The Catholic University of America

Graduate Studies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following are "frequently asked questions" from both our new and current graduate students. For the newer students, some of these questions may have been answered in the Graduate Student Orientation sessions, but it's always useful for a reminder. For our currently-enrolled students, some of these questions may be new to your situation, or helpful as a refresher.

No matter what your situation, feel free to look over the questions and answers below to gain an adequate knowledge of CUA policies and living in the Washington, DC area.

Perhaps most important to both new and continuing students are the sections on "Paying" and "Registering," especially concerning continuous enrollment. Graduate students should be aware of many important factors that affect continuous enrollment, as well as the consequences of not maintaining continuous enrollment. 

For further detail regarding these commonly recurring issues for graduate students, please contact the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

You can also contact the office through Twitter (tweet us @CUAGradStudies) or by liking us on Facebook and leaving us a post or a message.

LIVING

 

PAYING

 

REGISTERING

What if I am leaving the University permanently?

WORKING

READING

 

WRITING

 

PLAYING

What’s happening on campus this week?
I want to get more involved in campus activities. How can I do that? 

PRAYING

When and where is Mass celebrated on campus?
Is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception accessible to CUA students?
How can I become involved in my faith?
How can I become part of Campus Ministry?
I’m not Catholic. Can I still participate?

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LIVING

How do I get to The Catholic University of America?

The Catholic University of America is located at 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC (zip code 20064). The campus is easily accessible by car, bus (MetroBus routes 80, G8, H1, H2, H3, H4, H6, H8, H9, and R4), and rail (Metro Red Line: Brookland-CUA station).

For further directions on how to get to the CUA campus, click here.

How and where can I park on campus?

There are several parking lots and a parking garage that are available for students to park. Before parking on campus, a student must purchase a parking permit from the Department of Public Safety (DPS). There are certain parking lots on campus that are reserved for faculty, staff, and residents. It is important to look at the campus parking map before parking on campus to avoid parking in the incorrect lot. Another version of the campus map can be found here.

Commuting students, faculty, and staff may purchase either a surface parking permit or a garage permit. Resident students must purchase a resident permit. Permits may be purchased at the Campus Transportation Management and Identification Office, located in 121 Leahy Hall. Individuals may purchase only one vehicle hangtag permit. Permits are not transferable.

How do I get an ID card?

Cardinal Card is your official Catholic University identification card. Cardinal Card provides invaluable services for your everyday life at The University. To take advantage of these services, always remember to carry your Cardinal Card with you! To learn more about Cardinal Card, check out the links on this page.

Can I get help finding housing?

Due to limited space availability, graduate students should make off-campus arrangements for housing. The Office of Housing Services can assist students with finding off-campus housing

Where is the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies?

The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies is located in 116 McMahon Hall on the campus of The Catholic University of America. To reach us by phone, call (202) 319-5247. Our fax number is (202) 319-6174, and our e-mail address is cua-graduatestudies@cua.edu.

McMahon Hall itself is easy to find, centrally located between the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Edward J. Pryzbyla Student Center. To use the CUA campus map, click here.

The Office itself is on the First Floor of McMahon Hall, and here's a hint. When you walk in the main doors, and you see the statue of Pope Leo XIII in the lobby, with his hand raised in blessing, turn the way he is "pointing" (that is, his right, but your left.) The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies will be on the right-hand side of that hallway.

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PAYING

How do I qualify for financial aid and scholarships?

The Catholic University of America offers a wide variety of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study appointments to new and continuing students at the graduate level. Federal funds are, by statute, awarded solely on the basis of financial need as determined by a federally approved needs analysis system. These funds are available to as many qualifying students as funding will allow. Those graduate applicants who wish to be considered for federal aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Prospective applicants can request information and forms from the Office of Financial Aid or visit the Financial Aid Website. Columbus School of Law, School of Nursing, and National Catholic School of Social Service students should contact the school dean’s office for information on funds administered by those schools. 

To be considered for graduate scholarships, applicants must submit scores on the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination, even if the scores were not required in connection with the application for admission. 

Students do not apply for merit scholarships: Chairs and Deans nominate their most qualified applicants. Graduate scholarships are usually awarded for September entrance and for up to three (3) years.

Those interested in graduate assistantships should write directly to the school or department (where applicable). Applicants for graduate assistantships who are international students, not permanent residents of the United States, or who are members of religious institutes and orders with a vow of poverty, are not required to submit either the FAFSA or the CUA application.

I was approved for financial aid, but it hasn't been posted to my account yet.

Graduate scholarships and financial aid are not posted to your student account until after the semester starts. Disbursement dates for financial aid are normally 7 to 10 days after the semester starts, so graduate students should budget accordingly, especially if you are relying on financial aid to pay for housing costs.

Also, did you go to Cardinal Station and accept your financial aid package? If not, follow the directions below to accept your financial aid, which allows the Office of Student Financial Assistance to process and post your awards.

How do I accept my financial aid package?

First of all, congratulations on beginning your enrollment at CUA, and congratulations on being awarded financial aid to assist in that enrollment! You will need to accept your financial aid package before it is posted to your Student Account. To accept the package, log on to Cardinal Station, and under the heading "Finances" you will find a link entitled "Accept/Decline Awards." Click on the link, and click on the appropriate academic semester or year, depending on your situation.

When on the page, please be sure to review each award and corresponding conditions of that award by clicking on the name of that award. Depending on the award source and type, one of the following options may be available: "Accept," "Accept/Decline," "Accept/Reduce," or "Decline."

Remember to click "Submit" to submit your changes. By clicking on the "Submit" button you certify that you have read and understand the conditions of each award and the general eligibility requirements detailed on the Financial Aid Notification.

If you have any further questions, be sure to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Who should I contact with questions about financial aid?

Questions about need-based financial aid, including federal loans, should be directed to the CUA Office of Student Financial Assistance, which is located in 006 McMahon Hall, Washington, DC 20064. They can be reached by phone at 202-319-5307 or Toll Free at 888-635-7788, or by e-mail at cua-finaid@cua.edu.

Who should I contact with questions about graduate scholarships?

Questions about graduate scholarships should be directed first to your school or department (where applicable). Further questions may be directed to Mr. David Long, Coordinator of Graduate Scholarships and Awards, in the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. His office is located at 116 McMahon Hall, Washington, DC 20064. He can be reached by phone at 202-319-5571, or by e-mail at longdp@cua.edu.

What is a 1098-T tax form, and how do I receive one?

The 1098-T form (Tuition Payments Statement) is the information return that colleges and universities are required to issue for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for the Hope and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. It is issued by The Catholic University of America Office of Student Financial Assistance on or before January 31. If you have not received the 1098-T by that date, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance

Are there employment opportunities on campus?

The Office of Career Services, through its Cardinal Connection, contains complete information about all work-study jobs, plus on- and off-campus student positions and internships. Presently, CUA offers up to 30 work-study appointments for graduate students, which provide opportunities to earn additional funds while working with campus and school administration.

You are welcome to review the job descriptions and contact the supervisor directly. You are also encouraged to check the Cardinal Connection website often, as new openings are posted regularly. To access campus work-study and part-time jobs, click here. For part-time jobs and temporary jobs in the CUA local area, click here.

What do I need to do to maintain my eligibility for financial aid and scholarships?

In order to qualify for a graduate degree from The Catholic University of America, a graduate student must maintain continuous enrollment. Graduate students should be aware of many important factors that affect continuous enrollment, including registration, drop/add and withdrawal dates on the Academic Calendar.

There are minimum academic standards one must uphold in order to maintain scholarships. Furthermore, academic leaves and term withdrawals from The University not only affect the graduate student’s status as a continuously-enrolled student, but also negatively affect the student’s loan eligibility. It cannot be over-emphasized that failure to be enrolled continuously has significant consequences that may hinder the progress toward one’s graduate degree.

Finally, failure to maintain requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress (that is, upholding a minimum GPA as well as a certain percent course completion rate) will affect one’s government loans. For more information, see below or click here.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress, and how do I convince the government that I have it?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Catholic University of America is required by federal, state and District of Columbia regulations, as well as institutional policy, to determine whether a student is meeting SAP requirements. SAP evaluation for graduate students occurs once a year at the conclusion of spring semester. 

The student’s entire academic career history must be considered when determining SAP status, regardless of whether or not the student has received financial aid during each period of enrollment.

The qualitative component measures the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). To meet the qualitative requirement, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Specific federal, state, and institutional scholarships and grants may require a higher GPA for continued eligibility. This is a separate and distinct factor in renewing or continuing eligibility for these specific financial aid funds. The GPA for specific scholarships and grants supersedes the GPA requirements referenced above. Information about the terms and conditions of specific student aid programs that have GPA requirements are provided to the student at the time the award is offered.

The quantitative component measures the pace at which the student must progress through his or her program of study to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe permitted and provides for the measurement of the student’s progress at the time of the evaluation. To meet the quantitative requirement, the student must complete at least 67% of the classes that he/she attempts.

The Office of Enrollment Services and Student Financial Services maintain records of Satisfactory Academic Progress. For more information, click here.

What happens if I change my enrollment status?

Academic leaves and term withdrawals from The University not only affect the graduate student’s status as a continuously-enrolled student, but also negatively affect the student’s loan eligibility.

During term withdrawals, you may owe a portion of your federal loans, as based on federal policy. It is highly recommended that you speak with the Office of Student Financial Assistance before applying for an Academic Leave or Term Withdrawal.

When do I have to start repaying my loans?

Upon graduation, student loans you used to finance your graduate studies will enter their grace period. However, if you have earlier loans whose grace period has already expired, these will become due immediately upon graduation.

Once you receive an Academic Leave or Term Withdrawal during your graduate studies, your student loan grace period also begins. Your loan repayment schedule will take effect once the grace period expires.

If you decide to return to graduate studies at the conclusion of your Academic Leave or Term Withdrawal, you must contact your loan servicer and inform them of your re-enrollment. The Office of Student Financial Assistance can provide further information on these situations.

Can I find out my current loan history?

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs, and provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.

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REGISTERING

How do I register for classes?

You need to be able to log in to Cardinal Station to register for classes and to activate your Cardinal Mail account. You received your unique Cardinal Station user ID and password when you were accepted to CUA. If you have lost or forgotten your user ID, call the Computer Help Desk at 202-319-4357. The Computer Help Desk staff cannot give out log-in information by e-mail for security reasons.

When you reach the Cardinal Station Home Page, follow this path: Self-Service>Enrollment>Enrollment:Add Classes.

How do I access my campus e-mail?

To activate your Cardinal Mail account, you first need to find your Cardinal Mail address and temporary password.

• Log in to Cardinal Station (see above if you have trouble).
• Click on Student Self-Service, then on Student Center.
• On the main center page, scroll down to find Personal Information.
• Choose CUA Logon Accounts from the drop-down menu.

With your Cardinal Mail address and temporary password, you can now log in to Cardinal Mail. Bookmark the page, reset your password, and begin regularly checking this account, as all University e-mail correspondence will be sent to your Cardinal Mail address.

If you have trouble or questions, visit computing.cua.edu/cardinalmail or call the Computer Help Desk at 202-319-4357.

What dates do I need to know about when registering for classes?

There are two critical deadlines of which graduate students should be aware. Both deadlines can be found in The University's Academic Calendar and on Cardinal Station under Self-Service>Enrollment>Enrollment Dates. 

The first deadline is the Registration Drop/Add Deadline for the semester, which is usually the second Friday of the semester, but can change from semester to semester. Adding or dropping classes on or prior to this deadline results in no penalty for the student.

The second deadline is the Registration Withdrawal Deadline for semester classes. If the student withdraws from semester classes any time between the Registration Drop/Add deadline and this deadline, the student will receive a “W” on his/her transcript. If the student withdraws from semester classes after the Registration Withdrawal deadline, the student will receive an administrative F (which appears as an F* on the transcript.) 

Receiving a “W” or “F*” on one’s transcript will negatively impact eligibility for scholarship and will make it more difficult to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Therefore, it is extremely important to know the deadlines and the last day to appeal grades or request a pass/fail.

Graduate Students should also be aware of the following dates, which may vary from school to school:

  • When are the Comprehensive Examinations for the student's school or department scheduled?
  • When must the student register for Comprehensive Examinations through Cardinal Station?
  • What are the submission dates for depositing theses and dissertations prior to graduation?

The consequences for not submitting the thesis/dissertation on time may include the failure to graduate as scheduled.

How can I add a class?

Log on to Cardinal Station and follow the path Self-Service>Enrollment>Enrollment:Add Classes. You can also follow these simple instructions.

How can I drop a class?

Log on to Cardinal Station and follow the path Self-Service>Enrollment>Enrollment:Drop Classes. You can also follow these simple instructions.

How do I withdraw from a class?

Log on to Cardinal Station and follow the instructions for dropping a class. However, keep these deadlines in mind (all of which are listed on the Academic Calendar):

If you withdraw from semester classes any time between the Registration Drop/Add Deadline and the Registration Withdrawal Deadline, you will receive a “W” on your transcript.

If you withdraw from semester classes after the Registration Withdrawal Deadline, you will receive an administrative F (which appears as an F* on the transcript).

Receiving a “W” or “F*” on your transcript will negatively impact eligibility for scholarship and will make it more difficult to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Therefore, it is extremely important to know the registration deadlines!

Why is it important that I stay "continuously enrolled"?

In order to qualify for a graduate degree from The Catholic University of America, a graduate student must maintain continuous enrollment. Graduate students should be aware of many important factors that affect continuous enrollment.

There are minimum academic standards one must uphold in order to maintain scholarships. Furthermore, academic leaves and withdrawals from The University not only affect the graduate student’s status as a continuously-enrolled student, but also negatively affect the student’s loan eligibility. It cannot be over-emphasized that failure to be enrolled continuously has significant consequences that may hinder the progress toward one’s graduate degree.

Also, failure to maintain requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress (that is, upholding a minimum GPA as well as a certain percent course completion rate) will affect one’s government loans. For more information, visit the Financial Aid office here.

What should I do if I need to take a semester or year off?

Because The Catholic University of America is a term-based credit-hour institution, it cannot offer a federally approved Leave of Absence (LOA) option. However, students may request to be placed on Academic Leave for a future semester.

A student in good standing who must interrupt his/her studies for adequate reason, such as prolonged ill health or military service, may be granted an Academic Leave for a stated period, usually not to exceed two (2) semesters or one (1) year.

To request an Academic Leave, a student must first discuss the issues surrounding Academic Leave with their advisor, department chair (where applicable), and school dean. Following these discussions, the student must make a formal application at go.cua.edu/gradstudies, prior to the first day of the semester in which the leave would be taken. Final approval of the request for an Academic Leave is made by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

An Academic Leave, if granted, will be effective as of the last day of the semester in which the student was most recently enrolled. The period of Academic Leave is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of residence or other degree requirements. Any incomplete (“I”) grades that are outstanding must be changed in accordance with the policy on incomplete grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar, whether a student is registered for the current semester or not.

Students on Academic Leave are expected to return to The University when their stated duration of leave has expired, unless they have applied for and have been given an extension. Students who do not return from an Academic Leave when scheduled will be subject to Permanent Withdrawal during the semester in which they failed to return. If the student thereby withdrawn from The University desires to return to graduate studies at The Catholic University of America, he/she must apply for readmission and satisfy current degree requirements to be reinstated.

Students who wish to temporarily leave The University during a semester in which they are enrolled in classes will receive a Term Withdrawal for that term.

  • During Registration Drop/Add Period - Students enrolled in classes who subsequently drop all their classes within the Registration Drop/Add Period will be considered to be on a Term Withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify The University or, if they do not notify The University, on the date they drop the last class in which they are enrolled. They will receive a notation on their transcript that they dropped every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy.

If the separation from The University is intended to be for the duration of the current semester only, no further action is required, and the student will be eligible to enroll for the next semester. If the separation is expected to go beyond the start of the next semester, they must apply for an Academic Leave (see above).

  • After the Registration Drop/Add Deadline - Students who are currently enrolled in classes and who decide to withdraw from all their classes after the last day of the Registration Drop/Add Period will be considered to be on a Term Withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify The University, or the date they withdraw from the last class in which they are enrolled, if they do not notify The University. They will receive a grade of “W” in every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy.

Students are encouraged to discuss issues surrounding a Term Withdrawal with their advisor, department chair (where applicable), and school dean prior to submitting a Term Withdrawal application. The formal application for a Term Withdrawal is found at go.cua.edu/gradstudies, and is submitted online to the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, who gives final approval to the request.

What if I am leaving the University permanently?

If you no longer wish to continue your studies at The Catholic University of America, you must submit an Application for Permanent Withdrawal, found at go.cua.edu/gradstudies. This application is submitted online to the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Permission for Permanent Withdrawal from The University is not required. It is necessary, however, to inform all the appropriate offices and individuals, including the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, your advisor, the school dean, and your department chair (where applicable) in writing of the decision to withdraw permanently from The University. This letter is in addition to the online Application for Permanent Withdrawal. Furthermore, it is your responsibility to contact your advisor, school dean and department chair (where applicable) to determine if there are additional requirements for permanent withdrawal, such as a letter of resignation and/or an exit interview.

If you withdraw from The University but subsequently decide to return to The Catholic University of America, you must submit an application for re-admission to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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 WORKING

How do I access online course resources?

Catholic University currently uses the Blackboard learning management system. This system allows an instructor to post a syllabus, lesson material, course documents, and related material to a secure and restricted website. Students are granted access to this site for the duration of the course, and can access the course materials from their Internet browser at any time of day or night.

To log onto Blackboard, go to blackboard.cua.edu. Use your CUA network logon user name and password to log onto Blackboard. These are the same credentials used to log onto campus computers, but are not the same as your Cardinal Station or Cardinal Mail credentials.

How do I check my grades?

You can access your grades through Cardinal Station. Log onto Cardinal Station and follow this path (all located in the main menu on the left side of the page): Self Service>Enrollment>View My Grades.

HELP! I cannot complete my course requirements. How can I get an Incomplete grade for the course?

The provisional grade of "I" (Incomplete) is given only to a student who has not completed the requirements of a course for legitimate reasons, provided the work thus far completed in the course is of passing quality. The grade of "I" may not be given to one who has simply failed to meet the academic requirements of the course on time.

Incomplete grades must be removed before the mid-semester of the succeeding term whether or not the student continues in residence. If the incomplete is not removed by the mid-semester, the incomplete will be recorded as a grade of "F" (Failure).

Under extraordinary circumstances, but before the date of the mid-semester following the reported incomplete, a student may petition the instructor of the course and the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled for an extension of the period normally allowed for removal of the incomplete.

HELP! I missed an exam in one of my courses. What should I do?

Contact your instructor as soon as possible, and explain the situation. When going to the meeting, be sure to bring any relevant information for the legitimate missing of the exam (such as reasons for missing, doctor’s note, etc.) and possibilities for rescheduling the exam.

The final decision concerning rescheduling the examination, however, remains with the course instructor.

What happens if I fail a course?

It is suggested that you contact the instructor of the course to determine why you failed the course.

If you believe you received a failing grade for reasons other than academic progress, you are entitled to appeal the failing grade. The process is found here.    

What happens if my grade point average falls below 3.0?

There are minimum academic standards one must uphold in order to maintain scholarships. Failure to maintain requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress may affect your scholarship eligibility, government loans, grants, etc. For more information, click here.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress, and how do I convince the government that I have it?

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Catholic University is required by federal and state regulations and institutional policy to determine whether a student is meeting SAP requirements. SAP evaluation for graduate students occurs once a year at the conclusion of spring semester.

The student’s entire academic career history must be considered when determining SAP status, regardless of whether or not the student has received financial aid during each period of enrollment.

The qualitative component measures the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). To meet the qualitative requirement, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Specific federal, state, and institutional scholarships and grants may require a higher GPA for continued eligibility. This is a separate and distinct factor in renewing or continuing eligibility for these specific financial aid funds. The GPA for specific scholarships and grants supersedes the GPA requirements referenced above. Information about the terms and conditions of specific student aid programs that have GPA requirements are provided to the student at the time the award is offered.

The quantitative component measures the pace at which the student must progress through his or her program of study to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe permitted and provides for the measurement of the student’s progress at the time of the evaluation. To meet the quantitative requirement, the student must complete at least 67% of the classes that he/she attempts.

The Office of Enrollment Services and Student Financial Services maintain records of Satisfactory Academic Progress. For more information, click here.

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READING

What library resources are available to graduate students?

The John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library of The Catholic University of America is an integral component of the academic process, provides access to our cultural and scientific heritage through library resources and services and cooperates actively with the faculty and students in the teaching, learning and research process.

Centrally located on The Catholic University of America campus, the Mullen Library is also central to the work of the institution, and carries out its mission by serving as the primary resource for content-related materials to:

  • meet the research and scholarly needs of graduate students and faculty members,
  • provide users with access to materials located outside the immediate library system, and
  • equip users with the skills and resources needed for continuous lifelong learning.

The Mullen Library organizes, manages, and preserves unique books and materials that serve as records of our Catholic intellectual heritage and culture through special collections including those in Rare Books/Special Collections, the Semitics/ICOR library, the University Museum Collectionand the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives.

In addition to the Mullen Library, collections can also be found in the libraries of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, the School of Nursing/Department of Biology Library, the Department of Physics Library, the Judge Kathryn J. Dufour Law Library, and the Oliveira Lima Library.

A map of all these library locations on campus can be found here

What are the library hours?

For the most up-to-date information about the library hours, click here.

Where can I find information about my library account?

For information about your library record, including the books you have checked out, a listing of fines on your account, and the ability to renew your books online, visit the WRLC "My Library Account Login" page.

Where can I find more information on the University Library system?

The University Libraries maintains an up-to-date Frequently Asked Questions section on their website. Click here to access their website.

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WRITING

What is a thesis? What is a dissertation?

A master's and licentiate thesis gives evidence of training in research by means of a contribution to knowledge involving a modest problem of investigation. It proves the candidate's familiarity with the basic methods and techniques of research and also the ability to apply them.

A doctoral dissertation demonstrates the candidate's familiarity with the most recent and best research methods in the subject and the ability to apply them. The dissertation demonstrates academic maturity in discovering and formulating the broader and more generic aspects of the data collected through balanced, objective and critical judgment. The dissertation also demonstrates knowledge of the contributions of previous investigators working on both the subject area of the dissertation and on closely or organically related subjects. Finally, the dissertation gives evidence of the candidate's ability to organize material around the major unifying idea or ideas and to present data in an orderly sequence.

How do I find out about CUA writing policies?

The Master’s/Licentiate Thesis Handbook and The Doctoral Dissertation Handbook, available from the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, provide detailed information on formatting and printing the manuscript; preparing the abstract; registering the copyright; and arranging for the deposit, publishing and binding of the dissertation. All candidates preparing to write either a thesis or a dissertation must obtain a copy of this publication.

I’m not a great writer. Can I get help with writing my thesis or dissertation?

The CUA Writing Center provides support services to students at all stages of the writing process. The Writing Center strongly recommends that you access their website at english.cua.edu/wc to make an appointment to speak with one of their trained consultants, graduate students in the English Department. They can also be reached at 202-319-4286. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis.

I’m ready to convert my document to a "PDF"...but how do I do that?

Congratulations! You're ready to convert your thesis or dissertation! That's one of the last steps, and it's an easy step too. To create a PDF, you can follow this link from Adobe (using Adobe CreatePDF), or this link from the University of Cambridge for further direction and guidance.

If you are interested in purchasing professional software as well, we suggest Adobe Acrobat in either its Standard or Pro versions.

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PLAYING

Is there a place I can exercise on campus?

The Kane Student Health and Fitness Center is located in the heart of residence housing. The 7000-square-foot fitness center features Precor Cardiovascular Equipment, a complete circuit of Nautilus machines and a free weight area. The fitness center's mission is to provide CUA students the opportunity to maintain and develop healthy lifestyles. The center provides abdominal workouts, core training and conditioning as well as individual training programs for students.

Where can I learn more about Washington, DC and the surrounding community?

You can become a "cultural tourist" of the District of Columbia by visiting DC Tourism. Similar opportunities are available from the District of Columbia Visitors Resource Center, Maryland Tourism, Virginia TourismMount Vernon (George Washington's Virginia estate), the National Park Service, and even Delaware and West Virginia Tourism (for those wanting to stretch their legs a little more).

The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies is always partial to Ford's Theatre as a great local destination.

How do I get around?

On campus, the Department of Public Safety has created a morning shuttle bus that was designed primarily for, but not limited to, staff members of the campus. The shuttle van operates from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and the initial run begins at the intersection of John McCormack Road and Pangborn Road (Metro Kiosk). The shuttle route extends to north campus, going through center campus and back to the Metro Kiosk stop.

The CUA campus is bicycle-friendly, but be aware of some bicycle rules: All bicycles must be parked in bicycle racks or other spaces or areas designated for their use, and must be parked clear of sidewalks, ramps, building entrances, handrails and fences. Bicycles locked to any item other than an approved bike rack will be removed by DPS.

You can also participate in Capital Bikeshare, which puts over 1670+ bicycles at your fingertips. You can choose any of the 175+ stations across Washington, D.C., Arlington, VA, and Alexandria, VA and return it to any station near your destination. Visit www.capitalbikeshare.com for more information.

When going off-campus, The Catholic University of America is served by the 80, G8, H1, H2, H3, H4, H6, H8, H9, and R4 Metrobus routes. The closest Metrorail stop is Brookland/CUA on the red line. Check the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) website for bus and rail schedules.

If you are looking to travel out of the area, check out the CUA Travel Portal here

What is a DC SmarTrip® Card? How do I get it? How do I refill it?

The DC SmarTrip card is a permanent, rechargeable card used to pay Metrorail and local bus system fares. It's plastic, like a credit card, and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card. Using a SmarTrip® card is fast and easy. Instead of inserting a farecard through the Metrorail faregate slot, you simply touch the SmarTrip® card to the circular targets on top of or inside station faregates. Likewise, you can tap the SmarTrip® farebox on Metrobus to pay your fare with SmarTrip®.

You can also register your SmarTrip® card through an online account. You would then be able to add value and passes to your card (including through an auto-load process), view your card balance and usage history, register and manage multiple cards, and report a lost or stolen card while transferring the balance to a replacement card.

The SmarTrip® card is the best way to use the DC Metro system...check it out here!

What’s happening on campus this week?
 
Stay in touch with CUA happenings by checking the Events Calendar.
 

I want to get more involved in campus activities. How can I do that?

With more than 80 student organizations at Catholic University, it’s difficult to imagine not being able to find something exciting to do. At CUA, there’s a student organization for you. From student program board to the College Democrats and Republicans, there are many topics and areas of interest to choose from. However, if that’s not the involvement you’re looking for, there are also campus-produced musicals and performances, community service projects, and opportunities for individual leadership development. You can even become involved in helping plan and manage events on campus, or provide support for events behind the scenes.

Visit the Campus Activities page for more events, activities, and opportunities!

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PRAYING

When and where is Mass celebrated on campus?

Visit the Campus Ministry website for a complete, up-to-date listing of times and places for the celebration of Mass on campus. To locate the chapels on campus, click here for the campus map or virtual tour.

Is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception accessible to CUA students?

Yes it is! The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located adjacent to the CUA campus, is open 365 days a year for tours, as well as for Masses, celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and devotions. Click on the following links for the Mass schedule, Confessions schedule, and Devotions schedule

How can I become involved in my faith?

Campus Ministry offers a variety of opportunities designed to meet the spiritual needs and interests of students who are at different stages of their faith life. Some of what we offer include days of reflection, monthly discussions centered on faith and current social events, and weekly scripture reflection.

How can I become part of Campus Ministry?

The Graduate and Law Students Activities Ministry assists the members of the CUA community in their growth as individuals and as a community so they may be more fully able to celebrate and live the message of the Gospel. The pastoral and student staff exercises their ministry in a variety of ways: community prayer, liturgy, forming days of reflection and other opportunities to gather as a community and reflect on God's presence in the world.

I’m not Catholic. Can I still participate?

Students from other Christian denominations and religions are welcome to participate in any Campus Ministry services or activities. The office also maintains a list of area clergy, ministers, imams, and rabbis, including information on the services provided by other religions and Christian denominations. Feel free to contact the Office of Campus Ministry for further information.