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This is CatholicU

A team of photographers and videographers fanned out across campus and Washington, D.C., to chronicle a day in the life of Catholic University. Working from before sunrise to long after sunset, the team captured the student experience from every angle. This is CatholicU.

Sunrise at Catholic University

The sun rose over Catholic University at 7:26 a.m. The sunrise was captured from the bell tower of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is adjacent to campus.

Early Morning in the Pryz

First mosaic photo shows mostly empty tables in the food court of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center with the morning sunlight streaming in the windows.

One of the first places many students head after waking up is the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, known as the Pryz. The Pryz serves as the heart of campus and is often bustling with activity throughout the day. 

Second mosaic photo shows a few students inside the Starbucks on the top floor of the Pryz.

The Pryz is home to a Starbucks (seen here), student restaurant, food court, convenience store (the P.O.D.), Murphy’s Grill, and Murphy's Lounge.

Third mosaic photo shows a female student carrying food in the student restaurant.

The student restaurant on the top floor is all-you-care-to-eat. (A particular favorite for students is Nugget Night, or Nug Night.) Soon, the University will break ground on a new dining hall next to the Pryz.

Fourth mosaic photo shows students sitting in comfortable chairs in the gallery area of the Pryz with a sunlit fall campus scene through the windows behind them.

Facing the center of campus, the Pryz’s chairs and large windows offer great views, especially in the fall. Student events are often hosted in the Pryz or on the lawn outside. Some of the most popular events are Mr. CUA, Fall Festival, Cardinalpalooza, and Late Night Breakfast.

Fifth mosaic photo is taken from outside looking through the full-length window wall into Murphy's Lounge where a male student is sitting in a chair reading.

Murphy’s Lounge, opened in 2016, features TVs, a fireplace, and several comfortable places for studying.

Sixth mosaic photo shows a female student seated at a table in Starbucks reading.

The on-campus Starbucks serves as a meeting place and study spot. Located on the third floor, the Starbucks is across from the atrium and next to the Great Room, where many campus events are held. 

Seventh mosaic photo shows a female student seated in a booth in the student restaurant with a view of a residence hall through the window beside her.

The student restaurant in the Pryz is conveniently located next to the Centennial Village residence halls. 

Female student in lab coat and safety glasses working in VSL lab

Morning to Afternoon

As the day shifts, many students dive into the heart of their academic schedules. They attend classes, study, collaborate on class projects, and write papers. But they also find time to hang out with friends and take advantage of all the green space the campus offers.

Lunch Time!

There are several options for lunch on campus in the Pryzbyla Center, including an all-you-care-to-enjoy student restaurant, a food court (with a Chick-fil-A and Which Wich, as well as stations for pizza, burgers, sushi, salad, and more), and Murphy’s, a restaurant and pub.

The Largest Campus in D.C.

First mosaic photo is a view of the tree-lined walkway next to the Columbus School of Law.

Catholic University is the largest and greenest campus in D.C. at 176 acres.

Second mosaic photo shows a male student reading a book as he walks along the University Mall with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the background.

The University was established in 1887 by a papal charter from Pope Leo XIII. 

Third mosaic image shows a male student passing through archway between a residence hall on St. Vincent's Chapel.

First-year and sophomore students reside on campus unless approved for commuter status. Many juniors and seniors choose to continue to live on campus.

Fourth mosaic photo shows groups of students walking on the sidewalk beside McMahon Hall with the Monroe Street Market clock tower in the background.

Undergraduate enrollment for 2023-24 is 3,139 and students come from all over the United States and beyond.

Fifth mosaic photo shows a male and a female student walk under trees on the plaza near the Pryz and Hannan Hall.

The campus is just a 10-minute Metro ride from Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian Institution, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and Union Station.

Sixth mosaic photo shows a group of female students walk up the stairway between the residence halls and the Pryz

The expansive Catholic University campus provides an environment that is both beautiful and designed to ensure safety.

Seventh mosaic photo shows two students walking and talking as they pass Hannan Hall.

Catholic University’s campus has more than 1,600 trees representing 200 different species.

Male professor standing and teaching outside as students sit on the grass in front of him.

Hitting the Books

The John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library is a popular destination in early afternoon. Students take advantage of numerous comfortable study spots throughout the library to study on their own or with friends. The University’s library system houses more than 1.3 million books and print volumes and provides access to tens of thousands of electronic journals and books.

Afternoon Turns to Night

As the academic portion of the day winds down, students get a chance to pursue their other interests through student organizations, faith development, residence hall activities, the arts, exercise, and more. This is the heart of student life at CatholicU.

Sunset at Catholic University

Captured from the rooftop of Opus Hall, the sunset occurred at 6:17 p.m. After a day full of classes, jobs, and internships, students get the chance to explore some of their other interests.

Female student wearing a brown sweater petting a very small dog wearing a yellow sweater.

A Celebration of Culture

First mosaic photo shows a male student and female student practicing a dance in Caldwell auditorium

These students are part of the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) and they are doing a dance rehearsal for an upcoming event.

Second mosaic photo shows members of SOL at a cookout on campus.

Earlier in the evening, SOL hosted a cookout next to the fitness center, where there is a basketball court, picnic table, and grill for students to use. 

Third mosaic photo shows shows six students practicing a dance in Caldwell auditorium.

Student organizations host dozens of events throughout the year that are open to all students.

Fourth mosaic photo shows a male student and female student rehearsing a dance

The students are rehearsing in Caldwell Hall, the oldest building on campus. It was dedicated in 1888.

Fifth mosaic photo shows a blindfolded female student about to hit piñata

The Center for Cultural Engagement works with SOL and approximately a dozen other multicultural student organizations to promote understanding and diversity on campus. 

Sixth mosaic photo shows a students practicing a dance

SOL strives to respond to the social, political, cultural, and educational needs of the Latino Community and to promote and publicize these needs.

Animated photos of Take Note singing
Students kneeling and praying in Caldwell Chapel

Working Late into the Night

First mosaic photo shows male student works on a laptop in the Crouch Center

Students enrolled in the School of Architecture and Planning can often be found working on projects late into the night.

Second mosaic photo shows a male architecture student assembling a model using wood and glue

The architecture program is housed in the Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies.

Third mosaic photo shows two female architecture students working on laptops across a desk from one another.

Architecture studies are organized around the globe. To accommodate the wide variety of interests among students, the school offers an extensive variety of architecture travel-study programs.

Fourth mosaic photo shows a male student working in an architecture studio

The School of Architecture and Planning offers five different undergraduate degree programs and two minors.

Fifth mosaic photo shows a female architecture student working in her studio in the Crough Center.

Students from the school designed the altar and chair used by Pope Francis when he held Mass on campus in 2015.

Sixth mosaic photo shows two students collaborating on a 3-D architecture project.

The school's Fabrication Lab includes a woodshop, metalshop, laser cutter, 3-D printer, and more.


We want you to be a part of a day in the life of Catholic University. Register for one of the programs below to visit our beautiful campus and experience a taste of daily CatholicU life for yourself. 


Project Director

Lisa Carroll, University web content editor/producer