Welcome to Catholic University!
This is a very exciting time for you and your family. You will find that Catholic University has a lot to offer you — outstanding faculty who are ready to engage you in new ideas, a variety of student organizations and service projects, spiritual engagement, and many internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.
Here you will develop and shape your intellect and learn to accept the challenges of being a committed citizen serving others. We hope that you will challenge yourself and lead others, taking responsibility for your Catholic University experience and making it everything you have dreamed. Faculty and administration are here to assist you in achieving your goals and reaching beyond them. All of this starts with Orientation.
Over the course of the summer you will receive information from Orientation and other University offices. Please review each item carefully for deadlines. The Catholic University of America is preparing for your arrival and we are ready to address your questions and assist with your transition.
Please contact the Orientation office at 202-319-5627 or any other University office listed in this guide at any time. On behalf of the Orientation staff, I welcome you. We are committed to supporting you and helping you make the transition to life on campus and in Washington, D.C.
We look forward to seeing you in August!
Director of Campus Activities
Orientation for all new students and their families is currently scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 26th, 2021. Students are expected to attend the entire Orientation. Orientation will help you take your place within the Catholic University community as a responsible, independent student.
Orientation will help you:
- Become familiar with the campus and surrounding community
- Engage as an active member of a rich academic community
- Learn what it means to be a student citizen who respects the campus community
- Learn about the many service opportunities available to students
Sessions for families will provide a summary of:
- Catholic University's commitment to academic achievement
- The University's expectations for student citizenship
- The changes and challenges parents expereince as their student joins the Catholic University community
- Ways students will engage spiritually
Orientation Mission Statement
The Orientation program facilitates the successful transition of new undergraduate students into Catholic University’s intellectual, social, and faith-based communities; promotes student learning and development; encourages independence and individual responsibility; and facilitates continued student success to graduation. This is accomplished through programming that emphasizes the University’s academic and community expectations as well as its social and developmental resources and opportunities. Through personal connections with peer leaders, faculty, and administration, new students and their families will develop an introductory understanding and appreciation of the intellectual, social, and service opportunities available and gain knowledge of campus and community resources.
On-Campus Students (including residential transfer students)
Thursday, Aug. 26, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Residence Life has been busy preparing for your arrival to campus and is excited to have you join the Catholic University residential community. Please plan your arrival time based on the first letter of your last name, as listed below. Staggered arrival will help ease traffic flow and will decrease your wait time at check-in:
- Last Names Begin with
- A-F - 8 - 10 a.m.
- G-F - 10 a.m. - Noon
- N-Z - 12:30 - 2 p.m.
When you arrive to campus on Thursday, Aug. 26, you will proceed directly to the check-in location for your residence hall. In early August, visit https://orientation.catholic.edu for updated check-in information and locations. When you check in to your residence hall you will receive your room key(s), residence hall check-in materials, and Orientation information. If you arrive after 3 p.m. for Orientation, you should proceed directly to the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center information desk. Orientation advisors will get you connected with your residence hall staff and Orientation group. The academic-year meal plan for residential students begins with dinner on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021.
* Students with special sessions on Thursday afternoon (athletes, transfers, and honors students) may adjust their move-in times accordingly.
Commuter Students (including commuting transfer students)
You should plan to arrive on Thursday, Aug. 26, at least one hour prior to your assigned opening session. Visit https://orientation.catholic.edu or download the Catholic U app and select the Orientation 2021 guide to see the Orientation 2021 schedule and find which opening session you should attend. When you arrive on campus proceed directly to the Pryzbyla Center information desk. Orientation advisors will check you in, get you connected with your Orientation group, and show you to the opening session. For dinner on Saturday, you may purchase meals on a cash basis or use your meal plan.
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is planning to hold an orientation for international students on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Caldwell Auditorium. All international students are welcome and encouraged to attend; however, this orientation is REQUIRED for all “F” and “J” visa holders. It is designed to familiarize you with the legal aspects of maintaining your immigration status in the United States as well as to address various adjustment issues related to both the U.S. culture and to Catholic University’s community. Visit the ISSS website at https://international.catholic.edu for more information, or contact ISSS at 202-319-5618.
- Last Names Begin with
Things to do before you arrive on campus:
- Cardinal Mail Account
Student e-mail at Catholic University is provided in Cardinal Mail. All messages for Catholic University students are delivered to Cardinal Mail, and your Catholic University e-mail address is your firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, on accessing your Cardinal Mail account, click here. If you have trouble accessing your account, contact Technology Services. You can also visit Technology Services at Leahy 117. Click here to find contact information.
- Cardinal Card Photo
Your Cardinal Card is your official University identification card. This card displays your photo and student ID number. You may go to cardinalcard.catholic.edu
to upload your own ID photo. Guidelines regarding acceptable ID photos can be found at the link provided. Uploading a photo before arriving on-campus saves you time and allows you to control the camera. We do not take ID photos in-person, so please note that if you do not submit a photo via the link above you will be required to do so on your own once you arrive on-campus. Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Transportation and Parking at 202-552-7275, or email cua-transportation@cua. edu.
- Financial Aid Awards
To accept or decline your financial aid awards, log into Cardinal Students and select the Financial Aid tile followed by the option to Accept/Decline.
- Statement of Financial Responsibility
Read and accept the Statement of Financial Responsibility by logging into Cardinal Students and selecting the Student Account tile, followed by the menu option for Financial Responsibility
- Authorized Payers and Account Statements
Monthly account statements are available electronically through CardinalPAY. For more information, visit enrollment-services.catholic.edu/newstudents/. The first statement for the fall term will be available mid- summer. Once available, email notification will be sent to each student’s account and to any authorized payers. Students who wish to grant parents or guardians access to their account information must establish those individuals as authorized payers in CardinalPAY. The University is unable to discuss account information with any person other than the student unless they are an authorized payer. Find instructions for how to establish authorized payers at enrollment-services.catholic.edu/old-site-content/payersetup.html.
- Optional Monthly Payment
The University offers the flexibility of a monthly payment option through Tuition Management Systems. A plan allows students to pay their balance in monthly payments spread through the term instead of in full at the start of the semester. As long as the payment plan budget covers the balance for the semester, the student will be exempt from financial penalties. For information, visit enrollment-services.catholic.edu/newstudents/.
- Tuition Refund Plans
Given the substantial financial commitment that students and families make to pay for education, the University offers an optional insurance program designed to protect that investment should a student need to withdraw. For more information, visit enrollment-services.catholic.edu/billing/refunds/index.html#Tuition_Refund_Plan.
Authorize Access to Your Student Record
Visit enrollment-services.catholic.edu/newstudents/ to learn how to authorize access to your record for parents/guardians or other third parties.
- Student Medical Insurance
Accept or waive the Student Medical Insurance at catholic.edu/studentinsurance.
- Athletic Medical Forms
If you will be participating in intercollegiate athletics, please return athletic medical forms to the athletic training department. Visit https://www.catholicathletics.com/information/sports_med/Exam or call 202-319-6049 for information on how to fill out and submit the forms.
Immunization records are required for all students under the age of 26. Records for first-year students MUST be submitted on the student portal. For a list of required immunizations and instructions on how to submit them, see the Student Health Services section Please refer to your “checklist” in Cardinal Students. Once your completed records have been received, this will show as completed on the checklist.
- Final High School Transcripts and Test Scores
Your final high school transcript, with your graduation date, must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admission prior to orientation. If you will be receiving federal financial assistance, the aid will not be disbursed until the University has received your final transcript. If you took the SAT or ACT, please send them to us as well. They will be used for statistical and placement purposes only and will not impact your admission or financial aid award. Test scores can be submitted directly from the testing agency or can be sent by your high school with your final transcript.
- Course Registration and Placement Exams
To help you pick your courses, look for emails from your undergraduate advisor. Find course advice and other information at catholic.edu/firstyear. Your advisor will help determine any placement exams you need to take. Transfer students should email the transfer coordinator at cua- email@example.com and visit registration.catholic.edu.
- Cardinal Mail Account
Information For Families (Fall Orientation Only)
Your student is about to begin an exciting new journey, and we at The Catholic University of America understand that you play an important role in your student’s success.
Through Orientation we encourage students to learn and understand the expectations and offerings of the Catholic University community. We hope that you and your student will talk about expectations, responsibility, transitional fears, and exciting opportunities both before and during Orientation and throughout their time here. In this light we have designed sessions specifically for families in conjunction with the student orientation program. All sessions marked for families will conclude by the evening of Friday, Aug. 27. To see the schedule, visit the Orientation website at https://orientation.catholic.edu or download the Catholic U app and select the Orientation 2021 guide.
Separate Sessions for Students and Families
Families and students often have different concerns about the transition to college. Typically students are concerned about their social adjustment, while parents and guardians have questions about academics, financial aid, housing, and health services. The sessions designed for families will address the changes and challenges that you will experience as your student joins our community. Your attendance at the family sessions will provide you with an understanding of the University’s expectations for your student, explain University policies, and give you time to speak with representatives from various University offices. The University would like students to assume primary responsibility for their academic and cocurricular decisions. Orientation is the beginning of this process, highlighting the relevant resources and reminding students that their decisions will have important consequences.
Parents and Guardians Attending Orientation
Studies show that input from parents and guardians is one of the most significant influences on the decisions students make while they are at a university. Informed parents can and do influence the success of their children. The more you know about the resources available to your child, the better prepared you will be to provide them direction as they navigate through their four years at Catholic University.
Registering for Orientation
Family members do not need to register separately from their student. Your student will be asked whether parents, guardians, or other guests will be attending Orientation later in the summer. There is a $60 fee for each individual accompanying a student to Orientation. It is important for your student to register the correct number of people so that the appropriate number of meals and materials are ordered.
First-Year Experience (FYE) combines academics, campus engagement, and local involvement. As an incoming student you will be placed in a learning community (LC) of no more than 18 students, and take two classes as a group in the fall and the spring semesters — a total of four classes. You’ll get to know your classmates and instructors, talking to each other about assignments, readings, deadlines, and more.
Classes include excursions into D.C. to places such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building, the Holocaust Museum, and the war memorials. The program also incorporates service learning into each semester, combining community service with academics. We even give you a free dinner once a term with your LC!
Your advisor in the Center for Academic and Career Success (CACS) will also play an important role during your first year (and beyond). Early on, they will help you transition to college, give you advice about course-planning and the options you have in front of you, and answer any questions you may have. Later on, they will help you get the most out of your academic experience by connecting you with events, internship and study abroad opportunities, career development advice, and information about professional placement and transitioning to a career or grad school.
You also have an academic advisor, usually a faculty member in your academic department. This person helps you get connected with your major course of study and all that your department has to offer. Your advisor will assist you with course selection, inform you of double major or minor possibilities, and help make sure that you are getting the most out your studies. The CACS and academic advisors are part of a team that supports you.
First-Year Experience is for ALL students, including those students who may be choosing among multiple majors — exploratory students are also assigned undergraduate advisors. The undergraduate advisor will support you as you begin the process of deciding what major is the right fit for you.
Visit catholic.edu/firstyear to learn more about how we support you in the first of your four years at Catholic University.
Center for Academic and Career Success (CACS)
102 McMahon Hall
At the Center for Academic and Career Success (CACS), we envision the college experience as a journey. The journey begins with a student’s first step onto campus and continues through participation in exciting learning opportunities that lead to a fulfilling personal and professional life after graduation.
Throughout this journey, your CACS advisor will serve as a personal guide, tracking your academic and career progress, introducing you to new resources, and presenting you with extracurricular, internship, and networking opportunities in order to help you identify and achieve your personal, academic, and career goals.
Course registration will open for new students on Tuesday, June 15 at 12:00am, but you should expect to hear from your CACS advisor in the weeks leading up to registration. Your advisor is here to make sure you are ready and on the right track, and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. More specific course registration advice is also available at success.catholic.edu.
Transfer students and students requesting credit for AP courses and test scores should visit undergraduatestudies.catholic.edu/transfers and then email the University transfer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. All transfer documents should be submitted prior to the opening of course registration on Tuesday, June 15.
Engraving & Printing Federal Credit Union
180 Leahy Hall
The Engraving & Printing Federal Credit Union has a branch office and ATM on campus in Leahy Hall, room 180.
2350 Washington Place, N.E.
SunTrust Bank operates a branch close to campus and features the ATM Quest, Plus, AFFN, CIRRUS, VISA, Discover, AMEX, and MasterCard card systems. ATMs are available in the Pryzbyla Center, Leahy Hall, and the Columbus School of Law.
Barnes & Noble at Catholic University
625 Monroe St., N.E.
Location and Hours
Barnes & Noble at The Catholic University of America is located at 625 Monroe St., N.E. In addition to textbooks, B&N at Catholic University has a general reading department, Barnes & Noble Café, and Cardinals merchandise! The store is open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From textbooks to Catholic University apparel and convenience items, we work hard to make sure students have access to all their needs. We carry a wide range of items, including school supplies, reference materials, electronics, bestselling novels, and a variety of spirit gear, gifts, and accessories. You can find the same great selection of products in our store and online at catholic.bncollege.com. We offer numerous cost-saving textbook options for students, such as used books, an extensive rental program, price matches, and textbook buyback.
BN at Catholic University accepts cash, Cardinal Cash, all major credit cards, and Barnes & Noble Gift Cards.
Center for Cultural Engagement (CCE)
207 Pryzbyla Center
The Center for Cultural Engagement (CCE) advances The Catholic University of America’s commitment to a campus and a world that values every human being, and supports and celebrates their uniqueness, experiences, and contributions. Through the promotion of intercultural education and awareness, the CCE contributes to the personal and intercultural development of all students, fostering the development of a sense of self, belonging and commitment to the common good.
One program that allows the CCE to advance its mission is Take Flight. Take Flight supports the transition of ﬁrst generation students to life at Catholic University, capitalizing on the gifts and talents they possess. Take Flight is designed for students whose college application indicates that neither parent has obtained a college degree in the United States.
Through their participation in Take Flight, ﬁrst generation students will be able to navigate their ﬁrst year at The Catholic University of America with conﬁdence and ease. Take Flight will allow ﬁrst generation students to:
- easily access all the resources available on campus and beyond;
- reach personal and academic goals;
- develop healthy habits that ensure academic success;
- and fully engage in campus life.
Interested in being part of Take Flight? Contact Javier Bustamante — email@example.com.
Other Services Provided
- Individual student advising
- Student organization advising
- Three computer stations with color printing access
- Weekly career counseling (courtesy of CACS) and writing consultations (courtesy of the Writing Center)
- Cultural celebrations (Rhythms of Latin America, Taste of the Holy Days, Día de los Muertos, International Week)
- Monthly Intercultural Dialogues featuring guest speakers
- Weekly—Civility Dialogues—discussions about current topics in politics, culture, etc.
Disability Support Services (DSS)
127 Pryzbyla Center
The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) provides accommodations to students with diagnosed and documented disabilities. DSS supports students with disabilities including but not limited to: ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, psychological/emotional disabilities (such as anxiety and depression), mobility impairments, chronic health/ medical issues, traumatic brain injury, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and sensory impairments (such as low vision, blindness, deafness, and hearing loss).
DSS is proud to work with other Catholic University community members to promote accessibility and inclusivity, in order to mitigate barriers that students with disabilities face while at college. Part of this includes working with students on a case-by-case basis to address their individual needs, in order to discuss diagnoses and assign academic accommodations. Academic accommodations cannot be utilized retroactively, so students should have their accommodations in place prior to the first week of the semester. New students should begin this process over the summer in order to be prepared for a strong start in the fall. Please visit the DSS website (dss.catholic.edu) to review the registration process and to get started by submitting a registration form.In addition to academic accommodations, DSS also works with students who may need a specific type of housing accommodation due to disability-related needs. Incoming first-year students should submit both an application through housing and accommodation registration with DSS by the May 15th priority deadline. The housing application can be found on the housing website (https://housing.catholic.edu/on-campus/forms/index.html), while the DSS accommodation registration can be found on the DSS website (https://dss.catholic.edu/other-accommodations/housing-accommodations.html).
Aside from accommodations, DSS provides other supports for incoming students:
- Smart Start: Smart Start is a pre-orientation program hosted by DSS for incoming students with a documented disability. The purpose of the program is to prepare students and their families for the transition to university life by introducing various academic, social, and other campus resources and personnel. If living on campus, students will be able to move into their residence halls two days early. This year DSS will hold a virtual Smart Start on August 18 and 19, 2020. There is no cost to attend but applications to enroll in Smart Start are due by August 9, 2020. More information and the application are available online at dss.catholic.edu.
- 2–4–8 Program: DSS is proud to offer the 2–4–8 Program to all newly registered students with disabilities, in order to ensure that students have enacted their accommodation letters successfully with faculty members and to discuss any issues or questions related to academic and social success while getting started at Catholic U. Engaging in the 2–4–8 Program is also a great way to get to know the DSS team and learn about various resources on campus. As the name of the program suggests, students will meet with a DSS staff member at weeks 2, 4, and 8 of the semester. This program is offered free of charge as well.
knowledgeable staff. Please visit our website at dss.catholic.edu to learn more about the office
and different services we offer. We look forward to working with you!
125 Pryzbyla Center
Housing Services believes in the positive impact an on-campus residential community can have on a student’s overall experience, especially during the first year at college. The New Student Housing Application priority deadline is May 15; however, late applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and based on space availability. If you intend to live on campus for the upcoming academic year and have not yet applied for housing, please do so by logging onto Cardinal Students using your username and password and navigating to the “My Housing & Dining” tile. If you have misplaced your username and/or password, please call the Computer Help Desk at 202-319-4357.
Typically, assignments for students who have applied for housing by the May 15 deadline will be available online in MyHousing by July 1. For applications received after May 15, assignments will be made on a rolling basis, with a confirmation emailed to the student in addition to being available online in MyHousing. MyHousing is accessed by logging on to Cardinal Students. If you have not received your housing assignment by mid-August, email Housing Services at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about your housing status. Specific information on the opening of the residence halls will be available on the Housing Services website by late July. Housing Services also offers move-in services, such as linen rentals and the CollegeBoxes Program, to support your transition to residential college life. Additionally, students can rent MiniFridges directly through Housing Services and have the unit delivered to their room before arriving on campus! Information about move-in services can be found on the Housing Services website.
Student Accounts and Billing
Office of Enrollment Services
W200 Father O’Connell Hall
Tuition and fees are billed on a term-by-term basis and are due in full at the start of the term. The first statement for the fall term will be available the last week of June and the first statement for the spring term will be available in mid-December. Keep in mind that account balances may change throughout the term as payments and/ or additional charges are assessed to accounts. Be sure to review each statement as it becomes available to determine whether any balance is due. Student accounts with past-due balances are subject to registration/ transcript holds, late fees, and interest charges.
Account statements are issued monthly and are only available electronically through the Cardinal Pay website. Catholic University does not mail paper statements. Students should access Cardinal Pay via the Student Account tile in Cardinal Students. Authorized Payers can access Cardinal Pay via the link at cardinalpay.catholic.edu. Notifications of new statements are sent to the student’s Catholic University email address. Students who wish to receive notification at a non-University email address must authorize that email in Cardinal Pay. The University is unable to discuss account information with any person other than the student unless they have been granted Authorized Payer access by the student. Students can establish Authorized Payers by following the instructions at enrollment-services.catholic.edu/newstudents/.
A monthly payment plan option is available in Cardinal Pay. This interest-free option allows students to pay their balance in monthly payments insteaed of in full at the start of each semester. For more information on this option, visit paymentplan.catholic.edu
Students enrolling in this monthly payment option should review their regular University billing statements to ensure that the amount budgeted through the payment plan is sufficient to cover all expenses, as any balance owed to Catholic University that is not covered by the payments scheduled through the payment plan is subject to registration/ transcript holds, late fees, and interest charges.
Refunds of charges for students who withdraw from courses are processed according to the University’s Refund of Student Charges policy. Refunds are based on total charges billed, not on payments made. Students withdrawing from courses may be required to repay a portion of any federal financial aid received for the term. Visit financialaid.catholic.edu/policies for additional information.
Student Health Services: Immunizations and Medical Consent
Eugene I. Kane Student Health and Fitness Center
Washington, D.C., requires all students under the age of 26 to submit documentation of their immunizations. The Catholic University of America is in compliance with this law. Your information must be submitted through the student health portal. Please do not email or fax records directly to our office as they will not be entered. The student health portal is NOT the same as Cardinal Students.
You will need to register for the student health portal to begin record submission. The address to register is catholic.studenthealthportal.com. You will use your University ID number as your username when you register and be asked to answer a few security questions. A temporary password will be sent to your email. After logging in with that you can create your own password. Please use your University email to make sure you receive the email with the temporary password.
Immunization records are due July 1.
After registering for the portal, follow the instructions to submit your records.
The required immunizations are:
- 2 MMR vaccines with the first vaccine on or after the first birthday (or a blood test documenting immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella)
- 3 Hepatitis B vaccines (or a blood test documenting immunity)
- 2 Varicella vaccines (first one on or after the first birthday) or history of the illness or blood test documenting immunity
- Tdap vaccine within the past 10 years. Please check your Tdap date. If it was given more than 10 years ago it will not be accepted and your records will be incomplete.
- First year Undergraduate Students are additionally required to have received the Meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Menveo or Menactra (MCV or MPSV4) on or after the 16th birthday. If you choose to decline it, you must submit a signed waiver declining it. The waiver is on our website.
Please make sure you have received all required immunizations and submit them correctly.
If your record is incomplete or not submitted by the due date, you will be charged a $100 late fee. The due dates are noted on the Student Health Services web site.
Student Medical Insurance
For all students, good health is essential to achieving educational goals. Without adequate coverage, unexpected medical expenses could alter your future dramatically. For this reason, Catholic University requires all students to have quality health insurance.
All domestic students enrolled in 12 or more billed credits, as well as all international students, are enrolled in the student medical plan for a full year of coverage. This means that a charge will be applied to your University tuition bill. The student medical policy is underwritten by Aetna and runs from Aug. 14, 2020, through Aug. 13, 2021. The annual cost of the insurance is about $3,800 for the 2020–2021 academic year. Domestic students who are enrolled for fewer than 12 billed credits must proactively enroll in the plan by Sept. 8, 2020, using the same links — if they want the coverage. Students who are only taking online courses are not eligible for the plan.
If you are covered by another medical insurance plan that meets certain criteria, you may qualify for a waiver. To apply for a waiver, you must successfully complete the online waiver application process before the defined deadline. If the waiver is approved, the charge will be removed from your bill. Both waiver and enrollments must be completed by going to catholic.edu/studentinsurance on or before the last day to drop/add courses for the fall 2020 semester. Visit the website to find out more about the insurance provided and keep up with waiver/enrollment deadlines and information. You may also contact the student health insurance call center at 877-819-9413.
You will receive additional information in July with further instructions for verifying existing coverage or purchasing new coverage.
Technology Services117 Leahy Hall202-319-HELP (-4357)Technology Services has a wide range of computer resources available for students. At the top of the list is your Cardinal Credential (username and password), which gives you access to email, Blackboard, Cardinal Students, campus Wi-Fi, lab computers, and many other services. In addition, we can help you purchase a new computer and software at student rates and discover how technology can improve your lifelong learning experience. The gateway to these resources can be found on our website at technology.catholic.edu, or send us an email at email@example.com. We look forward to assisting you.