Drake University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Drake University
Drake University is committed to providing an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for...

Drake University

Des Moines, Iowa

Drake University is committed to providing an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. The University is distinguished by collaborative learning among students and staff alike.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,338 undergraduate students
95% of undergrad students are full time
44% male — 56% female
70% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
314 full-time faculty
166 part-time faculty
13 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

71% of students living on campus.

School Location

Drake University, located in Des Moines, Iowa, offers a range of student activities. With many opportunities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors as well as the metropolitan Des Moines area, Drake offers a one-of-a-kind college experience.

Retention Fall 2015

88% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

73% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 8%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 4%
White 79%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


NCAA Division I-AA. 9 Varsity sports, including track, rowing, football, and softball.

Mascot: Spike the Bulldog
Colors: White and Blue

Academic Programs

Accounting, Actuarial Science, Advertising, Anthropology and Sociology, Applied Music, Art History, Art Minor, Arts and Sciences, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Drawing, Economics, Electronic media, Elementary Education, English, Entrepreneurship, Environment Policy and Science, Finance, Geography, Graphic Design, Health Sciences, History, Information Systems, International Business, International Relation, Journalism, Law, Politics and Society, Magazines, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Military Studies, Music, Neuroscience, Painting, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Vet, Psychology, Public Relations, Religion, Secondary Education, Sociology, Theatre, Undeclared, Writing

At Drake, students are actively involved in their educations. They interact with their subjects and draw conclusions that they can apply to the bigger picture—one that extends far beyond the academic environment of the campus. Students are given the opportunity to work with their professors, meet with visiting ambassadors, and participate in service-learning initiatives, all within the liberal arts-based framework that Drake gives all its students.

The Drake Curriculum

The Drake Curriculum gives students a solid foundation from which they can individually build both their educational and personal journeys. This curriculum introduces students to a wide variety of ideas and problem-solving skills. It trains students to become critical thinkers who engage in higher-level conceptualization. There are three components to the Drake Curriculum, which include the first-year seminar, areas of inquiry, and a senior capstone.

First-Year Seminar

First-year seminar classes are designed to engage students with exciting and unique subject matters right at the start of their educational experience. Seminar courses have 19 or fewer students, all of whom will live in the same building as one another. This structure is designed to encourage comfortable participation in class as well as meaningful relationships outside of it.

Areas of Inquiry

As students progress through college, they are to choose classes that suit and support their majors. No matter the concentration, however, they must also take 1-2 courses within each of Drake’s 10  “Areas of Inquiry.” These designations, which range from Quantitative Literacy to Critical Thinking, ensure that all students of all majors have the same foundational skill set for high-level thinking and success.

The Senior Capstone

The Senior Capstone is a chance for each student to demonstrate all they have learned over their first three years in college. This culminating capstone requirement is structured differently for every major, playing out in the format of field experience to an individual research project.

Study Abroad

Drake offers its students the option to study abroad as a part of its initiative to prepare all of its students as globally engaged and conscious citizens. The University has programs in over 60 countries, and students have the option to travel throughout a semester, full-year, or summer term.

Faculty and Research

Drake has 289 full-time faculty, 87% of whom hold terminal degrees in their respective fields. Faculty members at Drake are fully dedicated to the growth and development the each student. Drake’s professors are not only distinguished scholars in their fields, but also accomplished researchers. And, to make the most of such a privilege, Drake affords its students the possibility to work with their professors on research projects as early as their first year. This collaboration between students and faculty members leads to a learning environment that benefits both parties.

Des Moines

Drake is located near the city of Des Moines, affording students a number of social and professional opportunities that extend beyond the campus. Students are encouraged to venture into the city and enjoy the food, shopping, and cultural events that make the city thrive.

Clubs and Organizations

Drake offers its students plenty of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. The University encourages all of its students to get take part in extracurriculars, recognizing the social and academic benefits that active involvement can bring them. There are over 160 clubs and organizations to choose from, the interests of which span from media clubs to governing organizations. Students can immerse themselves in the arts by seeing a play or going to an exhibit, or, for those interested in athletics, they may join one of several intramural and club sports teams. Students can also get involved in service-learning projects or participate in the Leadership Development Program.

Sports and Recreation

As an NCAA Division I school, Drake has a vibrant athletic community. Students have several chances throughout the year to get involved with athletics, whether they cheer on fellow peers or participate in an intramural sport. The Bell Center is also available for those who just want to exercise.  


Admissions Fall 2015

6,514 Total Applicants 
4,356 Total Admissions 
803 Total Freshman Enrollment

66.87% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 520 670
SAT Math 550 690
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 24 30
ACT Math 24 29
ACT English 24 31
ACT Writing    





Tuition $33,550
Fees $146
Total $33,696
Room and Board (on campus) $9,596
Room Only $5,150
Board Only $4,446
Estimated Total On Campus $43,292


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

99% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
55% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$18,494 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,827 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates