know the historic heart of Santa Clara University

Step into the spiritual and historical heart of Santa Clara University

The Historic Mission Santa Clara stands as a sacred Roman Catholic church nestled at the core of Santa Clara University’s campus. Originally founded by the Franciscan Order in 1777 as part of the network of 21 Alta California Missions, our Mission Church holds the unique distinction of being the only one among the 21 to be entrusted to the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1851, thus establishing SCU as the inaugural institution of higher education in the State of California. To this day, Mission Santa Clara continues to serve as the epicenter of our campus’ religious and spiritual life. Under the purview of SCU’s Division of Mission and Ministry, the Mission Church extends a warm invitation to our dedicated faculty, staff, esteemed alumni, and neighboring community to partake in spiritual worship alongside our student body.

As a dedicated Student Chapel for the campus, rather than a community parish, you’ll notice that many of our religious ceremonies align with the academic calendar of our University. If you are a current student and have inquiries regarding engagement, available offerings, or seek guidance on how to nurture your own spiritual or religious practices, please reach out to the Campus Ministry department at For all others, we encourage you to contact the Mission Office at

Should any non-students require pastoral support or access to Parish services, we recommend contacting our local parish conveniently located just across the street from SCU, St. Clare Parish, at 408-248-7786 or via email at

Certainly, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Santa Clara University:

  1. What is Santa Clara University (SCU)?
    • Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit Catholic university located in Santa Clara, California. It is known for its commitment to academic excellence and social justice.
  2. When was Santa Clara University founded?
    • SCU was founded in 1851, making it the first institution of higher education in California.
  3. Is Santa Clara University a religious institution?
    • Yes, SCU is a Jesuit Catholic university, and its educational mission is rooted in the Jesuit tradition, emphasizing values such as social justice, ethics, and service.
  4. What programs and degrees does Santa Clara University offer?
    • SCU offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in various fields, including business, engineering, law, arts and sciences, and more.
  5. What is the student-to-faculty ratio at SCU?
    • The student-to-faculty ratio at SCU is approximately 11:1, ensuring students have access to personalized attention and mentorship.
  6. Is there on-campus housing available for students?
    • Yes, SCU provides on-campus housing options for undergraduate and graduate students, fostering a vibrant residential community.
  7. How can I apply to Santa Clara University?
    • Prospective students can apply to SCU through the university’s online application portal. Application requirements may vary by program and level of study.
  8. Does SCU offer financial aid and scholarships?
    • Yes, SCU offers financial aid, scholarships, and grants to eligible students to help make education more affordable.
  9. What is the campus like at Santa Clara University?
    • SCU’s campus is known for its beautiful and historic architecture, modern facilities, and a welcoming atmosphere. It includes libraries, research centers, athletic facilities, and more.
  10. What is the university’s commitment to social justice?
    • Santa Clara University is committed to social justice and community engagement. It encourages students to engage in service learning, volunteerism, and addressing societal challenges.
  11. Are there opportunities for international students at SCU?
    • Yes, SCU welcomes international students and offers support services, including international student advising and cultural programs.
  12. How can I schedule a campus tour or visit SCU?
    • Prospective students and visitors can schedule campus tours and learn more about visiting SCU through the university’s admissions website.

Please note that specific details and policies may change over time, so it’s advisable to visit the official Santa Clara University website or contact the university directly for the most up-to-date information and answers to specific questions.

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