Santa Clara emphasizes a commitment to academics and community and is distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities. This comprehensive, faith-based, Division 1 university offers small classes taught by full professors and incorporates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice to educate students and citizens prepared to contribute to a more just, humane, and sustainable world. The beautiful 106-acre campus in Santa Clara, California, littered with palm trees and luscious rose bushes, is steeped in history and tradition.
This selective mid-sized California university has a heritage of traditional Jesuit ideals of “infusing morality and ethics into strong and coherent academics.” Founded by the Jesuits and with a large undergraduate population (almost half) of Roman Catholics, religion has a non-intrusive impact on campus life. Santa Clara students will find many opportunities for spiritual development and to get involved with local volunteer organizations. Students will also have access to job-recruitment and internships afforded to a university located in Silicon Valley, with other 70% participation.
Here are a few quick facts about Santa Clara:
4-year Graduation rate: 84%
Freshman retention: 94%
Freshmen from out of state: 41%
Most popular majors: finance, economics, communication
Housing: Guaranteed housing all four years, but juniors and seniors often utilize the option to live off-campus. While nearly all freshmen and sophomores live on campus, the dorms only house about 56% of the overall student population. Plans are currently in the works to build more university housing to help battle the rising cost of off-campus housing. Students have remarked that the campus always feels safe.
Academics: Santa Clara offers a rigorous undergraduate curriculum as well as robust masters program, law degrees, and engineering doctorate programs. While offering 8 different engineering programs that comprise 15% of the student population, Political Science, Communication, and Psychology are still the most popular classes among students.
SC boasts its 3-2 engineering program in which a student can attain bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years. The college has also recently added minors in professional writing and real estate.
Santa Clara’s Core Curriculum prescribes courses in three broad categories: Knowledge, Habits of Mind and Heart (skills), and Engagement with the World. Core Pathways supplement majors and the Core Curriculum by offering 24 sets of courses with interdisciplinary themes (justice and the arts, and values in science and technology, are two such examples). Students choose one Pathway and complete 3-4 courses. A student’s chosen Pathway culminates with an Integrative Reflection Essay and required community service and oftentimes requires completion of a capstone project.
Similar colleges to consider:
Cal Poly–San Luis Obispo, Loyola Marymount, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, University of Southern California
Social: “There’s a great social life both on and off-campus and over a hundred clubs and programs to get involved in,” says one student. Social life is active as 150 student organizations offer a myriad of on and off-campus activities. The Activity Programming Board coordinates a number of popular events such as concerts, movie nights, Midnight Breakfast, to name a few. Although Santa Clara no longer supports fraternities and sororities, Greek organizations and the off-campus party scene still thrive on their own.
Santa Clara’s campus features only one central dining hall where food is prepared by the same company that caters to Apple and Google events. Anyone with a food allergy can take comfort in the fact that they will have a plethora of food options that are organic, farm to table, as well as gluten- and allergen-free.
Financial: Santa Clara offers both university grants and need-based financial aid, with two-thirds of students receiving support. The average percent of need met is 79%. Although the tuition and fees run about $73,000, the average financial aid package is $54,000: $38,000 coming from need-based financial aid, and another $16,000 from merit aid. About 73% of students receive financial aid.
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