The Catholic Church takes education seriously. Some of the nation’s oldest and most storied colleges and universities were founded by the Catholic Church. Most of these schools continue to educate their students within the Catholic tradition, providing an education that is both rigorous academically as well as geared toward the twin aims of service to the world and personal growth in faith.
Because the Catholic faith is so rich in culture and history, it is important for those who wish to be surrounded by such a religious tradition to find the right Catholic college or university.
What kind of Catholic College or University degree should you get?
Other than a shared religious foundation, no two schools are alike on this list. You will find schools that range from small liberal arts colleges in rural towns to large, world-renowned research universities.
Make no mistake, Catholic Colleges and Universities are not meant for Catholics alone. An education that focuses on the entire person is a valuable education whether you identify as religious or not. Further, many of American’s top Catholic Colleges and Universities are recognized as premier academic institutions.
How much do people make with a Catholic College or University degree?
Catholic colleges and universities are some of the most respected and prestigious schools in the United States. Getting an acceptance letter to one of these schools means you’ll not only receive an amazing education, but you’ll also have the assurance of financial stability after college. Take, for example, the average salaries for the top three schools on this list:
- University of Notre Dame: $133,800
- Georgetown University: $140,300
- Villanova University: $119,800
Clearly, your financial future looks optimistic any way you slice it. This figure, of course, can vary depending on your specific degree. Suffice it to say, your return on investment for all of the schools on this list make your Catholic education more than worth it.
What can you do with a degree from a Catholic College or University?
What can’t you do with a degree from a Catholic college or university? Choosing a school with a strong religious background often means your curriculum—no matter the degree—will be steeped in both academic rigor and human value. You’ll gain not only textbook smarts, but people skills and the value of community.
The alumni networks at these schools are vast. You’ll reap the benefits of age-old communities that can connect you to internships, jobs, promotions, and more. Earning an undergraduate degree at one of these schools is just the beginning; you’re in for a lifetime of valuable benefits.
What are the best Catholic College or University degrees?
For those looking for the right Catholic education, we have compiled the College Choice ranking of the 75 Best Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States. In compiling our list we used criteria that college freshman indicated were most important to them: college reputation, net cost, financial aid packages, and average graduate salary.
Thus our ranking aims to find the nexus between the best of academic prestige and return on investment. In compiling our list we used publicly available sources like the websites of the schools themselves, the National Center for Educational Statistics, U.S. News and World Report, and Payscale.com.
University of Notre Dame
College Choice Score: 100
Net Cost: $26,088
Founded in 1842 by a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, Indiana. Its name refers to the Virgin Mary, who is the university’s patron saint. The school remains affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross.
The school continues to teach in the Holy Cross tradition, with many priests from the order still working for the university, including the sitting president. The Catholic identity is closely tied to the school, with a strict commitment to the faith evident in the architecture and art around campus, the numerous ministries funded by the school, and the 80 percent of students who self-identify themselves as Catholics. Notre Dame boasts a number of national accolades:
- #18 in National Universities
- #20 in Best Value Schools
- #6 in Accounting
Catholic Mass is a part of everyday life at Notre Dame, with Mass being celebrated 100 times a week and religious clubs dominating student life. And while Catholic organizations are the most prominent, Notre Dame is known for its openness to other faiths, and students are free to join the Jewish Club, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, the Muslim Student Association, and more.
College Choice Score: 97.84
Net Cost: $25,814
Georgetown University was founded in 1789 and is a private, non-profit university. It is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the entire country and is located in Washington, D.C., with campuses in Italy, Turkey, and Qatar. It was founded by John Carroll, the country’s first Catholic Bishop.
The school has enjoyed an affiliation with the Society of Jesus since 1805, with 52 Jesuits residing on campus, employed as faculty, and playing a part in the school’s administration. And while Georgetown is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, it is governed independently of the Jesuit order and the Roman Catholic Church. Here are some national stats associated with the school:
- #4 in Best Colleges for Veterans
- #26 in Best Value Schools
- #4 in International Business
Georgetown University offers close to 50 majors in four undergraduate schools and master’s and doctoral programs throughout five graduate and professional schools. Georgetown hosts its own law and medical schools. It is also known for its School of Foreign Service, which is ranked first in the world for its graduate program of Foreign Policy.
College Choice Score: 94.12
Net Cost: $30,587
Villanova University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The campus is housed within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It was founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine, which holds ties to Saint Augustines Church and its parish school, Saint Augustine’s Academy. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across 100 fields of study from four colleges and one graduate school.
Villanova University is home to the largest student-run Special Olympics in the world, with more than 1,000 athletes competing annually from across the state. The school is also a partner with Habitat for Humanity, and claims the largest group of student volunteers for the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge than any other U.S. university. Villanova has much to be proud of, including:
- Undergraduate acceptance rate of 44%
- 95% freshman retention rate
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
Aside from providing a Catholic education, Villanova University also provides Catholic services to students in their campus life. Campus Ministry was created to promote the Augustinian ideals of a wise and spiritual community and provides community and pastoral support services for all students.
College Choice Score: 94.11
Net Cost: $25,564
Established in 1863, Boston College is a private Catholic Jesuit research university that was founded by the Society of Jesus. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The school is located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees through nine schools and colleges, including the Boston College School of Theology. It is nationally ranked for its undergraduate program by U.S. News and World Report, and is home to some of the most competitive graduate programs available in the country. Here are a few more stand-out statistics:
- #11 in Finance
- #32 in National Universities
- Over 200 student clubs and organizations
Boston College is also home to 112 Jesuits, who live on the campus. These Jesuits are members of the faculty and administration, graduate students, and visiting international scholars and professors, and they make up one of the largest Jesuit communities in the world. Jesuit priests also have the reputation for presiding at the chapel liturgies within St. Mary’s Hall, the Jesuit residential facility.
College Choice Score: 89.49
Net Cost: $27,057
Creighton University was established in 1878 and is a private, Roman Catholic, Jesuit university. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. It is located in Omaha, Nebraska.
The university is made up of nine schools and colleges that grant degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. The school is best known for housing a School of Pharmacy, a School of Law, a School of Medicine, and a School of Dentistry all on the same campus.
- #1 in Regional Universities of the Midwest
- #1 in Best Colleges for Veterans
- #6 in Best Value Schools
As a Jesuit university, and one of the top private colleges in the country, Creighton University relies on the faith-based teaching tradition it was founded on to help guide students to become active and responsible agents of change in a secular world. The school continues to teach in the Jesuit tradition of educating the student as a whole by offering faith-based services on campus, such as Mass and fellowship opportunities.
Santa Clara University
College Choice Score: 87.38
Net Cost: $38,844
Santa Clara University is a private, non-profit Jesuit university founded in 1851, making it the oldest operating college or university in California. It is located in Santa Clara, California.
The school offers well over 40 areas of study at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels through its six schools. It is home to the Jesuit School of Theology, which accepts both priesthood candidates and laypersons for their graduate programs. Santa Clara University also boasts:
- 96 percent retention rate for first-year students
- 515 full-time faculty and 364 part-time faculty
- #2 in Best Regional University of the West
The school is known for having received the STARS Gold Rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. In 2013, Santa Clara University created the Center for Sustainability to understand and advance the public understanding of how social justice and environmental responsibility inform one another through outreach programs and student forums.
College of the Holy Cross
College Choice Score: 85.58
Net Cost: $25,387
Founded in 1843 by the Society of Jesus, The College of the Holy Cross is a private, undergraduate, Catholic, Jesuit liberal arts college. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Colleges of Worcester Consortium. It is the only Catholic college to be nationally ranked in the top 50 liberal arts school as rated by U.S. News and World Report.
The College of the Holy Cross offers 28 majors in a liberal arts curriculum, all of which lead to the completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree. There are also multidisciplinary concentrations, pre-professional programs, and the option to create a unique major through the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies. Additional highlights include:
- 90 percent on-campus student housing
- 10:1 student to faculty ratio
- 50 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid
The College of the Holy Cross is well known for its Classics department. In fact, it is the second-largest Classics program in the country. It also has the distinction for having Ancient Greek as a required course.
John Carroll University
College Choice Score: 85.14
Net Cost: $23,924
John Carroll University is a private Catholic Jesuit research university located in University Heights, Ohio. It was founded in 1886 by the Society of Jesus, and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
This school is primarily an undergraduate institution, with the majority of its programs offered at that level. Select master’s degrees are available in certain departments, with a plan for expanding the graduate offerings in motion. International programs, such as a degree in International Studies and the Study Abroad Program are also slated for improvement. The school excels regionally:
- #6 in Regional Universities of the Midwest
- #5 in Best Colleges for Veterans of the Midwest
- #7 in Best Value Schools of the Midwest
Campus Ministry at John Carroll University is steeped in the Catholic and Ignatian traditions, serving people of all faiths by offering interfaith services, fostering community development through stewardship, and advocacy for tolerance. The Campus Ministry is the most popular center for students at the school and has been providing spiritual guidance since its establishment.
Loyola University Maryland
College Choice Score: 83.54
Net Cost: $31,306
Established in 1852 by the Society of Jesus, Loyola University Maryland is a private, non-profit, Roman Catholic, Jesuit research society located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It lies within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The best known alumni from this school include authors Tom Clancy and Mark Bowden.
Loyola University Maryland graduates are all expected to complete the core curriculum that is a mainstay of the Jesuit tradition in schools. Courses such as foreign languages, ethics, history, and theology are taught, keeping the school’s heritage intact while continuing to remain open to students of other faiths. Other stand-out features include:
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
- 88 percent freshmen retention rate
- Over 55 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid
This school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in three different schools. Loyola College is the biggest school, encompassing the broader range of liberal arts departments and the pre-heath programs that are taught by the school.
College Choice Score: 82.92
Net Cost: $28,182
Xavier University is the sixth-oldest Catholic University in the country. It is a private research university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it was founded in 1831 by the Jesuits and dedicated to the patronage of Saint Francis of Xavier.
Xavier prides itself on its balance of old and new: state of the art facilities nestled among historic campus buildings; the long-held traditions of the Catholic faith expressed for a 21st century world; rigors of first-class scholarship and the vital lived experience outside of the classroom. Here are some Xavier highlights:
- 98 percent of graduates land a job within 6 months
- Students practice over 20 different religions on campus
- Over 160 locations for volunteer service
Xavier University has a 12:1 student/teacher and an 83 percent freshman retention rate. One of the most popular programs at this school is the Business, Management, and Marketing, of which 29 percent of the student body are majors.
College Choice Score: 81.93
Net Cost: $30,181
Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, Gonzaga University is a private, Roman Catholic and Jesuit university located in Spokane, Washington. It is named for the Jesuit saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
The school offers 92 fields of study at the undergraduate level and 26 graduate programs across seven colleges. Gonzaga also offers pre-professional programs and access to the Army ROTC program. Students must first complete a core curriculum that is traditional at a Jesuit school. It is a liberal arts core curriculum centered on philosophy, religious studies, writing, and mathematics. More features at Gonzaga include:
- Average class size of 23 students
- 100 percent of classes taught by faculty
- 94 percent of students employed post-graduation
Gonzaga University also has a robust study abroad program. Students can choose to study at the university’s sister campus in Florence, Italy, or from a variety of other programs in Australia, China, Europe, Asia, or Africa.
College Choice Score: 81.55
Net Cost: $18,784
Rockhurst University is a private, non-profit Jesuit university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It teaches in the Jesuit tradition.
The school offers over 50 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs across four schools. Rockhurst University provides for interdisciplinary studies and offers pre-professional programs, as well as study abroad opportunities and select internships based on departments. Here’s a view of some Rockhurst highlights:
- Around 50 percent of students are Catholic
- Average class size of 25 students
- Ranked #4 in Missouri for return on investment
Rockhurst University’s Campus Ministry offers daily mass every weekday, as well as a student mass on Sundays. Through action of the school’s campus ministry, Christian Life Communities exist, which are student-led faith groups that meet in small groups each week to discuss faith ideas and concerns.
College Choice Score: 81.27
Net Cost: $34,388
Established in 1917, Providence College is a private Roman Catholic institute of higher education in Providence, Rhode Island. It is the only university on the North American continent administered by Dominican Friars.
The college offers 50 majors and 30 minors across four schools for students and requires students to complete the school’s core curriculum. Courses include theology, philosophy, social science, and fine arts as part of the foundation of every degree, regardless of the area of study. The school now also requires civic engagement and diversity courses within the core curriculum. Other highlights include:
- #1 in Regional Universities of the North
- #12 in Best Value Schools of the North
- Over 300 study abroad programs offered
The Catholic and Dominican Identity aspects of campus play a big role on the college itself. Friars are a big part of life at Providence College, and St. Dominic’s Chapel sits in the heart of campus. But the school honors the Dominican identity in other ways — by opening its doors to students of all faiths, by teaching faith and education side-by-side, and by the majority of the student body that volunteer through Campus Ministry services every year.
Loyola Marymount University
College Choice Score: 80.70
Net Cost: $36,650
Loyola Marymount University is a private Jesuit and Marymount university. It was founded in 1911 and is located in Los Angeles, California. The school is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Schools and is just one of five Marymount universities in the country. It is one of the largest Roman Catholic universities on the West Coast.
Loyola Marymount University houses the Loyola Law School, which is located in downtown Los Angeles. It is also home to six colleges and schools that dispense degrees in over 100 major areas of study at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Here are some other perks:
- Ranks in top 12 percent, according to Wall Street Journal
- 53 study abroad programs
- 11:1 student to faculty ratio
LMU offers an Air Force ROTC program as well as an Honors Program for eligible students. The school is well known for its study abroad programs that offer year-long, semester, and summer exchanges to countries on four continents.
Loyola University New Orleans
College Choice Score: 78.50
Net Cost: $23,419
Founded in 1904 by the Society of Jesus, Loyola University New Orleans is a private Jesuit university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is named after Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit patron saint. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Schools.
Loyola University New Orleans is a unique school in that 91 percent of its faculty not only holds doctoral or terminal degrees in their respective fields, but are also internationally recognized by the Pulitzer Committee, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other associations. The faculty’s reputation is in fact one of the top reasons students choose to go to this school. Here are a few more:
- #4 in the region for diversity
- #12 Best Value School in the South
- #1 “hidden gem” in Louisiana of 2015
The university is divided into five colleges that confer degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. The most popular college is the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, which houses the Loyola Institute for Ministry, granting degrees in religious studies and theology.
College Choice Score: 77.99
Net Cost: $35,105
Fordham University is a private, non-profit research university located in New York City, New York. It was founded in 1841 by the Catholic Diocese of New York and placed in the care of the Society of Jesus. It has since become an independent institution that continues in the Jesuit tradition.
The school offers over 100 programs of study at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels across ten colleges and satellite campuses in New York State, a study abroad center in the UK, and field offices in South Africa and Spain. Graduate programs from Fordham are nationally ranked in the top 100 for their respective disciplines. Here are some more shining points:
- 168 Fulbright Scholars since 2003
- Over 1 million community service hours clocked annually
- Connections to over 2,600 NYC internship opportunities
Fordham is best known for its humanities emphasis. Students who study humanities at this school will be interested in the fact that alumni rank in the top 4 highest-paid humanities graduates of any school in the country.
University of Portland
College Choice Score: 77.92
Net Cost: $30,273
Established in 1901 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, the University of Portland is a private Roman Catholic institute of higher education located in Portland, Oregon. It is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross and is ranked as the 8th best regional university in the Western region by U.S. News and World Report.
The University of Portland is a liberal arts university that has six colleges and schools. Altogether, the school provides more than 75 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The College of Arts and Sciences holds one of the most popular areas of study, which is Theology. Other points of pride include:
- #7 in the nation for Fulbright Scholarships
- Ranked among top 10 universities in the west for 23 years
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
The school is passionate about teaching faith in an interdisciplinary fashion, ensuring that students retain their morals and religious ethics while studying for a career that will see them flourish. It continues to be a beacon for students who are looking for a close relationship with a world-class faculty and a tight-knit community that bonds over faith.
College Choice Score: 77.74
Net Cost: $36,853
Fairfield University is a private, non-profit, Catholic Jesuit research university founded by the Society of Jesus in 1942. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and affiliated with the Jesuit order. It is located in Fairfield, Connecticut.
The school’s primary mission is to develop the creative and intellectual potential of each student while also instilling them with religious values that inform their sense of social responsibility. The individual schools are all committed to a humanistic approach to learning, imbedding each student with interdisciplinary learning, regardless of their major. Other highlights include:
- #1 undergraduate accounting program in Connecticut
- Among the top 25 safest college towns in the U.S.
- Ranks #2 for highest starting salaries in Connecticut
Fairfield University teaches in the Jesuit tradition, which lies in educating the student as a whole, both in mind and spirit. It offers a total of 75 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels across five colleges and schools. It is nationally recognized for its Religious Studies program and for being the first Jesuit university to feature a film festival that showcases students’ work.
College Choice Score: 77.42
Net Cost: $26,151
Founded in 1853, Manhattan College is a private, independent, Roman Catholic, liberal arts college in the Lasallian tradition. It is located in the Bronx, New York City, New York. It is affiliated with the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
The college offers over 75 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with several pre-professional programs also available. The School of Arts is the largest school, but the School of Engineering is the most well known at Manhattan College. The school is known for some of the following:
- 75 percent of students participate in an internship experience
- 37 reputable honor societies
- #15 in Best Regional Universities of the North
Manhattan College incorporates the Lasallian tradition in various aspects of campus life, with Campus Ministry and Social Action services. The school is also known for its Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (known as L.O.V.E.), which extends social justice travel experiences and service programs to help people in need both home and abroad.
Christian Brothers University
College Choice Score: 77.29
Net Cost: $11,679
Christian Brothers University was established in 1871 and is run by the Christian Brothers as a private Roman Catholic institute of higher education. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee, where it claims the title of being the oldest university in the city. It teaches in the Lasallian tradition.
The university offers over 20 areas of study at the bachelor level and seven degrees at the master’s level, including a Master’s of Catholic Studies. Programs are divided into four schools — Arts, Business, Engineering, and Sciences. Beyond its reputable academic record, Christian Brothers University excels in the following:
- 97 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid
- Named among the top 20 percent of colleges by Forbes
- Students practice over 34 different faiths
Study abroad programs are available all year round, and students also have the opportunity to volunteer for medical missions. It is an optional program for most students; however, students who are studying for a global studies minor are required to study abroad.
College Choice Score: 77.19
Net Cost: $23,977
Established in 1950, Bellarmine University is an independent, private Catholic institution of higher education. It is named after Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmine and was established by Archbishop John A. Floersh. It is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Bellarmine offers 50 majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels along with three doctoral degrees across seven schools and colleges. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition to a strong academic reputation, Bellarmine also boasts the following:
- Over 82 percent of faculty hold a PhD
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
- Over $11 million in annual scholarships and grants
The school is known for having a vibrant study abroad program, which encompasses travel to six continents and 50 countries around the world. The program is designed to be affordable for all students, regardless of their financial backgrounds, which is why more than 35 percent of all Bellarmine students partake in this program.
St. Mary's College of California
College Choice Score: 77.17
Net Cost: $33,206
Saint Mary’s College was founded in 1863 as a diocesan college for boys. It is now a private, coeducation Catholic college located in Moraga, California. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and administered by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. It was recently ranked in the top for best regional university in the Western Region by U.S. News and World Report.
This school combines traditional education with Great Books courses in its required Collegiate Seminar. This is St. Mary’s College core curriculum and consists of only four courses that must be taken in the correct order and focuses on the discussion of seminal texts informing the Western thought. Here are a few more highlights:
- 1 of 40 schools to be given the Colleges that Change Lives award
- Among the top 10 Best Colleges in the West
- 93 percent graduation rate for student athletes
St. Mary’s College consists of four schools, with the most popular being the School of Economics and Business Administration. There are over 40 programs available, and are taught by a world-class faculty, 95 percent of which hold terminal degrees in their respective fields.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 76.47
Net Cost: $32,348
The University of Scranton was founded in 1888 by the Bishop of Scranton and has been in the control of the Society of Jesus since 1942. It is a private, Catholic Jesuit university located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and served by the Jesuit community in the city.
The school offers undergraduate degrees in 60 areas of study and pre-professional studies. Graduate degrees can be obtained in 24 different fields, as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Also of note is that the University of Scranton is the home of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts program, where selected students take on an additional course load of philosophy, ethics, and theology classes. More highlights include:
- 17 consecutive years on Princeton Review’s Best Colleges list
- Named a top college for return on investment by Forbes
- Recognized for service learning and veteran services
The University of Scranton, like many other Jesuit universities, requires that students complete a core curriculum that includes theology and philosophy courses, along with a liberal arts course load. After this curriculum is completed, students move on to their area of study, creating an education based on ethics and education.
College Choice Score: 75.91
Net Cost: $34,340
Established in 1891 by the Society of Jesus, Seattle University is a Catholic Jesuit university located in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest independent university in the Northwest region and is nationally ranked as the 5th best school in the West. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
Seattle University offers over 100 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels across nine colleges. There is also a law school and a doctoral program in education. The most popular department at this school is the School of Theology and Ministry, which accepts both laypersons and priesthood candidates. Seattle University stands out for its:
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
- Top 10 ranking in the Best Colleges of the West
- 200,000 annual service hours by students and faculty
This school is known for being dedicated to environmental sustainability, with the school making efforts in a variety of ways to reduce its carbon footprint and teach sustainable methods to students. Projects to this effect include composting initiatives to water conservation or becoming a pesticide-free campus.
College Choice Score: 74.84
Net Cost: $15,882
Dominican University was established in 1901 as St. Clara College and is now a private Catholic Dominican research university that is located in River Forest, Illinois. It is affiliated with the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters and continues to teach from and be affiliated with the Dominican Order.
Dominican University is a partner of the Interfaith Youth Core, a program that offers new ministry initiatives that focus on promoting and encouraging interfaith learning through dialogue, service, and education. And through the idea of having an open forum for students of all faith lies the mission of the school—that every student will come out of their time at the school with an understanding and a respect for all walks of life, ensuring they are better able to be in service to others. Other stand-out features include:
- #5 in Best Value Colleges of the Midwest
- Average class size of 16 students
- 20 study abroad programs
The school offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and a variety of pre-professional programs, as well as over two dozen graduate degree programs across five schools. It is best known for its Graduate School of Library and Information Science, which offers graduate and doctoral degrees in Library Studies.
St. Catherine University
College Choice Score: 74.44
Net Cost: $23,994
St. Catherine University was established in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It is a private Catholic liberal arts university located in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The school is named after the martyred fourth-century Egyptian philosopher St. Catherine of Alexandria.
The university offers a variety of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including associate degrees. While primarily a women’s university, men are invited to partake in evening and weekend classes in order to obtain a graduate degree. Other statistics that separate St. Catherine University from the rest include:
- Top 10 percent in the nation for its nursing program
- 74 percent of students complete an internship experience
- 10:1 student to faculty ratio
St. Catherine University has a Campus Ministry that is representative of the school’s Catholic identity. It shapes all aspects of campus life while maintaining an open and welcoming outlook on students of all faiths. To this end, the Campus Ministry offers interfaith services and a spiritual direction program created to help students explore their faith through counseling.
University of San Diego
College Choice Score: 74.18
Net Cost: $33,356
Established in 1949, the University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts university located in San Diego, California. It is consistently ranked in the top 100 best colleges in the US listings. It is affiliated with the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart.
The University of San Diego offers 42 areas of study at the undergraduate level along with several graduate degrees in preprofessional programs across seven academic colleges. USD follows the inter-faith theme as put forth by the Second Vatican Council, which states that Catholic schools should welcome students and staff of every faith tradition in order to foster a community of stewardship and fellowship. Other school highlights include:
- #1 Most Beautiful Campus in the U.S. by the Princeton Review
- Over two-thirds of undergraduates study abroad
- Named a Community Engagement Institution by the Carnegie Foundation
The school is home to several religious-based centers, including the Center for Christian Spirituality and The Center for Catholic Thought and Culture. Both are a forum for discussion and dialogue on Catholic thoughts, ideals, and concerns. This center provides cultural events and lectures from guest speakers, all centered on how Catholicism can be used to inform lives.
College Choice Score: 74.00
Net Cost: $19,015
Lewis University was founded in 1932 as the Holy Name Technical School by the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is a private Roman Catholic and Lasallian university that is headquartered in Romeoville, Illinois. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Graduate Programs.
There are currently more than 80 undergraduate and 22 graduate programs available across four colleges and a School for Professional and Continuing Education. The school also has an online portal that serves its distance education and online student body. Lewis University also features:
- 34 percent minority population within its student body
- 97 percent of undergraduates who receive financial aid
- Over 100 clubs and student organizations
Lewis University was not affiliated with any one Catholic order until 1960, when the Brothers of the Christian schools took over the direction of the school. The De La Salle Christian Brothers are renown for the rigorous dedication to education and so brought that same passion to this school, incorporating spiritual growth ideals throughout the curriculum. The Lasallian tradition is the hallmark of the university and continues to inform the direction of the school at every turn.
University of San Francisco
College Choice Score: 73.90
Net Cost: $32,369
University of San Francisco is a private, non-profit, Jesuit Catholic research university located in San Francisco, California, with satellite campuses across Northern California. It was founded in 1855 by and is still affiliated with the Jesuit Order, and the school is firmly rooted in the vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Order.
As one of the top Jesuit institutions in the country, the University of San Francisco continues to teach the Jesuit tradition while providing a world-class education in a range of disciplines from four schools and one college. It is consistently nationally ranked among the 150 best universities by the leading college ranking systems. Other stand-outs for this school include:
- #19 in the nation for its undergraduate entrepreneurship major
- Consistent recipient of Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
- #2 in the nation for undergraduate student ethnic diversity
The University of San Francisco is one of the few private universities to require service-learning courses, a service in which academic courses are accompanied by volunteer work in and around San Francisco. This is in keeping with the Jesuit vision the university has and teaches students the importance of giving back to their community.
College Choice Score: 72.69
Net Cost: $22,464
Molloy College was established in 1955 and is a private Catholic liberal arts college in Long Island, New York. It is affiliated with the Dominican order of the Roman Catholic Church.
The school offers more than 50 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, focusing on liberal arts, nursing, criminal justice, and social work. Degrees can be earned on campus or through the school’s online portal. You’ll find that Molloy College also shines in the following areas:
- A 26 percent increase in undergraduates since 2005
- Named one of the nation’s top three Best Value Schools
- 10:1 student to faculty ratio
Molloy College teaches in the Dominican tradition, which is known for being an order dedicated to truth in all of its forms. To this end, members of the Dominican order were sent to universities to educate themselves and send forth their knowledge to the public. They are also dedicated to relieving society of its ills and promoting human dignity.
College Choice Score: 72.48
Net Cost: $31,413
Founded in 1881, Marquette University is a private, non-profit, Roman Catholic research university founded by the Society of Jesus. It is named after 17th-century missionary Father Jacques Marquette. It was the first coeducational Catholic institution in the world when it began admitting women in 1909. It is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It is one of the largest Jesuit universities in the country. Marquette University offers over 200 degree programs in total, with 50 doctoral and master’s degrees available, as well as 37 graduate certificate programs. Programs are distributed across 11 schools and colleges. Other highlights include:
- Winner of the 2016 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award
- Included in a list of 2018 Best Values in Private Colleges
- #9 in the nation for its undergraduate real estate program
The school’s stated mission is to become recognized as the most innovative Jesuit university in the world, promoting the glory of God through excellence in academia and the fostering of spiritual growth and development through its students. Marquette University is a school for those who are curious about life and how to better serve God through it.
St. Joseph's University
College Choice Score: 72.24
Net Cost: $34,347
Saint Joseph’s University, which was created in 1851, is a Roman Catholic Jesuit University founded by the Society of Jesus. It is the seventh oldest Jesuit university in the country and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It remains affiliated with the Jesuit order.
The university offers over 110 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and a joint degree program with Thomas Jefferson University. Also available are over 25 study abroad programs and 12 special-study options. Beyond academics, Saint Joseph’s University meets the following marks:
- 100 percent of tenure-track faculty hold terminal degrees
- 99 percent of students participate in an internship, co-op, or study abroad
- $279 million endowment
Saint Joseph’s University is unique in that 100 Jesuit priests live on campus, with about 20 serving as faculty for the school. The Jesuit identity is so closely tied in with the university that general education courses, most of which are a requirement in order to graduate, are titled “154,” which stands for the year 1540, when the Jesuit order was accepted by the Pope.
Notre Dame of Maryland University
College Choice Score: 71.75
Net Cost: $21,265
Notre Dame of Maryland University was founded in 873 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame as a women’s school. It is now a private, independent liberal arts college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is affiliated with the School Sisters of Notre Dame and lies within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
NDMU is a women’s school, and one of the oldest women’s universities in the country. The Women’s College offers 30 areas of study at the undergraduate level and 5 year BA/MA programs in teaching programs. The school also has pre-professional and honor programs, with a special program for first-generation students. You’ll also enjoy some of the following:
- Named the #5 Most Affordable College in Maryland
- #6 in the nation for Best Women’s Colleges
- 7:1 student to faculty ratio among undergraduates
The College of Graduate Studies offers coeducational evening and weekend classes in a variety of professional areas, including management, non-profit management, and contemporary communication. It also offers a Doctor of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations.
La Salle University
College Choice Score: 71.69
Net Cost: $24,015
Established in 1863, La Salle University is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and named after St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It retains close ties to the Lasallian order.
La Salle University offers 60 academic areas of study across three schools and its college. Degrees are conferred at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. In addition to its competitive academic programs, the school also turns heads for the following features:
- #5 for Colleges that Add the Most Value
- #19 in Best Colleges for Veterans in the Northeast
- #16 in Best Value Schools in the Northeast
Guided by Catholic tradition, La Salle University requires a core curriculum that marries spiritual development with interdisciplinary studies. The school believes the two are necessary for students to grow and evolve, both in work and through their religion, and every student, regardless of major, must complete the curriculum before moving on to their declared areas of study.
University of Dayton
College Choice Score: 71.63
Net Cost: $30,416
University of Dayton is a private Roman Catholic research university founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary. It is one of just three Marianist-affiliated universities in the country, and is the largest private university in the state. It is located in Dayton, Ohio, with a campus in Suzhou Industrial Park, China.
While this university is one of the top private colleges in the country, it is also inclusive, accepting students of all religious backgrounds. Students hail from all 50 states and 40 countries worldwide. The University of Dayton offers around 80 programs across four colleges for undergraduates, graduates, and law students. Students can choose from a variety of degrees that span the following:
- Business Administration
- Arts and Sciences
Students on the University of Dayton campus have their pick of student activities, from political organizations to community-based clubs, but none are as popular as the activities and services provided for by Campus Ministry. It is the service in which all faith-based needs are met, and students can take part in Mass within their residence halls or the school’s Chapel, each providing daily and weekly masses.
Seton Hall University
College Choice Score: 71.39
Net Cost: $26,312
Established in 1856 by the Plenary Council of American Bishops, Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic sea-grant research university located in South Orange, New Jersey. It is the oldest diocesan university in the United States and housed in the Archdiocese of Newark.
Seton Hall University offers 70 academic fields for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees from across 11 different schools and colleges. Among them is the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, which was the second college founded within the school. Here’s what you need to know about Seton Hall University:
- Top 75 in the nation for undergraduate business schools
- Top 25 in the nation for highest student mobility rates
- #5 in the U.S. for Most Connected Campus
ICCST is one of the oldest Catholic seminaries in the country. It admits both candidates for the priesthood as well as lay persons and is home to the Seminary Formation Program. It is also the first seminary to provide a bachelor’s degree program in Catholic Theology.
St. John's University
College Choice Score: 70.99
Net Cost: $28,503
St. John’s University is a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts college for men partnered with the College of Saint Benedict for Women. It is located in Collegeville, Minnesota, within the Diocese of Saint Cloud. It is affiliated with the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities. It is known for being home to the famous Saint John’s Bible and for being the top producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the nation.
St. John’s University is nationally ranked as the 79th best liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News and World Report. It offers over 30 majors at the undergraduate levels and it’s the home of the Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary. Here are some more highlights:
- Over 54 percent of the student body identifies as Catholic
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
- 88 percent first-year retention rate
Students of St. John’s University are encouraged to live by Benedictine values to create a tight-knit community that values service both to God and the surrounding community. Many Benedictine values, such as community living and stewardship, are reflected in the student organizations and services provided by St. John’s University.
Spring Hill College
College Choice Score: 70.65
Net Cost: $20,757
Spring Hill College was established in 1830 and is a Roman Catholic Jesuit liberal arts college located in Mobile, Alabama. It is the first Catholic college to be built in the South and the fifth oldest Catholic college in the nation. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
The school offers undergraduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy and theology, social sciences, liberal arts, and international relations. Graduate programs tend to focus on Ministry and Theological studies, but the most popular master’s programs can also be found here, such as Master of Business Administration and a Master of Teacher Education. Other highlights include:
- 90 percent acceptance rate in health-related graduate programs
- 100 percent job placement success for education graduates
- 9 Jesuits participating in the campus community
Courses are taught at the main campus in Mobile, Alabama, as well as satellite campuses in Georgia and Mississippi. Through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad Consortium, students can study abroad or take internships at a number of schools in England, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and Spain.
College Choice Score: 70.55
Net Cost: $19,668
Canisius College was established in 1870 and is a Jesuit college located in Buffalo, New York. It is one of just 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country, and was named after St. Peter Canisius.
The college offers 145 areas of study at the undergraduate level and more than 35 master’s degrees and certificate programs. It holds accreditation by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. More importantly, it boasts the following:
- 90 percent medical school acceptance rate among graduates
- 11:1 student to faculty ratio
- Over 100 clubs and student organizations
A prominent feature of Canisius College is the Christ the King Chapel, which is located directly in the middle of the school’s quad. Its location is meant to symbolize the power and importance that religion has on the school, and it’s used for many Canisius alumni occasions, including weddings and baptisms.
College Choice Score: 70.13
Net Cost: $23,873
Regis University is a private, non-profit, Roman Catholic Jesuit university. It was founded in 1877 by the Society of Jesus and holds membership to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and ranks as a top-tier Western regional university for the last twenty years. It is located in Denver, Colorado.
The school is divided into five colleges, each providing a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees related to their department. Each college holds specialized accreditations for their programs, and rank nationally as top programs in their fields. Regis University stands out in lots of ways:
- 89 percent of graduates find a job within six months
- 92 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid
- Over $190 million annually awarded in scholarships
Regis University is also home to the Institute on the Common Good, which was founded in 1997. It is a center that focuses on providing a forum where students, faculty, and administration can group and dialogue on issues or concerns that affect Regis University. It is founded on the principles of the Roman Catholic and Jesuit heritages.
University of Detroit Mercy
College Choice Score: 69.97
Net Cost: $24,223.00
Founded in 1877, University of Detroit Mercy is a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university that is affiliated with the Jesuit Order and the Sisters of Mercy. It is located in Detroit, Michigan. It is the largest Roman Catholic institution of higher learning in the state and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
University of Detroit Mercy has been consistently ranked as a top-tier Midwestern regional university for over a decade. It offers more than a hundred academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including programs for architecture, allied health professions, clinical psychology, and liberal arts. Among other things, the school features:
- Average class size of 16 students
- #12 in Best Colleges for Veterans in Midwest
- Numerous outreach services for health and dental care
As one of the premier Jesuit universities in the nation, UDM is committed to providing all students with great education and experience opportunities. The school has a great track record of pairing students with internships and work opportunities in their field, giving them the chance to see what life in the real world will be like after they graduate.
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 69.86
Net Cost: $29,184
Loyola University Chicago was established in 1970 as a private Roman Catholic Jesuit university. It is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation. It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with six campuses across the great Illinois area, a campus in Rome, and guest centers in Beijing, China, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The school provides over 220 programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, with 140 programs alone offered at the graduate and professional level. Loyola University Chicago is home to the Saint Joseph College Seminary, which houses the Jesuit First Studies program. This program, just one of three in the nation, is the first step in the eleven-year process towards obtaining the Jesuit priesthood. It is administered by the Chicago Province of Society of Jesus. Other features include:
- Top 3 part-time MBA program in Chicago
- #7 in the nation for total number of female STEM graduates
- #1 in U.S. for student athlete graduate success rates
The Saint Joseph College Seminary also services the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, providing vocational training to priesthood candidates. Loyola University Institute of Pastoral Studies offers layman training with degree opportunities in interdisciplinary Catholic Studies.
College Choice Score: 69.49
Net Cost: $25,944
Established in 1878 by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit is a private, Catholic liberal arts university. It is classified as having high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Duquesne University is the only Spiritan university in the world and grants degrees in 189 academic programs across ten schools and institutions. It is home to the Duquesne School of Law, the Mylan School of Pharmacy, and the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. Even more, Duquense University offers the following:
- Top 10 in nation for gender diversity among MBA students
- 14:1 student to faculty ratio
- 20+ fully online programs
The school is home to the Spiritan Campus Ministry, which provides faith-based services for students. From faith exploration to liturgical celebrations, and even cross-cultural mission experiences, the Spiritan Campus Ministry is the center for all Catholic students who wish to pursue their religious faith while at school.
St. Edward's University
College Choice Score: 69.46
Net Cost: $21,895
St. Edward’s University was established in 1877 and is a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university that teaches the Holy Cross tradition. It is located in Austin, Texas, with campuses at partner universities around the world. It is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross.
This school offers 10 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 50 areas of study across five schools. It is also home to the New College Program, which is dedicated to granting degrees to adults with more than 24 years of age. Additionally, St. Edward’s University delivers:
- 60 Fulbright Scholars since 2008
- Average class size of 18 students
- 58 different countries represented
St. Edward’s University is known for challenging their students to think far beyond the classroom in terms of education. Students can gain practical experience and college credits through research opportunities, internships, and service programs. These experiences help guide students to think critically and act creatively while striving for diversity and social justice.
St. Mary's University of San Antonio
College Choice Score: 69.19
Net Cost: $18,828
Founded in 1852 by the Society of Mary, St. Mary’s University is a Catholic, Marianist liberal arts university located in San Antonio, Texas, and has been nationally ranked as one of the best colleges in the U.S., based on value and academic reputation. It is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
There are more than 75 academic programs at the undergraduate level on offer at St. Mary’s, with additional pre-professional programs available in law, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, nursing, and medicine. The graduate school also offers 18 master’s degrees and two Ph.D programs. Other key highlights include:
- Officially a Fair Trade University
- Ranked #3 for Best Value College in the West
- Ranked #2 in Texas for career readiness
St. Mary’s University is dedicated to liberal arts, and integrates it into each student’s requirements for attaining a degree. Courses include philosophy, theology, history, and logical reasoning to create a well-rounded student with exemplary critical thinking skills.
St. Mary's College
College Choice Score: 69.11
Net Cost: $26,913
St. Mary’s College was established in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It is a Catholic women’s liberal arts college located in South Bend, Indiana. The school is named after the Blessed Virgin Mary. It continues to be affiliated with Sisters of the Holy Cross and resides within the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
This college offers 30 areas of study that can be granted in five bachelor’s degrees, with graduate degrees to be awarded pending accreditation. Popular majors include art, chemistry, social work, and nursing. Additional stand-out facts include:
- 100 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid or scholarships
- 94 percent of graduates found work in 6 months
- 10:1 student to faculty ratio
The St. Mary’s College Women’s Choir is nationally recognized as one of the best college choirs in the nation. Made up of 40 women under the direction of Nancy Menk, the choir goes on a national tour every year and has appeared at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as well as Carnegie Hall. The choir also has toured internationally, going to China to sing across the country.
Mount Saint Mary's University
College Choice Score: 69.10
Net Cost: $26,473
Established in 1808, Mount St. Mary’s University is a private, Catholic, liberal arts university located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. It retains an affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College and the National Catholic Register.
The school offers 40 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as six postgraduate certificate programs. It is home to the second-largest Catholic seminary in the country, where future priests can study to become ordained through the Ordination/Master of Divinity program. Additionally, this school boasts:
- 70 percent of the student body is Catholic
- Over 99 percent of students receive some sort of financial aid
- #1 in Maryland for future employment potential
Mount St. Mary’s University is deeply rooted in its Catholic identity. It requires all students to complete the Veritas Program, a core curriculum that ensures each student has a firm understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition of ethics, liberal arts, and theology.
College Choice Score: 68.86
Net Cost: $29,165
DePaul University was founded in 1898 by the Vincentian Order and is named after the 17th-century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul. It is a private Catholic liberal arts university that is the largest of its kind in the country. It is located in Chicago, Illinois.
The school, while affiliated with the Vincentian order, accepts students from every religious background, and boasts a diverse student body from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. It is the largest private university in Illinois. Beyond this, it is known for the following:
- Study abroad programs in over 30 different countries
- 90 percent of graduates are employed within six months
- 67 percent of students are from Illinois
DePaul University is well known for its primary focus on pedagogy and experiential and service-based learning. It is one of the only universities on this list to give credit for volunteer and service work, and has since been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top schools in the nation for service learning.
University of St. Francis
College Choice Score: 68.72
Net Cost: $17,556
The University of St. Francis was established in 1920 as a private, Catholic, Franciscan liberal arts university located in Joliet, Illinois. It is affiliated with the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and also holds specialized accreditations for various programs.
This school is rooted in Franciscan values, which play a part in the programs that are offered here. The four pillars of the University of St. Francis’ tradition are respect, compassion, service, and integrity, all of which can be found blended into campus and school life. Students are taught to value service as part of their collective education while learning the skills that will make them productive members of society. Other highlights include:
- 98 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid
- Money Magazine’s #1 private master’s institution in Illinois
- 2018 Military Friendly School for 8 years in a row
Over 80 majors and concentrations are available at the undergraduate level, with 30 programs available at the graduate level. All classes are taught by faculty and staff that believe in strengthening their students through rigorous application of the knowledge they learn while at school.
College Choice Score: 68.65
Net Cost: $26,674
Established in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption, a Catholic order, Assumption College is a private, Roman Catholic, liberal arts college that is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is affiliated with the Assumption order.
Assumption College offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in over 50 majors, a Master of Arts and a Masters of Business Administration, and associate’s degrees. It focuses on teaching in the Assumption tradition, which values educating the whole person, and not just catering to academia. In addition, you’ll find that Assumption College offers:
- 98 percent 4-year graduation rate
- 81 percent participation in an internship or research project
- 94 percent of graduates are employed within 6 months
This school has a strong emphasis on serving the community, as well as providing students with unique opportunities to travel abroad and learn about different cultures in their native lands. All students leave the school with a firm understanding of how the world works and how to be a responsible contributor to society.
St. John's University
College Choice Score: 68.62
Net Cost: $28,503
St. John’s University was established in 1870 and is a private, Roman Catholic, coeducational university located in New York City, New York, with campuses in New York State and in Rome, Italy. It was founded by the Congregation of the Mission and is named after Saint John the Baptist.
The school has 13 specialized accreditations for its nearly 100 programs at all levels of education. It has been nationally ranked among the 150 top private colleges for studying law and education. Students at St. John’s University are encouraged to take part in service organizations and activities, which are thought to bridge the gap between academia and the real world, completing a well-rounded education. Even more, this school features:
- #1 Catholic institution for Highest Student-Mobility Rate
- Over 94 percent of graduates find work in 6 months
- Over 100 countries represented by the student body
St. John’s University is home to the Bread & Life Program, which was established in 1982 to provide the necessary services, such as food, shelter, and medical support, to the homeless and underprivileged residents of New York City. It is one of the only service-based organizations funded by a university in the state.
University of St. Thomas
College Choice Score: 68.00
Net Cost: $32,392
University of St. Thomas was established in 1885 as a Catholic seminary and named after the Catholic theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas. It is a private, Catholic, Archdiocesan, liberal arts university that is located in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the largest private and non-profit university in the state.
The school offers over 50 degree programs, with 90 majors and seven pre-professional programs at the undergraduate level. The school also offers master’s, doctoral, and specialist degrees across nine divisions. Among the schools listed are two seminaries, making it a unique addition to this list.
- 95 percent of students are employed within 9 months of graduation
- Over two-thirds of students complete an internship experience
- Top 10 ranking for undergraduate study abroad program
As one the largest private universities in the state, the University of St. Thomas has a large faculty, many of whom are notable for their contributions to their field. Several bishops hold professorship at the school, overseeing the seminary and schools of divinity, while others, such as renown genocide scholar Ellen J. Kennedy and poet Leslie Adrienne Miller, are established professionals who bring their considerable world experience to the campus.
St. Xavier University
College Choice Score: 68.00
Net Cost: $16,465
St. Xavier University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy as a private university. It is the first Mercy college ever established in the world, having been founded in 1846, and is the oldest chartered institution in Chicago, Illinois, where it is located.
This school is nationally ranked in the top 50 comprehensive master’s universities in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. It offers more than 50 degrees across five schools. It has qualified as a Hispanic-Serving Institution since 2015. In addition, St. Xavier is known for:
- Top 10 Colleges in Chicago for an online degree
- #4 in Illinois for best ROI for underserved students
- #8 in the U.S. for Campus Ethnic Diversity
St. Xavier University’s School of Nursing is of particular note, and is recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National League of Nursing. It is also home to the best online graduate nursing program in the nation.
Saint Louis University
College Choice Score: 67.84
Net Cost: $35,249
Saint Louis University is a private research university that is affiliated with the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillame Valentin Dubourg. It is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
This university is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest Jesuit university in the nation. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Saint Louis offers more than 180 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. It has an emphasis on liberal arts, education, and sciences. Additionally, it provides:
- Additional campus in Madrid, Spain
- Ranked in the top 100 research universities in the U.S.
- $1.1 billion university endowment
As one of the premier Jesuit universities in the nation, Saint Louis University maintains a curriculum based in the Jesuit tradition, but accepts students from all religious backgrounds. Its mission is to create students who have a faith-based education rooted in academic excellence to help shape society in an ever-more secular world.
College Choice Score: 67.76
Net Cost: $17,586
Founded in 1856 by the Congregation of the Mission, which still operates it, Niagara University is a private Catholic liberal arts University that teaches the Vincentian tradition. It is located in Lewiston, New York.
Niagara University has 50 academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. It is a liberal arts university that also offers programs in the pre-professional and technical disciplines. This university is one of the only schools that provides a Catholic education to the Reserve Officers Training Corps of the Army. It is a multiple-award winning program, having received the MacArthur Award for their excellence. Even more, you’ll find the following:
- Around 160 full-time faculty members
- James H. Cummings Center for Biomedical Undergraduate Research
- Listed on Kiplinger’s Top 100 Private College Values
Niagara University is home to the Castellani Art Museum and is the county’s only collecting museum. The collection houses nearly 6,000 pieces of art, mostly from the modern and contemporary time periods. The museum also holds classrooms and studio spaces for the students of the Niagara University Fine Arts Program.
University of St. Thomas
College Choice Score: 67.40
Net Cost: $21,900
Founded in 1947 by Basilian Fathers, the University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic liberal arts university. It is the only Catholic institution of higher education in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and it is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. It is located in Houston, Texas.
The University of St. Thomas grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as special preparation programs. It is well known for its pre-professional programs, including engineering, law, and medicine. Additionally, the school boasts the following:
- Over 68 percent of the student body is ethnically diverse
- An average first-year salary of $52,914 for graduates
- Average class size of 17 students
The school offers other special programs that are suited for students who are looking to study theology, philosophy, and religion. The Center for Thomistic Studies is the home of the philosophy department at the University of St. Thomas. It offers graduate and doctoral degrees, with a specialization on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and his commentators.
St. Ambrose University
College Choice Score: 67.34
Net Cost: $21,907
St. Ambrose University was founded in 1882 as a seminary by the first bishop of Davenport. It is now a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university that retains an affiliation with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and schools and is located in Davenport, Iowa.
Like many other private universities, St. Ambrose University has a small student body but a robust academic program roster. Aside from the nearly 50 majors available to undergraduate students, this school offers 12 master’s degree programs and three doctoral programs. Other features include:
- #12 in Best College for Veterans in the Midwest
- #34 in Best Value College in the Midwest
- $30 million awarded annually in financial aid
The school is known for requiring all students to take a Core Curriculum, a set of general education courses including philosophy and theology as mandatory subjects for the completion of any undergraduate course. Because of the liberal arts foundation that St. Ambrose University is based on, students graduate with a strong understanding of how disciplines work in tandem, making them stronger job candidates in the working world.
St. Peter's University
College Choice Score: 67.29
Net Cost: $15,855
Established in 1872 by the Society of Jesus, St. Peter’s University is a private, Jesuit Roman Catholic research university that is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
St. Peter’s University offers roughly 60 programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, granting degrees from the bachelor’s to the master’s level in a variety of disciplines, including theology, liberal arts, and applied arts and science. As one of the top-tier Jesuit institutions in the country, it is renown for its emphasis on the relationship between religion and philosophy. Other highlights include:
- #1 in nation for Institutional Transformation
- 91 percent job placement rate after graduation
- 12 minute commute to New York City
The school is best known for the Center for Microplasma Science and Technology, which was the result of a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. The grant allowed the school to continue its research on studying microplasma as part of their collaboration with United Water.
College Choice Score: 66.82
Net Cost: $20,485
Gannon University was established in 1925 in Eerie, Pennsylvania, as a two-year Cathedral College by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Eerie. It is now a private, Catholic non-profit university that offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It is nationally ranked as one of the best colleges in America.
This university has three main colleges, which distributes over 100 degrees available to students. Gannon University has a concentration on engineering, business, health and social sciences, education, and humanities. It also offers 14 cooperative professional school options. You’ll also find some of the following features:
- 13:1 student to faculty ratio
- Over 130 student clubs and organizations
- More than $37 million awarded each year in financial aid
Gannon University is inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, emphasizing faith, inclusiveness, social responsibility and an interdisciplinary education. The school has its own chapel, known as the Mary Seat of Wisdom Chapel, that offers Mass and Reconciliation every week.
College Choice Score: 66.76
Net Cost: $22,796
Founded in 1915 by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Marywood University began as a school of serious studies for young women. It is now a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, within the Diocese of Scranton. It has a mission to encourage students to become agents of change in a socially responsible manner and in a growing secular world.
As one of the best colleges in the U.S., Marywood University has a high standard of excellence when it comes to academics. The school offers over 100 programs of study across all levels of education, including terminal degrees, across six colleges and schools. It has been ranked as the 38th best Northern Regional University by U.S. News and World Report. Even more, you’ll find:
- Campus contains over 100 species of trees
- 11:1 student to faculty
- Over 200,000 collective hours of community service
Although the school has an emphasis on social leadership and academia, it also has a thriving athletics department. Marywood University is a member of the NCAA Division II and the Colonial States Athletic Conference. Athletes compete at the varsity level in 12 different sports, with track and field being the newest addition. Students also have the option to participate in intramural sports.
Catholic University of America
College Choice Score: 66.45
Net Cost: $36,163
Established in 1887 as a graduate and research center approved by Pope Leo XIII, Catholic University of America, known as CUA to students, is a private Catholic university. It is also a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the US and is the only university in the country to have been founded by U.S. Catholic bishops. It has been ranked as one of the best colleges in the US by the Princeton Review and recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.
The school retains close ties with the Catholic Church and its organizations, and has been visited three times by sitting popes, including the current pope, Pope Francis. It is also affiliated with the Knights of Columbus. You’ll also find features such as:
- 1.4 million volumes in its library
- 90 percent of students receive financial aid
- Over 94 percent of full-time faculty hold doctoral degrees
The school offers a total of over 250 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels across 12 schools, with an emphasis on liberal arts and professional studies. It holds the title of being the only U.S. university with an ecclesiastical faculty of Canon law and the university’s School of Theology and Religious Studies is a member of the Washington Theological Consortium.
University of Dallas
College Choice Score: 65.86
Net Cost: $27,841
University of Dallas was founded in 1956 as a private, independent, Roman Catholic liberal arts university in Irving, Texas. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
This university has four colleges and schools, including the School of Ministry, and offers undergraduate and graduate programs up to the doctoral level. Each degree maintains a Core Curriculum requirement, which is a collection of two years of common study that focuses on common readings to ensure that students and faculty can speak across disciplines, no matter the degree a student is studying for. Here are some more highlights:
- Home to 49 National Merit Scholars
- 42 past and present Fulbright Scholars
- One of the nation’s top universities for women
University of Dallas is known for its Rome program, a study abroad opportunity for sophomores to study in Rome for a semester. Focusing on a Catholic education, this program allows students to study philosophy and theology while taking the time to visit the capital of the Roman Catholic world.
College Choice Score: 65.81
Net Cost: $16,581
Aquinas College, formally known as Thomas Aquinas College, was established in 1971 as a single degree Roman Catholic liberal arts college. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and College and endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. It is located in Santa Paula, California.
This school is generally considered the best Catholic institute to attend for students who wish to receive a grounded and spiritual education by top-tier faculty. It is best known for teaching its Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degree with the Great Books and Seminar method. Beyond that, you’ll find features such as:
- 11 percent of students have entered the priesthood
- Graduates include Fulbright Scholars and Ford Foundation recipients
- 11:1 student to faculty ratio
This method takes traditional textbooks and replaces them with the seminal books used in all the major disciplines, hence the designation of the Great Books method. In addition, the four year program is divided into sections: the first two years provide a concentration on the Trivium (which includes logic, rhetoric, and grammar) and the Quadrivium (science and music), the third year focuses on written papers about several subjects, and the fourth year is dedicated to a senior thesis that students then defend before a panel of faculty members.
College Choice Score: 65.58
Net Cost: $22,593
Marymount University was established in 1950 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary as a two-year women’s school. It is now a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a welcoming community. It is located in Arlington, Virginia.
The school is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, a service that allows students from member universities to take classes at a variety of universities, as well as partake in libraries at each campus. Other highlights include:
- 97 percent of first year students receive financial aid
- D.C.-based internship opportunities
- Study abroad programs in over 20 countries
Marymount offers a Catholic traditional education from a world-class faculty, with the vast majority of them possessing terminal degrees in their fields. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees up to the doctoral level, as well as offering students access to pre-professional programs in teaching, physical therapy, medicine, and law.
Salve Regina University
College Choice Score: 65.47
Net Cost: $29,404
Chartered in 1934 by the Sisters of Mercy, Salve Regina University is a private, Catholic, non-profit university located in Newport, Rhode Island, in the diocese of Providence. It is accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, with specialized accreditations for many of its programs and departments.
Salve Regina is a liberal arts-based university, providing an emphasis on the arts and sciences along with offering pre-professional and professional programs. The school offers associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees as well as a Ph.D. in Humanities. There are a total of 75 programs available for undergraduate and graduate programs. You’ll find other perks, like:
- 200 study abroad programs in 45 different countries
- 72 percent of students are from out of state
- An off-site Center for Adult Education campus in Warwick
This school is best known for its wide variety of international programs. The Global Studies Program has a study abroad requirement, as well as an array of concentrations that focus on international development and cultural awareness. The Graduate Program in International Relations grants a degree that can be partially completed online and ranks as one of the best international relations graduate programs available in the country.
Thomas More College
College Choice Score: 65.31
Net Cost: $19,317
Thomas More College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college that was established in 1921 in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, by the Benedictine Sisters. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. It has been listed as one of the best colleges in America by U.S. News and World Report. It is a member of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.
This college offers over 40 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including pre-professional study degrees in Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine. You’ll also be pleased to find that the school features:
- #1 in Kentucky for return on investment for 4 years in a row
- A variety of internships, co-ops, and research project opportunities
- One of the best regional universities of the South
Like with many Catholic colleges, Thomas More College offers Catholic services outside of academia. More Ministry and a student club are dedicated to promoting service projects, Christian fellowship, and cultivate spiritual development among students of all backgrounds.
College Choice Score: 65.11
Net Cost: $25,332
- The only Blessed Virgin Mary university in the U.S.
- 8:1 student to faculty ratio
- Top 10 Best Value Colleges in Midwest
College Choice Score: 64.98
Net Cost: $27,932
Established in 1937, Siena College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college that is affiliated with the Order of Friars Minor. It was named after Saint Bernardino of Siena, a 15th-century Italian Franciscan friar. Is it home to the St. Bernardine of Siena Friary and is located in Loudonville, New York.
Siena College has three schools that offer over 20 degrees in a variety of subjects. The school focuses on liberal arts, business, and science degrees, forming a foundation of study that is firmly rooted in the Franciscan tradition while also offering real-world degrees that offer job opportunities. Here are a few more details:
- 88 percent first-year retention rate
- Overall, graduates earn $500,000 more than SUNY graduates
- Study abroad trips, internships, and field experiences
This school has distinct Catholic services, such as a Campus Ministry and a chapel that provides Mass, but it is a school that offers opportunities and organizations for all students. The Student Senate is the best known and most treasured of these. It acts as a go-between for the faculty, students, and the administration. It is responsible for the oversight of clubs and club fees, as well as communicating concerns to the administration.
St. Francis University
College Choice Score: 64.69
Net Cost: $23,747
St. Francis University is a private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university that is affiliated with the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and the Roman Catholic Church. It is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This school grants degrees at the undergraduate and graduate degrees across four colleges. Pre-professional degrees are available as well as select terminal degrees. St. Francis University is best known for having accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, one of less than 250 schools, both private and public, to hold this accreditation. Even more, you’ll find:
- 100 percent job placement rate in numerous areas
- 100 percent pass rates on numerous licensure exams
- 96 percent of graduates find employment within 6 months
While faculty and staff stay true to the Franciscan tradition, St. Francis University’s mission is to create well-rounded students that can participate globally while staying true to Catholic morals. Combining a Catholic education with a strong foundation in academia, this school is continuously rated as one of the best colleges in America.
St. Bonaventure University
College Choice Score: 64.08
Net Cost: $22,593
Founded in 1858 by the Franciscan Brothers, St. Bonaventure University is a private, Franciscan Catholic liberal arts university that is headquartered in Allegany, New York, in the Diocese of Buffalo. The school is also home to the Franciscan Institute, which is the premier institute in the country for education and research on the Franciscan Movement.
St. Bonaventure University is known in New York and the surrounding region for having graduated six Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. Its journalism and education programs have been nationally ranked, with many leading newspaper columnists and journalists having graduated from this school. Here are a few more highlights:
- 4 fully online graduate programs
- Over 75 percent of students live on campus
- Over 95 percent of students receive financial aid
The university offers 50 academic programs at a bachelor, master, and doctoral level. There are also dual degrees available at this university by select admission. St. Bonaventure is accredited by the Middle States Association, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
College Choice Score: 64.00
Net Cost: $31,181
Stonehill College is a private, nonprofit college that was founded in 1948 by the Congregation of Holly Cross as a sister school to the University of Notre Dame. It is located in Easton, Massachusetts. This school offers around 40 major areas of study within the arts and sciences, all at the undergraduate level. It also offers the ability to double major in two areas for an honor’s degree.
The Holy Cross tradition is very much alive and well at Stonehill College, with members of the congregation working on campus as administrators, faculty, and campus ministers. In fact, Stonehill’s president is a Holy Cross priest, the ninth such priest to hold that position. More stand-out features include:
- 100 percent of classes taught by faculty
- 12:1 student to faculty ratio
- Top 10 percent in nation for Best Value Liberal Arts Colleges
Stonehill College was built on the ideas set forth by the Holy Cross tradition — that each person has and deserves dignity, and that critical thinking and free inquiry, when combined with respect for each other, will build a world dedicated to God’s word and service to others.
College Choice Score: 63.11
Net Cost: $15,662
King’s College, formally known as The College of Christ the King, was founded in 1946 by the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is a liberal arts college that is accredited by the Middle States Associations of Colleges and Schools and is nationally ranked in the top 10 percent of colleges within the country. It is located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Classes sizes are small at King’s College, averaging about 18 students per class. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in 35 areas of study, along with seven pre-professional programs and concentrations. You’ll also find features such as:
- 4:1 student to computer ratio
- 99 percent of graduates find work within 6 months
- One of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes
As with many Roman Catholic schools, King’s College offers a strong Campus Ministry. As the heart of student life at the school, Campus Ministry provides a variety of opportunities to students, including the ability to serve throughout Mass, a place in the Christian Voices Choir, retreats, and much more.
College Choice Score: 62.86
Net Cost: $27,474
Founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, Iona College is a private college that continues an affiliation with the Roman Catholic church. It is located in New Rochelle, New York. Iona College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Iona College is divided into two schools—an arts and science school and a business school. While most degrees granted at this school are at the undergraduate level, there is a fast-track MBA program available at the graduate level. Additionally, you’ll find impressive statistics such as:
- Numerous prestigious faculty teaching awards
- 43 percent of the student body is from a minority population
- 15:1 student to faculty ratio
The Christian Brother tradition, which is so defined by its core message of peace and social justice, has given Iona College a reputation for a brilliant academic and social life. To this end, the school has hosted The Week of the Peacemaker every year for the last thirty years. It is a week of lectures and debates that surround one theme, such as global hunger or health care, to enlighten the entire student body to current issues we are facing as a society.
Holy Family University
College Choice Score: 62.53
Net Cost: $15,730
Holy Family University was established in 1954 by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and is located in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It owns and operates two independent satellite locations around the greater Philadelphia area. It is the youngest Roman Catholic university in Philadelphia.
This school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, with several independent accreditations for the schools Nursing, Business, and Education programs also listed on the school’s website. It teaches students from a Judeo-Christian tradition, which focuses on being in service to God, others, and self through humility and dignity. Other highlights include:
- 46 unique undergraduate academic programs
- Average class size of 16 students
- Over 28 different honor societies
Holy Family University strives to educate students through their motto, which from Latin is translated to “I am bound by my responsibilities.” This simple declaration is the cornerstone of the school’s belief that students must be encouraged and challenged to meet all the obstacles and obligations that rise to meet them, ensuring they leave university as well-rounded and responsible citizens.
College Choice Score: 62.46
Net Cost: $27,943
Founded in 1965 by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales as an expansion of the Allentown Diocese’s school system, DeSales University is a private, co-educational university that is located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. It is still affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
DeSales University is a leader in academic excellence. With small class sizes and over 80 percent of faculty holding terminal degrees in their field, the school is poised to be the highest standard of Roman Catholic education possible. And with over 30 major areas of study at the undergraduate level alone, with options for graduate studies also available, DeSales is a university that takes pleasure in providing students with a great education. Here are a few more facts:
- 126 full-time faculty members
- 1,632 full-time undergraduate students
- 96 percent of students receive financial aid
The school teaches from the Salesian and Christian humanism traditions, meaning that every part of student life can be enlightened through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. DeSales University continues to provide this idea of enlightenment to all students, regardless of their faith background, ensuring that every student leaves the university with and understanding of how faith and the real world are intertwined.