A National Research University in the Heart of the Nation's Capital in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
The Catholic University of America is unique among universities in the United States — even among Catholic universities. And it’s not just because we're located in Washington, D.C. — a city of global significance and a place of extraordinary educational opportunity.
Our university was founded by the Catholic bishops of the United States, with a charter from then Pope Leo XIII, to be the national university of the Catholic Church in America. For more than 130 years, we have lived out our mission to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research. Catholic University scientists, engineers, nurses, philosophers, theologians, historians, architects, social workers, musicians, artists, and scholars in all fields embrace both reason and faith as they apply the inexhaustible resources of the Catholic intellectual tradition to help solve the problems of contemporary life and enrich the culture around us.
“The teaching of the University should be faithfully Catholic, conformed in all things to the creed of the Church and the decisions of the Holy See.” This was the first principle set down by the founders of The Catholic University of America as the foundation of all our work and guide for all future action. We are still faithfully Catholic today.
Discover a Faith-Filled Community at One of America’s Best Catholic Universities
Service and faith are at the heart of our mission. In all that we do — academics, research, student life — we keep an eye on that mission. Eighty percent of our undergraduate students are Catholic, and they enjoy many opportunities to celebrate and grow in their faith. Mass is offered daily, both on campus and at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Especially popular are Sunday Masses in campus chapels with student-run music and liturgy.
Father Jude, our University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, says it best: We are honored to walk with every student in our community — Muslim, Protestant, Jewish or Catholic students — regardless of where they may be on their journey of faith. Campus Ministry hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including retreats, that are open to students of all religious backgrounds.
As a community, we answer the call to service. There are local service opportunities every day of the week. Each fall semester, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff turn out for our annual Mother Teresa Day of Service. Is the spring semester, just as many turn out for our MLK Jr. Day of Service. On both days, the University community fans out across Washington, D.C., to help those in need and put the Catholic University mission into action.
As the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See, The Catholic University of America is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church.
Dedicated to advancing the dialogue between faith and reason, The Catholic University of America seeks to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, all in service to the Church, the nation, and the world.
Next to Rome, there is simply no place in the world quite like The Catholic University of America. History, geography, and providence have put us at the heart of the Church in America, and the heart of the capital of the United States — an intersection that will vastly expand your intellectual and spiritual horizons as a part of the new generation of Catholic Minds.
- We are unique among all of the country’s Catholic colleges and universities in that we are the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States chartered by the Holy See and founded by the Catholic bishops.
- The University is located in the heart of Washington, D.C.
- From the D.C. Metrorail system, adjacent to campus, you're just a 10-minute Metrorail ride from Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Institution, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and Union Station.
- Our campus sits on 176 stunningly beautiful acres—the largest campus in Washington, D.C.
- The University was founded in 1887 as a graduate institution, not just a college. The result is a scholarly experience, not merely a college experience. As an undergraduate, the serious student will find unique opportunities to conduct scholarly and scientific research in their fields of study, working closely with faculty.
- All 12 of our schools grant graduate degrees. Ten award undergraduate degrees: architecture and planning, arts and sciences, business, engineering, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, social work, and theology and religious studies.
- All undergraduate degrees combine a base curriculum in the liberal arts with more in-depth courses from their major fields of study.
- The first-Year Experience introduces you to philosophy, theology, rhetoric, and logic through study in small, supportive learning communities. Your coursework will engage you in thinking about, discussing, and writing about the great questions that have shaped human history and that continue to confront us today.
- Students in all majors can find semester, yearlong, or summer-only opportunities for study on five continents and at The Rome Center of The Catholic University of America and Australian Catholic University.
- Catholic University is a Division III athletic institution with 25 varsity programs. Nearly 20 percent of our undergraduate student population are varsity athletes.
Experience College Life in Washington, D.C.
We offer plenty of options for a vibrant residential college experience. Our academic year begins and ends with campus-wide celebrations. Campus life is buzzing with events every week: performing arts, sporting events, lectures, fundraisers, service days, fairs, retreats, dances, game nights, concerts, and more.
More than 100 student organizations offer something for everyone. If politics is your thing, you can join the College Democrats or the College Republicans. You might want to complement your academic interests through organizations such as the Spanish Club or the Chemistry Club. Performers will be interested in CenterStage Theatre Company or Redline A Cappella. If you are looking to serve there are plenty of options, including Best Buddies and Relay for Life.
Service and faith are at the heart of our mission, and we welcome students of all religious backgrounds. The Office of Campus Ministry sponsors service opportunities and programs and events. We offer daily service opportunities in the D.C. community and domestic and international mission trips.
Our campus is the largest and greenest in Washington, D.C. You’ll find places to study under a tree, basketball courts for pick-up games, wide-open lawns for games of Frisbee, newly renovated, energy-efficient buildings with historic character, and residence halls that offer a variety of living options. The campus is part of the charming Brookland neighborhood. We’re in our own small college town with restaurants, artist studios, new apartments, and a farmer’s market right nearby.
The Center for Academic and Career Success and our active alumni network are dedicated to helping you secure coveted jobs and internships, many of them a short Metro ride away in downtown D.C.
Become a Cardinal and take flight at Catholic University.