The Catholic University of America

Fact Book

School Profiles

Architecture and Planning

Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Master of Architectural Studies, Master of Architecture, Master of City and Regional Planning, Master of Science in Facilities Management, Master of Science in Sustainable Design

Joint Degrees
Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning, Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Facilities Management, Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Sustainable Design, Master of Architecture with a concentration in Real Estate Development and Master of Science in Business Analysis

Randall Ott, AIA, M.Arch.

The School of Architecture and Planning has the largest architecture program in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Students design in an exciting studio environment on campus and take advantage of several foreign study experiences, including education abroad programs in Rome and Paris, as well as several summer study/travel opportunities.

The Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a preprofessional degree, is awarded after four years of study. Students enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences may pursue a minor in architecture studies to augment their liberal arts education. A two-year first professional Master of Architecture is offered for students with preprofessional degrees in architecture such as the bachelor’s degree in architecture offered by CUA. College graduates with degrees in fields other than architecture can earn a Master of Architecture professional degree with three years of study. A one-year Master of Architectural Studies postprofessional degree is also available.

Graduate architecture program concentrations include cultural studies/sacred space, emerging technologies and media, real estate development, and urban practice. Additional degrees are available in sustainable design, facilities management, and city and regional planning, which students may pursue jointly with the accredited degree in architecture. The planning program is the only one in the District of Columbia; the sustainability program is one of only six available in U.S. architecture schools. Both programs are geared toward the working professional, as is the existing real estate development track in the Master of Architecture program.

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Arts and Sciences

Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Science, Master of Science in Library and Information Science, Master of Science in Information Technology (with a concentration in Health Information Technology), Doctor of Philosophy

Anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, drama, education, English language and literature, Greek and Latin, history, library and information science, mathematics, media studies, modern languages and literatures, physics, politics, psychology, Semitic and Egyptian languages and literatures, and sociology

Acting Dean
Claudia Bornholdt, Ph.D.

Undergraduate programs in the School of Arts and Sciences emphasize liberal arts education with opportunities to pursue degrees in approximately 50 majors. In addition to a variety of subjects offered in the school’s 18 departments, concentrations are available in the fields of music, philosophy, theology and religious studies, and medieval and Byzantine studies. Students also can pursue a variety of minors and certificates including Asian Studies, European Studies, Global Migration Studies, Irish Studies, Islamic World Studies, and Latin American and Latino Studies.

In addition to graduate programs of study within academic departments, interdisciplinary graduate programs are offered in early Christian studies and in medieval and Byzantine studies in cooperation with several other schools in the University, as well as several joint master’s programs offered by arts and sciences departments in cooperation with other schools, including the Columbus School of Law and the School of Engineering.

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Business and Economics

Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Arts

Andrew Abela, Ph.D.

The School of Business and Economics offers seven undergraduate degree programs. Each program explores a particular area of business in depth to enable students to graduate with job-ready abilities. All major programs of study include the business core curriculum paired with Catholic University’s rich liberal arts requirements. The school provides intellectual leadership in business and economics through practical and theoretical education and scholarship, inspired by the Catholic principles of human dignity, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good.

The four graduate degree programs offered through the School of Business and Economics focus on career-oriented skills with an emphasis on respect for the dignity of the human person, and the role of business and economics as forces for good in communities, institutions, and society.

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Canon Law

Degrees Offered
Ecclesiastical academic degrees: Licentiate in Canon Law and Doctor of Canon Law

Civil academic degree: Master in Church Administration

Rev. Robert J. Kaslyn, S.J., S.T.L., J.C.D.

As the only graduate school/ecclesiastical faculty of canon law in the U.S., the School of Canon Law contributes significantly to the Catholic Church in this country and throughout the world by educating scholars for the academic community and practitioners in all areas of canon law. The faculty, well known and highly respected in their fields and frequently called upon for professional consultation, have contributed considerable research into and published commentary on various aspects of Church law. In addition to the curriculum leading to academic degrees, the school offers specialized workshops on tribunal- and chancery-related topics during the academic year and sponsors two important lectures, the McManus Lecture in the fall and the Provost Lecture in the spring. The school edits The Jurist, a widely respected canonical journal published by CUA Press, twice a year.

The student body is composed of priests, deacons, religious, and laity from various countries who intend to serve the Church as canonists and trained professionals. Uniquely here, requirements for the licentiate degree may be completed in six semesters, in one of three ways: three academic years, two academic years and two summers, or a five-summer program with online courses. Studies for the doctorate require one additional year of coursework and residency as well as the writing and successful defense of a doctoral dissertation.

In addition to the ecclesiastical degrees, the school now offers the Master in Church Administration degree, a one-year residential program providing graduate education for curial and parochial officials engaged in a wide variety of ministries other than those requiring an ecclesiastical degree.

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Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy

Biomedical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, mechanical engineering, engineering management, materials science and engineering

Charles C. Nguyen, D.Sc.

Founded in 1896, the engineering program was established as the School of Engineering in 1930. The school offers research based education summarized in one of its guiding principles: “cutting-edge research driving superb education.”

Special offerings include an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program, a pre-med track in biomedical engineering, alternative energy and computer engineering concentrations in electrical engineering and computer science, a dual-degree program leading to degrees in architecture and civil engineering, construction and environmental engineering concentrations in civil engineering, and mechatronics/robotics and energy/environment concentrations in mechanical engineering. Eligible engineering students may also pursue a minor in computer science. The engineering programs and computer science program are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission and the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, respectively.

Because on-the-job experience is an important part of an engineering education, the school encourages all students to seek internships during the summer months; it requires them for students pursuing the construction engineering concentration.

An education abroad program with Hong Kong Polytechnic University is available to eligible students in their junior year.

Advanced professional education at the master’s level, including an interdepartmental program in engineering management and a master’s degree in materials science in collaboration with the School of Arts and Sciences, and a broad range of doctoral research opportunities, are also available. Off-campus graduate programs have been established with select organizations and institutions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

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Degrees Offered
Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Legal Studies

Daniel F. Attridge, J.D.

Since 1897, the Columbus School of Law has guided students and transformed them into some of the very best legal practitioners in America.

The school offers students a superb location and state-of-the-art facility just minutes from the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, and federal agencies. It is a community of collegial students, a supportive faculty, and well-connected alumni who stand ready to help today’s graduates achieve their goals. The law school is founded upon and deeply cherishes the Catholic intellectual tradition. Yet it is remarkably diverse, welcoming students and faculty members of every faith.

The CUA Law experience is practical, focused, and connected. Students master essential practical skills via fellowships, externships, and hands-on clinical training. They can elect to focus on career goals by selecting among four specialized certificate programs, six areas of concentration, or a wide array of elective courses to design an academic plan that is tailored to their educational and professional objectives. The 10-to-1 faculty-student ratio encourages connection for every student — with professors who take a personal interest in their students and students who treat each other like family. The active alumni network continues that connection beyond graduation.

The school’s full-time and part-time faculty members are professors, scholars, researchers, and practitioners of the first order.

Renowned for its work in clinical legal education and advanced skills training, the law school is equally acknowledged by the bench and bar for innovative programs in communications law, comparative and international law, securities regulation, and law and public policy. The law school’s location in the nation’s capital offers students access to hundreds of fulfilling externships in both public and private settings while enrolled in a full-time course of studies. The school’s cocurricular activities, such as law journals and moot court, are nationally recognized, award-winning components of the legal education program. The Columbus School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association.

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Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Music: Composition, General-Choral Music Education, Instrumental Music Education, Combined General-Choral and Instrumental Music Education, Musical Theatre, Orchestral Instruments, Orchestral Instruments and Instrumental Music Education (double major), Organ, Piano, Collaborative Piano, Piano Pedagogy, Voice

Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Arts in Music with emphasis in Performance, Bachelor of Arts in Music with emphasis in Music History and Literature

Master of Arts: Musicology, Musicology and Music Librarianship (joint-degree program)

Master of Music: Composition (emphasis in concert music or stage music); Orchestral Conducting; Pedagogy: Piano, Vocal; Performance: Chamber Music (piano), Orchestral Instruments, Piano, Vocal Accompanying, Voice

Master of Music in Sacred Music

Doctor of Musical Arts: Composition; Orchestral Conducting; Pedagogy: Piano, Vocal; Performance: Chamber Music (piano), Orchestral Instruments, Piano, Vocal Accompanying, Voice

Doctor of Musical Arts in Sacred Music

Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology
Graduate Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting, Piano, Strings (cello and violin), and Voice

Grayson Wagstaff, Ph.D.

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music provides a liberal arts education for undergraduates and fine professional training for all its students. It offers high-quality instruction to assist in the preparation of creative artists and teachers who will become leaders in the world community. The school is Washington, D.C.’s only university school of music.

Approximately 35 degree programs are offered. Students study with an impressive faculty of artists and scholars and participate in master classes offered by some of the world’s most respected performers. More than 2,000 music alumni have won a variety of awards and maintain high professional visibility as performers, music educators, composers, liturgical musicians, and scholars. Performance and scholarship receive equal attention to benefit students from the United States and abroad. The school houses the Latin American Center for Graduate Studies in Music and the International Center for Ward Method Studies. The Institute of Sacred Music integrates the comprehensive study of music with the worlds of liturgical, theological, classical, and humanistic studies.

The school remains the preeminent Catholic center for music study in the country and is recognized for perpetuating the Church’s historical role in uplifting the human spirit through the study and performance of music.

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Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Patricia McMullen, Ph.D., J.D., CRNP, FAANP

The School of Nursing is ranked among the best nursing programs in the nation and is distinguished for preparing graduates for clinical practice, leadership in a changing health care environment, and lifelong learning and service. The school is known for its commitment to the advancement of nursing science and practice through its clinically oriented research initiatives, its innovative educational initiatives focusing on advancing the care of vulnerable populations, and its highly successful pipeline projects to increase nursing diversity. The faculty, students, and staff benefit from involvement with the larger academic community, through which students gain knowledge in the areas of bioethics, philosophy, and the impact of religious thought upon professional practice.


Partnerships with various schools in the University on research and international education reflect the nursing school’s focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and outcomes. Students are given the opportunity to be part of the metropolitan Washington, D.C., community through targeted clinical learning opportunities; exposure to government, public, and health policy advocacy and development; international activities; and special events. More than 130 clinical agencies in the metropolitan area and abroad are used for learning, providing students with a diverse exposure to nursing, multicultural health care practices, and state-of-the-art research. Recently, the school has expanded its reach by offering M.S.N. (family nurse practitioner concentration), D.N.P., and Ph.D. programs online to students in selected states throughout the nation.

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Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Licentiate of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy; a dual-degree program with the Columbus School of Law leads to the M.A.-J.D; Certificate in Pre-Theology Studies

John McCarthy, Ph.D.

The School of Philosophy was formally inaugurated in 1895. Its Ph.D. program has the distinction of being one of the oldest in the country. Since its founding, the school has approved dissertations on every major figure in the history of philosophy and on issues confronted in every major philosophical discipline for a total of 432 dissertations accepted through mid-2014.


The school is known for its work in classical and medieval philosophy, for its contributions to the study of 19th-century German philosophy, and for its advancement of the phenomenological movement.

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Professional Studies

Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Management, Master of Arts in Human Resource Management, Master of Science in Management

Sara Thompson, Ph.D.

The Metropolitan School of Professional Studies offers adult students opportunities to complete professional development and degree programs while continuing employment. Students benefit from the career-oriented academic tracks offered in a convenient evening and/or online format. Programs are offered in such areas as business management, human resource management, information technology, leadership, federal acquisitions and contract management, and social sciences. In addition to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the school offers certificate programs and corporate training for business and professional groups.

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Social Service

Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work, Doctor of Philosophy, joint-degree program with the Columbus School of Law in social work and law

Will C. Rainford, Ph.D.

Derived from the mission of The Catholic University of America and of the social work profession, the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) educates students from diverse faiths and cultures who in their professional endeavors will embody the values of social justice, service, and scholarship. The school emphasizes the empowerment of vulnerable, oppressed, and impoverished people and communities within the context of the justice and charity foundation of Catholic social teaching.

With master’s and baccalaureate programs fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and a legacy in doctoral social work education since 1936, the school is recognized for graduates who provide leadership and service in public, private, and corporate social service delivery and educational systems. Some graduates provide direct services in social service agencies such as Catholic Charities, other nonprofit settings, and private and corporate systems. Others serve as managers and social policy practitioners in private and governmental systems or as professional educators.

NCSSS has established the Consortium for Catholic Social Teaching, with three research centers that facilitate faculty members’ research studies, which are empirically based and relevant to real-world social work practice and policy, in areas pertinent to the profession and the school. The centers are in the areas of aging, children and families, and health and mental health. They assist faculty and doctoral students in achieving their professional and scientific development through professional publications, presentations at professional meetings, and other scholarly pursuits.

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Theology and Religious Studies

Degrees Offered
Civil degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy

Ecclesiastical degrees: Licentiate, Doctor of Sacred Theology

Pastoral degrees: Master of Divinity, Master of Divinity in Hispanic Ministry, Master of Catechesis, Doctor of Ministry
Courses in the bachelor’s degree for majors in theology and religious studies in the School of Arts and Sciences

Joint master’s degree: Master of Arts/Master of Science in Library and Information Science, with the Department of Library and Information Science

An undergraduate certificate is offered in Pastoral Ministry. A graduate certificate is offered in Christian-Muslim Relations.

Graduate Program Areas of Specialization
Biblical Studies; Catechetics; Church History; Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology; Moral Theology/Ethics; Pastoral and Ministerial Studies; Religion and Culture; Spirituality; and Systematic and Historical Theology

Monsignor Paul McPartlan, D.Phil.

From its founding in 1887, the School of Theology and Religious Studies has been one of three ecclesiastical schools in the University. It promotes international excellence in research, teaching, and publication. The school is particularly well known for educating scholars for the academic community and for its professional training of lay and clerical leaders who serve the Catholic Church throughout the United States and the world. Starting in 2014, the School of Theology and Religious Studies is the only place in the nation where university undergraduates are matriculated into a pontifical school and taught by an ecclesiastical faculty. The school welcomes to its student body lay men and women; seminarians and candidates for ministry; priests and members of religious congregations, both male and female; and Catholics and those from other religious traditions, both Christian and non-Christian. The summer school program includes undergraduate offerings and graduate study in biblical languages and the Doctor of Ministry degree.

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Theological College

Rev. Philip J. Brown, S.S., J.D., J.C.D.

Theological College is the national seminary of The Catholic University of America, sponsored and administered by the U.S. Province of the Society of St. Sulpice, an association of Catholic priests dedicated to the formation of seminarians for diocesan priesthood. Theological College offers a holistic program of formation that addresses the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions of each seminarian’s formation. Theological College itself does not offer academic courses but, rather, collaborates with the School of Theology and Religious Studies and the School of Philosophy in the seminarians’ intellectual formation in language, philosophy, theology, and liberal arts, grounding them in Catholic tradition.

Pre-theologians may enroll in an integrated certificate program in accord with the norms of the Program of Priestly Formation (fifth edition) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Seminarians enrolled in the School of Theology and Religious Studies receive a Bachelor of Sacred Theology, Master of Arts, or Master of Divinity degree, and may fulfill dual theology degree requirements. Seminarians at Theological College also benefit from more than 250 elective courses offered by Catholic University and eight independent schools of theology in the Washington Theological Consortium. Theological College certifies, through its formation program and evaluation processes, that seminarians have fulfilled the Church’s ordination requirements.

Theological College is also responsible for implementation of the Theodore B. Basselin Scholarship Program, a three-year honors program in philosophy, during the junior and senior years of undergraduate study and one year of graduate work, leading to Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. Basselin scholars can also study for ecclesiastical bachelor and licentiate of philosophy degrees.

Dual degrees that Theological College seminarians may obtain are the Pontifical Sacred Theology Baccalaureate, a first-level graduate ecclesiastical degree, and the Master of Divinity degree, a civil professional degree recognized in the U.S. and Canada by the Association of Theological Schools. The dual-degree program accentuates the required professional and academic competencies.

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