Points of Distinction

  • NDNU is a well-respected university that has drawn students from all over the world and has served the needs of the Bay Area for more than 165 years as both an educational institution and a community resource. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and credential programs.
  • Student/faculty ratio is 12:1 and 95% of NDNU’s full-time faculty hold doctorates or terminal degrees. Professors at NDNU are not only gifted instructors, they are also committed to advising and mentoring students through the college journey.
  • The university offers degrees through a variety of formats, including a traditional undergraduate curriculum; afternoon, evening, and weekend programs for working adults; and online and hybrid programs.
  • Two-thirds of NDNU’s incoming freshman are “Gen 1” students, meaning they are the first in their family to attend college.
  • NDNU’s student body reflects the university’s commitment to “embrace the gift of diversity.” More than 95% of NDNU undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Roughly two-thirds of NDNU students self-identify as students of color. With a student body that is approximately one-third Hispanic, NDNU is one of the few private not-for-profit Hispanic Serving Institutions in Northern California. NDNU is also an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI).
  • NDNU collaborates with Cañada College and Mission College to provide programs that allow students to obtain a bachelor’s degree while continuing to study on the community college campus.
  • NDNU has received numerous recognitions, including The Economist ranking NDNU as a Best Value School; and U.S. News & World Report listing NDNU as one of the top regional universities in the West of the United States, and as a Best Value University.
  • NDNU’s students, faculty, and staff provide more than 130,000 hours of community service each year, primarily in San Mateo County, California. NDNU has received the Carnegie Foundation’s Elective Community Engagement Classification, the most prestigious community engagement designation for universities.
  • The university promotes social justice through its community-based learning curriculum, and through the campus’s Sister Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement.
  • NDNU’s School of Education and Psychology has trained over 3,000 of San Mateo County’s teachers, principals, and superintendents. Graduates of its teaching credential program are in extremely high demand.
  • NDNU has the only PhD program in Art Therapy in the United States. The master’s program in Art Therapy, one of the largest of its kind, has a curriculum that is emulated nationwide.