Featured Image

Great Catholic Colleges and Universities in the West

Looking for a school with deep-rooted traditions and a supportive community? Check out this list of great Catholic colleges and universities in the Western US.

Though they may have different religious orders—from Benedictine to Dominican, Franciscan to Jesuit, and many more in between—Catholic colleges and universities have many similarities. You’ll find that these schools all value giving back to the community and helping students grow both academically and spiritually. But they also accept students of many different faiths or no religion at all. If you’re looking for a place where faith, learning, and life are integrated on and off campus—or just a school with rigorous academics and a supportive community—this list is a great place to start your search.  

All the colleges and universities listed below are Catholic institutions located in the Western United States, and you can connect with all of them quickly and easily! Just click the “Connect me” button underneath each featured school if you’re interested in learning more about them—then they'll reach out to you with more information. Start exploring and making valuable connections with these Catholic institutions now!

Gonzaga University

GonzagaGonzaga University is a church-affiliated university with a 131-acre campus in Spokane, Washington. With an average class size of 22 students and a supportive community, students are nurtured to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Gonzaga also offers scholarships for outstanding graduates from Catholic high schools. 

Connect me with Gonzaga!

Holy Names University

Holy NamesHoly Names University is a church-affiliated liberal arts institution with a 60-acre campus in Oakland, California. HNU offers a liberal arts education rooted in the Catholic tradition and is guided by the core values of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Students serve as leaders, mentors, and activists in service learning projects, internships, and volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and more. 

Connect me with Holy Names!

John Paul the Great Catholic University

John Paul the GreatJohn Paul the Great Catholic University is a private coeducational institution located in Escondido, California—30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego. The University’s unique academic model combines hands-on projects, mentorship, and portfolio preparation with a Catholic liberal arts education in literature, theology, and philosophy. Opportunities for spiritual growth include daily Mass, confession, adoration, rosary, retreats, and service projects.

Connect me with JPCatholic!

Marymount California University

Marymount CaliforniaMarymount California University is a private, four-year liberal arts institution with a 26-acre main campus in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Instead of dorms, the University offers students two-story townhomes with a kitchen, living room, patio, garage, and amenities like a sand volleyball court, a heated pool, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi and DirecTV, and an outdoor pizza oven. Students from Archdiocese high schools in Los Angeles are eligible for MCU’s guaranteed admission program. 

Connect me with MCU!

Mount Saint Mary’s University

Mount Saint Mary'sMount Saint Mary’s University is a church-affiliated liberal arts college with a 53-acre campus located in Los Angeles, California. Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s Catholic university in the western United States—and the only women’s university in Los Angeles. Students can choose from more than 30 majors and nearly 50 minors, participate in study abroad and faculty research, and pursue other experiential learning opportunities.  

Connect me with Mount Saint Mary’s!

Regis University

RegisRegis University is a private Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts university with a 90-acre campus in Denver, Colorado. As the only Jesuit university in the Rocky Mountain West, Regis embraces the Jesuit concept of cura personalis, or care for the entire person. Students give back to their community by standing up for social justice and using their education to make a positive impact.

Connect me with Regis!

Seattle University

Seattle USeattle University is a private, comprehensive, Jesuit-affiliated institution with a 50-acre campus in Seattle, Washington. The Jesuit educational ethos of social justice, global awareness, and diversity underlies all academic programs. Approximately 80% of Seattle U students provide service in the surrounding community, and a noteworthy number of students travel annually to places such as India, Belize, and Nicaragua on service trips. 

Connect me with Seattle U! 

University of Dallas

U of DallasThe University of Dallas is a church-affiliated liberal arts institution with a 215-acre campus in Irving, Texas—on the northwest boundary of Dallas. The University provides an encouraging atmosphere for students looking to grow and deepen their faith with twice-daily Mass at the Church of the Incarnation, a chapel that’s accessible 24/7, an active campus ministry, and myriad service opportunities. While nearly 80% of the student body is Catholic, UD supports academic and religious freedom, and all faiths are welcome and heard on campus. 

Connect me with U of Dallas!

University of the Incarnate Word

Incarnate WordUniversity of the Incarnate Word is a private, religious-affiliated liberal arts university with a 200-acre main campus near the center of San Antonio, Texas. Founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, UIW is the largest Catholic university in Texas and the only Catholic university in the Southwest with NCAA Division I athletics. With the Class of 2020 performing 45,151 hours of service alone, the University is committed to social justice and community service through transformative education. 

Connect me with UIW!

University of Portland 

U of PortlandThe University of Portland is a private church-affiliated institution with a 25-acre campus located four miles from downtown Portland, Oregon. As a comprehensive Catholic university grounded in the liberal arts, UP embraces a culture of curiosity by testing beliefs and challenging the expected. Experiential learning opportunities include internships, clinicals, student teaching, research, service immersions, and study abroad. 

Connect me with UP!

University of San Francisco

U of San FranciscoThe University of San Francisco is a private Jesuit, Catholic University with a 55-acre campus in San Francisco, California. The University’s student body comes from 22 different faith traditions, and about one-fifth of students identify as Catholic. In addition to an active University Ministry that hosts educational and social events, USF offers students many different faith and culture communities, including Catholic Student Prayer Group, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Muslim Student Association, Zen Buddhist Meditation, Jews for Justice, and more. 

Connect me with USF!

University of St. Thomas

U of St. ThomasThe University of St. Thomas is a private, church-affiliated liberal arts university on a 21-acre campus near downtown Houston, Texas. Founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947, UST is Houston’s only Catholic university. Students are encouraged to participate in Campus Ministry activities such as retreats and volunteer experiences, and daily Masses are also held in the University’s chapel.

Connect me with UST! 

Interested in continuing your Catholic education somewhere else? Check out all our featured Catholic School Profiles.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway



High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress helped open me up to many colleges that fit my interests. I’m only a sophomore in high school, so I like having a lot to look at, and CX does a great job of picking colleges that meet my wants. It's a great website that I'll continue to use until it comes time for me to apply for colleges. I also like that it notifies me through email with options to look at. Thanks CX!

Tinuola Dada

Tinuola Dada

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2015

I am very excited to be this year's recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship will bring me ever closer to my academic and professional goals. CollegeXpress has been an exceptional resource to me, and I recommend it to all rising seniors as they begin to navigate the college application process.

Brooke Maggio

Brooke Maggio

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously in my college search in narrowing down the schools I’m interested in. Using the college search tool, I was able to narrow down my choices to schools that matched what I was looking for. I also used CollegeXpress for their scholarship search, which helped me find scholarships that I meet the requirements of.

Melanie Kajy

Melanie Kajy

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously during my senior year of high school. I started off using the college search to find more information about the universities I was interested in. Just this tool alone gave me so much information about a particular school. It was my one-stop shop to learn about college. I was able to find information about college tuition, school rank, majors, and so much more that I can't list it all. The college search tool has helped me narrow down which college I want to attend, and it made a stressful process surprisingly not so stressful. I then moved to the scholarship search tool to find scholarships to apply for because I can't afford to pay for tuition myself. The search tool helped me find scholarships that I was eligible for. The tool gave me all the information I could ever need about a particular scholarship that was being offered. The CollegeXpress scholarship search tool is so much better than other tools offered, like the Chegg scholarship search. Thanks to CollegeXpress, I was able to apply to tons of scholarships in a relatively easy way!

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

College Matches