Clark Atlanta University is a private institution that was formed in 1988 with the merging of Atlanta University, solely a graduate school, and Clark University, an undergraduate liberal arts school. Today, undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, as well as certificate programs are offered. The co-ed institution sits on 126 acres in the heart of Atlanta.
The largest member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the largest institution in the Atlanta University Center, CAU has maintained itself as a historically black university. In the friendly, urban community of Atlanta, students will not find themselves short of culture or heritage.
The institution is made up of four separate schools, the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education and School of Social Work. Thirty-eight different areas of study are offered, the most popular among undergrads being biological and biomedical sciences; business, management, and marketing; communication and journalism; psychology; and visual and performing arts.
Carnegie has classified this as a Doctoral/Research University (DRU) and is one out of only four historically black colleges to have this honor. Not only is research conducted in the fields of science, cancer, and technology, but humanities also play a role in scholarly research. Students here are able to complete graduate degrees and work alongside faculty members solving problems and researching issues.
Centers of Excellence
The school houses five centers of excellence: the School of Business Administration, Center for Computational Intelligence, Center for Excellence in Mass Media Arts, Center for Urban Educational Excellence, and the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development. Students here participate in programs to become the future leaders in their fields by participating in Think Tanks, doing some research, and being part of teams that will advance academics.
Students have many opportunities to study abroad since the institution is a member of several consortia including the University Center of Georgia, DIS, CIEE, CCIS, and IES. This means students are able to apply to programs outside of the university, usually at no additional cost, giving students access to programs all over the world. The school also sponsors a special mass media arts program that takes place in Jamaica during the summer. Incoming freshman that meet the requirements, may also take place in a summer study abroad program the summer prior to beginning their first semester.
Most Popular Fields of Study
There are two application deadlines: one for fall admission, and one for spring. In-state, out-of-state and international students all follow the same admission deadlines and an application fee is required for all applicants. The school accepts either the SAT or ACT for admission. The TOEFL test cannot be used in exchange of the SAT or ACT, but is required for international students, unless they attended a school where their classes were taught in English.
Although admission interviews are not required, in an attempt to gain a better insight of the prospective student, letters from the student’s high school counselor and one of the student’s teachers are required. Applicants can choose from two topics to write their 500-word essay on, another requirement for admission. Transfer students can be admitted at any semester during the year but must have completed a minimum of 12 credits and hold a GPA of at least 2.5.
Nearly all undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid here. Be ready to send information for financial aid earlier in the year. In an attempt to provide easy access for applicants, the entire financial aid process can be done online. The school also uses its online student portal to communicate information, such as how much aid will be awarded, as soon as a month after application deadlines. Students that fill out their FAFSA application are also able to apply for scholarships. Academic achievement and a high SAT or ACT score are the major factors in eligibility for scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
The school consists of a predominantly African American student body. Many out-of-state students attend, but very few internationally. The average freshman retention rate is 69.5 percent, showing that the majority of freshmen are satisfied with their experience at the university. This may be due in a large part to the students’ high involvement on campus and a dominant Greek system.
The school has over 80 organizations and special interest clubs on campus, including four fraternities and four sororities. Almost all students are members of either a fraternity or sorority. All students with less than 58 credit hours are required to live on campus. The university feels this on-campus housing requirement benefits the students’ future at the university. After 58 credit hours are obtained, many students live off campus and about half of students have a car on campus. Although not always mandatory, it is common at many universities for freshman and sophomores to use school housing and then move off campus later on in their studies.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Panthers are part of the NCAA II athletic conference. Their colors are red and black. They also have SIAC varsity teams in baseball, men and women’s basketball, cheerleading, cross country, track and field, football, softball, tennis and volleyball. As with the campus organizations, students are highly encouraged to participate in university athletics. In the summer, football coaches and players participate in a skills camp for the youth. This camp is just one of the many ways the university and athletics department reaches out to the community.
The Office of Alumni Relations and Development serves as the direct liaison between the school and its 30,000 alumni. Not unlike most universities, they also have an Alumni Association for which events are held throughout the year.
Additional School Information
The university is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and makes reference to religious standards in its code of conduct. In hopes of cultivating a sense of communal pride, students take a pledge committing themselves to the university’s standards.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.