Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) is the only four-year accredited university in San Mateo County.
Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1851, NDNU is a private, independent, Catholic, co-educational institution. The 50-acre campus is located in the city of Belmont on the San Francisco Peninsula. The university combines a residential and commuter undergraduate program with evening programs for working adults at both undergraduate and graduate levels. NDNU currently enrolls approximately 2000 students from 30 states and 29 foreign countries.
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur came to the San Francisco Bay Area from their mission schools in Oregon. While visiting the Bay Area they established an institute of higher learning, College of Notre Dame, in the city of San Jose. The school was chartered in 1868 as the first college in the state of California authorized to grant the baccalaureate degree to women.
The Sisters soon outgrew their facility in the South Bay and moved the campus to Belmont in 1923. They purchased Ralston Hall, the country estate of William Chapman Ralston, San Francisco financier and founder of the Bank of California. Ralston Hall became the center of the campus and in recent years has been designated as a California Historical Landmark.