The Catholic University for Independent Thinkers
The University of Dallas (UD), founded in 1956, is a nationally-recognized, Catholic liberal arts university that remains dedicated to its mission of developing responsible leaders through the practice and pursuit of intellectual and moral virtue. At UD, students study the greatest classics of the Western tradition, culminating in a semester spent on our Eugene Constantin Campus in Rome, Italy.
UD students thrive on a rigorous academic program distinguished by the Core curriculum. Based on the belief that truth and virtue exist and are the proper objects of search in an education, the Core curriculum is a two-year course of study through which UD students directly encounter Western civilization’s greatest authors, leaders, and artists by reading classic, original works. The Core curriculum is comprehensive, encompassing English, philosophy, mathematics, fine arts, science, classics, modern languages, American civilization, Western civilization, politics, economics, and theology.
Students are given the opportunity to further their curiosity in a particular area of study by choosing a specific major. UD offers 29 majors, which can be combined in double majors that exactly match the student’s interest. Furthermore, more than 30 concentrations (minors) are available to broaden academic expertise. Pre-professional programs in pre-architecture, pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-engineering, pre-law, pre-ministerial programs, pre-physical therapy, and teaching certification are also available to academically prepare students for rigorous graduate programs and demanding professions.
While pursuing undergraduate degrees, UD students grow spiritually, intellectually, socially, and creatively through various student organizations and activities. Over 40 extracurricular activities are available on both campuses, representing diverse interests from Chess Club to rugby and from the Jane Austen Society to the Economics in Action Club. Numerous service opportunities, theatrical performances, concerts, and art shows are also available for students to participate in and enjoy throughout the year.
The University’s Core curriculum and strong academic programs have proven successful both for students entering the workforce and for students continuing their education at an advanced level. Approximately 85% of UD graduates who apply to medical school are accepted, and approximately 90% of UD graduates who apply to law school are accepted. UD graduates have gone on to become radio hosts, novelists, politicians, actors, professors, business leaders, and scientists, among many other notable professions.
The light of the Catholic faith brilliantly illuminates every aspect of life in the UD community, where more than 80% of the students are Catholic. The Department of Theology is committed to orthodox teaching and adherence to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, including having received the mandatum. Yet those of other faiths are happy that Catholicism at UD is not the rigid variety that relentlessly proselytizes or admits no debate or discussion.
One of the highlights of the University of Dallas educational experience is the Rome Program. For more than 40 years, the UD Rome Program has offered a superior curriculum and educational travel to students who are seriously committed to the liberal arts, the ideals of Western civilization and the Catholic intellectual tradition.
The Eugene Constantin campus is situated less than 15 miles southeast of Rome, nestled among the vineyards along the Via Appia and just down the hill from the papal summer villa in the Albano region. Students take class trips to Greece and Northern Italy, where the Core curriculum becomes tangible. A 10-day break allows students to further explore Europe on their own. There is no better city to complete these studies than Rome, the Eternal City, one of the world’s greatest civilizations and the heart of the Catholic Church.
At the University of Dallas, students find a particularly close-knit campus community which students often compare to a family of friends. Students have created more than 40 clubs and organizations that reflect a variety of interests. Crusaders for Life, Swing Club, the Pre-health Society, and the Sailing Club are some of the most popular. Together with Campus Ministry, UD students give hundreds of hours in service to those in need through opportunities such as Alternative Spring Break, Charity Week, Crusaders for Kids, and Best Buddies. Students with a talent or love for music find a campus that delights in everything from Irish folk to classical chamber ensembles and alternative rock.
A Student’s Perspective
My name is Halley Chavey, and I was homeschooled K-12 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I came to visit UD when I was a senior in high school and found the community to be exceptionally welcoming, especially during my overnight stay on campus. Throughout my time at UD I have met many other homeschooled students, and I have been supported by them and the rest of the student body – a peer group which forms a strong community of students pushing one another to achieve more academically, spiritually, and personally. They really love UD, which inspired me as a high school senior to learn more about the school and discover what exactly made UD so special.
If I had to name my two favorite things about UD itself, I think they would be the professors and the Rome program. I have so many professors to thank for my success during my time at UD. They work very hard to ensure that students are succeeding, while at the same time always setting the bar very high academically. They quickly establish a personal relationship with their students, and some professors who taught me freshman year still remember my first name even now, three years later.
It was during my Rome semester when I began to realize exactly what my professors and the Core classes were doing for me. What you learn in the Core is the foundation of all of Western civilization, a history which came alive for me in my Rome semester. Not only did I begin to appreciate the Core classes I had taken, but I also grew as a person, both from my education and from my personal experience traveling. You learn a lot about yourself when you are trying to efficiently manage your time while traveling, studying, exploring the city of Rome, spending time with friends, budgeting for souvenirs, trying to sleep, and booking your next flight. Being so close to Vatican City helped my faith to become more tangible as I embraced the many opportunities I had to grow spiritually.