From their first classes on the Drake campus, students have the chance to learn in an individualized, challenging, and supportive environment. Research opportunities abound; students work closely with their professors and often publish their findings. With more than 160 student-run organizations on campus, there is an outlet for students to investigate career paths and network with professionals in their field.
Students benefit from a combination of liberal arts training and professional preparation. Through the Drake Curriculum, all students take interactive classes that develop their critical thinking and expressive skills. Students also receive personalized academic advising. At the end of their four years, students undertake the Senior Capstone, which is a research project, thesis, or other major work that shows the concepts and skills the student has acquired at Drake. Drake's Honors Program is open to top students who wish to undertake a rigorous, interdisciplinary course of study.
Majors and Degrees Offered
Those studying in the College of Arts and Sciences receive a classic liberal arts education, preparing them for futures in science, mathematics, politics, and the arts, among many other areas. Students may earn their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in the following areas: anthropology and sociology; astronomy; biochemistry, cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; data analytics; English; environmental policy; environmental science; history; international relations; kinesiology, law, politics, and society; mathematics; mathematics education (secondary); neuroscience; philosophy; physics; politics; psychology; religion; rhetoric and communication studies; sociology; study of culture and society; and writing. Some students design their own majors, while others opt for open enrollment and do not immediately declare a major. The University also administers pre-professional study in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine and veterinary medicine. Concentrations are available in anthropology, geography, Latin American studies, animal behavior, women and gender studies, and most fields that offer majors.
Students who attend the School of Fine Arts pursue their Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education degrees. The available fields include art, music, and theatre arts with a dual focus on teaching excellence and artistic creativity. Holding accreditation from by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Drake's Department of Art and Design offers instruction in art history, graphic design, and studio art (drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture). Students in the Department of Music select from degrees in applied music (instrumental, piano or vocal music performance) and music education. Other alternatives exist, such as a Bachelor of Arts degree with a music major, a Bachelor of Music degree with elective studies in business, and a Bachelor of Music with a jazz studies concentration. Those who wish to study theatre, acting, directing, theatre design, musical theatre, and theatre education enroll in the Department of Theatre Arts.
Students enrolled in the Drake University College of Business and Public Administration complete their undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in four years. Available majors include accounting, actuarial science, data analytics, economics, entrepreneurial management, finance, general business, information systems, international business, management, and marketing. Concentrations in insurance and law and business are also available. The College allows interdisciplinary majors, combinations of majors, and open business (undeclared) status. The College is a member of AACSB International The International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
First-year students admitted directly to the PharmD program in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences complete a two-year pre-pharmacy program then are guaranteed consideration for admission into a four-year PharmD program. A health sciences major with two tracks clinical and applied sciences and health services management— is also available. In 2016, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in launching a pre-OT/Doctor of Occupational Therapy six-year program. In 2017, the college is launching a 3+2 health sciences/master's in athletic training program. The College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and belongs to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
Students who wish to pursue Bachelor of Arts majors in advertising, digital media production, news journalism, magazines, strategic political communication, public relations study in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The School allows an open enrolled (undeclared) option and holds accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Interdisciplinary concentrations are offered in behavior analysis of developmental disabilities, global public health and comparative studies and human resources management.
In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Public Administration, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the School of Journalism offer combined 3+3 programs with the Drake University Law School. Students in this program can obtain their undergraduate degrees in three years in one of the aforementioned colleges or schools, then pursue a law degree for the next three years at the Law School.
Programs at the School of Education lead to degrees in elementary or secondary education. Students may earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree that is tailored to prepare graduates for employment in elementary or secondary schools. Other options include adding middle school and coaching endorsements to teaching credentials. Drake University has belonged to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education since the association's founding.
Drake University, a small liberal arts school located in Iowa’s biggest city, “combines specialized academic programs with a small school feel in a way that promotes successful learning and professional preparation.” Nearly one in three students pursues an undergraduate business degree here. Business students benefit from “excellent job placement and internship programs. [The College of Business and Public Administration] graduates almost all of its students within four years, and a majority of them have double majors.” Drake’s “great” and “incredibly well known” pharmacy program is another major draw. Like business students, pre-law students, and students of public administration, pharmacy majors have “opportunities available to work on completing [two degrees] simultaneously” over six years. Theater, actuarial science, and journalism are among the other popular and well-regarded majors at Drake. In all areas, students tell us, “Drake really knows how to tailor the college experience for each person going through. The school puts an emphasis on professional development and preparation that is heads above the rest.” Undergrads also enjoy “a great network of graduates that stay and work around the Des Moines area. They then come back and speak in classes, and often times have connections that can help students land internships.”