Students walking outside on campus

Information for Families

About the College

Dougherty Family College (DFC) is a private and affordable 2-year college at the University of St. Thomas. Based on the Minneapolis campus, DFC supports academically driven students while they pursue an associate degree. We provide students with personal, academic and financial support throughout the course of their studies. We prepare students for the future by growing their professional network through internships, and by guiding them through transferring to a 4-year (Bachelor’s) degree program.

Our Family Newsletter (PDF) provides an inside glimpse into what is happening at DFC.

students posing in front of fountain at graduation

Language Translations

Learn about DFC in your first language

Across the DFC student population there are over 15 languages spoken. To ensure every family gets the information they need, and their questions answered, we have provided translations of this site into a few of the most common languages spoken on our campus:

DFC sign

Our Mission

The Mission of Dougherty Family College

Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas offers a liberal arts associate degree program combining rigorous academics with comprehensive and culturally sustaining supports that prepare scholars to navigate and overcome social and financial barriers on their path to a bachelor’s degree.

Eliminating structural gaps in the education system. Developing leaders of the future.

What Makes DFC unique?

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

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

    Setting Your Student Up for Success

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

    Providing Academic Structure

    At DFC, your student will be assigned a cohort, a group of about 25 students that will take all their classes together. Your student will build a strong sense of belonging and community with their peers. Faculty and staff mentors will assist in selecting 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. Intensive leadership training will help your student succeed in college and, ultimately, their career. Students will receive one-on-one advising and mentorship, helping them get prepared to make a difference in creating a more ethical and just society.

    Easing the High School Transition

    Easing the High School Transition

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

    Setting Your Student Up for Success

    Setting Your Student Up for Success

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

    Providing Academic Structure

    Providing Academic Structure

    At DFC, your student will be assigned a cohort, a group of about 25 students that will take all their classes together. Your student will build a strong sense of belonging and community with their peers. Faculty and staff mentors will assist in selecting 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. Intensive leadership training will help your student succeed in college and, ultimately, their career. Students will receive one-on-one advising and mentorship, helping them get prepared to make a difference in creating a more ethical and just society.

    Group of students in caps and gowns taking a selfie at graduation.

    Who Are Our Students?

    DFC students display commitment to achieving educational goals. They are interested in getting a 4-year (Bachelor’s) degree after DFC and demonstrate a high level of financial need.

    Student talking to their supervisor

    Ways We Support our Students

    DFC provides a wide range of academic, economic and personal support for students.

    • Free Meals
    • Professional Internship Program
    • Tutoring and mentoring services
    • Free laptops
    • Free Transportation
    • Free textbooks
    DFC student sitting on couch smiling.

    Tuition & Financial Aid

    A significant amount of financial aid is available through federal and state funding and through the support of generous donors. Your student's cost will depend on your family need, determined when they apply for financial aid (FAFSA or Minnesota Dream Act).

    See Tuition & Aid

    We’ll give your student the support needed to succeed

    Unique-to-DFC Opportunities

    At Dougherty Family College, your student will have access to many support resources, including mentors, tutors, a transfer counselor, life skills counselor and more.

    The Cohort Program

    Your student will take all courses with a group of 25 students.

    Paid Internships

    Your student will build their resume and professional networks

    Transition to a 4-year Degree

    DFC provides your student with a clear pathway to a bachelor’s degree

    Students with Tommie the mascot

    The DFC and St. Thomas Community

    Students become a Tommie the first day they start class at DFC. They’re a part of the bigger University of St. Thomas community, and have access to all facilities on both campuses.

    Contact Us

    Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions!
    Contact Us

    Friends & Loved Ones Event

    Don't worry, we haven’t forgotten the supporters in your student's life! The Family & Loved Ones event, typically held during Summer Enrichment program, is an opportunity to meet DFC leadership, faculty, staff, students and other families with students at DFC.