Santa Clara University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University (SCU) is a private, 4-year institution with a Jesuit Catholic tradition. It is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. SCU was built at the site of Mission Santa Clara de Asís, one of the original California Jesuit missions. Besides being the oldest institution of higher education in California, SCU was also the state's first co-ed Catholic university, admitting female students starting in 1961. SCU was ranked as one of Forbes magazine's 2012 'Top 75 American Colleges.'


SCU houses six different colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), School of Education and Counseling Psychology (ECP), Leavey School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Law, and Jesuit School of Theology (JST). In addition to the different degree programs offered, SCU students can take summer courses in the arts and sciences, business, engineering, law, and pastoral ministries. Undergraduates are also welcome to apply to the Honors Program, which enrolls about 68 freshmen each year.

The CAS offers undergraduate majors and minors in the humanities, visual and performing arts, and the natural and social sciences. The ECP college provides graduate students with opportunities to earn master's degrees in counseling, counseling psychology, interdisciplinary education, teaching, and educational administration. Its Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching program allows students to work toward state-approved credentials or specialized educational certificates, including alternative and correctional education and Catholic school leadership. The Leavey School of Business offers an MBA, as well as undergraduate programs.

SCU's schools of engineering and law were added to the university in 1912. The engineering school's bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science programs include a focus on sustainability and renewable energy. Graduate students can participate in two solar decathlons, and undergraduates can complete hands-on co-ops and internships. Students in the School of Law can enroll in JD, LLM, and joint degree programs. The Jesuit School of Theology is located on a separate campus, near the University of California in Berkeley. Through the Graduate Theological Union, JST students have access to the libraries and resources of UC Berkeley and eight other schools and centers in the area.


There are no part-time undergraduate degree options at SCU. Full-time, undergraduate applicants must fill out the online Common Application with a $55 application fee, during which they are asked which school and major and they would like to select. Students must also submit an official transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and an academic teacher evaluation.

There are three deadlines undergraduate applicants should keep in mind; the early decision deadline binds the applicant to SCU, if they're accepted, while the early action deadline allows students to receive the university's decision sooner than the regular decision deadline. Graduate students should check with the specific school in which they are interested for application requirements and deadlines.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As a private institution, SCU tuition rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state students, although there are differences in graduate and undergraduate costs. Additionally, graduate students pay different amounts, depending on the program in which they're enrolled; for example, MBA students pay $888 per quarter unit, while engineering students pay $805, and counseling psychology, education and pastoral ministries students pay $476 per quarter unit. SCU estimates the average room and board cost for an undergraduate student living on campus to be $12,276, which covers a standard residence hall and a basic meal plan.

SCU offers payment plans for tuition, as well as scholarships and work-study arrangements. Around three-fourths of undergrads receive merit or need-based aid directly from the university. Graduate students have different financial aid options, according to their chosen program, and should check with their school when applying.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit***
Degrees Offered Certificate programs; bachelor's, master's, doctorate degrees*
Religious Affiliation Jesuit Catholic*
Academic Calendar Quarters*
School Setting Midsized city***
Student Body Over 5,200 undergrads and almost 3,600 grad students in fall 2011**
Student Housing Undergraduate and graduate students can select from a variety of housing options; for graduate students, preference is given to full-time, out-of-state applicants*
Schools & Programs Six colleges; over 45 undergraduate and about 20 graduate programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 13:1***
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Finance (148)
Master's: Business Administration and Management (366)
Doctorate: Law (296)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 80% in four years
86% in five years
87% in six years**
Admission Rate 58% in 2010***
Entering Class Size 1,085 in fall 2010**
First-Year Retention Rates 93% (full-time students in 2010)**
Average SAT score of admitted students 1250 (composite SAT), 610 in critical reading, 640 in math in 2010***
Undergraduate Application Due Date In 2011: Early Decision and Early Action: November 1
Regular Decision: January 7*
Decision Notification Date In 2011: Early Decision and Early Action: late December
Regular Decision: April 1*
Tuition In 2012-2013: $40,572 for undergraduates (includes university fees)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving It) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (16%), state and local grants/scholarships (15%), institutional grants/scholarships (87%), federal loans (46%), other student loans (3%)***
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 88% in 2010-2011***

Sources: *Santa Clara University, **IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, ***College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

School Contact Information

  • Address: Santa Clara University, Office of Undergraduate Admission, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
  • Phone: (408) 554-4700
  • Website:

Next: View Schools
Created with Sketch. Link to this page

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?