The Catholic University of America
Students at The Catholic University of America find themselves in a world within a world. Located in one of the nation’s most historic cities, just three miles north of Capitol Hill, Catholic University is a sprawling campus surrounded by lush green landscapes and cherry blossom trees. The 176-acre campus, the largest in Washington D.C., provides a grassy, residential oasis nestled in the heart of the bustling Brookland neighborhood.
As the one and only national university of the Catholic Church in the United States as well as America’s second-oldest research university, Catholic University combines world-class academics, individualized support, and unsurpassed opportunities for research and internships to help students maximize their talents, skills, and abilities to make change in the world. With 12 schools, more than 70 undergraduate degree programs, and 32 research centers and facilities, the University still maintains the nurturing feel of an undergraduate college experience. Inspired by its rich 134-year intellectual history, the University welcomes approximately 3,000 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students of all religious traditions from around the globe who look for a distinctive educational experience rooted in a deeper meaning and to study with world-class faculty at the forefront of their fields. The Catholic University of America community believes in the compatibility of faith and reason, and they pride themselves on expressing these ideals through acceptance, service, and always striving to better themselves and the lives of others. An education with Catholic University is also a great investment, and the University commits more than $70 million annually in merit- and need-based financial assistance to undergraduate students.
Get to know The Catholic University of America
When students enroll in The Catholic University of America, they join one of the original research universities in the nation and the official research university of the U.S. Catholic Church. Founded as a graduate institution, it has since been designated by the Carnegie Foundation classification R2: Doctoral University – Higher research activity. In 1900, the University was one of only 14 doctoral-degree-grant institutions to come together and form the Association of American Universities.
Here. students are immersed in a culture of research and not only learn what has been developed and passed down through the centuries, but also add to the world’s body of knowledge by conducting their own ground-breaking research. And unlike many other schools, Catholic University offers a wide array of research opportunities for undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge research projects in every program of study. The University’s 12 schools and 32 research facilities attract world-class faculty, guests, speakers, and visiting scholars as well as government, corporate, foundation, and non-profit financial support.
Since 2016, the University’s annual Research Day features students showcasing their research projects that are innovative, novel, and global in nature. Due to its success, every subsequent event grows in size and adds new components, such as performances and interactive demonstrations.
Catholic University offers a wide array of programs, including semester-long, full-year, summer, and spring break options. Students can choose to focus on language study, internship, service-learning, or work opportunities. The CUAbroad office helps students select the program and location that best matches their interests and educational goals.
Some highlights include the Catholic University in Rome program (3 tracks: liberal arts, architecture, and Honors), Oxford Study Abroad Programme (where students enroll in courses of their own creation taught one-on-one by a top-tier Oxford professor), British Parliamentary Internship (there are also Irish and European Union Parliamentary internships), Australian Catholic University Nursing Exchange (one of the few semester nursing exchange programs in the country), Institute of the Arts Barcelona, and Rose Bruford College. The last two are programs specifically for Musical Theatre majors, which is, again, something that is not common.
Nursing students can also complete an International Clinical Practicum during spring break in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. This is a faculty-led, 8-day intercultural clinical practicum where students apply their nursing, healthcare, and medical Spanish skills acquired at Catholic University at public and private health clinics, schools, and community organizations that focus on patient- and family-centered care. Students are supervised by certified medical preceptors (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers) to provide quality care to underprivileged individuals with limited resources. Students visit schools and community centers and give public health education classes and perform community needs assessments. As part of the Spanish language immersion, students participate in interactive discussions with community members about various topics, such as disease and injury prevention, nutrition, vaccinations, hygiene, mental health, and natural disaster preparedness. This clinical experience allows students to utilize their health care and Spanish skills as well as develop hands-on experiences that will help them achieve career and educational goals.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 4%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 5%
White, non-Hispanic: 67%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
The First-Year Experience is the foundational liberal education core of the first-year curriculum at The Catholic University of America, bringing first-year students together in small Learning Communities for a shared, year-long experience. Within Learning Communities, students take a sequence of four core classes in Philosophy, Theology, and English. The FYE also goes beyond the classroom with service-learning activities, class-based excursions into Washington, D.C., and one-on-one academic advising.
The FYE is inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition and guided by the principles of a liberal education. The first-year curriculum prepares students not only for the challenges of citizenship and morality, but also for all subsequent academic work in the major of their choice. In FYE classes, students learn to think more rigorously, write more persuasively, and read more perceptively, all while confronting the great questions that have shaped human history and that continue to challenge us today. Tools and skills acquired in these classes become the foundation for work in the major and beyond.
Many majors involve a Senior Capstone Project. For example, as an Anthropology major, seniors have the option to critically analyze their experience with an internship, field school, or off-campus service organization. Seniors may also opt to assist a faculty member with their research or pursue independent research under faculty supervision. The normal product for any of these options is a research paper or, under special circumstances, a formal thesis submitted for Honors in Anthropology. Alternatively, the Capstone Project can take the form of a formal poster or talk to be presented at the annual Catholic University Research Day. All of these options are designed to provide opportunities for students to put their anthropological education into practice through real-world research and professional conduct.
Seniors who major in Theology and Religious studies are also provided an opportunity for intensive research in an area of their interest through their senior capstone seminar with its research paper, and all School of Engineering undergraduates complete a year-long capstone design project during their senior year.
Seniors in the School of Business are all required to complete the senior capstone course prior to receiving their degree. The course is designed to teach students how to find internships during their senior year and how to search for a job upon graduation. The professor will teach career self-assessment skills, résumé and cover letter writing skills, interviewing skills, how to build a professional network, how to develop and execute an internship search strategy that includes creating potential employer target lists, utilizing networking and online internship search resources, developing a corporate persona, and transitioning from an intern to a future employee post-graduation.
“I love my business classes because in everything we’re learning, I don’t have to separate my faith. I would like to start a for-profit business that does good in the world, where my faith influences my business decisions.” – Lizzy Rich ’20
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Teacher certification program
Internship and study opportunities with Congress, federal
agencies, and international embassies
The Office of Campus Ministry at The Catholic University of America has an extensive social justice and community service program. Every year, thousands of students participate in some form of service or justice work. Weekly, students have the opportunity to bring food to and spend time with the homeless, work at soup kitchens, talk to and do activities with the elderly and those with disabilities, and tutor young people. In addition to the weekly service opportunities, up to 1,000 students participate in three campus-wide days of service each year, fanning out across the city with many different organizations to volunteer. Each year, the campus community also hosts families from the neighborhood for a Halloween event, a spring event, and a sporting activities event, with participation ranging from hundreds to thousands of participants. All of these events are student run. Well over 50% of the student population participates in at least one service activity each year, while many participate in multiple activities.
There are also larger opportunities for students to get involved in serving communities and advocating for justice. Each year, well over two hundred students spend spring break or two weeks over the summer on trips learning about social justice issues in communities abroad and working alongside them on community service projects. Some of these trips are part of academic classes, and some are not. There are also several national conferences on service and justice that students may attend each year through the Office of Campus Ministry.
There are many opportunities for students to have leadership roles in service and justice initiatives as well. They may have leadership positions in one of the many service organizations on campus, such as Alpha Phi Omega, Best Buddies, or Habitat for Humanity. The Cardinal Service Corps, composed of around 50 students each year, also plans and stages numerous large-scale service and community hospitality events.
Students engaging in their community is a hallmark of The Catholic University of America. Through a diverse range of projects and activities, students can learn about injustices and inequities affecting those around them and then work to correct them and build a stronger and more just community and world.
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Catholic University has more than 100 student clubs and organizations, the most popular of which include College Democrats, College Republicans, Program Board, Centerstage, Colleges Against Cancer, Student Government Association, and the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
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) in rowing. The University is home to 25 varsity intercollegiate teams.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 92%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for students with disabilities
CENTER FOR ACADEMIC AND CAREER SUCCESS
The Center for Academic and Career Success provides students guidance, resources, and support to help them achieve academic and career success. Whether they need help forming an academic plan or choosing a career pathway, they are supported through an integrated approach that combines academic advising with career development so they may flourish in their studies while working toward both professional reward and personal satisfaction.
All undergraduate students are assigned an academic/career advisor (ACA) who works with them during their entire academic career. ACAs also serve the graduate population as well as the 88,000 active alumni around the world with career advising.
Early decision I: Nov. 1
Early decision II: Jan. 15
Regular decision: Jan. 15
Fall term: July 15
Spring term: Nov. 15
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Character/personal qualities
Application Essay | Recommendation(s)
Extracurricular activities | First generation
First generation | Interview | Talent/ability
Alumni/ae relation | Geographical residence
Racial/ethnic status | Volunteer work | Work experience
SAT and ACT scores are not considered for admission or merit scholarships
25th Percentile High School Unweighted GPA: 3.18
75th Percentile High School Unweighted GPA: 3.80
Tuition & Cost