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Quick Facts

Clarke University is a Catholic, co-educational, liberal arts and sciences institution. Founded in 1843 by Mary Frances Clarke, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), it is the only BVM university in the United States.

We are a four year private non-profit institution.

Our 55-acre campus sits on a bluff in a quiet residential area overlooking the city of Dubuque, Iowa (population 58,000) and the Mississippi River.

The average ACT score of the 2017 freshman class is 22 and the average high school grade-point-average is 3.4.

Discover Dubuque


  • Students come from 31 states and 8 countries.
  • Undergraduate Students: 768
  • Total Students: 1,039

Student Profile

  • Male %: 36
  • Female %: 64
  • In-State Students %: 50
  • Out-of-State %: 50


Come cheer on the Blue and Gold with us!

Go Clarke Pride!


Cross Country
Dance Team
Intramural sports
Track and Field

The Clarke Pride competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and are a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Clarke Athletics is recognized as a NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution.


For the 2018-19 academic year, undergraduate tuition is $33,350, student fees are $1,000, and the average cost for room and board is $9,600. Graduate tuition varies by program. View the Tuition & Fees page for more information.

Financial Assistance

During the 2017-18 academic year, 100 percent of Clarke’s full-time, day-time students (who were eligible, and applied) received financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. Clarke’s average financial aid package is $27,131. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid as soon as possible after October 1.


Clarke University offers a variety of merit scholarships to students that include academic, athletic talent, fine arts, and other scholarships.


Clarke University is consistently recognized for excellence in education. Here is a list of national recognition:

  • Forbes: America’s Best Colleges
  • 2017 Best Colleges in Iowa
  • Forbes: Top 120 of the Best Midwestern Colleges
  • U.S. News: Ranked 16th in the Midwest on the list of Best Regional Colleges in 2019
  • U.S. News: Listed as an A+ School for B Students in 2017
  • U.S. News: Midwest’s Top 10 Best Value Schools in 2019
  • U.S. News: Ranked fifth among Midwest Regional College for operating efficiency in 2015
  • Princeton Review: Best Midwestern Colleges
  • The Washington Monthly: Best Baccalaureate Colleges, for contribution to the public good.
  • The Washington Monthly: Ranked No. 22 among National Baccalaureate Universities.
  • 2016 President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for community service
  • Named the third safest campus in Iowa by Backgroundcheck.org
  • Clarke has achieved the NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Designation all six years that it has been presented
  • National Arbor Day Foundation: Tree Campus USA for the third straight year
  • Victory Media: Military Friendly School


Clarke University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age or disability in the educational programs which it conducts or in its employment policies, practices and procedures. Clarke University complies with all pertinent state and federal regulations concerning affirmative action, nondiscrimination, and equal employment opportunity.

For more information, contact the Clarke University Admissions Office:
Phone: (563)588-6316 or Toll-Free at 1(800)383-2345
Fax: (563)584-8666
E-mail: admissions@clarke.edu

Student Achievements

Clarke University students and alumni demonstrate success in numerous ways. Our students garner academic awards from the university, receive scholarships and secure internships. Our alumni go on to earn advanced degrees at Clarke and at other prestigious universities throughout the U.S. and the world. They achieve professional success in a variety of occupations and make their mark at corporations, in government agencies and at various other organizations in a vast number of fields.

The information listed below demonstrates both short-term and long-term achievements of Clarke University students and alumni:

Graduation Rates

  • Four-year graduation rate – 55%
  • Six-year graduation rate – 63%
  • Student retention rate from year one to year two (four-year average 2013-16) – 74%

Licensure Rates

First-time pass rates for the following programs are:

Athletic Training
2016 graduating class – 84.61% (11/13)
3 year aggregate (2014, 2015 & 2016) BOC pass rates – 81.01% (25/31) and overall pass rate is 90.32% (28/31)

Family Nurse Practitioner – 100%
NCLEX – 92.31%

Physical Therapy
2016 – 100%
2017 – 100%

Social Work

Discover Clarke’s campus through the seasons of summer sunshine, spring blooms, fall hues, and winter snow showers. Thank you to Dubuque Aerial Media for helping create this video.