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Christian Brothers University

Memphis, Tennessee

Christian Brothers University is a private, Catholic, comprehensive university committed to preparing students of all faiths and backgrounds to become engaged global citizens. The University provides challenging educational opportunities in the arts, business, engineering, the sciences, and teacher education. CBU’s commitment to the Lasallian ideals of faith, service, and community is reflected in an often-repeated phrase on campus, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.”

 

Christian Brothers University, founded in 1871, is the oldest institution of higher education in the city of Memphis. Throughout its history, the college has functioned as an elementary school, high school, and college. The institution was officially renamed Christian Brothers University in 1990. Today, CBU serves approximately 1,898 undergraduate and graduate students who represent 26 states, 21 countries, and 33 different faiths. CBU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,408 undergraduate students
92% of undergrad students are full time
48% male 52% female
18% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
100 full-time faculty
86 part-time faculty
11.8 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
67% of first year students live on campus
47% of all students live on campus

School Location

CBU’s 75-acre campus is located in the center of Memphis, home of the Blues and some of the world’s best barbecue. Birthplace of Federal Express and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis boasts three Fortune 500 company headquarters, nine Fortune 1000 companies, and many other leading organizations. With all this industry, science, and technology comes immense opportunity—for internships, for research, and for long-lasting professional connections. Memphis is a fantastic city for university students to build their futures.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses  
Collaborative Assignments and Projects  
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning  
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

80% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

52% of students graduated in 6 years

ENROLLMENT BY RACIAL/ETHNIC CATEGORY - FALL 2015

Nonresident aliens 6%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 29%
White 43%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 5%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%

Athletics

CBU is home to 15 NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference Teams, seven men’s and eight women’s varsity sports.

Men’s sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field
Women’s sports: Basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball

Mascot: Buccaneers
Colors: Red and gray

Academic Programs

School of Arts: Applied Psychology, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, Early Childhood Education, English, English for Corporate Communications, History, Liberal Studies, Psychology, Religion & Philosophy, Special Education Modified K-12, Visual Arts 

School of Business: Accounting, Business, Business Administration

School of Engineering: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (dual degree), Engineering Management, Mechanical Engineering

School of Sciences: Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology, Engineering Physics, Mathematics, Mathematics & Computer Science, Natural Science, Nursing, Physics

Interdisciplinary Programs: Cybersecurity & Forensics, Interdisciplinary Studies

Undergraduate Minors: http://www.cbu.edu/majors-minors

College of Adult Professional Studies Majors: https://caps.cbu.edu/aps/overview.html

Graduate Majors: http://www.cbu.edu/academic-graduate-programs

More Distinctions

  • A point of pride for CBU is its diversity. The university is diverse in interests, thoughts, faith, and life experiences in addition to its cultural backgrounds. Hailing from 26 states and 21 countries, 12% of students are international, and 37% are minorities. 34 faiths are represented.

  • More than 95% of recent grads were either employed or placed in a graduate program within 12 months of graduation.

  • Named “Safest Campus in Tennessee” by security firm ADT (2017).

  • Recognized by the White House for efforts to make education more accessible for the underserved Hispanic community through CBU’s Latino Student Success Program (2015).

  • Recognized as both a College of Distinction and a Catholic College of Distinction by Colleges of Distinction in 2016-17; also earned badges in four fields of study: Engineering, Business, Education, & Nursing. Recognition is based on results across the Four Distinctions—Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Communities, and Successful Outcomes.

  • Top 20% of Best Value Colleges in US ranking by Niche (2017).

  • Ranked #28 among the best regional universities, South, and #11 in Best Value Schools in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges.”

  • Ranked among the top 20% of the nation’s private colleges and #146 in the South by Forbes magazine.

  • Ranked among the best Southeastern colleges by the Princeton Review.

  • Ranked among the Top 10 Southern Universities by College Choice.

Engaged Students

From the moment one arrives on campus, they are immersed in a close-knit, small-university environment in which they are challenged to learn from outstanding faculty who want them to succeed. Every student experiences collaborative learning opportunities in small classes and have the opportunity to conduct mentored research with highly qualified CBU professors.

And, outside the classroom, learning is put to work through external research projects, professional internships, service learning, and study abroad.

Undergraduate Research

Many students are engaged through mentored research programs at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, the Memphis Zoo, and the Minority Health Internship Research Training program. Others conduct mentored research with highly qualified CBU faculty members. The university offers numerous internship, externship, and co-op opportunities, enabling students to gather valuable real-life experience at many corporations and nonprofits.

Study Abroad

CBU students take advantage of myriad study abroad programs. Popular destinations include Rome, Barcelona, London, Paris, and other great international cities. For students who wish to spend an entire semester or a summer to experience another culture, CBU maintains partnerships with universities in Austria, Brazil, France, and Spain. The Lasallian International Programs Consortium invites CBU students to study in Argentina, Australia, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Spain. Since the De La Salle Christian Brothers are present in 81 countries, students may also make arrangements to travel to even more countries that are not listed above. These include virtually all nations in Central and South America, Singapore, the Philippines, Europe, and parts of Africa. CBU encourages its students to explore, as studying abroad has a positive, life-changing impact on students’ perspectives and future careers.

Envision

ENVISION is a nine-week program that familiarizes students with the inner workings of the CBU administration and student organizations as they work to resolve campus issues through an intensive process of research and collaboration. This method of experiential learning allows students to become more aware and effective leaders at CBU.

Lasallian Fellows

Each year, five senior students are selected for the distinction of CBU Lasallian Fellow, recognized for the way they embody the values set forth by CBU’s founder, St. John Baptist de la Salle. Students are nominated by CBU faculty and staff in recognition of their commitment to the underserved, their sensitivity to social and community needs, the active nature of their faith, and the difference they make in the world. Each Lasallian Fellow is awarded $10,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band  
Dance  
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band  
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles  
Musical theater  
Opera  
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper  
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  
Yearbook  

Student-Teacher Collaboration

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, Christian Brothers University has a well-deserved reputation for teaching excellence. CBU students find that their instructors are not only outstanding teachers, but also active researchers. Such collaborations are invaluable, providing students with opportunities to hone such important skills as presenting findings at professional conferences. Frequently, such work leads to publications in peer-reviewed journals, giving students a significant advantage as they apply for graduate or professional school.

Students and faculty also work together in honor societies that have annual national and regional meetings. At these gatherings, CBU students present their research and mingle with students from other institutions, encouraging them to network and broaden their horizons.

Inspiring Faculty

Christian Brothers University is a vibrant community of scholars. Its faculty care deeply about their students, getting to know them and structuring their classes to ensure the success of each student. They encourage students to think outside box and become professionally involved in their chosen fields long before graduation. Both students and faculty are driven by an intense intellectual curiosity, striving to learn and contribute to the body of knowledge. More importantly, they seek to use their education to improve the community at large. Thus, a CBU education transcends the interests of individuals; its ultimate purpose is to serve God and humanity.

First-Year Experience

The First Year Experience Program focuses on first-year students and their transitions from high school to college. It’s designed to provide support and encouragement from a student’s first day of orientation all the way to the final day of their first year. CBU students start strong and, therefore, find success after graduation.

Academic Programs

Befitting its status as the longest-serving institution of higher learning in Memphis, CBU offers a healthy mix of traditional majors as well as degrees in such fields as cyber security, which did not exist even ten years ago. All majors emphasize the skills most desired by employers as well as graduate and professional schools: the ability to communicate effectively, to think critically, and to work in a team. To ensure that all CBU graduates possess these skills, the core curriculum provides a values-based broad education. And, since both core and major courses are small, there is ample opportunity for personalized instruction and learning. Professors are in a position to identify quickly the interests and strengths of each student.

Complementary Programs for Learning

The Honors Program and five Living Learning Communities (Freshman Experience, Sustainability, Science/Engineering, Honors, and Business) constitute important centers of learning outside the academic departments. Students interact regularly with professors during informal get-togethers and special events. The Math and Writing Centers offer students additional opportunities to engage with their professors.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts  
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 132 180 123 20 3 2 0 460

A Strong Community

At Christian Brothers University, learning transcends the classroom and the lab. CBU’s five Living Learning Communities (Freshman Experience, Sustainability, Science/Engineering, Honors, and Business) help create lasting bonds by bringing together students and professors with similar interests and pursuits in the Living Learning Center dorm. Students take common courses, walk to class together, build friendships through off-campus retreats and events, and give one another a sense of home away from home. Relationships are formed and enriched through class discussions that carry over into the LLC lounges and each Community’s residence floor. Doors are left ajar so that floor mates can enter at will to join the conversation. Students engage regularly with the professors who direct the Living Learning Communities in special events and informal get-togethers. For example, students in the CBU Honors Program’s Living Learning Community have the opportunity to engage in dozens of enrichment opportunities each semester, from providing service for nonprofit agencies to attending Broadway plays. Their relationships with faculty are solidified through small discussion and project-based classes that often take them into the broader Memphis community.

Living Learning Communities

CBU’s five Living Learning Communities offer a broad range of opportunities for students to take an active part in their learning, engage the city of Memphis, and explore new career paths. For example, students in the Business Living Learning Community have had dinner with CBU alums who have successful careers in the sports industry. After the dinner, they attended a Memphis Grizzlies game together to better understand the client acquisition and consumer behaviors that guarantee a successful sports event. These Living Learning students often intern as with alumni and the institutions with which they form connections through their Learning Community experiences.

The Living Learning Center

The Living Learning Center sponsors public, monthly events that are linked to key elements of CBU’s mission. Students from different Learning Communities engage with the university’s surrounding neighborhoods by volunteering at Caritas Village community center in diverse Binghampton and walking over to attend Memphis’ thriving Cooper-Young Festival. Through the Catholic Climate Covenant’s national “From St. Francis to Pope Francis to You: Creating a Climate for Solidarity” event as well as in discussion with the Christian Brothers order, students experience the Lasallian emphasis on social justice. The Living Learning Communities also sponsor civic engagement series in cooperation with organizations like the Black Student Association, hosting debate events while representing different political candidates’ platforms as well as guiding student through the early voting process.

Student Life

Community-building and learning outside the classroom are also at the heart of the activities sponsored by the Office of Student Life and the Office of Mission and Identity. Throughout the semester, Student Life makes it possible for students to attend concerts, plays, movies, athletic events, and exhibits in the Memphis metropolitan area for free or at sharply reduced rates. The Maurelian Lounge in the eponymous residence hall serves as a vibrant social space for first-year students during evenings and weekends as well as a classroom during weekday mornings and afternoons. CBU’s 40+ student organizations also ensure that learning continues long after students have exited lecture halls and laboratories. Several organizations regularly bring speakers to the campus.

Office of Mission and Identity

To foster spiritual and intellectual growth, the Office of Mission and Identity organizes retreats to give both participating students and faculty members the opportunity to turn inward and reflect. Students can also be involved in planning and executing the campus’ weekly mass. Those with a particular interest in CBU’s Lasallian mission may travel to participate in formation events in other U.S. cities and abroad. After studying the life and work of St. John Baptist De La Salle, the founder of the Christian Brothers, some students are so inspired that they volunteer to become Lasallian volunteers after graduation. All students value their interaction with the Christian Brothers who live on campus, as they always learn more not only about the De La Salle Brothers and their calling, but also about important watersheds in the history of Memphis and the American South.

Multiculturalism

Students learn much from one another. CBU’s student population is very diverse, acting as a testament to the fact that the university provides a welcoming environment to students of all backgrounds. Organizations representing different groups ensure that every student feels a strong sense of belonging. They also host events that enable students to learn about other cultures and religious faiths. The students’ daily encounters on campus—in the classroom, the cafeteria, the computer lab, the library, the residence halls—also constitute important learning opportunities.

Guest Lectures

Throughout the academic year, CBU makes a special effort to have renowned authors speak on campus. The Fresh Reads/Memphis Reads program has arranged speeches and other public appearances by such distinguished guests a Dinaw Mengestu, Jesmyn Ward, and Markus Zusak. Academic departments and schools also sponsor noted subject-matter experts whose work is of interest to the campus. Speaking in venues that are open to all CBU students, these speakers usually draw large crowds. Recently, noted prison-inmate advocate Shaka Senghor spoke to an overflow crowd about the idea that people can change. Vatican astronomer Father George Coyne, biologist Diane Fossey, and many more have all excited overflow crowds in the university’s theater.

Campus housing options for undergraduates

Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing X
Other housing options  

 

Other: Living Learning Communities 

Successful Citizens

Upon graduation, CBU students possess all the skills to be successful in the workplace as well as in professional or in graduate school. They communicate effectively, think critically, and work well in teams. They have also developed a strong sense of value for their CBU bachelor degree, which obliges its holder to work for the betterment of the community-at-large. CBU graduates have internalized the university’s emphasis on faith, service, and community, often working through churches, civic organizations, clubs, neighborhood associations, employers, and government to affect positive change in the community. CBU’s focus on educating the whole person thus pays rich dividends to the graduates themselves as well as to the communities in which they live and work.

Career Services

Choosing a career path can be one of the most daunting aspects of the college experience. Luckily, the professionals in the CBU career center have the resources and experience to help CBU students navigate their options, facilitating the opportunities they need to pursue their passions. Students can take assessments to learn about strengths and hidden talents as well as receive help developing their professional resumes and interview skills. They can even attend business etiquette dinners to practice dining with potential employers. The Career Center truly helps CBU students succeed in their careers.

Competitions

As up-and-coming professionals, CBU students engage early in their chosen professions. They present papers of their research at academic conferences and engage in competitions with students from other universities, frequently winning awards for the quality of their work. For example, CBU engineering students annually build small off-road cars that are raced over the harshest elements of rough terrain as well as compete in moon buggies and mini-bajas constructed in the university’s engineering labs. Science majors publish their research papers in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. And in the liberal arts, the social sciences, and business, students regularly travel to conferences to discuss their research in posters or papers.

Internships

At CBU, any student who wants an internship is guaranteed an amazing opportunity. CBU students have access to internship opportunities—both paid and for academic credit—across the Memphis area. Internships bring practical perspectives and invaluable experience, which are both highly attractive qualities for prospective employers. The Academic Internship Program allows for consistency across campus in terms of the student application process, employer communication, and data collection. Other internships with nonprofits like Overton Park Conservancy and for-profits like FedEx often lead to employment after graduation. More than 96% of students who are employed or placed in grad programs within a year of graduation; most of them completed at least one internship during their college career.

Service Learning

Christian Brothers University offers its students countless opportunities to be engaged and to serve. Incoming first-year students participate in service projects both on campus and in the wider community as early as Welcome Weekend, which marks the official beginning of the academic year. A few days later, the Honors Program’s “September of Service (SOS)” takes assisting others to a new level. During this month alone, students and other members of the CBU campus community provide close to 2,000 hours of service throughout the Memphis metropolitan area. Fraternities, sororities, honor societies, and other student organizations ensure that CBU students continue their community involvement throughout the academic year. Activities include entirely student-led fundraising events such as “Bowling for Uganda” and “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

ADMISSIONS

Admissions Fall 2015

2,321 Total Applicants
1,063 Total Admissions
312 Total Freshmen Enrollment

Selectivity
45.80% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Standardized test scores

Important
Academic GPA

Considered
Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank
Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Talent/ability
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence
Volunteer work

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading    
SAT Math    
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 21 27
ACT Math 20 26
ACT English 22 28
ACT Writing    

Applying to CBU

CBU welcomes applications from students who are not only academically successful, but who are also making an impact on the world. Admissions to CBU is competitive. Each application review is based on grade point average, standardized test scores, personal writing sample, and an academic recommendation. Applications are accepted via CBU‘s Online Application, a CBU application by mail, or through the Common Application.

TUITION AND COSTS

Net Price Calculator

https://www.cbu.edu/calculator

TUITION AND COSTS BEFORE FINANCIAL AID 2015-16

Expenses  
Tuition $29,316
Fees $820
Total $30,136
   
Room and Board (on campus) $7,908
Estimated Total On Campus $38,864

FINANCIAL AID

Average Financial Aid Packages 2014-15 estimated

$26,869 First year students
$22,486 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-15 estimated

74% on average, the percentage of need that was met
20% of financial need students that had need fully met

$18,357 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$3,754 Average need-based loan

Scholarships

All applicants are considered for merit scholarships based on academic performance.  These range from $7,000 to $15,000 annually.  Students may be invited to participate in scholarship competitions that award full tuition scholarships.   

Trustee Scholarship – This is CBU’s most prestigious scholarship for full-tuition and fees.  Students compete for four scholarships by interviewing with faculty and alumni.  To be considered for the Trustee Scholarship, students must have a minimum 27 ACT, 3.6 gpa, and be admitted to CBU. 

Leadership Scholarship – This is a leadership based scholarship awarded to two students each year for outstanding leadership and service in his or her community. Recipients of these full-tuition scholarships will receive support from Student Life in developing a New Student Organization that can have a lasting impact on the university. To be considered for the Leadership Scholarship, students must have a minimum 21 ACT, 2.75 gpa, be an active leader, and be admitted to CBU. 

Aid and Scholarships

CBU is committed to providing a quality, private college education that is affordable. In fact, CBU is annually ranked among the nation’s “best buy” institutions, with 96% of full-time students receiving financial assistance. CBU offers academic scholarships ranging from $9,000 to $15,000 based on previous academic success. There’s no separate application for CBU Merit Based Scholarships—students need only complete an application to be considered.

Academic Scholarships 

  • The Trustee Scholarship is the most prestigious academic scholarship available at CBU. Two students are selected to receive this full-tuition scholarship; however, all students who compete will receive a $2,000 participation tuition scholarship. Candidates must have a minimum ACT score of 28 or SAT of 1210 (CR + M).
  • The Leadership Scholarship Program is a leadership-based scholarship awarded to three outstanding student leaders. Recipients of this full-tuition scholarship also receive support from Student Life in developing a New Student Organization that can have a lasting impact on the university. All students who compete will receive a $1,500 participation tuition scholarship. Candidates must have a minimum ACT score of 21 or SAT of 980 (CR + M).
  • The Pascal Fellowship in Computer Science and Mathematics sponsored by FedEx is a unique program that awards students each year with scholarships as well as internship opportunities. Four students majoring in Computer Science will receive this full-tuition scholarship. All students who compete receive a $2,000 participation tuition scholarship. Candidates must have a minimum ACT Math score of 30 or SAT Math of 680 and GPA of 3.5.
  • CBU also offers grants and student-worker programs as a part of its Catholic and Lasallian mission. The goal is to help students reach their goals, both academically and financially. Staff members in the Financial Aid Office are available during business hours to answer questions about paying for college

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