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HNU was founded on core values that have transcended time.

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Holy Names University student watering plants in campus garden
Founded in 1868

Deeply rooted

At HNU, we’re deeply dedicated to one another, and to our community. We put down roots in Oakland more than 150 years ago, and our bond with each other and our vibrant city just keeps getting stronger. Holy Names University is a fully accredited, Roman Catholic, co-educational university. Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1868, HNU offers a liberal arts and professional education to prepare a diverse student body for productive lives of leadership and service. Read on for more information about our faculty, students, and institution.


Our Students

We come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds, perspectives, and stories to share. By pulling together, we help each other reach our full potential. Scroll down to view our student profile.


Total Enrollment as of Fall 2021


First-Generation College Students (HNU undergraduates)


Students of Color


Our Faculty

Because of our small class sizes, your professors will really get to know you. You’ll form close connections with faculty and fellow class members, and discover how strongly we support each other.


Average class size


Student to Faculty Ratio


Over 90% of HNU faculty members hold doctorates or the highest degree in their field.

Keep exploring

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Learn more.
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation for undergraduate and graduate nursing program
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences-approved MFT and LPCC licensure programs
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Active Member participating in the Pacific West Conference
  • 8 California Pacific Athletic Conference All-Sports Awards (1997–1998, 1999–2000, 2000–2001, 2002–2003, 2005–2006, 2008–2009, 2009–2010, 2010–2011)
  • 54 California Pacific Conference Championships
  • 36 NAIA National Tournament Appearances
Institutes, Centers, and Programs
  • HNU Preparatory Music Program
  • Kodály Center for Music Education
  • Kodály Summer Institute
  • Raskob Learning Institute and Day School
  • Valley Center for the Performing Arts
Rankings and Distinctions
  • US News and World Report Best Colleges Guide 2020 ranks HNU 6th Most Diverse University in their Regional Universities West category.
  • US News and World Report Best Colleges Guide 2020 ranks HNU 17th in their new Top Performers in Social Mobility category in their Regional Universities West category.
  • US News and World Report Best Colleges Guide 2020 ranks HNU in their Regional Universities West category.
  • College of Distinction, 2019-2020
  • Catholic College of Distinction, 2019-2020
  • HNU is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU).
  • HNU is an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.
  • HNU is a founding member of Yes We Must Coalition, a national organization striving to promote college access and success for low-income students by promoting the work of small, independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities and others committed to this purpose.
  • Founding Member of Oakland Promise, an initiative dedicated to ensuring every child in Oakland graduates high school with the expectations, resources, and skills to complete college and be successful in the career of his or her choice.
Student Profile

Gender ratio (undergraduates): 64% women, 36% men

First-generation college students (undergraduates): 38%

Racial/Ethnic breakdown (undergraduate students):
Asian: 11%
Black/African American: 17%
Hispanic: 33%
White: 11%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
Two or more races: 11%
Non-resident: 3%
Race and Ethnicity Unknown: 13%

Racial/Ethnic breakdown (Graduate students):
Asian: 11%
Black/African American: 19%
Hispanic: 21%
White: 26%
Two or more races: 7%
Non-resident: 4%
Race and Ethnicity Unknown: 12%