Notre Dame de Namur University
Notre Dame de Namur (NDNU) features small classes that average 15 students, personal attention, quality courses and instructors, and a range of majors. Professors at NDNU are not only gifted instructors, but they are also committed to advising and mentoring students through the college journey. Individual learning is a key feature of an NDNU education. The university strives to give students the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to successfully engage and expand their talents. NDNU’s location also presents learning opportunities through community engagement and internships that can’t be found elsewhere.
The university offers a rich variety of day and evening undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and teacher credential programs. NDNU is the third oldest college in California and was the first authorized to grant the baccalaureate degree to women. The university maintains a strong commitment to academic excellence as well as social justice and community engagement. NDNU seeks new ways to open doors to all students who are driven to grow through higher education.
Notre Dame de Namur University embraces diversity of many kinds. More than half of NDNU freshmen are the first in their family to attend college. In the most recent incoming class, 98% received some form of financial aid. NDNU has been listed among the top ten most diverse campuses in the United States.
Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) is a Catholic, not-for-profit, private, coeducational institution. The third oldest college in the state of California, NDNU was founded in 1851.
Get to know Notre Dame de Namur University
- Campus Ministries
- International Student Organization
- Literary magazine
- Model UN
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
- Peer Mentors
“The school believed in me and wanted me to succeed and I had teachers that worked with me when I struggled and helped me to discover new things that I didn’t even think I could possibly be good at.” – Jay, BA, 2017
At Notre Dame de Namur University, students can take part in a variety of activities that enrich their education.
STUDENT CLUBS AND GROUPS
NDNU features a variety of clubs and activities that bring together students with common interests in careers, shared identity, social action, and sports. Profession-related clubs include groups interested in accounting, art therapy, business, pre-medicine, and political science. The campus also offers student groups such as the Black Student Union, Gender and Sexuality Awareness (PLUS+ Club), the International Students Association, Latinos Unidos, and the W.A.Y. (We Accept You) which encourages interfaith dialogue. Socially engaged clubs include Students 4 Sustainability and I Am That Girl.
STUDENT LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS
NDNU offers multiple opportunities for students to develop and exercise leadership skills. Governance experience includes the Associated Students of NDNU, the official student government. Juniors and seniors can serve as Resident Advisors (RAs) who function as peer mentors, emergency responders, program and event planners, and community creators in all of the campus’s residential communities. Student leaders also serve on the Programming Board, which creates and provides quality programs and events to engage students with the greater NDNU community. The Spirituality Team works with the Office of Spirituality to promote the personal and spiritual development of NDNU students. The Bonner Leader program and the Alternative Spring Break help interested NDNU students acquire the skills and knowledge to become effective social change activists.
STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES
Students at Notre Dame de Namur University participate in a variety of study abroad programs offering courses for all majors, as well as internships, community service, and travel opportunities. NDNU students have taken part in programs throughout the world: in India, China, Africa, Australia, and Europe. Some of the most popular choices are European universities in London, Prague, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, and Florence. Eligible students receive financial assistance for study abroad through financial aid, program scholarships, and NDNU study-abroad scholarships. Students of all majors who are sophomores and above are eligible.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 61 | 10-19: 151 | 20-29: 96
30-39: 6 | 40-49: 0 | 50-99: 0 | 100+: 0
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 51
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 43
White, non-Hispanic: 133
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1
Asian, non-Hispanic: 77
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 19
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 40
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 20
Total Enrollment: 718
“I would say you should come to NDNU because we’re social justice oriented. There are small class sizes. Your teachers know you, you build a relationship with them so they can help you further your career.” – Bette
NDNU supports the success of each student through a network of programs that enhance student preparation, support student learning outcomes, promote personal identity and career development, provide tuition relief where possible, and improve retention rates.
NEW VIRTUAL REALITY LEARNING LAB
NDNU has recently added a new virtual reality 3D learning lab. The lab features technology such as holographic computing with the Microsoft Hololens, virtual reality headsets and hands by Oculus Rift and VIVE, mixed reality using zSpace specialized computers, and Double Robotics and Swivl telepresence robots. With this state-of-the-art learning technology, students can study the anatomy of the human heart in three dimensions, inside and out. For example, students can actually see and feel a heartbeat while it is both at rest and during exercise.
WRITING CENTER AND TUTORING
NDNU offers a drop-in Writing Center where students may come for assistance with their writing and any course assignments requiring writing. Friendly, dedicated instructors and capable tutors are part of the high quality of instruction at the Writing Center. Tutoring is also available for other subjects. NDNU is committed to providing the support to help students succeed.
These small classes provide an introduction to university-level academic life. Students and their professors grapple with complex questions together, while simultaneously learning about themselves as learners and as members of the NDNU campus community. Students also work alongside community partner organizations. From the very beginning of their university experience, they apply their academic knowledge and skills to practical community needs. All freshman read and discuss one book in common as part of a shared academic experience and their entry into a learning community.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Teacher certification program
SISTER DOROTHY STANG CENTER FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The Stang Center is a unique resource that provides numerous opportunities for NDNU students to learn while involved in community engagement activities. Named in honor of Sister Dorothy Stang, who advocated for land rights of poor farmers in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, the center seeks to build on her legacy to work for positive social change. The center facilitates student engagement through collaborations and partnerships with a range of community organizations involved in tutoring, housing and homelessness, family and women’s shelters, food banks, restorative justice, environmental preservation, and other issues. The center also invites guest speakers to campus to discuss the latest developments in social justice.
OFFICE OF SPIRITUALITY
Guided by the spirit of the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Office of Spirituality is a vital and active group that seeks to honor the many religious traditions and spiritual paths in the campus community. The office provides diverse opportunities for tending the sacred in ourselves, each other, and the world. Through the Office of Spirituality, students work and learn collaboratively with community partners to bring about a more just society and positive social change.
FOUNDRESSES WEEK HONORS THE SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR AND THE UNIVERSITY’S HISTORY
Notre Dame de Namur University, founded in 1851, is the third oldest college in California. Each year in February, the campus sponsors a series of activities to highlight its founders, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and the Hallmarks that distinguish the education at NDNU. These activities center around the university’s historic buildings and heritage, and the ongoing importance of social justice and diversity at NDNU.
INSPIRATIONAL GUEST SPEAKERS
NDNU’s location in the San Francisco Bay Area attracts dynamic guest speakers. Recent visitors include Apple computer marketing guru and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki; and John Chisholm, author of Unleash Your Inner Company.
NDNU is close to the San Francisco Bay Area’s nightlife, natural beauty, and sporting events.
NDNU’s 50-acre campus is situated in Silicon Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula. The region is the heart of one of the country’s most exciting areas for professional growth and personal enrichment. The campus is located 30 minutes south of San Francisco, and just miles from California’s spectacular Pacific Coast, with some of the most beautiful landscapes in North America. The San Francisco Bay Area is a world leader for innovation in technology, social change, culture, and cuisine. The university is ideally situated for students to enjoy the career, cultural, outdoor, and recreational opportunities of the region.
NDNU has a competitive Division II sports program. The NDNU Argonauts participate in sports in the NCAA Pacific West Conference. Individual athletes have won local, regional, and national awards. Sports include men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, soccer, and track and field, as well as women’s volleyball and softball, and men’s lacrosse and golf. NDNU teams travel widely to compete against Division II opponents. Roughly one in five undergraduates takes part in a varsity sport. NDNU teams are called the Argonauts, and the mascot is an Argonaut. The school colors are blue and gold. Please visit the NDNU sports website for more information on the university’s athletics.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 80%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
“The education was very well rounded at Notre Dame de Namur partly because the students were so different and coming from different parts of the community, different backgrounds, and different cultures. And also the professors were coming from the business so not just talking about what the book says but also how the theories in the books are applied in real life. I was really able to get a well-rounded education and then use it again in my career.” – Julie
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND THE NDNU EDUCATION
Notre Dame de Namur University features community-based learning and an annual campus-wide Call to Action Day, where students, faculty, and staff engage in community service. The campus’s Sister Dorothy Stang Center and the Center for Spirituality both offer opportunities for learning through service. Many academic classes also incorporate into their curriculum hands-on projects with community organizations.
CAREER SERVICES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Notre Dame de Namur University is located near San Francisco and in Silicon Valley, two of the world’s most dynamic centers for technology and innovation. Career fairs on campus attract a variety of local employers, including corporations, nonprofits, local school districts, small businesses, and government agencies. The Career Services Office provides career counseling, for-credit classes, information resources and tools, and on-campus visits by local professionals aimed at fostering the career development of students and alumni. The center offers career counseling and maintains a career resource library.
Almost all majors at NDNU culminate in capstone courses that give students the opportunity to integrate and demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired during their study in the major. The courses generally involve student projects, papers, or presentations. Student work in these courses ranges from creating a live performance, to starting a community organization, to writing a research paper, to drawing up a business plan for a start-up.
As a smaller, private university, the NDNU Office of Admissions advises and reviews each applicant individually. Admissions decisions are based on evaluating an applicant’s entire file. The most important considerations include the academic courses that applicants have taken and their grades in those courses, activities and leadership experiences, an applicant’s ability to balance work and academics, and the essay. Test scores are used only to validate grades, courses, and experiences.
Campus tours and opportunities to shadow a current student are available and give applicants and their families another avenue to explore NDNU and meet representatives of the Office of Admissions.
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA
Standardized test scores | Application Essay | Recommendation(s)
Extracurricular activities | Character/personal qualities | Volunteer work
Class rank | Talent/ability | First generation | Alumni/ae relation | Geographical residence
State residency | Religious affiliation/commitment | Racial/ethnic status | Work experience
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 460 | 75th Percentile: 560
25th Percentile: 450 | 75th Percentile: 550
25th Percentile: 15 | 75th Percentile: 22
Tuition & Cost
Room & Board: $14,494
Room Only: $9,312
Board Only: $4,932
The Financial Aid Office at Notre Dame de Namur University offers a complete array of financial and support services designed to help students with the education-related expenses involved in obtaining educational goals.
Competitive scholarships available to NDNU students include the Ralston Presidential and Provost Scholarships, the Belmont Scholarship, Athletics Scholarships, Emerging Talent Scholarships, and Catholic Schools Scholarships. There are also numerous scholarships endowed in honor of individuals.
NDNU is a fully accredited institution where students are eligible for all federal education grants and/or loans for which they qualify.