Santa Clara University - California's oldest institution of higher learning - is located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, in the city of Santa Clara.
It is the only college in the state to be the successor of a Spanish mission. It offers a rigorous undergraduate curriculum in the arts and sciences, business, and engineering, as well as certificate programs.
Founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as “Santa Clara College," the university was established on the site of the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, the eighth of the original 21 California missions.
Originally started as a preparatory school, the college began to offer courses of collegiate rank from 1853. The college experienced slow and steady growth during its first 60 years and became a university in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added.
In 1925, the high school separated from the university, taking the name of Bellarmine College Preparatory, in 1928.
For 110 years, Santa Clara had been an all-male school, but in 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates, and Santa Clara became the first coeducational Catholic university in California.
With the increase in the size of the faculty and students, the university’s growth led to its becoming the largest building program in school history, building eight residence halls, a student union, and the athletic stadium.
To preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for future generations, the Board of Trustees limited the size of the undergraduate population in the early 1970s. In 1985, the university adopted “Santa Clara University," as its official name.
Today, the 104-acre campus of Santa Clara University houses more than 50 building including 10 residence halls, two libraries, and extensive athletic facilities.
Santa Clara University has three centers of distinction – the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education; the Center for Science, Technology, and Society; and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
SCU's graduate programs include degrees in law, business, engineering, counseling psychology, education, and pastoral ministries. The services provided are general career services, specialized law and MBA career services, and convenient on-campus health care through Cowell Health Center.
Santa Clara University is accredited regionally by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.