispanic: 18%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 9%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 2%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
Compelling majors, exceptional teaching, and accomplished faculty members in a highly diverse, personalized, and interactive setting—this is the HNU educational experience!
According to Muryam Gourdet, her HNU advisor was the reason she finished college, obtained her master’s degree, and was accepted to a prestigious Ph.D. program. “We are still in touch, and she regularly checks up on me.”
LEARNING FROM THE BEST
Faculty members at HNU are just as passionate about the educational experience as they are about the classes they teach. They share, explore, and cultivate their academic interests with students through a balance of real-world experience and academic research. Students have opportunities to take courses taught by published novelists, social justice advocates, and professionals in accounting and marketing who own their own companies. HNU professors are passionate and engaged in their disciplines, eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with students.
HNU faculty members have gained wide recognition for their scholarship and teaching. Over 90 percent hold doctorates or the highest degree in their field.
Holy Names University is consistently ranked as one of the most diverse universities in the country. HNU’s diversity is due not only to students who represent dozens of different ethnic backgrounds, but also to students who represent more than 20 nations beyond the United States border. Situated in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most beautiful regions of the world, students have access to music, culture, professional sports, and spectacular natural and human-made wonders like the Golden Gate Bridge.
SERVICE AND ADVOCACY
HNU’s students are activists, mentors, and leaders. Holy Names University is committed to inspiring students to take action and go beyond just attending class, listening to lectures, and reading a textbook. Students are encouraged to engage the world at every stage of their education. For instance, students can participate in actions and service projects, like helping out at the Oakland Catholic Worker, walking for breast cancer research, and traveling to Tutwiler, Mississippi, to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Student commitment to these projects is what makes the HNU vision of service actually happen.
HNU is a living example of how a diverse community can come together and celebrate similarities and differences. It is a community that reflects where students live and work. Students are encouraged and supported by staff and faculty to host events that are borne of the inspiration they receive in the classroom.
In addition to HNU’s annual traditions, like the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Founders’ Day, Convocation, and Alpha Delta Leadership Awards, Holy Names hosts numerous campus events, including the Pacific Islanders Club’s Luau & BBQ, the Student Success Center’s Academic Toolbox Series, and the Center for Social Justice’s monthly Justice Café.
FACILITIES FOR FUN AND LEARNING
The Cushing Library offers a variety of events—art exhibits, art talks, book talks, and musical performances. The Glass Lounge doubles as a study space and an exhibit space in which where local artists display artwork for the community’s enjoyment. Past exhibits and performances have featured both members of the wider community as well as HNU students and professors.
HNU Athletics currently serves more than 200 student-athletes through fourteen varsity-level sports.
Women: basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball
Men: basketball, cross-country, soccer, tennis, track & field, baseball, volleyball (club), and golf
Athletic accomplishments include 7 California Pacific Athletic Conference All-Sports Awards and 54 California Pacific Conference Championships. HNU was accepted for “Candidacy Membership” in the NCAA Division II beginning 2012.
A STURDY FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE
Preparation for success is deeply embedded in the HNU Experience. With the foundation of the Connections Project, HNU’s first-year experience program, students begin to develop the skills necessary for understanding and action. Goal setting, motivation, learning styles, time management, critical reading, and critical thinking are all addressed to facilitate students’ understanding of not just how to learn, but how they learn.
Through this foundation, multiple opportunities for hands-on learning through service, internships, and community-based leadership allow students to think critically, to challenge others, to identify the needs of their community, and to understand their own role as agents of change. HNU students don’t just learn about complex issues and theoretical concepts; they learn how to integrate and apply their knowledge in the community and in the workplace. They learn how to make a difference.
HNU also encourages hands-on learning and job preparation through internship opportunities in the local community and beyond. Many majors, such as Business, Sociology, Communications Studies, and Sports Biology either require or strongly encourage students to enroll in at least one internship course as a way to explore, experience, and reflect on their chosen fields of study.
Students at HNU benefit from the Career Center’s focus on preparing graduates for meaningful work and supporting them in the transition to the workplace or postgraduate education. Services include individualized career counseling and job search preparation, career interest inventories and assessments, support in internship search and application process, industry spotlight events, and alumni networking events. Career Services also offers assistance with graduate school research and applications, and encourages postgraduate study through events such as the Bay Area Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education.
HNU aims to prepare its students to think about, engage with, and understand a variety of perspectives. By engaging with the exceptional diversity on campus, students prepare for living, learning, and working in a global society. In keeping with HNU’s mission of service and social justice, alumni are most represented in non-profit organizations and educational settings, but are also leaders in business and finance. Recent alumni can be found working at organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, DreamWorks, Pixar Animation Studios, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Enterprise Rental Car and the San Francisco Giants. HNU alumni have attended a diverse array of graduate programs at universities such as Georgetown University, UC Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Sarah Lawrence.
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 280 | 75th Percentile: 330
25th Percentile: 450 | 75th Percentile: 540
25th Percentile: 17 | 75th Percentile: 22
25th Percentile: 16 | 75th Percentile: 22
25th Percentile: 16 | 75th Percentile: 23
Tuition & Cost
The Office of Student Financial Assistance provides a financial counselor to each student on campus based on the student’s last name. One-on-one financial counseling begins at Hawk Day, when each student registers to become a member of the HNU community.
Through personalized counseling, the Office of Student Financial Assistance strives to provide each student and their family with the following:
- Options and resources needed to fund their entire college education
- Competencies related to financial literacy
- Assistance to help them navigate through any financial issues
- Counseling sessions to help them understand the entire financial aid process and the importance of renewing annually
- An understanding of all loan options, including Parent Plus Loans and alternative loans
Holy Names University provides generous scholarships and institutional grants to eligible undergraduate students to help them succeed at HNU. Awards are based on talent (academic, athletic, and music) and financial need. Talent awards are made on the basis of potential and will not be reduced over time unless the person receiving the award does not meet the criteria on which the award was based.
HNU also offers a variety of other institutional and endowed scholarships and grants that are based on admission applications and criteria. No other application is required.