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  • Swati Chopra

Dominican University of California

This is a series of posts on campuses I've visited. At times I've had the chance to meet up with admission officers and have included specific majors and data here. Please keep the date of my visit in mind as admission requirements and freshmen profiles change annually and updating these posts will not always be possible. To see other schools' profiles, please visit my website.

March 2023 - Counselor Tour

Founded in 1890, Dominican University of California is an independent institution offering more than 60 majors, minors and concentrations in undergraduate and graduate programs. DU serves over 1,800 students in San Rafael, CA.

Campus Feel and Surrounding Areas

Dominican University is nestled in the beautiful suburbs of Marin County at the base of San Pedro Mountain. The close proximity to San Francisco is a huge plus and students have a wonderful time hiking in the surrounding areas, going to the beach, visiting the city, and spending a day in the local towns like Sausalito, Marin, and Berkeley. The town of San Rafael offers seasonal concerts, art walks, a film fest, and plenty of other events throughout the year. It is around 55,000 strong and is nicely connected to the campus.

The 80 acre campus is full of redwoods, pine trees, and lush gardens and it's true- you can't really get a feel of DU unless you visit in person. There's a lot of history here as well. DU has a number of Victorian mansions and Colonial manors. The most well-known and iconic building at Dominican University is the Archbishop Alemany Library. This historic building, constructed in 1928, serves as a centerpiece of the campus. It features beautiful Spanish colonial revival architecture and houses a collection of books, journals, and resources for students and researchers. Also make sure to visit Meadowlands Chapel - it's a small historic chapel on campus that was constructed in 1889. It is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and serene atmosphere. The chapel is often used for weddings, religious services, and quiet reflection. The environment is safe and friendly. You'll find professors walking around or just hanging out with students in the beautiful gardens on a sunny day.


DU is divided into three schools: Liberal Arts and Education, Health and Natural Sciences, and the Barowsky School of Business. Students move around within these three schools to take a variety of courses. The school offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in various disciplines, including humanities, sciences, social sciences, business, and education. Professors are known to co-teach across many different subjects and interdisciplinary studies are the norm.

Nursing is probably the one major that DU is most known for and it does a great job in getting its students ready for the real world. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is an intensive six semester educational program, including courses such as health assessment, fundamentals of nursing, pathophysiology, pharmacology, nursing research, and nursing leadership.

First-Year Students are admitted to either a 4-Year Degree Track or a 4.5-Year Degree Track. Dominican's Nursing Program for first-year students is direct entry based on successful completion of the pre-nursing requirements listed in the degree tracks above.

Incoming first-year students will begin the program with two or three semesters of pre-nursing coursework. Registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BS) work in a variety of settings and locations world wide. Career settings include acute care (caring for hospitalized patients), clinics, home care, school nursing, education, research, administration, correctional, community/public health, rehabilitation, palliative care, and occupational health.

Performing Arts

The performing arts program at Dominican University of California is vibrant and offers a range of opportunities for students to engage in various forms of artistic expression. The university's Performing Arts Department offers a diverse array of programs and courses in theater, music, and dance. Students can pursue majors, minors, and concentrations in these disciplines, gaining comprehensive training and artistic development. The department stages several theatrical productions throughout the academic year, showcasing a mix of classic and contemporary plays and musicals.

These productions involve students from all disciplines, including actors, stage managers, set designers, and technicians. The university has dedicated spaces for performing arts. The Angelico Hall, a historic performance venue on campus, hosts a variety of events, including concerts, theater performances, and lectures. The Meadowlands Chapel and Guzman Hall Auditorium are also used for smaller productions and performances. The university also offers a range of music programs, including instrumental and vocal ensembles, music theory, and music history. Students can participate in choirs, orchestras, jazz bands, and chamber groups, providing opportunities for collaboration and performance.

Students who thrive here

This university is perfect for students who want a small school with more hands on learning. The university fosters a supportive and nurturing community that encourages personal growth and academic achievement. It has a long-standing commitment to social justice and community engagement and encourages students to become active, informed citizens who contribute positively to their communities and advocate for social change. Dominican University also fosters a culture of leadership and service. It provides numerous opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and engage in community service, both locally and globally. The university is dedicated to sustainability and environmental stewardship. It has implemented various eco-friendly initiatives on campus, such as renewable energy sources, recycling programs, and sustainable building practices.

Dominican University requires a genuine passion for learning and intellectual curiosity. The university emphasizes a liberal arts education, encouraging students to explore various disciplines and engage in critical thinking and open-mindedness.

Application DU uses the Common App and offers rolling admissions to freshmen applicants. Standardized testing is optional but homeschooled students may be required to send in test scores. Letters of recommendation are required for Nursing students but are optional for all other applicants. The Common App personal statement is also required.

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