Washington, DC
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4 College Freshman

Facilities: Catholic is right in the heart of DC. It is an unbelievable place to study!

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Campus Minister has tons of activities. There are always things to do. I have done a DC metro scavenger hunt, gone to a comedy club, a murder mystery dinner, and visited museums, monuments, and government buildings in DC. Very active, vibrant, joyful student body.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: The school is spectacular, great classes professors. Very joyful students and faculty. Campus Minister is exceptional, Highly recommended, especially for Catholics.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: The Pryz is the most modern building on campus, but the old architecture is really neat. Some buildings are nice, but others definitely need some renovations.

3 College Junior

Facilities: CUA has a beautiful campus with lots of green space. Some of the buildings could definitely use a face lift though.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 154th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 316th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 380th
    Best Student Centers
  • 457th
    Best Library
  • 1146th
    Best Athletic Facilities

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Frankie Bustamante
View all previous student authors

The problem lies not in what the University has, but rather what it does not have. For a private school with expensive tuition, the facilities are small and unimpressive. The Pryz is a poor excuse for a student center because its main purpose is a dining hall. Other than that, the building has auditoriums for student groups and administration to sponsor events, such as lectures or meetings, and houses many administration-run student service centers. So what is left of the Pryz for students are offices for student organizations and a Starbucks—thank god for Starbucks. The DuFour Center, CUA's athletic facility, while a little distant from central campus, is big and helpful for student athletes, though most students don't trek across campus to use it. And while the library is pleasant, it is continuously ranked as one of the worst in the country. It is difficult to keep a happy face when students hear that neighboring universities have a bowling alley, movie theater, or larger congregating spaces with more student-friendly activities. However, students at CUA are resourceful and resort to other means of fun.

On the positive side, the campus is pretty, with green grass and attractive horticulture and plant life. Nature-wise, the campus is at an advantage, offering students places to tan, sit, or play sports when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. Conversely, when the winter moves in, there is plenty of space for snow to gather, facilitating fun snowball fights and downhill sledding. And that pretty much is the extent of the facilities' positives.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
193 acres
Student Centers
Edward J. Pryzbyla Center ("Pryz")
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • Engineering/Architecture and Mathematics Library, Pangborn Hall
  • John K. Mullen of Denver Library
  • Music Library, Ward Hall
  • Nursing/Biology Library, Gowan Hall
  • Physics Library, Hannan Hall
Popular Places to Chill
  • The Starbucks especially provides a soothing atmosphere where students can lounge around or have thoughtful conversations. Yeah, it happens.
  • Students are usually concentrated in the Pryz, whether they are eating or just lounging around.
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
Yes. Starbucks Coffee on the third floor of the Pryzbyla Center. There is also a coffee kiosk in Leahy Hall and a coffeehouse in the Columbus School of Law.
Movie Theater on Campus
No, however, students do get creative. The architecture building has a giant projector professors use for presentations. Architecture students take advantage of this makeshift cinema and pop in their favorite DVDs at night. Similarly, smaller classrooms have smaller projectors, which students use—not as big as a movie theater, but not as small as their television sets.
"Green" Initiatives
CUA is active in being environmentally friendly. The University even has academic programs dedicated to being "green," including a Master of Science in Sustainable Design degree (School of Architecture and Planning), Master of City and Regional Planning (School of Architecture and Planning), and Alternative and Renewable Energy Track within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
School Slang
  • Awk : Awkward
  • Duf : DuFour Athletic Center
  • God Squad: Students who are intimately involved with Catholic ministry and Catholic social groups
  • Pryz : Pryzbyla Center
  • Pryzballin': Eating at the Pryzbyla Center
  • Sketch or Sketchy: Something is odd or dangerous.
  • Luaupalooza : Every year, Campus Ministry, in conjunction with various other student organizations, organizes the event Luaupalooza, in which the McMahon parking lot (and surrounding area) is transformed into a luau—with food, popular carnival rides, music, and more.
  • Metro Madness: At the beginning of the year, Campus Ministry's The House, a group of student ministers who organize events for the student body, organizes an event called Metro Madness, where students go on a massive scavenger hunt in Washington, D.C. The event is aimed at getting students to become familiar with the city and Metro routes; it also serves as an icebreaker for students to get to know each other.
  • Thanksgiving with Father Bob (and his mother): The one name new students will hear is Father Bob (Rev. Robert Schlageter), the University's chaplain and a beloved figure on campus. Every year for Thanksgiving, he and his mother cook a Thanksgiving meal for students who do not have plans. It is a special event that captures the essence of Thanksgiving.
Urban Legends
In the movies and on television, Catholicism is popularly portrayed as a religion with a history of spirits, miracles, and exorcism. In the spirit of this characterization, there is an urban legend regarding one of the buildings on campus. Caldwell Hall, which is the headquarters for the theology and religious studies department, is said to house the ghost of a priest who performed exorcisms in the attic. The student community really plays into it, pointing to bloodstains and dents in the wall where the priest had his fatal encounter with a possessed young girl.
Favorite Things To Do
The things to do at CUA are seasonal. When the sun is out and weather is warm, people will lay out on the grass and work on their tans or read a book. It is common to see students play football, soccer, or ultimate Frisbee. In the winter, however, outdoor activity is limited. Students thus opt for indoor play and lounge around in the Pryz. But when it snows, students suit up and play as hard as they do when it is sunny. Common snow activities include snowball fights, sledding (with food trays), snow wrestling, snow football, and pretty much anything that involves gravity and snow. The student-run organization "Program Board" is in charge of putting together events and entertainment for students. What kind of events? Well, they range from "Noise in the Pryz," where musicians perform in the Pryz (big names in the past were The Ataris and Fools and Horses), to "Movies on the Mall," where students lay out on the Basilica lawn and watch two movies (before they are released on DVD) on a jumbo screen. CUA also has an impressive and dedicated drama and musical theatre department, which puts on productions throughout the year for the University community. But by looking around campus for advertisement posters or on the University's student website (home.cua.edu), students can pretty much find something to do every day, whether it be taking in an a cappella performance, film festival, or simple residence hall event.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Tower
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 28 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 29 responses

  • 0% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 14% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 38% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 48% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 25 responses

  • 20% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 8% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 48% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 24% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.


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