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Welcome back to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience — supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Fall 2020 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication

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 2019 freshman class is 21, the average SAT score is 1030, and the average high school grade-point-average is 3.4. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years will follow the test-optional policy at Clarke University.

Discover Dubuque


  • Students come from 32 states and 10 countries.
  • Undergraduate Students: 645
  • Total Students: 904

Student Profile

  • Male %: 47
  • Female %: 53
  • In-State Students %: 59
  • Out-of-State %: 41
  • Retention rate for first time, full-time students: 72%

Data based upon 2019-2020 enrollment snapshot


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 2020-21 academic year, undergraduate tuition is $34,650, student fees are $1,100, and the average cost for room and board is $10,200. Graduate tuition varies by program. View the Tuition & Fees page for more information.

Financial Assistance

During the 2019-20 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 $27,000. 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
  • 2020 Best Colleges in Iowa
  • 2017 Best Colleges in Iowa
  • Forbes: Top 120 of the Best Midwestern Colleges
  • U.S. News: Ranked 62nd in Top Performers on Social Mobility in 2020
  • 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
  • RegisteredNursing.org: #5 in the nation for 2019 Best Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs
  • 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 each year that it has been presented since 2009-10
  • 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
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 – 49%
  • Six-year graduation rate – 63%
  • Student retention rate from year one to year two (four-year average 2015-18) – 76.5%

Licensure Rates

First-time pass rates for the following programs are:

Athletic Training
2019 graduating class overall pass rate is 87.5% (7/8) at this time
3 year aggregate (2019, 2018, 2017) aggregate 1st time pass rate of 77.4% (24/31) and the overall pass rate is 93.54% (29/31) at this time.

Family Nurse Practitioner – 100%
NCLEX – 92.31%

Physical Therapy
98.2% Pass Rate

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.