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The Catholic University of America

Washington, D.C.
www.cua.edu

Overview
With the support of Pope Leo XIII, the U.S.
Catholic bishops founded The Catholic Uni-
versity of America as a national graduate
institution in Washington, D.C., in 1887. The
university focused primarily on teaching the-
ology and philosophy to religious and lay-
people.
Later CUA added a number of graduate
and professional schools, including the Co-
lumbus School of Law in 1897 and the Nation-
al Catholic School of Social Service in 1918. It
also expanded into undergraduate education.
quick facts
Although five U.S. seminaries are iden-
tified as pontifical universities, The Catholic Founded: 1887
University of America is the only institution Type of institution: Medium-size university
primarily for lay students with that designa- Setting: Urban
Undergraduate enrollment: 3,469 (2008–09
tion. It is so identified because it offers ecclesi-
academic year)
astical degrees, such as canon law, which are
Total average cost: $37,636 (tuition, room and
recognized worldwide within the Church. As
board for 2009–10)
a result, many priests from throughout the Total undergraduate majors: 72
country as well as lay people have studied at
the university. Five Key Points
Today, CUA joins with the Basilica of the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Concep- 1. The national Catholic university with
tion, which is built on the CUA campus, in ties to the Vatican and U.S. bishops.
forming the nucleus of a sprawling Catholic 2. The current president has
enclave of seminaries and other religious in- strengthened its Catholic identity.
stitutions in the Brookland section of North- 3. A strong and active campus ministry.
east Washington, D.C. It is also near the seat of 4. Several notably strong Catholic-
U.S. secular authority; the 193-acre university oriented departments, including
is about 10 minutes north of the U.S. Capitol. philosophy.
Because of its unique heritage and its lo- 5. Developing leadership in campus
cation in the nation’s capital, the university speaker policies and student programs
hosted Pope Benedict XVI when he spoke to in accord with Catholic identity.
U.S. Catholic college presidents and diocesan

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educators in April 2008. That important ap-
pearance drew widespread public attention From the
to laudable improvements at CUA under cur-
Financial Aid Office
rent president Very Rev. David O’Connell,
C.M., and was perhaps a major reason for the
“The Catholic University of America of-
university’s largest freshman class in history
fers several forms of financial assistance
in the fall of 2008. Pope John Paul II also vis-
to qualifying students. Our focus is help-
ited CUA in 1979, when the university was
ing as many eligible students as possible
struggling with its Catholic identity along
achieve their goal of obtaining a high-
with most of Catholic higher education in
quality academic and values-based edu-
America.
cation.
Sixty-three percent of CUA’s students
come from the Mid-Atlantic region, but the “Eight out of every 10 full-time students
remainder hail from every other state and 97 at Catholic University receive some level
other countries. More than one-third of the of financial aid, based on both need and
alumni settle in the area after graduation. Of academic potential.
the 3,469 undergraduates in 2008-09, 88 per-
cent were Catholic. CUA offers university, state and federal
CUA offers 82 majors for undergraduate need-based grants, low-interest loans,
students in eight of its 12 schools. Most of the and work-study opportunities to students
majors are fairly typical, but there also are based on their eligibility as determined
some innovative ones, such as environmental by the Free Application for Federal Stu-
chemistry and international economics and dent Aid (FAFSA).
finance. There are interdisciplinary programs
“The Catholic University of America pro-
such as Islamic World Studies, Peace and
vides a range of scholarships, including an
Justice Studies and Medieval and Byzantine
Alumni Grant and a Parish Scholarship,
Studies.
which recognize and reward students for
This is a full university and one that is
outstanding academic performance in
significantly larger than most of the institu-
high school as well as exceptional lead-
tions in this Guide, which means a larger price
ership and service in school, church and
tag. But CUA tuition rates have remained
community. Students keep these scholar-
only somewhat higher than the average tu-
ships for all four years.
ition at private institutions in the District of
Columbia. Tuition, room and board cost an “The university participates in the Tu-
average $37,636 in 2009-10. About 80 percent ition Exchange Program. Our Office of
of CUA students receive financial aid, includ- Financial Aid maintains a “counselor on
ing federal grants and loans. call” initiative to help students and par-
ents make practical decisions for financ-
Governance ing their education.

“For more information, visit our Web site
The governance of the university is placed in at http://financialaid.cua.edu, call toll free
the hands of a 50-member board of trustees, at 888-635-7788 or e-mail at cua-finaid@
48 of whom are elected and two—the chancel- cua.edu.”
lor (the archbishop of Washington, D.C.) and
the president—are members by virtue of their

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position. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport is sity for many years.”
the current chairman. One of the key events in CUA’s history
The elected board members are equally was the controversial dismissal of theologian
divided between clerics and lay people. U.S. Father Charles Curran, a Catholic priest who
archbishops and bishops must constitute at dissented on Catholic moral teachings, in-
least 18 members. All five U.S. cardinals cur- cluding those of Humanae Vitae. He was re-
rently heading archdioceses are members. lieved of his position in 1986 by the Vatican’s
The Catholic hierarchy supports the uni- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
versity in various ways, including an annual which was led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
nationwide parish collection taken for the (now Pope Benedict XVI).
university on one Sunday every September. Afterward CUA improved slowly un-
The annual American Cardinals Dinner has der rather lax leadership, but significant
raised $23 million since 1989. change came with the appointment of Father
The chief executive officer is Vincentian O’Connell. One faculty member in the busi-
Father O’Connell, who was named the uni- ness and economics department told us, “CUA
versity’s 14th president in 1998 at the age of has come a long way in terms of strengthen-
42. He is a firm supporter of Ex corde Ecclesiae ing its Catholic identity in the last 20 years,
and a Consultor to especially the last
the Vatican Congre- five to 10 years un-
gation for Catholic der [President]
Education. Prior to O’Connell. There is a
coming to CUA, Fa- strong Catholic mis-
ther O’Connell was sion and identity.”
associate vice presi- In that same 2006
dent and academic magazine interview,
dean at St. John’s Father O’Connell
University in New said, “I felt that in or-
York and interim der for the university
academic vice presi- to succeed, it needed
dent at Niagara Uni- to reclaim its cred-
versity. He earned ibility, it needed to
his doctorate in can- be the place where
on law at CUA. the Church did its
thinking. It needed to be the place where both
students and the general public at large, espe-
Public Identity cially the Catholic faithful, could turn to ask
questions, to seek an understanding of what
“Catholic University, for many years, begin-
the Church teaches and why, and to find sup-
ning in the late 1960s, had developed the
port for and not opposition to the Church and
reputation of being the home of dissent in
its teaching.”
the Catholic Church,” acknowledged Father
In 2008, looking back on his 10 years at
O’Connell in an interview with the univer-
the helm, he said, “I think [there] has been a
sity’s alumni magazine in 2006. “With all
greater recognition of the importance of the
due regard for legitimate academic freedom,
spiritual—a more widespread recognition of
which I certainly support, the institution lost
the role that commitment to faith and Catho-
a bit of its credibility as the Church’s univer-

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lic identity play in our life as a university.” To and Planned Parenthood advocate. Father
put it simply, a decade ago CUA would not O’Connell halted the invitation.
have been considered for The Newman Guide, A few weeks later, Father O’Connell sent
but today we recommend it with few qualifi- a statement to the university’s academic lead-
cations. ership in which he wrote, “I cannot approve
Ways in which the university’s Catholic pro-abortion/pro-choice speakers on campus.
identity has been enhanced include an em- This is not part of any vast right-wing con-
phasis on strengthening the campus minis- spiracy or an assault on academic freedom. It
try—which by all accounts has been effective is simply what we are, as a Catholic institu-
with a new Franciscan influence—and by hir- tion, obliged to follow as an expression of our
ing professors and staff members who reflect Catholic identity and mission.”
Catholic identity. Although there have been some sub-
One professor sequent disputes
added, “I think a over speakers, the
good barometer for vast majority are
judging such things fully consistent
[Catholic identity] with Church teach-
is vocations—how ings. The 2007 com-
many graduates em- mencement speak-
brace vocations to the ers were then-White
priesthood, religious House press secre-
life, missions, etc. tary Tony Snow, a
There has been a huge convert to Catholi-
improvement in this cism, and former
area in the last 12 to 13 U.S. ambassador
years in particular. At to the Vatican Jim
every graduation they Nicholson. Knights
announce the names of Columbus Grand
of graduating students who are moving on to Knight Carl Anderson and his wife, Dorian
the priesthood or religious life.” were the May 2008 commencement speakers.
In other areas, too, Father O’Connell has The speaker policy was strengthened in
exerted leadership. Students from the drama September 2008 in advance of the presidential
department had proposed a performance of election. The university prohibited the ap-
the vile play The Vagina Monologues but were pearance of political candidates between then
told by Father O’Connell that the university and November, and also public officials who
would not sponsor it and that the Monologues are at variance with Catholic Church teach-
were inappropriate for a Catholic institution. ing. Three months later, the Student Associa-
There also has been much discussion tion General Assembly approved a non-bind-
about hosting Catholic speakers who are at ing “Student Bill of Rights,” which objected to
variance with Catholic teachings. Perhaps the university’s speaker policy, among other
the most controversial example took place in things. The university did not respond.
2004 when the Media Studies Department co- A revised university mission statement
sponsored a film festival to which it planned approved in 2006 reads in part: “As the na-
to invite—and honor with a reception—ac- tional university of the Catholic Church in
tor and writer Stanley Tucci, a pro-abortion the United States, founded and sponsored by

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the bishops of the country and with the ap- tion rates; it estimates that about 30 percent of
proval of the Holy See, The Catholic Univer- freshmen leave before their junior year.
sity of America is committed to being a com- A new effort to enhance undergradu-
prehensive Catholic and American institution ate education, launched by Provost James
of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Brennan, includes a freshman “First Year
Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church.” Experience.” Intended to lay a strong foun-
This is clearly a different Catholic University dation for the college program, the First Year
from a generation ago. Experience will create learning communi-
ties integrating five courses during the first
year: Rhetoric and Composition; The Classi-
Academics cal Mind; The Modern Mind; Classical and
Christian Traditions in the Humanities; and
Father O’Connell has indicated that the uni-
Theological Foundations.
versity is now more oriented to an under-
Graduation requirements vary according
graduate focus than it was when he arrived in
to the school to which the student is admitted.
1998. But one ongoing concern that CUA has
The School of Arts and Sciences follows a lib-
with the undergraduate program is low reten-

Message from the President

Dear Parents and Prospective Students:

The Catholic University of America is the flagship Catholic univer-
sity in our nation—the only higher education institution sponsored by
the bishops of the United States, and the only one honored to have been
visited by two popes (John Paul II and Benedict XVI).

As a university that offers more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, we
provide to our students faculty who are not only experts in their academic fields but also are
dedicated to integrating faith with reason.

Students who want to go to a university that is unapologetically Catholic, with a vibrant
Catholic ministry program, and do so in one of the most interesting and important cities in the
world, will not find a better place to go than Catholic University.

Students at CUA have the best of both worlds — they study and live on a large, beautiful,
tree-lined campus with a close-knit community, while being steps away from the Metrorail sys-
tem that takes them to Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian museums in 15 minutes.

Yours in Christ,

Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M.

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eral arts curriculum, which includes a major. in religion departments or divinity schools of
In addition to the major, approximately two- secular institutions. Religious studies courses
thirds of the course work required for the BA include those on world religions and com-
degree is distributed among disciplines in the parative religions, and we are told that some
liberal arts (language, literature, humanities, are taught by professors who do not support
social sciences, mathematics and natural sci- Catholic teachings.
ences) as well as four courses in philosophy Fortunately, the School of Philosophy is
and four courses in theology. excellent. It is a full school and not merely a
For students who qualify, there is an department as in many universities. One phi-
honors program, which includes a core cur- losophy professor said, “We’re all seriously
riculum organized into a number of four- committed to the Catholic academic mission
course sequences: An Aristotelian Studium; of the School, to the compatible relationship
The Christian Tradition; Critical Exploration between faith and reason, and to the role of
of Social Reality; The Environment, Energy philosophy in supporting and enhancing the
and Policy; Media, Technology, and Culture; discipline of theology.”
and Tradition and Renewal in Contemporary The theology and philosophy depart-
Catholicism. Those successfully completing ments are helped by the presence of the CUA
one or more sequences are honored at gradu- University Press, which publishes nearly three
ation. dozen titles per year. In ad-
We have been told that dition, a variety of maga-
all the theology faculty mem- zines and scholarly jour-
bers have the canonical mis- nals, such as The Catholic
sion which is required for ec- Historical Review, Catholic
clesiastical faculty members Biblical Quarterly and Old
in place of the mandatum, Testament Abstracts, are
and that the school is very based at the university.
good. According to a profes- Another good de-
sor who has closely observed partment is business and
the theology department, “I economics, which tries to
should emphasize that the incorporate Catholic social
tide has changed—big time! teaching as much as pos-
We’ve acquired great new, sible, according to one fac-
younger faculty and the ulty member, who added,
‘bad apples’ are really dy- “Naturally, this connection
ing away.” Some of the ten- to Catholic social doctrine
ured theology professors she varies from class to class
praised as “exceptional” are and depends primarily on
Dr. Joseph Capizzi and Dr. the individual professor.”
John Grabowski, who teach Among those strongly rec-
social ethics and moral theol- ommended are two recent
ogy. hires, Dr. Andrew Abela in
Whereas the theology marketing and Dr. Martha
courses (and faculty) are faithful to the Mag- Cruz-Zuniga in economics.
isterium, the religious studies courses are said In other departments, we have heard
to have content similar to the courses taught very good things about Dr. J. Steven Brown,

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chair of the mechanical engineering depart- views that require prudence when pursuing
ment and a long-time advocate of increasing courses there. These include anthropology,
the university’s modern languages,
Catholic identity, history and The
and Dr. Michael National School of
Mack, who teach- Social Service. For
es Shakespeare example, a history
and English Re- professor, Leslie
naissance poetry Tentler, has been a
in the English de- public critic of Hu-
partment. manae Vitae.
Assistant Students have
Dean Alyce Ann abundant opportu-
Bergkamp of the nities for programs
School of Arts and such as interna-
Sciences works tional enrichment,
with undergradu- including being
ates and has been able to choose from
cited as being more than 20 edu-
sensitive to their spiritual well-being. Father cation abroad programs, developed by CUA’s
Paul Sullins, a professor of sociology, held a Center for Global Education. Program loca-
Summer Institute on Catholic Social Thought tions include Spain, Ireland, Australia, China,
for Catholic college faculty, an initiative of the and CUA’s premiere program in Rome.
Society of Catholic Social Scientists and The Education abroad opportunities range
Cardinal Newman Society’s Center for the from direct enrollment to language intensive
Study of Catholic Higher Education, in June to international internship programs. Stu-
2009. dents may participate during the semester,
CUA has many departments and majors academic year or summer terms.
in its 12 schools; most have extensive gradu-
ate programs. The school of nursing is well
regarded as a professional school and gener-
Spiritual Life
ally consistent with its Catholic identity. The
CUA’s campus ministry, under the leader-
English department and the architecture,
ship of the Conventual Franciscan Friars, of-
engineering and music schools receive high
fers many opportunities for the sacraments
marks.
and spiritual development. Daily Masses are
There also are a number of institutes and
offered at St. Paul’s Chapel in Caldwell Hall
centers. The Life Cycle Institute, which stud-
as well as at the Mary, Mirror of Justice Cha-
ies various social issues through the prism of
pel in the law school. There are two Masses
Catholic social thought, ranges the ideologi-
on Sunday at St. Vincent’s, including a very
cal spectrum. Recently, it was expanded to 37
popular one with “lively” music—guitar, vio-
fellows to help create what its director calls
lin and flute—at 9 p.m., which draws an over-
a “Catholic think-tank.” Among other special
flowing crowd of about 300; the chapel only
units is a new Center for Global Education.
seats 225.
As with any large university, several
Also popular among students is the 4
departments have surfaced in our inter-
p.m. Sunday Mass in the Crypt Church of the

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neighboring Basilica of the National Shrine offered more frequently during Advent and
of the Immaculate Conception. There are six Lent. There also is an online “Prayernet” site.
daily Masses and seven Sunday Masses at this There are class-based and student-run
magnificent structure, which is the nation’s retreats. The freshman retreat is the most
largest Catholic church. There are opportuni- popular—we understand that students need
ties, too, for confessions, participating in pil- to be turned away because the retreat site that
grimages and other activities at the Basilica. is currently in use at the Melwood Retreat
The university holds four special Mass- Center in Nanjemoy, Maryland, can only ac-
es during the academic year at the Basilica. commodate 200 people. The university erects
These are the Freshman Orientation Mass, a big tent, and male students sleep outside so
the Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Mass in Hon- more students can attend. As a result of its
or of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Baccalaure- success, a larger retreat site is being sought.
ate Mass. The University Commemoration of Another retreat opportunity is the “Go-
the Faithful Departed is held on campus at St. ing Deeper” retreat series, in which a priest is
Paul’s Chapel on No- invited in to lead the
vember 2. participants. There
Because of the also are retreats for
concentration of Cath- some of the small
olic religious houses faith-based groups
and seminaries sur- such as those in
rounding CUA, there the music ministry,
is a large number of men’s group and
additional opportu- women’s group.
nities for worship. In the 2006–07
Among these are St. academic year, a
Anselm’s Abbey, the campus RENEW
Dominican House of program was added
Study, Capuchin Col- and has been judged
lege, the Franciscan to be very success-
Monastery, the Poor ful. In the fall 2008
Clares Sisters and the Discalced Carmelite semester, 258 students met weekly in 29 small
Friars communities. groups to grow in faith and community.
Back on the university campus, there Campus ministry coordinates all com-
are weekly established and informal oppor- munity service for the university. Anyone
tunities for confession. One faculty member who wishes to volunteer in a community ser-
said, “I’ve noticed since the arrival of the new vice outreach is welcome, regardless of faith
Franciscan priests heading campus ministry, practice, but the campus ministry emphasiz-
there are priests and brothers visiting dorm es that service is an outgrowth of faith. Also,
rooms to bless them and, especially, to hear we understand that there is generally a strong
confessions.” Catholic outreach to students of other faiths.
Eucharistic adoration is promoted on Among many such outreach opportuni-
campus. The Wednesday night Praise and ties are tutoring with the Academy of Hope
Worship Adoration is reported to be overflow- and Little Lights Urban Ministries, mentoring
ing. On Thursday evening, there is Solemn with Project Ujima, helping with children at
Adoration with singing in Latin. Adoration is St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home and as-

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sisting with the So Others May Eat (SOME) Christi and, for the law school, the Pope John
food program for needy and homeless people. Paul II Guild of Catholic Lawyers.
There also is an active pro-life group. The pro-life group is very active. They
As with several other Catholic universi- have been expanding their work beyond
ties, particularly the larger ones, the Catholic abortion and addressing lifestyle issues and
University campus ministry sponsors foreign chastity as part of their mission. They also
mission trips during spring break and the sponsor Theology of the Body student/read-
summer. First initiated in 2001, students have ing groups.
gone to Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama and Be- Students are very engaged in the activi-
lize, and also have worked with Habitat for ties surrounding the March for Life. They pro-
Humanity at Kauai, Hawaii. In the summer vide extensive hospitality in housing out-of-
of 2008, nearly 50 students went on mission town marchers and pro-lifers at the campus’
trips to Jamaica, Honduras, Belize and Tan- DuFour Center and at the adjacent Basilica.
zania. The university recently launched a chap-
One faculty member said, “In the almost ter of Catholic Athletes for Christ, the orga-
three decades that nization’s first college
I’ve been here, the chapter.
Franciscans who Among the lit-
run campus minis- erary publications is
try are the best I’ve The Tower, a student-
seen. Everything run weekly newspa-
they’re doing is per, which has both
going in the right print and online edi-
direction. There’s tions, and the CRUX
really a lot of work literary magazine, es-
for them to do and tablished four years
it’s tough. I have no ago. Both have occa-
reason to think they sionally been critics
could be doing a of Father O’Connell’s
better job.” efforts to strengthen
There is quan- CUA’s Catholic iden-
titative evidence for recent success promoting tity. WCUA radio station broadcasts music
the spiritual life on campus: 110 former CUA over the Internet.
students have entered religious life over the No abortion or homosexual rights groups
past decade. exist. In the past, two groups stirred some
controversy: the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Student Activities chapter—because of the parent organization’s
support for abortion—and the Muslim Law
Reflecting the scope of a larger university,
Students Association.
CUA offers many student activities. At latest
The NAACP issue goes back to 2004 when
count, there are 116 student organizations,
the national organization adopted a position
which cover a wide range of professional, so-
that supported a woman’s option to choose an
cial, community service and advocacy areas.
abortion. The then-president of the NAACP,
Among those organizations that are Catholic-
Kweisi Mfume, visited the university shortly
oriented are the Knights of Columbus, Pax

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The Catholic University of America

thereafter and criticized it for originally seek- company students have gone on to careers in
ing to ban the chapter. Father O’Connell met opera.
with Mfume and extracted a promise from Students from the Rome School also were
him that the CUA chapter would not be re- scheduled to perform “Defiant Requiem—
quired to support Verdi at Terezin” at
abortion or anything the Terezin concen-
else contrary to the tration camp near
university’s Catholic Prague, the Czech
mission. Subsequent- Republic, in June
ly, a chapter was es- 2009. The unique
tablished. concert and drama,
The univer- composed by Dean
sity presents a large Murry Sidlin, was
number of social and previously per-
cultural events and formed at the camp
speakers on many in 2006.
different topics. The The Hartke
current administra- T h e a t r e —n a m e d
tion has been good in for the long-time
ensuring that these head of the drama
programs do not conflict with Catholic teach- department, Father Gilbert Hartke, O.P.—has
ings. featured five or six performances annually
Many organizations meet and events over the past 15 years. In the 2008-2009 sea-
are held at the Edward J. Pryzbyla Univer- son, four of the five performances were writ-
sity Center, a large, six-year-old student cen- ten or directed by graduate students. Father’s
ter, which has restaurants and opportunities Hartke’s memory is also celebrated by the
for social get-togethers. This is the building university-wide Hartke Declamation Contest,
where the Holy Father met with educational established in 2006.
leaders in 2008. In addition to all these organizations and
A special treat for students are the per- cultural opportunities, CUA has a rich array
formances of the nationally recognized dra- of intercollegiate, club and intramural athletic
ma department and The Benjamin T. Rome programs. The CUA Cardinals compete in the
School of Music. One annual musical event is NCAA Division III (no athletic scholarships)
the two-week Catholic University President’s with 21 varsity sports teams. In 2006–07, the
Festival of the Arts, a potpourri of classical men’s basketball team, which had a 23-6 re-
and contemporary works. cord, won the Capital Athletic Conference
The music school sponsors about 200 re- title and went on to the NCAA division tour-
citals a year, and students have given concerts nament.
at the Vatican, Washington’s Kennedy Center The football team plays a 10-game regu-
for the Performing Arts and in a number of lar season schedule and contends in the Old
U.S. cities. The Summer Opera Theatre Com- Dominion Athletic Conference. It had a re-
pany, an independent organization, rents cord-setting year in 2008 when it achieved
space from CUA for its performances; in 2008 nine victories and won the Eastern College
it featured performances of Die Tote Stadt in Athletic Conference Southeast Bowl.
2008, its 30th season. A number of theatre Club sports exist in 12 areas, including

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fencing, ice hockey, ultimate Frisbee and ur- student ministers who focus on first-year stu-
ban dance. Intramural sports are offered in dents.
badminton, basketball, football, racquetball, The university notes on its website that
soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and the residence life program, which coordinates
volleyball. all the residence halls, “is focused on creating
residential living communities that support
the university’s mission, values, and Catholic
Residential Life identity and that promote the retention of stu-
dents at all levels.”
The university is largely a residential cam-
The university has a health clinic located
pus, with more than 2,200 students living in
in the Student Health and Fitness Center. It
20 residence halls and additional modular
is open weekdays for routine services as well
units grouped into five “neighborhoods” or
as physical examinations, and is staffed by a
clusters. Most residences are coed with wom-
physician, nurse practitioner, physician assis-
en and men separated by floors, but there also
tant and a nurse.
are four single-sex residences and the num-
There are a number of urgent care clinics
ber has been increasing. About two-thirds of
in the area, and Providence Hospital is very
undergraduates live on campus.
near campus. Washington, D.C., has a variety
A new “green” residential facility,
of health care facilities, including major re-
Opus Hall, was opened in January 2009. This
search and teaching hospitals at Georgetown
state-of-the-art, 400-student facility was the
University and George Washington Univer-
first new campus building constructed in five
sity.
years. Another residential hall is expected to
be built nearby.
A faculty-in-residence program en- The Community
hances three living and learning communi-
ties, including ones for freshmen and honors Catholic University is located in Northeast
program students. Among other specially- Washington, D.C. The city is divided into
themed arrange- quadrants, and most
ments are those of the downtown
available for stu- and government
dents interested in buildings are locat-
politics. ed in the Northwest
Overnight op- section. The univer-
posite-sex visitation sity’s neighborhood
is not permitted. is known as Brookla-
Chastity is encour- nd, an inner-city res-
aged by official poli- idential area about
cies of the university three miles north
and through campus of the U.S. Capitol
leadership. There are Building.
52 resident assistants Students should
who are responsible beware of crime in
for enforcement. There also is a campus min- the area that surrounds the university. They
istry outreach, largely through a network of need to exercise caution, particularly when
wandering off campus.

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The Catholic University of America

Washington, as befits a national capital, a 10 minute drive from the Catholic Univer-
offers a wide variety of social, cultural and sity campus. The subway system, known as
entertainment opportunities. Most prominent Metro, is extensive throughout the District of
among them are the Kennedy Center for the Columbia and nearby sites in Maryland and
Performing Arts, a large array of museums Virginia; the CUA stop is Brookland, and is
within the Smithsonian system (including adjacent to campus. A number of major high-
the Air and Space Museum and the Museum ways serve the metropolitan area, including
of Natural History) and prominent art muse- Interstates 95 and 66 and U.S. 50.
ums such as the National Gallery of Art and Washington has a generally pleasant cli-
the Corcoran Gallery of Art. mate, with mild winters and rather hot, hu-
Next to the university is the Pope John mid summers. The city generally slows down
Paul II Cultural Center, a wonderful museum in the summer as Congress takes a break and
dedicated to the life of the late pope. It also many government workers take vacations.
features interactive activities, rotating exhib-
its, book signings and other events.
The Washington Redskins team of the
The Bottom Line
National Football League has a loyal follow-
Father O’Connell has noted, “I’ve heard it said
ing among area residents. The Washington
that CUA is a well kept secret, that people are
Nationals baseball team, which relocated to
not aware of all that we have to offer. But that
the city from Montreal in 2005, opened a new
has changed.” Largely due to his leadership,
42,000-seat stadium in April 2008. Among
the university has greatly strengthened its
other professional teams is the Washington
Catholic identity and academic prowess. The
Wizards professional basketball squad.
visit of Pope Benedict XVI also has helped
Because of the city’s role in government,
CUA gain greater national recognition.
there exist opportunities to observe and even
Those who recall Catholic University’s
intern or work in various legislative, execu-
period of disorientation in the 1970s and 1980s
tive and judicial offices. Students also have
need to take a fresh look at the many positive
access to the magnificent Library of Congress,
changes. Located in the nation’s vibrant capi-
the world’s largest library.
tal and adjacent to many Catholic institutions,
Washington is easily accessible from ev-
CUA is now successfully “fighting the tide,” a
erywhere. Ronald Reagan Washington Na-
tide that has engulfed many other universi-
tional Airport is across the river from the city,
ties of comparable size. Across the spectrum,
while the Baltimore Washington Internation-
the university is on the move. In addition to
al and Dulles International airports are about
niche programs, CUA has embraced a well-
45 minutes away. Virtually every major air
rounded Catholic approach to higher educa-
carrier, domestic and foreign, flies into the
tion. Parents and students looking for a solid,
Washington region.
larger urban option will profit from carefully
Amtrak has a broad network that uses
considering the “bishops’ university.”
Union Station, near the Capitol Building, about

112 The Newman Guide