About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University. is a Private college. Located in California, which is a city setting in California, the campus itself is Urban. The campus is home to 5,438 full time undergraduate students, and 2,984 full time graduate students.

The Santa Clara University Academic calendar runs on a Quarter basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 11:1. There are 544 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at Santa Clara University include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate48%
Application Deadline
Application Fee60
SAT Range1200-1400
ACT Range28-32

Admissions at SCU are considered More Selective, with ,40% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 8 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

93% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 75% were in the top quarter, and 42% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.


We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at Santa Clara University.

Santa Clara University REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    90 Students rated on-campus housing 4.1 stars. 29 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    77 Students rated off-campus housing 3.2 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    99 Students rated campus food 3.8 stars. 24 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    99 Students rated campus facilities 4.6 stars. 64 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    99 Students rated class size 4.6 stars. 70 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    99 Students rated school activities 4.2 stars. 40 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    99 Students rated local services 4.3 stars. 49 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    99 Students rated academics 4.1 stars. 36 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of Santa Clara University?

27 Students rated Santa Clara University

Samantha - 03/29/2023

I am so happy here, it is the perfect place to go to college. The most beautiful campus you will ever see, with an amazing community and support services. The classes are small so you can really get to know your professors and classmates. There is always something fun to do for every person. If you are looking to attend college, I would highly recommend Santa Clara University.

Nick - 07/20/2022

Santa Clara University is such an amazing school to study, and it is not only well recognized in the US but all over the world. For instance, it is the dream school of thousands of students worldwide. The community is what makes SCU unique because everyone is always happy and ready to help another BRONCO. It has very strong alumni it is easier con get a really good job because many owners of big companies studied at Santa Clara and want more SCU students to work with them. Coming here was the best decision that I have made in my life. I met so many genuine and smart people. The campus is great and the successful students make this campus more interesting. The campus is beautiful, and the location could be better (SCU is in the middle of Silicon Valley) so it is easy to get internships in the bay area and around California or even the country. The weather is perfect, great professors and the rankings prove that Santa Clara is a TOP UNIVERSITY. At least top 20 for Business and Finance. Overall, a top 50 university undoubtedly. Tuition is expensive, but coming here is a wonderful investment. The starting salary is aprox 90k (Top 10 universities in the country). I just got a job that pays me 95k + bonuses after 2 years of graduation. SANTA CLARA is just a perfect university. It is a top 50 university in the country overall. Also, it is top 20 in Finance and Business. It is top 10 for starting salary for graduates around $90,000 and in the top 1{6f65e1278338a62264eed73e2adc5af8e2841420db12ceb4f80b8db22f3260ec} across the planet. The location could not be better since it is in the middle of Silicon Valley - the most innovative place in the WORLD, where Google, Facebook, Apple, and Wells Fargo just to name a few. It is 1 hour away from San Francisco and 30 minutes away from the nicest beaches in California. The campus is in the top 20 in the country, and it is better than a country club. It is just perfect. The weather all year long is amazing, and it is sunny 300 days a year. There are approximately 6,000 undergraduates, and the class size is small, so you can have better interactions with your professors and classmates.

Ashley - 02/08/2021

Santa Clara University is a gorgeous school in the middle of the Silicon Valley. It is a religious institution with a progressive prospective. I enjoyed my time here, but be aware that the student population is not very diverse, despite the school being located 45 minutes south of San Francisco.


Overall, SCU is "meh." SCU is not intended for transfer students or commuter students. The events and activities are primarily geared towards those who do not have outside jobs and can stay on campus late. The amount of friends you make, particularly as a commuter student, is dependent on much effort you put in. Generally the teachers are nice. Biology is a heavily impacted major. You really can't get any FUN/popular upper division classes until the end of junior year/senior year. Once you choose a major, pre-registration does exist, but it is only one class for biology majors.

Santa Clara University FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at Santa Clara University?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for Santa Clara University is 48%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    The one thing that I would advise myself to do all over again would be to take school work more seriously. The effects that studying have on your grades may not be much in high school but in college, you have to study in order to make the cut. I would have made better grades and been a better student if I would have put in the effort in high school. The difference in the complexity of the work in college compared to high school is very significant and professors in college are not like high school teachers, you don't get a break when you fail a test or when you don't get the work done on time.

    Read all  109 answers
  3. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    The lack of diversity in the faculty and staff & the ignorance of the students are the worst things about SCU. It's hard being Black in a school that has a history of mocking your culture by throwing theme parties and dressing up as Black people for Halloween. On top of that, kids will throw parties and refuse to let people of color in. Additionally, Campus Safety has discriminated against SCU students of color just because "they do not look like they belong" on campus. What's worse is that the administration seems to ignore this problem.

    Read all  29 answers
  4. Describe the students at your school.

    My classmates are generally attentive in most classes due to the fact that we have small classes and the class size allows for the students to stay focused on the subject at hand.

    Read all  25 answers
  5. Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

    Santa Clara University is an academically, culturally, and globally aware school where every student is proud to say they gain the best education possible in the small classrooms, the best experiences in the events put on by clubs and organizations, and awareness of local and global issues through presentations, conferences, and other events put on by Campus Ministry, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and student clubs.

    Read all  21 answers
  6. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    This school is best known for the journey for balance between your future career, quality of learning, networking and social awareness. The resourses for persuing your quality education are provided for you, and there are ways to expand what they don't have. It is up to you to take it for granted and look for it. All of the study spaces are spacious, and the classrooms are small and technologically updated. The campus outside is painted with beautiful gardens and landscapes and palm trees, but the best quality are the smiles.

    Read all  20 answers
  7. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    The class sizes are extremely smaller in comparison to the U.C. system, which was appealing to me when I was looking at other institutions. The campus is beautiful, and provides a welcoming/diverse atmosphere. This university puts a lot of emphasis on pushing students towards their career goals and what they want to do after graduation. I found it appealing that the university has a high rate for students who obtain jobs right after graduation. There is also the famous statistic- most couples who date at the university get married at some point in the future.

    Read all  20 answers
  8. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    I wish I had known how much Santa Clara has to offer it's students earlier on. As a junior, I am now learning that I have so many resources and so much support that I didn't know about coming in or even my freshman and sophomore years. Santa Clara has a lot to offer, you just have to seek things out. If they don't have what you need, there are ways to get it and people who will help.

    Read all  20 answers
  9. What kind of person should not attend this school?

    People that want a big school or one that is very academically challange.

    Read all  19 answers
  10. What kind of person should attend this school?

    Someone who is happy and content with themselves. There are a lot of wealthy and attractive people here so if someone is an insecure or jealous person, they would not like Santa Clara University.

    Read all  17 answers
  11. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    The amenities at Santa Clara are what any student will tell you makes Santa Clara University worth bragging about. The clean campus containing beautiful buildings that are shaded by the beautiful California weather make this college a hidden gem; the food is nothing that can be complained about either. Our wonderful, personable, and helpful faculty create an environment that would turn any Harvard student into an SCU Bronco very quickly from their compassion to help and the way they make one feel like more than just a number. Santa Clara University has it all from the ground up.

    Read all  15 answers
  12. What's unique about your campus?

    The attention received from professors in classrooms

    Read all  15 answers
  13. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    The most frustrating thing about my school is parking.

    Read all  12 answers
  14. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    I love the size of SCU. With just over 5,000 undergrads I meet new people in every class, but I also know a lot of students walking through campus on the way to that class. On campus the one place to find everyone (at least during meal times) is Benson, which is our student center and cafeteria. I spent a lot of time in my residence hall as a freshman because I got involved in residence hall events (not just participating but planning them). If I tell someone in the Bay Area that I go to Santa Clara, they immediately know the school. The most common response, "That's such a beautiful campus." If I tell someone outside of the Bay Area who doesn't go to a Jesuit High School or something, then I tell them we are Jesuit...like Boston College and Georgetown.

    Read all  9 answers
  15. What are the academics like at your school?

    Professors absolutely know your name, plus the last grade you got on your test, and where you normally sit in the classroom. Best class: Women's Spirituality was awesome. I thought it would be a bunch of girls in there, but the class was half male half female. That professor challenged me to think outside of my comfort zone and be open to deep discussions in class. Worst class: A Sociology class that was taught by a brand new professor...she is no longer at Santa Clara. My homework load: about 3 hours a day Students' study habits are pretty personal. Some majors have to study more than others. Bio and Chem majors are always studying!! Students aren't that competitive (at least in Arts and Sciences). The curve isn't that big of a deal. And it's lame if someone tries to see your grade on your paper (that's frowned upon). I am a psychology major and have been able to be a research assistant in my major. The experience was time consuming, but it's a great way to work closely with an awesome professor. Some schools are "marriage readiness schools". SCU is not one of them. Spring of senior year SCU students are worrying about which job offer to accept...not who they're going to spend the rest of their life with. (Don't get me wrong, students have meaningful relationships...but it's not common for a SCU student to be married or engaged before graduation).

    Read all  7 answers
  16. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    First weekend of school we have the club fair. That's how everyone gets connected right away. Sporting events are always fun ways to spend an evening. Ruff Riders, our student booster club, is the largest club on campus (over 2,500 students!!) Most people find their friends freshman year and just expand on that core in later years. I met a ton of people by volunteering for the event council in my residence hall and interning with Campus Ministry. We always have some art event going on...ballet, opera, jazz concert, play, guest speaker (Jane Goodall came this past year)... Greek life is off campus and not affiliated with SCU...but it is there to take advantage of if you're interested. Frat parties are usually not closed, so even if you're not in the Greek system, you can go.

    Read all  7 answers
  17. What is the stereotype of students at your school?

    The most typical stereotype is that we are all white and snobby. This isn't Stanford. This is Santa Clara University, and we pride ourselves on diversity and open-mindedness. Another stereotype about Santa Clara is that we are all rich. Yes, the school is surrounded by Silicon Valley, but a large amount of the students here came on grants, scholarships, or financial aid.

    Read all  6 answers
  18. Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

    1. Our tuition is high; I can't deny that. But 71{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of our students receive some form of financial aid (including me!). I would say students here are passionate...from in the classroom to outside of it. 2. Our campus is pretty (at least I think so). I feel extremely lucky to be able to go out to Mission Gardens to study and hang out with friends, be in the location we are in, and literally smell the roses on my way to class. But classes at SCU are not a walk in the park. You will find the professors who push you to think differently than you previously did. 3. Only half of our students fill in the "Catholic" bubble. We have an interfaith minister on campus, several non-Catholic religious clubs, interfaith student council, and more. Plus, everyone, regardless of faith background is welcome to student masses/retreats/campus ministry events. 4. Swig Hall (Cyphi RLC) is the tallest building on campus and houses mostly sophomores and freshmen. Because it is the largest RLC on campus, it tends to be the most active residence hall.

    Read all  6 answers
  19. What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

    Because Santa Clara is a private catholic school and the cost of attending is very high, students are stereotyped as rich, white kids. In reality, many students do come from wealthier families but that doesn’t mean that all students can afford Santa Clara without some help from the university. Many students I know benefit from financial aid packages that make attending such an expensive school possible when otherwise it wouldn’t be. In terms of the student body demographic, the stereotype of there being many white kids is fairly accurate. Taking student interests into account, Santa Clara students are stereotyped as maintaining a balance between social life as well as academic life. While there are some students that fall into certain categories such as “partiers,” “stoners,” “nerds,” etc., most fall somewhere outside the lines of such defined stereotypes. Because the school is a well-respected university, even most of the partiers tend to have high academic goals and aspirations. While most students fit this stereotype of being balanced college students, there are also those who tend to neglect studying in exchange for partying and enjoying the sunshine. Overall though, most students here are dedicated to both working hard and playing hard.

    Read all  3 answers
  20. Tell us about the food and dining options.

    Impress your friends with this surprisingly easy recipe for a delectable dinner. All you need is a microwave! Cheers to that.

    Read all  1 answers
  21. Describe the dorms.

    So this is my room... since the video was made I have added a clock to the wall. Good stuff.

    Read all  1 answers

Student Body







Total Undergrad Enrollment


Total Grad Students









Student Organizations







On-Campus Housing


of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian/Pacific Islander
% Black or African-American
% Hispanic/Latino
% White or Caucasian


All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

70% of students attending Santa Clara University receive some sort of financial aid. 9% were awarded federal grants. While 30% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State


Tuition and fees(Out of state)


Books and Supplies


Room and Board


Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
$0 - $30K
$30 - $48K
$48 - $75K
$75 - $110K
$110K & UP

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.


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