Carlow emphasizes a well-rounded liberal arts education with a solid foundation in ethics and social justice. Its students carry with them the values that have defined Carlow University for nearly a hundred years. They go on to do good—and do well—in their chosen professions. According to a recent career outcomes report, 97 percent of Carlow alumni were employed or continuing their studies at Carlow or other universities within six months of graduation.
Carlow’s dedication to social justice and service to the community began long before “social justice” became a buzz phrase. Founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s students and faculty have been at the forefront of such issues as environmental protection, women’s empowerment and education, and racial equality, having participated in different activist events like the Civil Rights marches in Selma.
Get to know Carlow University
THE CARLOW COMPASS
The Carlow Compass, Carlow’s core curriculum, is rooted in liberal arts and the Catholic intellectual tradition. It is designed to navigate and explore a student’s educational pathway within a course of study, emphasizing career-readiness and ethical leadership.
Undergraduates at Carlow can take advantage of many study abroad opportunities, from a semester in Italy to an entire year in Northern Ireland. Some of Carlow’s unique offerings include the service-oriented Carlow Cares spring break trips to places like Nicaragua. Carlow’s MFA in Creative Writing also includes two intensive residencies per year, which consist of a two-week stay in Pittsburgh and another two weeks at Trinity College in Ireland.
Thanks to the size of Carlow University, undergraduate research has always been an important dimension of its biology and chemistry programs. Unlike research universities, which often hold undergraduate classes that are taught by graduate students, students at Carlow have opportunities to work directly alongside faculty. Together, they pursue meaningful research projects that can lead to publications in journals and presentations at professional conferences.
While the sciences (natural, social, behavioral) are the notable fields in which Carlow undergraduates collaborate with faculty through research, Carlow undergraduates also engage in other types of scholarship with the faculty, such as social activism and artistry. Some courses at Carlow offer a mix of collaborative and research opportunities that are often showcased at Carlow’s Undergraduate Scholarship Day.
For example, Dr. Clara Cheng’s “Feed the Deed” project is a collaborative research activity in which her entire class of Social Psychology students promote prosocial action as part of a class project. Service-learning and Contemplation and Action courses are also distinctive at Carlow for their full-class, collaborative projects that involve both faculty and students. Past examples include website-design projects for non-profit institutions as well as initiatives for nutrition awareness in the Oakland community. Similarly, Dr. Sandi DiMola’s public policy courses connect research with real community need by partnering with YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, designing training modules to encourage women to take on appointed roles as board and commission members.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 0%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 16%
White, non-Hispanic: 71%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 2%
Carlow University’s First-Year Seminar (FYS) orients students to the university community and builds a foundation for their academic success. Within a small group setting, FYS connects students with Carlow’s history and mission, familiarizing them with key support services and departments. Most importantly, FYS connects students with other students and with faculty. Students explore their new university side-by-side and delve further into their own academic and professional goals. Students also take either “College Writing and Research” or “Presentations and Argumentation” with the same group of FYS classmates.
As students move through the core curriculum, they take course-level writing assessments to measure the progress of their writing skills at the initial stages of the curriculum. These assessments are useful tools that help determine clear steps for improvement throughout the continuation of their coursework. In their third year, all students (including transfers) complete an “anchor” experience in which they undergo a formative writing assessment, receiving recommendations for additional writing support and improvement before they move on to their disciplinary capstone experiences in their final year.
STUDENT CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Carlow University’s learning opportunities outside the classroom allow students to put into practice their new liberal arts knowledge and Marcy-heritage values. A full variety of clubs provide extra outlets to students with professional, social, and civic interests. Students seeking leadership experiences may participate in the Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board and Residence Hall Association, Commuter Student Association, and the Office of Campus Life. The student organizations thrive on Carlow’s park-like campus in a bustling urban location.
Carlow has one of the safest campuses in one of the safest cities in the country, situated in the heart of the Eds, Meds, and Tech section of Oakland in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carlow is an island of historic architecture and cutting-edge learning technology in a bustling, vibrant community. Carlow’s proximity to world-renowned hospitals and laboratories offer unique access to students interested in pursuing science or health care degrees.
Carlow University offers a variety of athletic teams, including: Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Golf, Soccer, Cross Country, and Track and Field (Spring 2018), along with Women’s Softball, Tennis, and Volleyball. The Carlow Celtics are affiliated with the United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), both of which offer post-season opportunities to athletes across the United States.
A TRADITION OF SERVICE
Committed to compassionate and caring service of persons who are poor, sick, and uneducated—regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, or religion—the seven Sisters of Mercy established and staffed numerous schools, an orphanage, and the first hospital in Pittsburgh. Their legacy fuels Carlow’s efforts every day, maintaining the core values behind everything it does.
MERCY SERVICE DAY
All first-year students participate in Mercy Service Day, an annual event that sends Carlow community members (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) into many parts of the Pittsburgh community to work with over a dozen nonprofits. Students help paint houses with Habitat For Humanity Pittsburgh, sort canned goods at Duquesne Repack, serve food at the Jubilee Soup Kitchen, and much more.
Carlow’s Office of Career Development provides career-planning services that prepare students and alumni for successful transitions from college to their careers. They provide career advising sessions, career-related programming, internship/job search support, and employer engagement both on and off campus.
In their junior and senior capstone experiences, students pursue their own independent research under the direct oversight of a faculty member. They then present this information to the Carlow community—including their peers—through Carlow’s Scholarship Day, an annual event that highlights undergraduate research in all disciplines through poster presentations, panels, demonstrations, and readings.
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 500 | 75th Percentile: 580
25th Percentile: 480 | 75th Percentile: 560
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 24
25th Percentile: 17 | 75th Percentile: 23
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 23
Tuition & Cost
Every applicant to Carlow is assigned an admissions counselor who guides them through every step of the enrollment process, helping them submit the correct materials, decide their major, and everything in between.
Carlow believes that educational opportunities shouldn’t be limited by a student’s ability to pay. Over 90% of students receive financial assistance, many of whom had probably assumed that attending Carlow was not possible. Carlow’s goal is to make its unique, values-based education affordable and enrollment a reality.