MaryJane Hughes is a Dual Degree in Civil Engineering and Architecture student from Glen Cove, NY. She shares why she chose to attend Catholic University, and what advice she has for prospective students.

Why did you choose to attend Catholic University?

"I choose Catholic University for many reasons, but the main was the incredible opportunity the joint degree in civil engineering and architecture offered.

For a long time I was unsure of what I wanted to study and where I saw my future but when I visited Catholic University on Cardinal Preview Day, I felt welcomed. Walking into Crough and seeing all the various projects and students working I felt intrigued on what each project meant and what the students were doing.

The prime location of Catholic University being in Washington DC contended to my choice also, seeing that there is so much to do not only around campus, but also in the city, from night monumenting to movies at Union Market. There seemed to be endless opportunities of things to do."

Why did you choose to study Architecture and Civil Engineering?

"Throughout high school, I was always leaning towards a STEM major, but felt like there was a lack of self-expression in the engineering fields alone. At many other colleges I applied to, I put my major as solely engineering degrees, but when I saw that Catholic had an option to do both civil engineering and architecture I was hooked. I saw the opportunity that I could explore both architecture and civil engineering, and I was instantly interested.

Being from Long Island, New York, I visited New York City often in high school and that is where I began falling in love with architecture, and saw how significant of an impact it can make on our environment and who we are. Ultimately, I chose to study architecture because I loved the freedom of it, the limitless options of creativity and expression in a practical sense."

What's been your favorite part of being a student at Catholic University?

"There are so many things that I love about being a student at the Catholic University, but my favorite has to be the community of students in the architecture building. Crough is a second home to every architecture student, I met some of my best friends in the architecture school and by having a work space that you can personalize and be there any time of day allows for friendships to spark so easily. Everyone is friendly and always willing to talk or help their fellow students. It is such a tight knit group of people that you get to know each person in your studio so quickly and with ease. Some of my most cherished memories are in Crough with my friends, from staying up late finishing assignments and early morning Starbucks runs to movie nights in the auditorium, Koubek."

What advice would you give to prospective students?

"Spend time in your studio, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to walk over to someone’s desk and just say hi. There are countless events going on in the Architecture building and across campus so take advantage of them! When going to class, sit next to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. When you put yourself out there, I am sure you won’t regret it. The people in the School of Architecture and Planning are some of the most welcoming and kind people you will ever meet."