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Catholic Studies: engaging students in the Catholic imaginative and sacramental life through literature, history and the arts, while remaining grounded in philosophy and theology. 

Can non-Catholics major in Catholic Studies?

Yes! You don’t have to be Catholic to take a course or pursue a degree in Catholic studies. Catholic studies will expose anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, to the rich history and intellectual tradition of the Catholic faith.  

What are recent graduates doing now?

Jim Schulz, ’09, graduated with a double major in Catholic Studies and Philosophy as well as minors in political science and Greek.  Following graduation, Jim attended Harvard School of Law.  While there he interned at the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and now works for Kirkland and Ellis LLP, in Chicago. 
As an attorney, Schultz appreciates how the Catholic tradition in which he was grounded through Catholic Studies has helped him answer “the big questions that consume lawyers’ minds,” such as the proper goals of punishment, the merits of economic regulation and the just treatment of the child in the womb. “On many occasions I have been able to put forward a more complete defense of the Christian vision on a subject, because I explored seriously and deeply within Catholic Studies the intellectual foundations upon which the Christian vision rests” says Schulz.

Learning opportunities outside of the classroom:

Internships. Catholic Studies students have been able to acquire internships in a variety of areas.  Recent internships include: Northwestern Mutual, Knights of Columbus, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, The Catholic Spirit (the newspaper for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis), the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, Partnership for Youth, Pontifical Council for Culture, Providence Academy, Sharing & Caring Hands, Trinity School at River Ridge, and Vatican Radio. 
The Catholic Studies Leadership Intern program brings together a group of dedicated Catholic Studies students who participate in ongoing leadership formation during the school year. The program imparts a vision of Catholic leadership and provides a variety of opportunities to grow in leadership skills and character.

Study abroad. The Catholic Studies in Rome program is an integral part of the Catholic studies education. Approximately 70 percent of Catholic studies majors take advantage of this program which has full-year or semester-long options.

In Rome, the history and tradition of Catholicism come alive for our students. Classes are held at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, where Pope John Paul II himself studied. Students volunteer and serve the poor with the either Missionaries of Charity—the order founded by Blessed Mother Teresa—or the St. Egidio community in Rome. They experience the universality of the church as they celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s square with thousands of people from around the world. Above all, they grow in faith through study, prayer and fellowship with their peers.

Student Testimonials

“[The Catholic Studies in Rome program] allowed me to tangibly see the universality of the church, her role in modernity, the importance of community, the beauty of simplicity and the history of the Church. It allowed me to see the education I learned at UST lived out.”

“Rome was probably the most valuable part of my education experience at UST.”

Faculty research, presentations, publications:

Members of the Catholic Studies department have always been generous with their time in regard to department projects and interactions with students. Outside of the classroom, they can be found at annual social events, such as the ice cream social in September and the Ultimate Frisbee tournament in April.   

Our faculty members, many of them experts in their field, are also noteworthy for their public presentations, interviews and written publications.  

What jobs are possible with a Catholic Studies major?

Most Catholic Studies majors choose to combine their Catholic Studies degree with one of the more than 90 other majors offered at St. Thomas. This combination of majors makes the career options for Catholic Studies students plentiful.

  • Business
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Public relations
  • Consulting
  • Higher education administration
  • Youth worker
  • Social service


  • Ministry
  • Teaching
  • Community development
  • Program coordination
  • Peace Corps/Vista
  • Foreign service
  • Counseling
  • Communications & Journalism
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