Holy Names University (HNU) is a private university located in Oakland, California. HNU is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in 1868 by six nuns who were members of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, a Canadian teaching order. The sisters were asked to come to California by Father Michael King to start a school for girls in Oakland in order to train future teachers. The school moved to its present location in 1957 and became a coeducational institution in 1971.
The mission of Holy Names University is to “prepare students to think critically and imaginatively, to understand and employ the various modes of knowledge, to communicate clearly and persuasively, and to promote the common good.” Following the traditions of catholic education, HNU strives to provide an inclusive and rigorous academic environment.
Holy Names University is located on 60 wooded acres in the Oakland Hills. The University currently enrolls 890 undergraduate students. HNU has a diverse student population with 70% minority students. The student population represents 36 countries. Approximately 45% of the students live in on-campus housing.
Holy Names stresses critical thinking in its academics. HNU offers 19 undergraduate programs and 7 master’s programs. They are committed to maintaining small class sizes with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. The university runs on a semester academic system. All students are encouraged to participate in a semester or year studying in a foreign country in order to prepare for work in a global marketplace. A variety of study abroad programs are available through HNU’s affiliation with Central College Abroad.
The athletic program of HNU began in 1994. The Holy Names University Hawks compete in the Pacific West Division. They are an NCAA Division II school. There are 14 varsity teams. Women’s teams include basketball, cross country, soccer, golf, softball, tennis and volleyball. Men’s varsity teams are baseball, cross country, soccer, golf, basketball, tennis and volleyball.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Annual tuition at Holy Names University is $32,590. There are additional costs for room, board and books. Almost 100% of entering undergraduates at HNU receive some form of scholarship. HNU has been named three times by US News & World Report as a “best value” among western universities that do not have a doctoral program.
Holy Names University is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. HNU also holds accreditation with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and California Board of Behavioral Sciences approved MFT and LPCC licensure programs.
Applicants are evaluated based on their high school transcripts, essay, letter of recommendation, SAT or ACT score and extracurricular activities and achievements. Application is free if done online. Currently 57% of applicants are admitted. HNU will accept up to 30 hours of AP or IB credit toward your undergraduate degree for scores of three or above for AP exams or five or above for IB exams.
For more information about admissions to Holy Names University, contact the school at:
Holy Names University
Office of Admission
3500 Mountain Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94619