DFC students celebrating and supporting each other.

About DFC

Your Potential is Our Passion

This two-year college within the University of St. Thomas opened in the fall of 2017 at the downtown Minneapolis campus. It offers an associate degree, and its rigorous curriculum is specially designed for students who ultimately aspire to a four-year (bachelor's) degree. As a full-time Dougherty Family College (DFC) student, you'll be mentored by St. Thomas faculty and staff and participate in paid internships. And you'll enjoy the benefits of being part of the state's largest private university.

About DFC Students

95%

Students of color

55

Local high schools represented

15+

Languages spoken

75%

DFC graduates enrolled in a four-year college or already earned a bachelor’s degree.

What Makes DFC Unique?

Eliminating gaps in education. Creating leaders of the future.

  • Easing the High School Transition
  • Setting You Up for Success
  • Providing Academic Structure
  • Caring for the Whole Person
  • Easing the High School Transition

    We will help you integrate into the life and culture of Dougherty Family College and the University of St. Thomas. Starting with our Summer Enrichment Program, your orientation to everything you will need to know about college. We will help you understand the differences between high school and college classes. Your coursework in the fall will include a seminar called the First-Year Experience, which will teach you all you need to know about navigating life in college and beyond.

    Setting You Up for Success

    We will make sure you have all the tools you need to be a successful student, from free laptops and textbooks to transportation and meals. Our internship program and strong mentoring relationships will help you succeed in college and your career.

    Providing Academic Structure

    As a student at DFC, you will be assigned a cohort, a group of about 25 students and you will take all your classes together. You will build a strong sense of belonging and community with your peers. Your faculty and staff mentors will assist you in selecting your classes each semester.

    Caring for the Whole Person

    We have a wealth of campus resources to offer. Classes are taught by dedicated faculty members who are mentors as well as scholars. We will provide leadership development opportunities that will help you succeed in college and your career. As a student, you will receive one-on-one advising and mentorship. You will be prepared to make a difference in creating a more equitable and just society.

    Easing the High School Transition

    Easing the High School Transition

    We will help you integrate into the life and culture of Dougherty Family College and the University of St. Thomas. Starting with our Summer Enrichment Program, your orientation to everything you will need to know about college. We will help you understand the differences between high school and college classes. Your coursework in the fall will include a seminar called the First-Year Experience, which will teach you all you need to know about navigating life in college and beyond.

    Setting You Up for Success

    Setting You Up for Success

    We will make sure you have all the tools you need to be a successful student, from free laptops and textbooks to transportation and meals. Our internship program and strong mentoring relationships will help you succeed in college and your career.

    Providing Academic Structure

    Providing Academic Structure

    As a student at DFC, you will be assigned a cohort, a group of about 25 students and you will take all your classes together. You will build a strong sense of belonging and community with your peers. Your faculty and staff mentors will assist you in selecting your classes each semester.

    Caring for the Whole Person

    Caring for the Whole Person

    We have a wealth of campus resources to offer. Classes are taught by dedicated faculty members who are mentors as well as scholars. We will provide leadership development opportunities that will help you succeed in college and your career. As a student, you will receive one-on-one advising and mentorship. You will be prepared to make a difference in creating a more equitable and just society.
    Mike, Kathy, Sarah and Mollie Dougherty

    About the Dougherty Family

    The Dougherty Family College—named after co-founding benefactors Mike and Kathy Dougherty and their daughters, Sarah and Mollie—is designed to eliminate the educational attainment and workforce gaps. DFC is providing a structured and culturally affirming pathway toward a four-year degree.
    female student in black hijab studying

    The Right Fit. Right Here.

    Dougherty Family College provides students with a path to obtaining a bachelor’s degree. It’s not a short-cut. It’s a rigorous, two-year undergraduate degree that equips students with the financial, academic and personal support they need to earn their associate degree in liberal arts.