The Catholic University of America

2014 Quick Stats
620 Michigan Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20064

Phone: (202) 319-5000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Feb. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#121 Overall Score: 43 out of 100. National Universities

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The Catholic University of America is a private institution that was founded in 1887. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,694, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 184 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. The Catholic University of America's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 121. Its tuition and fees are $38,526 (2013-14).

Catholic University of America, as its name suggests, is the national university of the Catholic Church. Students take several courses in theology and philosophy before graduation, and the Campus Ministry holds worship services and offers leadership opportunities to interested students. For other ways to get involved, Catholic University students can check out more than 80 clubs and organizations. The school's Cardinals athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division III Landmark Conference in every sport except football. The football team plays in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, and because the university has a stop on Washington, D.C.'s public transportation system, the Metro, students are just a short trip away from Capitol Hill and other national landmarks.

The school is home to about 20 research facilities, including the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies. For graduate students, Catholic University runs the Columbus School of Law, a Department of Education and a School of Engineering, among other academic departments. There is also the Theological College, a seminary for male students preparing for priesthood. Among the many notable graduates of Catholic University are alumni such as actors Jon Voight and John Slattery; Robert Craves, co-founder of Costco Wholesale Inc.; and James Vanderslice, a former Dell Inc. executive.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

The Catholic University of America is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church, with the added distinction that all undergraduates combine a base curriculum in the liberal arts with more in-depth courses from their major fields of study. Private and coeducational, CUA has 13 schools. Nine schools award undergraduate degrees, architecture and planning, arts and sciences, business and economics, engineering, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, and social work). All 13 schools grant graduate degrees. The student body of Catholic University is almost evenly divided between undergraduate and graduate students, totaling approximately 6,800. The university was founded in 1887 as a graduate institution. That foundation offers undergraduates unique opportunities to conduct scholarly and scientific research in their fields of study, working closely with faculty. Recent additions to the graduate offerings include a master of science in business analysis for nonbusiness majors, master of arts in integral economic development management or policy, as well as master of science programs in nuclear environmental protection, biotechnology, and materials science and engineering for those with undergraduate degrees in science looking to enter these lucrative fields. CUA undergraduates begin their academic career with First-Year Experience, which introduces them to philosophy, theology, rhetoric, and logic through study in small, supportive learning communities. This coursework engages them in thinking about, discussing, and writing about the great questions that have shaped human history and that continue to confront us today. Students have unique opportunities to address those questions worldwide through CUA's education abroad programs. Students in all majors can find semester, yearlong, or summer-only opportunities for study on every continent in the world. Politics majors can choose internships in the British or Irish houses of parliament, or the European Parliament or Commission. Architecture students can study the marvelous buildings of Barcelona, Rome, or Paris, or, in the award-winning Spirit of Place Spirit of Design course, engage in a design-build project that begins in the studio and ends with building a project in remote locations in such countries as Peru, Ireland, and Finland, in affiliation with anthropology, archeology, environment, and the arts. Students in engineering can fulfill some of their academic requirements in exciting Hong Kong at Polytechnic University. Nursing majors can learn valuable intercultural lessons at Australian Catholic University as well as take part in mission trips to Central America over the summer and on spring break. Through Campus Ministry, CUA students also embark on mission trips to Central America and Jamaica and in the nation's capital serve poor, elderly, homeless, or otherwise disadvantaged people through homeless food runs; work with Jeanne Jugan Little Sisters of the Poor and a local infant and maternity home; and volunteer with So Others Might Eat. The long history of the university in Washington, D.C., offers CUA students an incredible range of cultural and professional opportunities, most accessible from the D.C. Metrorail system, which is adjacent to campus. In fact, students at the university have the best of both worlds: they study and live on 180 acres, the largest campus in D.C., where they can enjoy a complete collegiate experience, but they are also located in the heart of the United States capital, a 10-minute Metrorail ride from Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Institution, Supreme Court, Library of Congress and Union Station. In short, students from around the United States and 86 foreign countries find that CUA's academic offerings, Catholic foundation, stunning campus, and extensive off-campus opportunities make it a desirable educational destination.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1887
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $245,342,814


When applying to The Catholic University of America, it's important to note the application deadline is February 15, and the early action deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 15. The application fee at The Catholic University of America is $55. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 63.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 63.2%
Application deadline February 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at The Catholic University of America is 9:1, and the school has 58.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at The Catholic University of America include: Architecture; Political Science and Government, General; Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse; Psychology, General; and Mass Communication/Media Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 81.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 9:1
4-year graduation rate 62%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Architecture 12%
Political Science and Government, General 10%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 9%
Psychology, General 8%
Mass Communication/Media Studies 6%

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Student Life

The Catholic University of America has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,694, with a gender distribution of 45.1 percent male students and 54.9 percent female students. At this school, 59 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 41 percent of students live off campus. The Catholic University of America is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 6,838
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

The Catholic University of America offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, health service, and health insurance. The Catholic University of America also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at The Catholic University of America.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At The Catholic University of America, 60.8 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $19,076.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $38,526 (2013-14)
Room and board $14,326 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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