With just 1600 undergraduate students, Dominican University is located in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. Founded in 1890 as a Catholic university, the school is no longer run by the church.
Dominican subscribes to the theory of “engaged learning,” and students are required to take at least three interdisciplinary engaged learning experiences during their time. Dominican’s core curriculum is a bit different from many other colleges in that it requires students to take courses in graphic design, Shakespeare and social justice and health care equity, among more traditional areas of study.
The nursing program is popular, with students getting ample hands-on experience, and Dominican is also strong in pharmacy and environmental science. Dance is an excellent program, and students are required to take one semester of creative arts for graduation. All of the majors and programs are listed here. Dominican emphasizes hands on learning and mentorship, and all students complete a “signature project,” such as a research paper, business plan or visual art installation, before graduating.
The Dominican University campus is beautiful; some of the dormitory buildings were large old homes that the Dominican sisters purchased decades ago. An old bomb shelter from the 1940’s has been converted into an art studio for students.
Despite its small size, Dominican University frequently sees famous authors speak on its campus, and students and community members are always invited. Salman Rushdie spoke in the fall of 2012.
About 600 undergraduates live on campus, and the nearest town is Rohnert Park, which is about a 15 minute walk.