Holy Names UniversityLogo Holy Names UniversityLogo

Catholic Profile

Since 1868

Holy Names University is a private, Catholic university that sits nestled in the Oakland Hills in the middle of the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. HNU has been transforming lives for nearly a century and a half. An academic community committed to the full development of each student, Holy Names offers a liberal arts education rooted in the Catholic tradition, empowering a diverse student body for leadership and service in a complex world.

A commitment to community service and social justice
HNU students strive for social justice to help communities thrive. Complementing learning that happens in the classroom, students serve as leaders, mentors, and activists in service learning projects, internships, and volunteer opportunities with Habitat
for Humanity, Relay For Life, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and others.

A close-knit, supportive academic environment
With a low student-faculty ratio, HNU students can always count on enjoying personal attention from their professors. In fact, students have collaborated with distinguished faculty
and co-authored important research papers on topics in biology and criminology; partnered with HNU faculty to produce beautiful murals and literary journals; and coordinated service efforts to provide clean drinking water for four grade schools in rural India. It is this close partnership between HNU faculty and students—this cultivation of entrepreneurial spirit—that has helped recent HNU graduates go on to establish their own startups, community organizations, and social justice initiatives.

The best view and the best weather, in one of the most exciting places in the world
HNU’s campus is situated in the picturesque hills above Oakland, which gives students a wide-angle view of San Francisco and the entire Bay. HNU’s location in the Bay Area means that students are close to Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley and the cultural, recreational, and professional opportunities that come with being in the midst of such a vibrant metropolitan area—one that boasts an average of 260 sunny days per year and more than 80 regional parks; companies like Apple, Pixar, Netflix, Facebook, Google, Levi Strauss, LinkedIn, Pandora, Twitter, YouTube, Uber, and Yelp; and more museums and theaters per square mile than almost anywhere else in the nation. The HNU campus is a safe and lively home base that puts the bright lights of the big city within students’ reach.

Exceptional scholarships
HNU is committed to the success of its students, and that commitment takes the form of scholarships and financial aid for almost 100% of HNU students. These scholarships recognize the unique talents and potential of the University’s students and are designed to help them make the most of their time at HNU. Even with a commitment to small classes and personal attention, Holy Names University remains one of the most affordable private schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The HNU Experience
HNU students participate in a total educational experience—one that brings together institutional endeavors to enhance learning and development. The HNU Experience promotes students connecting with each other and faculty inside and outside the classroom, and involves signature programs such as The Connection Project—a unique approach to the first-year experience—retreats, internships, study abroad programs, service-learning projects, capstone courses, student employment, community-based leadership opportunities, NCAA D-II athletics, and dynamic student-run clubs and organizations.




Founded: 1868

Location: Oakland, California

Mission: Holy Names University, rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, empowers a diverse student body for leadership and service. Guided by the core values of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, HNU is a progressive, inclusive, and rigorous academic community offering a liberal arts and professional education.

Student Body: 1,049 total enrollment; 656 undergraduates from 13 different states and 16 countries; 36% men, 64% women; 70% of students are from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds; 35% of HNU students are first-generation college students. 

Recognition: U.S. News & World Report annually recognizes Holy Names University as one of the most diverse universities in the nation. HNU is a vibrant community that embraces individual and collective experiences. HNU is a member of Colleges of Distinction.

Academic Information: 12:1 student-faculty ratio; average class size has 14 students.

Athletics: 13 NCAA Division II sports, including baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s cross-country. Men’s volleyball is a club sport.

Financial Aid: Almost 100% of undergraduates receive financial aid.

2015–2016 Tuition and Fees: $35,666

2015–2016 Room and Board: $11,870

• Accounting
• Biological Sciences
• Business
- Communication
- International Business
- Management
- Marketing
- Sport Management

• Communication Studies
• Criminology
• English
• History
• Intercultural Peace and Justice
• International Relations
• Latin American and Latino/a Studies
• Liberal Studies (Education)
• Multimedia Arts and Communication
• Music
• Philosophy
• Psychobiology
• Psychology
• Religious Studies
• Self-Designed Majors
• Sociology
• Sports Biology

Pre-professional Preparation
• Pre-dentistry
• Pre-law
• Pre-medicine/Health
• Pre-pharmacy
• Pre-physical/Occupational Therapy
• Pre-veterinary

Seamless to Graduate Degree
• Accelerated MBA program
• Music, five-year honors program