Holy Names University
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Discover the HNU Difference

Begin your Journey. Climb to the Top.

A staircase runs down the middle of our campus. Your first day on campus you will experience our Rite of Passage ceremony where all of our new students are led up the stairs to a reception welcoming them to Holy Names University. We look upon your time at HNU as your first steps on your journey to the top.

At HNU you will be learning at one of the most diverse university campuses in the country and engaging in different thoughts, ideas and concepts. Achieve your personal and professional goals while gaining valuable knowledge, skills and perspective along the way.

Practice critical thinking.

From the very beginning of your academic life at Holy Names we design experiences to complement classroom learning. The HNU academic experience isn’t just about relevant majors and dynamic faculty, it’s about educating the whole person in preparation for your next step in life. We want you to be prepared to not just excel in your field, but to live a professional life that values making the world a better place. Our commitment to small classes and an individualized education exists to help you maximize your time at HNU through interactions with faculty both in and out of the classroom.

We share your excitement about preparing for the completion of your degree and the next steps you plan to take whether those include a new job or continuing on with graduate studies.

Celebrate diversity.

HNU is consistently ranked as one of the most diverse universities in the country. The 2008 edition of US News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2014 edition ranked Holy Names number one for ethnic diversity among national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional universities, and regional colleges. About 70% of our students are from under-represented ethnic backgrounds and our student body represents 36 nations. 

We’ve been a living lab of how a diverse community can come together, and celebrate similarities and differences. We are a community that reflects where we live and work.

Connect with faculty.

Faculty at HNU are just as passionate about your educational experience as they are about the classes they teach. They will share, explore and cultivate these interests with you. At HNU you will learn about the history of Central America from one of our professors who grew up in El Salvador. You will read essays and explore literature with a professor who is a published author. You will also learn the accounting field and marketing strategies from a professor who is a Certified Public Accountant and who was the owner of a privately held company. Our professors are passionate and engaged in their fields, and will share their knowledge and enthusiasm with you.

You will be inspired by faculty who have gained wide recognition for their scholarship and teaching—over 90 percent hold doctorates or the highest degree in their field.

Strive for social justice.

Holy Names University is committed to inspiring generations to take action.

Here we expect you to do more. We want you to go beyond just attending class, listening to lectures, and reading a textbook. We want you to engage the world at every stage in your education.

At the heart of our institution, we believe in striving for social justice through service. We inspire our students to take what they have learned in the classroom out into the world to make it a better place. Throughout the year, undergraduates can engage in service projects like helping Habitat for Humanity in Oakland, walking for breast cancer research or traveling to Tutwiler, Mississippi, to build houses. Student commitment to these projects is what makes the HNU vision of service actually happen.

HNU students are activists, mentors and leaders.

Experience the best of the Bay.

We recognize that the educational journey must also include opportunities for fun. Our campus is ideally located near the excitement of San Francisco, the action of numerous professional sports teams (A’s, Raiders, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, Giants and the Earth Quakes), and the funky culture of Berkeley. The HNU campus is a safe and lively home base that puts the bright lights of the big city within your reach.

We encourage you to climb the 106 steps to the top level of our hillside campus and look out from the balcony in front of McLean Chapel. You can see virtually the whole San Francisco Bay Area spread out in front of you. It is a spectacular sight.

The value of our location, however, goes beyond the priceless view or the scenic beauty of the campus. Attending HNU allows you to live and learn in one of the most desirable areas in the United States. Cultural, intellectual, and recreational activities abound in every direction from HNU’s location in the Oakland Hills.


Learn more about Our Mission or some of our stats at HNU At a Glance.

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