Innovative programs and a beautiful, green campus are just the beginning of Catholic University's national leadership, as reflected in an array of rankings, recognitions, and other honors.

Catholic University is in the Colleges of Distinction, a group of fewer than 400 institutions from across the nation assessed for their strengths in four primary areas of student and family interest:
Quality of teaching
Student engagement
Sense of community
Successful postgraduate outcomes

A deliberately diverse collection of public and private colleges and universities, inclusion on the Colleges of Distinction list is determined by each institution's "commitment to the undergraduate experience." Catholic University is one of only three in the District of Columbia to appear on the list.

The Princeton Review's selection of America's Best 386 Colleges, #8 for Most Engaged in Community Service

CatholicU also continues its longtime presence among The Princeton Review’s selection of America's Best 386 Colleges, based on annual surveys of more than 140,000 students nationwide about their on-campus experience. Catholic University was ranked #8 for Most Engaged in Community Service. In addition to giving the University high marks for “the small class sizes and individualized support from academic advisors,” CatholicU students say they appreciate the “tremendous perks” of living and studying in Washington, D.C., like “great access to internship and job opportunities.”

CatholicU ranks #21 in the nation on Best Green Colleges in the U.S., according to College Consensus.

A focus on sustainability — both in research and the ongoing development of the campus — earns Catholic University a further spot on The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges that are enacting meaningful sustainability-related policies. The online resource College Consensus ranks CatholicU #21 in the nation on its list of the Best Green Colleges in the U.S., thanks to the University’s embrace of renewable energy and sustainability that draws on traditional Catholic values of stewardship for the Earth. The University was honored with a 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. The Tree Campus Higher Education program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. And the University is recognized as a STARS Silver Institution by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. In addtion, CatholicU was included in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2023 Edition. This is the third year in a row that Catholic University has been recognized as a green college by the Princeton Review.

More of the ‘Best’

CatholicU ranked by college guide publisher Niche on lists of:
Best Catholic Colleges in the U.S.
Best Colleges in America
Best Private Universities in America
Best Colleges in Washington, D.C.

The college guide publisher Niche — recently among the 50 fastest-growing companies in America — also ranks CatholicU highly, including it on lists for the 100 Best Catholic Colleges in the U.S., Best Colleges in America, Best Private Universities in America, and Best Colleges in Washington, D.C.

And the University remains the only comprehensive research university recommended by the Newman Guide, which highlights faithfully Catholic colleges. 

The Catholic University of America is ranked #87 for best value by U.S. News and World Report.

The University also ranked No. 87 out of 191 national universities for the best value. U.S. News & World Report also salutes Catholic University (overall rank: #176) elsewhere on its lists for Best Value Colleges, Best Colleges for Veterans, and Top Performers on Social Mobility

In addition to being a Best College for Veterans, the University has been named a Military Friendly® school for the fourth year in a row. For the 2023-2024 Military Friendly® Cycle it was awarded silver level for being a Military Friendly® school. Military Friendly® conducts an annual comprehensive review of college and university investments in serving military and veteran students. The Catholic University of America also was ranked #12 in the mid-Atlantic region by Military Times for their 2021 Best for Vets: Colleges list

For the 2023-2024 cycle, Catholic University was also a “Designated” institution for military spouses by VIQTORY for the first time. The main assessment factors that VIQTORY evaluated the University on were our Military Student Support & Retention, Graduation/ Career outcomes and Financial Aid processes. 

The Conway School of Nursing is ranked #27 on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of the 220 Best Graduate Schools for Nursing. The online master's in nursing program ranked #6 in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report recently boosted the Conway School of Nursing's graduate program to #27 in the country and the online master's in nursing program to #6 in the nation. The undergraduate program in nursing was ranked #43 in the country, placing it in the top six percent of nursing programs in the U.S.

From A to Z

  • Students sitting outside reading philosophy books


    In a recent survey of 123 doctoral programs in philosophy, Catholic University’s PhD program in philosophy was ranked sixth overall, along with being ranked tenth in the job placement category. One of the surveyed students described the program as follows: "Strong historical approach, unusual among Anglophone universities - Excellent and large faculty across all major historical periods and schools - Vibrant intellectual climate, among both faculty and graduate students - The institution has a vibrant Catholic faith, but at the same time is warm and welcoming to students of other religious persuasions." The survey was carried out by Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA), a project which was originally founded with grant money from the American Philosophical Association and which maintains a special focus on job placement.

    Niche also names the School of Philosophy among the nation's Best Colleges for Philosophy in America.

  • Female student with apparatus on her head in a psychology lab


    Catholic University introduced the study of psychology in the United States, and according to U.S. News & World Report, it remains one of the country's Best Psychology Schools.