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Drake University

Drake University Rating: 3.0/5 (34 votes)

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Founded in 1881 by the Disciples of Christ, Drake University offers more than 70 academic programs. Students can also design a personal academic plan or create their own majors. Drake was part of the first group of schools to be accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. While the College of Arts & Sciences is the university’s largest school, Drake also offers competitive programs through the schools of Business & Public Administration, Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Journalism & Mass Communication, and Education. All of the schools, as well as Drake’s Law School, offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Many of the departments offer online courses during the summer, and the School of Education offers both video and online professional development courses all year long. Drake students can also participate in ESL programs, undergraduate research programs, leadership programs, or one of the university’s 175 study abroad programs that take place in more than 60 different countries. The university’s most popular undergraduate majors are Business/Marketing, Communications/Journalism, and Education.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Students applying to Drake have three options: the online application, the paper application, and the Common Application (along with an official supplement). The online application is typically the most popular choice, as the application fee is waived only for students using this submission format. Students are required to submit their academic transcripts, counselor recommendations, and ACT or SAT scores. TOEFL scores are also required for international applicants. There is also a mandatory essay requirement in addition to an optional video statement. International students and students applying to the pre-pharmacy program or any of the graduate programs should refer to the university’s website for additional requirements. All materials must be sent to the university’s Office of Admission. Applicants are notified of their admissions decisions on a rolling basis—usually 4-6 weeks after all of their application materials are received by the university.

Financial Aid

Nearly 95% of Drake undergrads receive some kind of financial aid. Forms of financial assistance that are available to students include scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. All applicants to the university are automatically considered for Presidential Merit Scholarships. Applicants and students can contact the university’s Office of Student Financial Planning for counseling and assistance with applying for financial aid.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2780th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Iowa.


The vast majority of Drake students live on campus in one of the university’s recently renovated residence halls. Full-time students must live on campus for their first two years, unless they are married, live at home, or live with relatives within a 45-mile radius of the university. First-year students can live in one of the quads that have been designated for freshmen, or in Morehouse Hall, a residence hall that offers separate floors for freshmen. Upper-class students can choose from traditional, suite, and apartment-style dorms. All of the residence halls feature high speed wireless Internet access, air conditioning, and cable television. There are numerous and diverse dining options available to students, including the signature “Flash in the Pan” service with a sauté chef who creates dishes that are made to order.

Drake also boasts Iowa’s largest private academic library, with nearly one million print and electronic titles. Students also enjoy access to state of the art fitness and recreational facilities. The American Republic Student Health Center offers a variety of free health services to full-time students. The university offers a number of special services to accommodate students with any kind of disability.

Students can participate in any of the over 160 student organizations, including 16 fraternities and sororities that continue Drake’s century-old tradition of Greek life. Other activities include student government, volunteer organizations, intramural sports, and professional societies that help students network.

The university’s prime location in Des Moines allows students to enjoy access to all of the city’s special attractions and events. Drake students have traditionally enjoyed the bustling nightlife on Court Avenue, as well as the shows at People’s Court, the Vaudeville Mews, and the Civic Center. Drake students also frequent Fong’s for its signature crab rangoon pizza. The city offers unforgettable events like the Des Moines Arts Festival and the World Food Festival. Students can also seek part-time jobs and internship opportunities through the network of almost 20,000 alumni who live in the city.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Students at Drake can choose from more than twenty club, intramural, and varsity sports for males and females. The Bulldogs compete at the NCAA Division I Level and are cheered on by Spike, the university’s mascot. Drake is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and Pioneer Football League. The university has also been recognized by the NCAA for ranking in the top 10% of the country for its student athletes’ academic progress rates.

Students who prefer to be spectators can support the Bulldogs by watching games on the True Blue TV channel or by joining the Bulldog Club for fans and supporters. One of the university’s biggest and most popular events is the Drake Relays, an annual track-and-field meet held at Drake Stadium that hosted great athletes like Jesse Owen, Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson. This event draws over 20,000 spectators, as well as hundreds of college and university teams each year.


Some of the university’s oldest traditions include Street Painting, in which students mark the beginning of the Drake Relays by painting parts of Carpenter Avenue and each other. In recent years, Drake alumni and local businesspeople also participate in this colorful and creative event. Another popular Drake tradition is Hubbelling, in which students take trays from Hubbell Dining Hall (or anything else) to use to sled down the hills by the residence halls. For decades, bulldog owners bring their dogs to Drake to participate in the university’s Beautiful Bulldog contest. The winner is chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, and gets to serve as the official mascot of the Drake Relays.

Information Summary

Ranks 2nd in Iowa and 155th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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College Building :: Drake University College Campus :: Drake University

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 2 0.04
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 2 0.04
Robbery 3 0.06
Arson 2 0.04
Burglary 9 0.17
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 3 0.06
Arrest 24 0.45

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 742 0.36
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 8 0.00
Forcible Rape 103 0.05
Robbery 216 0.11
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 2,493 1.22
Larceny 7,400 3.62
Vehicle theft 834 0.41

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Des Moines, IA 50311-4505
Surrounding communityMidsize city (inside urban area, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population18,590 (18,590 urban / N/A rural)
Households7,449 (2.23 people per house)
Median Household Income$39,260
Families3,824 (3.01 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduateSingle doctoral (education)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentMajority undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1903

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 448th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $30,734 $30,734 $30,734
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $146 $146 $146
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $610 $610 $610
FT Graduate Tuition $10,800 $10,800 $10,800
FT Graduate Required Fees $146 $146 $146
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $600 $600 $600
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $44,349 $44,349 $44,349
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $44,349 $44,349 $44,349
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $35,349 $35,349 $35,349

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $34,350 $34,350
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees $146 $146
Law Degree — Tuition $36,550 $36,550
Law Degree — Required Fees $52 $52

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $28,382 $29,556 $28,382 $29,556 $28,382 $29,556
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $900(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,410 $8,680
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,560(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A $8,680
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A $3,560
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A $3,560

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$25
Graduate Application Fee$25
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 5,930 (2,501 male / 3,429 female)
Admitted 3,911 (1,612 male / 2,299 female)
Admission rate 66%
First-time Enrollment 850 (355 male / 495 female)
FT Enrollment 850 (355 male / 495 female)
PT Enrollment N/A (N/A male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment5,139

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Pioneer Football League
NCAA Basketball Conference Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Missouri Valley Conference

ACT Test Admission

121st for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 96%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 24 / 31
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 24 / 29
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 25 / 30

SAT Test Admission

168th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 10%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 530 / 640
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 540 / 680
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1070 / 1320

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,773
Meals per Week21
Room Fee$4,770
Board Fee$4,230

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 535th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $84,724 ($89,762 male / $69,787 female)
Number of FT Faculty 291 (162 male / 129 female)
Number of PT Faculty 449
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $7,967,221

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2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311-4505
p. 515-271-2011
w. www.drake.edu

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