The College Consensus ranking of the Best Catholic Colleges & Universities is comprehensive by design, bringing the results of the most trusted ranking publishers together with the most reputable student review sites. Catholic colleges have long been an international standard for academic quality and rigor, but prospective students can look to College Consensus for a thorough look at the Catholic schools in America recognized as the best across the board. With a wide selection of Catholic institutions in the US, students trust College Consensus’ ranking to show them the choice that is right for their needs.
How Did We Make Our Ranking of the Best Catholic Colleges & Universities?
College Consensus is built around the idea of putting together an all-encompassing, aggregate ranking of colleges. To do it, Consensus combines the rankings of nationally and internationally cited publishers like WalletHub, the Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report (among others) to determine the Publisher Rating. On the other hand, Consensus gathers ratings from reputable student reviews like Cappex, Niche, and Students Review to make an overall Student Review Rating. Together, you have the Consensus Rating, and a means to rank all colleges and universities both objectively and subjectively.
For centuries, the Catholic Church has been central to higher education, with Medieval and Renaissance-era schools setting standards for scholarly life. A lot has changed in a millennium, but what hasn’t changed is the academic reputation of Catholic education. From business and law to medicine and STEM research, Catholic colleges and universities continue to develop and transform, while holding on to the traditions of faith, community, and service leadership that define Catholic education. Whether Catholic or not, students can look to College Consensus’ Best Catholic Colleges ranking for guidance to the college or university that meets their need for academic, professional, social, and personal growth and development.
What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?
College Consensus’ aggregate rankings are designed for prospective students and their families, who want a simpler way to compare colleges. There’s an overwhelming number of college rankings out there, all with their own methods, emphases, and biases, but College Consensus cuts through it all by taking in in each other reputable ranking and student review. By putting expert and students perspectives on an equal footing, College Consensus intends to help students and families see the full scope of how their choices stack up against each other. Read more about the College Consensus methodology on the About page.
Note: The Top Consensus Ranked Catholic Colleges are listed in descending order by their Consensus score. In the event of ties, schools are ranked in alphabetical order with the same rank number.
University of Notre DameNotre Dame, IN
Georgetown UniversityWashington, DC
College of the Holy CrossWorcester, MA
Boston CollegeChestnut Hill, MA
Villanova UniversityVillanova, PA
Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara, CA
Mount Saint Mary's University (CA)Los Angeles, CA
Dominican UniversityRiver Forest, IL
Fairfield UniversityFairfield, CT
University of PortlandPortland, OR
St. Mary's UniversitySan Antonio, TX
Providence CollegeProvidence, RI
College of Saint BenedictSaint Joseph, MN
Loyola University MarylandBaltimore, MD
Rockhurst UniversityKansas City, MO
University of San DiegoSan Diego, CA
Saint Martin's UniversityLacey, WA
Manhattan CollegeRiverdale, NY
Canisius CollegeBuffalo, NY
La Salle UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
Saint Vincent College (PA)Latrobe, PA
Molloy CollegeRockville Centre, NY
Fordham UniversityBronx, NY
Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles, CA
Saint Johns UniversityCollegeville, MN
Marquette UniversityMilwaukee, WI
Saint Mary's CollegeNotre Dame, IN
Le Moyne CollegeSyracuse, NY
Saint Anselm CollegeManchester, NH
Siena CollegeLoudonville, NY
University of DallasIrving, TX
Niagara UniversityNiagara University, NY
University of DaytonDayton, OH
Gonzaga UniversitySpokane, WA
Mount Saint Joseph UniversityCincinnati, OH
Stonehill CollegeEaston, MA
University of ScrantonScranton, PA
Saint Michael's CollegeColchester, VT
Creighton UniversityOmaha, NE
Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaMoraga, CA
Aquinas CollegeGrand Rapids, MI
Saint Joseph's UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
Saint Peter's UniversityJersey City, NJ
Saint Louis UniversitySaint Louis, MO
Lewis UniversityRomeoville, IL
University of St Thomas (TX)Houston, TX
Saint Xavier UniversityChicago, IL
University of St FrancisJoliet, IL
University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA
John Carroll UniversityUniversity Heights, OH
What Makes Catholic Higher Education Exceptional? What Makes Catholic Higher Education Exceptional?
If you are wondering what are the benefits of Catholic higher education or a Catholic Ivy League College, they are as follows:
- Catholic Atmosphere: One of the top benefits of attending a Catholic higher education school is because you will be going to school in a Catholic atmosphere. Staying the course can be difficult for students and this is especially the case when they attend schools that do not promote living a Catholic lifestyle. However, by choosing to attend a Catholic college, you will eliminate many unnecessary distractions and you will be better able to focus on what matters most, school and religion.
- Catholic Spiritual Development: Another top benefit of attending a Catholic college is that it will help foster your spiritual growth. Worldly colleges are filled with distractions that serve to undermine your growth as a Christian. However, by attending a Catholic college, you will be able to deal with teachers, students, and other professionals who are interested in your spiritual development. Additionally, there are also many departments and resources dedicated to making sure your stay on track on a scholastic and spiritual level.
- Catholic Intellectual Tradition: As you already are aware, Catholic schools do not only focus on religion. In fact, being better educated and more involved in the community are innate to the Catholic Faith. So, not only will you receive opportunities to advance your religious schools of thought, but you will also be encouraged to participate in sports, politics, general interest clubs, and more.
Are Catholic Colleges Harder Than Secular Colleges?
If you are wondering are catholic colleges harder than secular colleges, that is a bit of a loaded question. Catholic education benefits are plentiful in Catholic colleges. However, this is not without its costs. One the one hand, while Catholic colleges tend to be stricter with regard to the rules and regulations, they also make it easier for Catholic students to feel accepted and heard. While attending a secular college may allow you more leniency in terms of your lifestyle choices, many Catholic students assert that they feel their faith is being undermined when attending Catholic schools. Additionally, in terms of Catholic education benefits, there is more of an innate respect for authority imparted on all students while attending Catholic colleges. This often takes Catholic students far in the working world. The values of receiving a Catholic education lie in the fact that you will be well educated and stronger in your faith when you attend a Catholic college. However, if you are looking to live more of a secular lifestyle in college, Catholic schools can be quite challenging.
Are Catholic Colleges Really Conservative?
As with all colleges, this depends on which college you attend. On the one hand, conservative catholic colleges exist. Many colleges have a reputation for being exceptionally conservative and this is not just a myth. These schools tend to make their expectations well-known, therefore, they typically attract students that are willing to adhere to their rules and regulations. The most conservative Catholic colleges already have a reputation for being so. On the other hand, if you are considering attending a college that does not have such a reputation, they may be more on the liberal side of things.
What States Have the Most Catholic Colleges?
In terms of which states have the most Catholic colleges, be sure to search for the following terms:
- Catholic universities in California: There are 11 Catholic colleges in California.
- Catholic universities in Texas: There are 7 Catholic colleges in Texas.
- Catholic colleges in New York: There are 17 Catholic colleges in New York.
- Catholic colleges in Florida: There are 5 Catholic colleges in Florida.
- Catholic colleges in New England: There is a total of 29 Catholic colleges in the New England area.