Clarkson University


Located in small-town Potsdam, NY, Clarkson University is situated on six hundred forty wooded acres adjacent to the six million-acre Adirondack Park. They offer over fifty programs of study in business, liberal arts, engineering, science and health science and take an extremely hands-on approach to teaching. Students may choose to study in a traditional classroom setting, online, or abroad in one of many different programs. Established first in 1896 as a school of technology, it was designated a university in 1984 and is consistently ranked as a top university in national magazines and publications.

The university offers on-campus housing and student life is extremely active, both on campus and in the community. There is an active Greek presence as well as over one hundred student clubs, professional societies and organizations. The men’s hockey team is particularly competitive and there are also several club and intramural sports for students to participate in. Because of its proximity to Adirondack Park, opportunities for outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking and camping abound and there are several organized activities and trips throughout the year.

The school is also unique in that it provides a mult-faceted educational experience by incorporating traditional teaching methods with hands-on research and training in entrepreneurial skills. The school stresses environmental sustainability both at the local and the global level and encourages students to find ways to make the world a better place in which to live via such initiatives such as Focus the Nation. The university believes that in order for education to be effective, students must know how to market themselves and their ideas so programs are provided such as the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Global Supply Chain Management in order to teach these skills and prepare students to be leaders in a global environment.


Information Summary

Ranks 18th in New York and 190th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 92.9
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $68,112
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 30 / 1350
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 15 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 86% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 4,274


Over fifty programs of study are offered along with numerous graduate programs so that students at every level may continue learning. There are pre-collegiate, bachelor’s, graduate and professional programs designed to fill the needs of a diverse student population. Baccalaureate students may choose to study from four different schools including the School of Arts and Sciences, The School of Business, the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering and the Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

The School of Arts and Sciences offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees in such areas as psychology, biology, humanities or political science. There is also a pre-law and pre-med program. This school offers graduate programs in a diverse range of areas as well. Students may choose to study for a master’s degree in either Information Technology or Physician Assistant Studies. If a Ph.D. is desired, there are several programs to choose from including computer science and physics. Many of the degrees obtainable from this school are interdisciplinary.

From the minute that students step into the School of Business, they will be immersed in business. The University prides itself on the fact that their business school is different than any other business program in the country. This difference has led to many accolades from top business professionals. Students are encouraged to think outside of the box and come up with solutions. In the first year, students develop a business plan and formulate strategies, pitch their idea to investors and actually run their own business. This hands-on experience gives the student a valuable base from which to continue learning. The same concept is applied to the graduate programs; one in six master’s level graduates end up as a CEO or lead executive of a company.

The most successful workplaces are interdisciplinary and teamwork oriented. The Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering has organized their program in exactly the same manner. Engineers do not work alone, so they should not learn alone either. Students seeking to obtain undergraduate or graduate degrees in engineering will learn how to develop programs that benefit humanity by considering the social, ethical, environmental and economic impact that their programs will have before they develop them. Because of this teaching method, a significant number of graduates from the engineering programs go on to become leaders and innovators in their fields.

The school recognizes that finding solutions to looming environmental issues requires interdisciplinary cooperation, research, and dedication. It is with this in mind that the Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment offers several undergraduate, post-graduate and community outreach programs to students interested in pursuing careers that effect positive change in global environmental issues. The institute also hosts many seminars, workshops and field trips in order to educate both students and the community.

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Unique Programs

Several interesting and unique programs are offered in order to serve their students and their community. As a small university with national recognition in the areas of both education and research, these programs are designed to teach students how to improve their world and benefit humanity on local, national, and global levels.

There are several programs that draw millions of dollars in research funding every year. The Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) is dedicated to advancing the quality of materials used for such things as computer chips, X-ray films and bio-sensors. This is research completed by students and faculty working side-by-side with industrial partners and produces changes that are utilized throughout many different fields.

The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) program applies research efforts to the fields of science, physical therapy, biotechnology and assistive technology to improve the lives of those who have been negatively impacted by disease or traumatic injury. Students begin helping people and making positive contributions to humanity while they are learning.

The university also recognizes that there are some high school students that are already prepared to begin advanced study and therefore offers the Clarkson School. This school provides high school students the opportunity to enroll for a full schedule of college course in their senior year of high school and basically enter college life a year early. Students live on campus and study a broad range of interdisciplinary subjects while participating fully in campus life. The program offers specialized programs that help bridge the transition between high school and college. Students interested in this program should contact the university for more information.


Undergraduate Admissions

There are three different applications that are accepted. Students may complete the Unconventional Application or the Common Application AND Clarkson Common Application Supplement online. Students may also choose to print the Common Application and the supplement and submit it in paper form. Students should be aware that the school waives the application fee for students that complete online applications. Students that submit the paper applications will need to submit the fee.

Students will also need to submit official high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a personal statement, one letter of recommendation from a counselor or principal and one recommendation from a teacher. Students interested in the humanities have special high school course requirements so they should check with the school in order to meet these requirements.

The school utilizes a rolling enrollment policy. They offer an early application process but do require that if a student applies in this phase and is accepted, they must commit to attend. Early Decision applications must be submitted by December 1 of the year prior to enrollment. Regular fall admission applications must be submitted by January 14 and the deadline for regular spring admission is October 15.

Transfer Admissions

Students that are transferring from another institution will need to complete the Transfer Application online and submit the Dean of Students Recommendation Form which is available in PDF on the website. Official college transcripts are required as well as the same two letters of recommendation and personal statement that is required of all freshman applicants.

Students that have completed fewer than twenty-four hours of college credit will also need to submit high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Finally, if English is not a student’s native language, TOEFL or IELTS scores may be required. Transfer applications are also accepted on a rolling basis. In order to have the best chance of acceptance, students should apply for the fall semester by July 1 and for the Spring semester by December 1.

Graduate Admissions

Each of the three graduate schools has their own admissions process but they all accept applications for both the spring and fall terms, though some individual programs do not. Students should take time to become familiar with their program of choice in order to ensure that all documentation required is submitted in a timely fashion. Clarkson recommends that students apply by May 1 for the fall term and by October 1 for the fall term, but priority for scholarships, assistantships and other financial aid will be given to students who apply by January 1 and September 1.

International applicants should apply by April 15 for the fall term and October 1 for the spring term in order to allow sufficient time for the school to receive the required materials and for a visa to be approved.

Financial Aid

Ninety percent of students receive financial aid of some sort. The university automatically considers all applicants for merit-based scholarships. For students that are seeking this form of assistance, applications should be submitted by the deadlines outlined in the admissions requirements. Financial aid is also available in the form of need-based scholarships, grants and federally subsidized student loans. Students who wish to apply for financial aid should submit the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) application online. The application is available in January and should be completed by February 15 in order to be considered for as much assistance as possible. Financial information for both the student and family will be required, so applicants should have this information readily available when completing the FAFSA.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 499th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New York.


The Golden Knights compete at the NCAA Division I level in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Their colors are green and gold and the men’s hockey team in particular is a traditional powerhouse in their division with numerous championships over the years. There are nineteen varsity teams including men’s and women’s hockey, cross country, basketball, alpine skiing, lacrosse, swimming, soccer and basketball. Men may also choose to participate in baseball or golf while women have the additional option of volleyball.

The university also offers numerous club and intramural sports such as hockey, football, indoor soccer and volleyball. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a wide array of organized outdoor activities and physical fitness programs. Teams frequently get the added cheer of the Pep Band, so students interested in both sports and music have an additional opportunity to support the Knights.

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