Transforming lives since 1868
Holy Names University is a private Catholic university nestled in the Oakland Hills in the middle of the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. HNU has been transforming lives since 1868. An academic community committed to the full development of each student, HNU 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
Students at Holy Names University strive for social justice to help their 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, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and others.
A close-knit, supportive academic environment
With a low student-faculty ratio, HNU students can always count on personal attention from their professors. In fact, students have collaborated with distinguished faculty and coauthored 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’s 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 start-ups, 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. The University’s location in the Bay Area means 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 US. HNU’s campus is a safe, lively home base that puts the bright lights of the big city within each student’s reach.
HNU is committed to the success of its students, and that commitment takes the form of scholarships and financial aid for 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. 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 faculty and each other 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.