There is no university in the country like Creighton University in terms of size, the array of professional and graduate programs offered, and the strong commitment to Catholic and Jesuit ideals and values. Founded in 1878 and one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Creighton is a vibrant and diverse learning community that offers its students more than an education.
Nationally recognized for providing a challenging and balanced educational experience, the University offers a rigorous academic agenda with a broad range of disciplines, providing more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students with degree programs that emphasize education of the whole person—academically, socially and spiritually. The student body represents all 50 states and U.S. territories, as well as more than 40 countries.
Creighton offers 140 academic programs in nine colleges and schools (arts and sciences, business, nursing, law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, OT, PT and other health professions, graduate school, and adult learning and degree completion). Creighton study abroad programs take students to dozens of locations around the world annually.
Creighton University made its inaugural appearance in the prestigious National Universities category of U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 list of “Best Colleges.” Out of approximately 1,900 four-year colleges and universities nationwide ranked by U.S. News, universities in the National Universities category are recognized for offering a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, as well as for producing groundbreaking research. A top-ranking National University classification marks an elevation in Creighton’s reputation. For 16 years in a row, Creighton had been recognized as No. 1 in the Midwest category.
Omaha, with a metropolitan area population of nearly 1 million, is Nebraska’s largest city. It is located on the western bank of the Missouri River, which serves as the Nebraska-Iowa border, and is home to four Fortune 500 companies and five Fortune 1,000 companies. The city is the major urban area between Chicago and Denver and between Kansas City and Minneapolis. Creighton’s 120-acre campus is within walking distance of downtown and riverfront business, sports/recreational, cultural and entertainment districts. Creighton also is conveniently located close to hotels and the airport.
Omaha is on a number of “best” lists, as reported by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, including: No. 3, “Top U.S. Cities Where Millennials are Moving, and Staying" (Financial Advisor, 2019); and No. 5, “10 U.S. Cities Where Employees are the Happiest” (Fortune, 2019), among others.
In addition to the main campus in Omaha and online education accessible from anywhere in the world, Creighton has a health sciences campus in Phoenix and a College of Nursing campus in Hastings, Nebraska.
Edward and Mary Lucretia Creighton, along with Edward’s brother John, settled in Omaha in the mid-1850s. John married Mary Lucretia’s sister Sarah Emily Wareham in 1868 and the four are considered the founders of Creighton University. Edward’s work with the transcontinental telegraph and freighting, ranching, railroading and banking became a major force in the city’s economic development. The two brothers were widely known for their business enterprises and the two couples were equally widely regarded for their philanthropy.
Edward died in 1874 and his widow included $100,000 in her will to establish Creighton College in her husband’s memory. Mary Lucretia died in 1876 and her executors, who included her brother-in-law John, purchased 6.2 acres of land at the northwest corner of what is currently 24th and California streets. They began to build a school and transferred the land, building and additional securities to Bishop James O’Connor of Omaha.
The bishop asked the Jesuits to operate the school and the first president arrived in Omaha in late 1877; the school opened on Sept. 2, 1878, to 120 students. Bishop O’Connor in 1879 surrendered his trust to the Jesuits, who incorporated the University under Nebraska law.
Edward and Mary Lucretia’s generosity is credited with establishing Creighton College, while John and Sarah Emily’s philanthropy enlarged it to a five-school university. Today, Creighton University consists of the main campus in Omaha, a health sciences campus in Phoenix, a satellite nursing campus in Hastings, Nebraska, online and partnership educational programs, and nine schools and colleges:
- College of Arts and Sciences (1878)
- School of Medicine (1892)
- School of Law (1904)
- School of Dentistry (1905)
- School of Pharmacy and Health Professions (1905)
- Heider College of Business (1920)
- Graduate School (1926)
- College of Nursing (4-year bachelor's degree program began 1958; college established 1971)
- College of Professional Studies (1983, as University College)