The National Catholic University

The Catholic University of America is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church and as the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University began offering undergraduate education in 1904.

University Motto: Deus Lux Mea Est. "God is My Light."

Academic Colors: Gold and white

Athletic Colors: Red and black

Accreditation: The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Religious Affiliation: Catholic

Note: Catholic University welcomes people of all religious faiths.

Our Mission

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.


  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Acres: 176
  • Major buildings: 48
  • Library volumes: 1.4 million

Note: The Catholic University of America is the largest college campus in Washington, DC.


  • Undergraduate: 3,241
  • Graduate: 2,835


  • Full-Time: 399
  • Part-Time: 367
  • Full-time, with doctoral or terminal degrees: 94%
  • Full-time who teach undergraduates: 86%


Living alumni: 91,183

Alumni Location

  • Maryland: 22%
  • Virginia: 16%
  • Washington, D.C.: 8%
  • New York: 7%
  • Pennsylvania: 6%
  • New Jersey: 5%

Note: Alumni live in all 50 states and 146 foreign countries.

Geographic Reach


  • South Atlantic: 11.3%
  • South Central: 3.2%
  • Middle Atlantic: 61.9%
  • New England: 14.6%
  • North Central: 3%
  • Pacific and Mountain: 4%


  • Global students: 4.8%
  • Foreign countries represented: 39


NCAA Conference Memberships

  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III’s Landmark Conference in 20 varsity intercollegiate teams.
  • The New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) for football.

Women’s Varsity Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field (indoor)
  • Track and Field (outdoor)
  • Volleyball

Men's Varsity Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field (indoor)
  • Track and Field (outdoor)
(Catholic University is set to add four varsity sports for the 2018-19 season: men's and women's golf, and men's and women's rowing.)

Financial Assistance

(2015–2016 data)

  • Full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates receiving some form of financial aid: 90%
  • Institutional aid awarded: more than $50 million in institutional grants and scholarships
  • Federal and state grant funds: more than $2 million
  • McMahon Hall

    History of Catholic University

    The history of The Catholic University of America begins with a letter from Pope Leo XIII dated April 10, 1887.

    Learn More