Catholic University of America

Washington, DC

The Catholic University of America, founded in 1887 by the U.S. Catholic bishops with the support of Pope Leo XIII, is the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States. It is located on a 184-acre campus just north of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

School Profiles: Undergrad Catholic

Catholic University of America

Washington, DC

Discovery Never Ends


• 176 acres; largest and greenest campus in Washington, DC
• 12 schools
• More than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs
• More than 100 student clubs and organizations
• 25 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports
• 9,406 internship opportunities
• 3,332 undergraduate students enrolled (fall 2018)
• 2,624 graduate students enrolled (fall 2018)
• 80% of undergraduates Catholic
• 93% of faculty holding terminal degrees in their fields
• 530 visiting students hosted for annual March for Life event
• 500 University students in March for Life
• 100% of varsity athletes participating in community service projects
• 7 Tony Award–winning alumni
• 62 Masses each week (including those at the adjacent Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception)
• 3 popes have visited Catholic University.

More than 70 undergraduate majors in10 schools:
• Architecture and Planning
• Arts and Sciences
• Business
• Engineering
• Music, Drama, and Art
• Nursing
• Philosophy
• Professional Studies
• Social Service
• Theology and Religious Studies

The School of Canon Law and Columbus School of Law offer graduate degrees only.

• 225 academic honor roll members
• 79 All-Conference selections
• 12 Landmark Conference major award winners, including five Rookies of the Year, four Players of the Year, and three Coaches of the Year
• 9 All-America awards
• 2 Landmark Conference championships in 2019 in men’s swimming and women’s lacrosse
• 1 Academic All-American
• The Cardinals have finished third or better in six of the last eight years in the Landmark Conference President’s Trophy standings—one of only three programs to win multiple times (2013, 2015).

• &pizza
• Basilica Cafeteria
• BGR Joint
• Brookland Pint
• Busboys and Poets
• Chipotle
• Murphy’s Grill
• Potbelly’s
• Pryzbyla Food Court
• Starbucks

Center for Academic and Career Success
• Résumé and cover letter critiques
• Job, internship, and summer position search and support
• Interview preparation
• Graduate school decision-making
• Pre-law and Pre-medical advising
• 5,678 employers actively recruiting Catholic University students and alumni, posting 22,425 jobs and 9,406 internship opportunities in 2018–2019

The Catholic University of America is a shining jewel in the nation’s capital—176 green acres in an urban setting. Located in the heart of the Brookland neighborhood, Catholic University is a national research university, home to 31 research facilities, that maintains the nurturing feel of an undergraduate college. Inspired by our rich 132-year intellectual history, the University welcomes undergraduate and graduate students of all religious traditions from around the globe to study with world-class faculty at the forefront of their fields. 

An education at Catholic University is a great investment, and the University commits more than $69 million annually to merit- and need-based financial assistance for undergraduate students. 

At Catholic University, small class sizes are the norm, and undergraduate students work closely with top researchers, scholars, and artists. Challenging academics help students interpret and appreciate the relationship between faith and reason, a key aspect of the Catholic intellectual tradition. And while the University’s setting in Washington, DC, makes Politics a popular major for many students, there are more than 70 other undergraduate majors available. Prominent programs include Architecture, Biology, Business, Engineering, Music, Nursing, Psychology, Philosophy, Social Work, Theology, and pre-professional studies in Law, Dentistry, Medicine, and Veterinary Science. With downtown Washington just minutes away on the convenient Metrorail system (the University has its own stop on the Red Line), the city’s myriad museums, galleries, monuments, parks, performing arts venues, and historic sites become an extension of the classroom.

Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to examine, understand, and act on contemporary issues. The University also models an integrated academic and career advising program starting in the first year to help students develop internship and research plans to support their career aspirations. 

First-Year Experience: All first-year students are grouped in Learning Communities of about 18 classmates, taking a sequence of four core classes in philosophy, theology, and English. They also participate in service learning activities, take class-based excursions into DC, and enjoy an annual speaker series. 

University Honors Program: This program features small discussion-based classes and seminar-style tracks in philosophy, social science, humanities, theology, and environmental studies. The Centennial Village Honors Community offers a distinctive residential experience featuring dinners and discussions with invited professors, movie nights, and group excursions into DC. 

Life on campus and off 
Students are required to live on campus for their first three years, though many choose to live in University housing all four years. Catholic University supports more than 100 student organizations and has a vibrant performing arts culture, countless community service opportunities, leadership development programs, and intramural and club sports. 

There are shops, restaurants, and an arts walk just off campus and more dining, shopping, and entertainment possibilities downtown, just minutes away on the Metro. 

Washington, DC, is one of the nation’s largest college towns, with nearly 300,000 students in the region. Catholic University participates in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, providing students with access to 15 Consortium universities. 

Prepared for life 
Catholic University students (and alumni) can depend on help from the Center for Academic and Career Success to learn about and land internships and jobs through career fairs; postings; résumé, interview, and other workshops; and additional resources. Internships are available throughout the DC area with organizations including Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and many others. By the time they graduate, 76% of Catholic University students complete at least one internship; 61% complete two or more.

Division III athletics 
Catholic University is committed to the Division III ideal of the scholar-athlete. Our 25 varsity teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Landmark Conference, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in football, and the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC).  

Spiritual life 
The Office of Campus Ministry offers daily Mass, small faith communities, weekly Eucharistic adoration, and numerous student-run retreats each year. Through Campus Ministry, students deliver food to the homeless, serve in soup kitchens and shelters, tutor in after-school programs, visit the elderly, and participate in summer and spring mission trips. Approximately 80% of our undergraduates are Catholic. The Office of Campus Ministry also helps students seeking to nourish their faith in other religious settings by providing information on local services offered by other religions and Christian denominations.

Education abroad 
The University offers a wide array of education abroad programs and international internships through its Center for Global Education, and approximately 400 students take the opportunity to study abroad each year. Our signature program is our Rome Center, not far from St. Peter’s Square. With 114 other programs in 37 countries, every major and discipline presents at least one opportunity for study abroad.