The Catholic University of America

General Information

The fulfillment of engineering is creative design, particularly as it relates to the solution of problems of national or social interest.

Engineering as a profession has historically placed the highest premium upon technical expertise as a criterion for recognition and advancement; in this respect, technology is truly the most egalitarian of professions. At CUA, we believe that even the most thoroughly trained technical professional must be able to contribute something more as a member of society, with the corresponding opportunities and obligations that accompany such training. Engineering education under Catholic auspices presents the logic and rationale of a systematic set of values for social responsibility, and thereby imparts a distinctive character to the professional training of engineers.

Combined with a liberal arts foundation emphasizing the religious, economical, historical and philosophical aspects of modern civilization, CUA engineers are trained with an understanding of engineering and design in a global and societal context. The diverse talents of a great university and the exceptional scholarly resources of the city of Washington, D.C. are available to assist in the development of the interests of each student.


The engineering program was established in 1896, soon after the founding of The Catholic University of America. The School of Engineering was formally established in 1930 and was shortly thereafter renamed the School of Engineering and Architecture. In 1992 the School of Engineering and Architecture separated into the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture and Planning.

Prior to 1950, the primary focus of the school was on undergraduate professional programs. However, research activity and graduate professional offerings have increased at a steady rate since 1950. Today, the school offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in five academic programs as well as a master's degree in engineering management.

The school prides itself on being a small, Catholic engineering school that provides quality education with a personal touch. Students can expect close interaction with faculty, small class sizes, a small student-to-teacher ratio, and a faculty dedicated to teaching and research. All members of the full-time faculty hold doctoral degrees and are very active in funded research and scholarly publication.


Strategic Plan

The School of Engineering at The Catholic University of America provides a personalized learning and research environment in which faculty, staff, and students achieve excellence in research, education and service. The program emphasizes research and scholarship of the highest possible caliber and personalized instruction at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Goal 1

The School is to substantially improve efficiency of support services (i.e., academic,research, IT, alumni, outreach) and invest in its structures (i.e., physical plant) to facilitate and support its aggressive goals in the areas of education, training, and research productivity.

Goal 2

The School is to establish, nurture, and grow research, training, and career opportunities for faculty and students through strategic cooperative and collaborative relationships with local/regional institutions and industry.

Goal 3

The School will expand existing and establish unique and timely new academic programs to its undergraduate and graduate students to serve the region, nation, and world through superior technical competence, incorporating moral and ethical values, and to prepare future leaders.

Goal 4

The School will achieve research pre-eminence in a number of specific areas of engineering and applied science through establishment of interdisciplinary initiatives and interdisciplinary centers of research.


The School of Engineering is:

  • CUA Engineering is known nationally and internationally as a high-quality research institution with proven record of leadership and accomplishment in several engineering research areas. This envisioned level of success should result in (1) a funding level of $4-5 M annually, and (2) a continuous inflow of 12-15 doctoral students annually.
  • It is expected that the increased level of activities in research, undergraduate and graduate education will result in an increase in the number of full-time faculty. To successfully execute the proposed plan and to maintain the projected level of success the number of full-time faculty reaches 45 by 2017.
  • The School is recognized as an innovative leader in UG education nationally. It is expected that this visibility and recognition will afford the school to become highly selective in limiting enrollment to 500 students (12-14% of CUA UG enrollment).
  • The School is recognized locally and internationally for the quality and relevance of its professional programs. It is expected that this recognition results in a significant increase (~ 250) in graduate enrollment.
  • The School is recognized as a campus leader in creating a synergy between liberal arts and engineering education at CUA, hence contributing significantly to the mission of the University.