Clark Atlanta University is a small, private university founded in 1988 as a union of Atlanta University and Clark College. Atlanta University was founded in 1865 as the first higher learning institution in the US to offer graduate degree programs to African Americans. Clark College was founded in 1869 as the first four-year college of liberal arts to have a mostly African American student body in the US. CAU is also a part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium and a member of the UNCF. With nearly 4,000 students, the school is the largest in both organizations.
Overview of Clark Atlanta University
With such a long-standing and proud heritage in education, the college continues to break down barriers and produce highly influential leaders that shape every industry in the US. At CAU, students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, specialist degrees, and doctorates. Over 40 areas of study are available in four primary schools including arts and sciences, business administration, education, and social work.
The leaders and Clark Atlanta University understand the importance of a well-rounded and balanced education to succeed in both the professional and personal lives of students today. As such, programs focus on intense research opportunities, academic honesty, cultural diversity, mutual respect, integrity, innovation, and emerging technologies. Students will also have access to NCAA Division II sports, student leadership roles, career and professional development, religious activities and organizations, volunteering opportunities, and 65 student clubs and organizations.
|School Type||Private not-for-profit|
|Campus Setting||City: Large|
|Student Faculty Ratio||19:1|
Top Rankings For Clark Atlanta University
#22 in Criminal Justice Colleges
Clark Atlanta University Reviews
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|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||NA|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||June 1|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Because CAU is a private higher learning institution, both in-state and out-of-state students can expect tuition of $23,144 each year. The cost of living expenses and additional education fees typically add up to another $16,000 or so. And for those who wish to explore everything Atlanta and the region has to offer, be sure to budget for these off-campus experiences.
Roughly 97% of students receive financial aid in some form as a way to make the expense of college more affordable. Students will have access to student loans, grants, and scholarships. Both grants and scholarships are available through the school and outside sources. This financial assistance helps to lower the average net price of this education to $27,931.
|Average net price||2018-2019|
|Average Total Aid||$10,223|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||97%|
|Room & Board||$11,238|
- Tuition In-State - $23,144
- Tuition Out-of-State - $23,144
- Books and Supplies - $1,500
- Room & Board - $11,238
- Other - $3,312
Despite CAU being a smaller university, it offers a high-quality education with in-demand degree programs that appeal to prominent businesses and organizations across the country. In fact, the business administration school is a top 10 producer of African American professionals in the US. The arts and sciences school has four divisions including social sciences, humanities, communication and arts, and natural science and mathematics. Students can also pursue education degrees in a variety of subjects and grade levels, and the social work school was the first of its kind in Georgia.
As a way to enhance professional development, the university offers a wide range of specialized centers including for innovation and entrepreneurial development, cancer research and therapeutic development, and undergraduate research and creativity. Students can also opt to participate in international programs and honors programs that appeal greatly to hiring employers upon graduation. It’s also possible to continue one’s education with 38 non-degree certificates and graduate degree programs. And to complete a fully engaging and well-rounded college experience, students can become involved in various arts and cultural programs including university media, mass media arts, speech communication, literature, languages, fashion, theater, history, and more.
CAU maintains a solid retention rate of 74% for undergraduate students. The graduation rates of 31% and 44% for four years and six years, respectively, are a bit lower than national averages. It’s possible these lower figures are due to students working while they complete programs or taking courses only part-time. And for the size of the university, they have a higher student to faculty ratio at 19 to 1, which may not provide enough personal attention to assist students having trouble in their courses.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Business Majors||126 Total Graduates / 26%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||111 Graduates|
|Business/Managerial Economics||1 Graduates|
|Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs||89 Total Graduates / 18%|
|Radio, Television, and Digital Communication, Other||89 Graduates|
|Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services||55 Total Graduates / 11%|
|Criminal Justice/Safety Studies||55 Graduates|
|All Psychology Majors||54 Total Graduates / 11%|
|Psychology, General||54 Graduates|
|Visual and Performing Arts||37 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Fashion/Apparel Design||23 Graduates|
|Theatre Literature, History and Criticism||8 Graduates|
|Art/Art Studies, General||3 Graduates|
|Music, General||3 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||25%|
Outcome & Salary
To assist with career development and job placement, the university established an office for career and professional development, as well as dedicated career services for business administration students. The services available to all students include group and individual counseling sessions, cover letter and resume writing assistance, interviewing workshops, developing job search strategies, networking tips and tricks, and more. Students can also find employment opportunities as one completes a degree through this office including co-ops, internships, part-time jobs, summer employment, and career fairs.
The dedicated career services for business administration and MBA candidates offers similar yet slightly different services. Interviews are often held on-campus, as well as information sessions and company presentations. Employers have the option to become partners and sponsors. These partnerships provide students with opportunities to work on real company projects. Many top local, regional, and national employers hire CAU students such as Home Depot, American Express, Sprint, Verizon, Union Pacific, GE, Coca Cola, FedEx, and many others.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$49,500|
|College Grads Average Salary||$63,365|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$81,800|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$633,650|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,451,650|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$111,724|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$521,926|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,339,926|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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