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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.

Clarke is test-optional; we will provide an admission decision without a test score. This allows applicants the option to either submit or not submit their SAT or ACT scores for the admission process.

Discover Dubuque


  • Undergraduate Students: 871
  • Total Students: 1,025

Student Profile

  • Male %: 50
  • Female %: 50
  • In-State Students %: 43
  • Out-of-State %: 57
  • Retention rate for first time, full-time students: 67%
  • Student to faculty ratio: 9:1

Data is based upon the Fall 2023 enrollment


Come cheer on the Blue and Gold with us!

Clarke Pride Website


Men’s Women’s Co-Ed
Baseball Basketball Cheer
Basketball Bowling Dance
Bowling Cross Country Esports
Cross Country Golf
Football Soccer
Golf Softball
Lacrosse Track and Field
Soccer Volleyball
Track and Field


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

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


View the Tuition & Fees page for this information.

Financial Assistance

During the 2023-24 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 $31,036. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid as soon as possible in December when the date is released.


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:

  • U.S. News: Ranked 47th in Top Performers on Social Mobility in 2023
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Roll 2023
  • 2022-2023 Military Friendly School
  • Nursing Schools Almanac 2022 – #3 in Iowa, #19 in the Plains Region
  • PLEXUSS 2023 Global Rankings
    • # 1 Best Faith-Based College or University in Iowa
    • # 9 Best in Iowa Offering Nursing Programs
  • Princeton Review: Best Midwestern Colleges
  • NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Designation for 10 consecutive years
  • National Arbor Day Foundation: Tree Campus USA


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
Fax: (563)584-8666

Licensure Exam Pass Rates

The licensure exam pass rates are consistently high, reflecting the dedication and proficiency of our programs and of aspiring professionals.


Doctor of Physical Therapy

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 – 53%
  • Six-year graduation rate – 63%
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.