Our Urban Landscape

A Notre Dame education extends well beyond the footprint of our downtown San Jose campus, out into the tenth largest city in the United States and the thriving center of Silicon Valley.  Through partnerships with local organizations, students benefit from local resources including theater resources at City Lights and academic resources at San Jose State University.  

  • Classes regularly visit local art installations, historic landmarks, civic and political organizations, and culturally-rich communities representative of the diversity of our students — all within walking distance of the Notre Dame campus.   
  • Modern language classes apply classroom learning through visits to cultural landmarks, ethnic markets and local restaurants.
  • English classes experience professional operas at the historic California Theater, the same venue used for Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony. 
  • Social studies classes integrate exhibits at the San Jose Museum of Art and Martin Luther King, Jr. Library with curricular themes of global citizenship, geography and advocacy.
  • Religion classes learn about the history of Catholicism in San Jose at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. They also visit local places of worship for other faith traditions.
  • Ceramics classes visit Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery to view exhibits and engage in downtown art opportunities for students.

Through regular interaction with the city as a classroom, students develop an understanding of the complexities and interdependencies of an urban environment and learn to navigate a microcosm of the global community.