Drake University


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

Information Summary

Ranks 3rd in Iowa and 124th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 94.6
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $56,724
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 30 / 1360
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 12 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 89% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 4,869


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.


College Building :: Drake University
College Campus :: Drake 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 1633rd 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.

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