Clark Atlanta University

About

Clark Atlanta University’s Location and Setting

Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, Clark Atlanta University is a private school that offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees as well as certificate programs. While it is considered an HBCU (historically black college or university), it offers programs to students of diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite its label as an urban research university, Clark Atlanta University’s campus boasts expansive green lawns, courtyards for gathering, and vibrant landscaping.i

Clark Atlanta University’s Mission and Values

The school’s mission is to leverage its distinctive history to transform “the lives of students and their communities by preparing citizen leaders to be problem-solvers through innovative learning programs; supportive interactions with faculty, staff, and students; exemplary scholarship; and purposeful service.”ii

Clark Atlanta University’s core values include:ii

  • Promoting innovation and collaboration
  • Upholding a student-centered ethos
  • Pursuing quality and excellence
  • Acting with personal and professional accountability and integrity
  • Practicing and nurturing ethical behavior and social responsibility
  • Embracing and supporting all forms of human diversity and inclusiveness

To help fulfill its mission and uphold its values, Clark Atlanta University asks its students to take the University Cultural Creed. Broadly, students agree to conduct themselves in ways that contribute to a civil campus environment that encourages positive behaviors in others. They uphold the “noble ideas” of the Creed to cultivate an environment of honesty, kindness, mutual respect, self-discipline, school loyalty, trust, academic integrity, and communal pride.ii

Clark Atlanta University History

Clark Atlanta University has two parent schools: Atlanta University, originally established in 1865 and Clark College, originally established in 1869. While then President Abe Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, slavery in the United States didn’t actually end until 1865 when the U.S. government ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. That same year, Atlanta University became the first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Four years later, Clark College was established and became the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African-American student population.ii

Over the next 20 years, these two schools greatly expanded the academic resources available to African-Americans and provided an empowering environment in which African-American scholars, librarians, and other professionals could share their creativity, intelligence, and craft. To give you a sense of the opportunity this afforded prominent scholars, W.E.B. DuBois was a founding father of the School of Social Work and wrote his most influential works while serving as faculty in the history, economics, and sociology departments.ii

Clark Atlanta University’s Unique Qualities

Clark Atlanta University is:iii

  • The only university in the historic Atlanta University Center, a consortium of 8,000 primarily African-American scholars
  • Home to one of the most prestigious university collections of African-American and African art
  • Home to Atlanta’s only jazz radio station, which is NPR-affiliated and reaches 200,000 listeners weekly
  • Home to the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development, America’s largest academic prostate cancer research enterprise
  • Home to the Center for Functional Nanoscale Materials, which is revolutionizing the science of life-saving drug delivery to the body

Clark Atlanta University Fall 2016 Enrollment and Retention Numbers  

As of fall 2016, Clark Atlanta University had 3,884 total students. Of those students, 3,093 were undergraduate students and 791 were graduate students. Ninety-seven percent of undergraduate students went to school full-time while three percent went part-time. Of undergraduate students, 71 percent were female and 29 percent were male. Eighty-three percent were Black or African-American. Ninety-six percent of undergraduate students were aged 24 or younger. The majority—71 percent—came from out of state. Of Clark Atlanta University’s graduate students, 71 percent attended school full-time and 29 percent attended part-time.iv

The retention rates for first-time students pursuing bachelors degrees at Clark Atlanta University was 67 percent and 50 percent for full-time and part-time students respectively. The overall graduation rate for students who began their studies in fall 2010 was 38 percent. Of the students pursuing bachelors degrees, 24 percent of those who started their studies in 2010 graduated in four years, 38 percent graduated in six years, and 43 percent graduated in eight years.iv

Clark Atlanta University Tuition and Financial Aid

During the 2016-2017 school year, undergraduate students paid $22,396 for tuition and fees, up two percent from the year prior. That same year, books and supplies cost an additional $1,500. Graduate students, meanwhile, paid $15,498 for tuition and $1,326 for fees during the 2016-2017 school year.iv

Of Clark Atlanta University’s full-time beginning undergraduate students, 94 percent, or 781, received financial aid. Eighty-seven percent received grant or scholarship aid, and 89 percent received student loan aid. Of all undergraduate students including transfer students, 85 percent received grant or scholarship aid, and 84 percent received federal student loans.iv

Clark Atlanta University Majors and Degrees

Clark Atlanta University offers bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees across dozens of unique areas of study. It has schools of arts and sciences, business administration, education, and social work. The most popular majors for undergraduate students in 2015-2016 were in areas of business, communications, biology and biomedical science, the visual and performing arts, and psychology. At the graduate level, areas of public administration and social services, education, and business were most commonly pursued. Doctorate students favored majors in areas of education.ii

At Clark Atlanta University, bachelors degrees are the most commonly pursued degrees, with 474 students earning them in the 2015-2016 school year. That same year, 282 students earned masters degrees and 28 students earned doctorate degrees. Just two students earned post-graduate certificates.iv

Clark Atlanta University Faculty

Clark Atlanta University has 171 full-time faculty members. Eighty-one percent of them have terminal degrees, or the highest degrees offered in a given field. Sixty-seven percent of Clark Atlanta University’s faculty are tenured, and the teacher to student ratio is 15:1.iv

Clark Atlanta University Application and Admissions Process

To apply to Clark Atlanta University, prospective undergraduate students can fill out and submit either an online application or a Common Application. Once they’ve applied, applicants must submit transcripts, standardized test scores, a Teacher Recommendation Form, a Guidance Counselor Recommendation Form, and an essay. The application fee is $35.v

While looking at application packages, Clark Atlanta University considers an applicant's academic record, leadership in school and community activities, unique talents and skills, and educational objectives. Applicants should also have completed a well-balanced college preparatory program in English, math, science, social science, electives, and a foreign language.v

As of October, 2017, Clark Atlanta University had a record number of qualified applicants, causing the school to review future applications on a case by case basis. While Clark Atlanta University is an HBCU in Atlanta, it’s open to all students, regardless of race.v

Applicants to graduate programs at Clark Atlanta University must submit an online or paper application as well as official transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The application fees and deadlines vary by program.vi

Clark Atlanta University Accreditation and Ranking

At the institutional level, Clark Atlanta University is regionally accredited by the Commission on the Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, its individual schools and programs have memberships and program-level accreditations pertinent to their areas of study.vii

U.S. News ranks Clark Atlanta University #16 (tie) of “Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Otherwise, Clark University’s rankings are unavailable through U.S. News.viii


i cau.edu/about/cau-history.html | ii cau.edu/about/guiding-principles.html | iii cau.edu/about/cau-quick-facts.html | iv nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=138947#expenses | v cau.edu/admitted-portal/adm-steps.html | vi cau.edu/admitted-portal/grad-steps.html | vii cau.edu/gen_info/opar/opar_fb_accredbod.pdf | viii usnews.com/best-colleges/clark-atlanta-university-1551/overall-rankings

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