Undergraduate Admissions FAQs

  •  We know you have questions about what's like at Carlow, so we've put together some questions and answers about some of the most frequently asked questions by our first-time students.

    1.   Where is Carlow University? 
    2.   What majors does Carlow offer? 
    3.   Can I double-major at Carlow University? 
    4.   When should I apply to Carlow University? 
    5.   How do I apply to Carlow University?  
    6.   Do I have to schedule a personal visit to the campus? 
    7.   When will I know if I've been admitted to Carlow University?
    8.   Are SATs and/or ACT tests required? 
    9.   What SAT score do I need to get into Carlow? 
    10. Are there scholarships available? 
    11. What is financial aid and how do I apply for it? 
    12. Do students at Carlow have any interaction with the other local colleges/universities? 
    13. Must I reside on campus my first year? 
    14. Do men attend Carlow University? 
    15. How much does it cost to attend Carlow University? 
    16. What are Carlow's dormitories like? 
    17. How many students attend Carlow University? 
    18. What is the student diversity like at Carlow?
    19. How safe is Carlow University?  
    20. What percentage of students obtain employment upon graduation?  
    21. Are students allowed to have a car on campus? 
    22. How many computer labs are on campus?  
    23. Do I need to bring my own computer? 



    1. Where is Carlow University?
    Carlow University is located in Oakland, one of the biggest college towns in the United States and the educational, medical, and cultural hub of Pittsburgh. There are nine colleges and universities and over 130,000 college-age students within a 15-minute radius of Carlow. Seven hospitals lie within walking distance of our doorstep, as well as dozens of theatres, museums, concert halls, art galleries, and many shops of interest to college-age students.

    2. What majors does Carlow offer?
    Carlow University offers over 50 academic programs. Take a look at all our Academic Programs

    3. Can I double-major at Carlow University?
    Yes, double-majors are fairly common. One of the advantages of having more personal interaction with faculty and advisors is that you can construct an educational program that uniquely combines different fields of study and addresses your personal interests and goals. But the intensive nature of some major programs, such as nursing, precludes a double-major. Please discuss any such plans with your admissions counselor and/or your prospective academic advisor.

    Back to top

     4. When should I apply to Carlow?
    Carlow operates on a rolling admissions basis, generally accepting applications from incoming freshmen until July 1st each year. But because of our commitment to small class size and the competitiveness of our scholarship programs, students are strongly encouraged to complete the application process by February 15th of their senior year to assure maximum consideration for admission and scholarships/financial aid. Apply to Carlow

    5. How do I apply to Carlow University?
    You may apply online at no cost. If you have any questions about your application, please contact the Office of Admissions at 1.800.333.2275 or 412.578.6059. You may also contact your personal admissions counselor or your high school guidance counselor for help.

     Back to top

    6. Do I have to schedule a personal visit to campus?
    Although personal interviews are not required, we strongly encourage you to schedule a personal appointment with your admissions counselor. You and your counselor will not only become better acquainted, but you will also experience Carlow University’s campus community firsthand, and that is important when deciding which school is right for you.

    Many students visit Carlow during one of our scheduled Campus Visit Days and/or Overnight Programs. These events allow you to meet current students and faculty, tour the campus, and “live the life of a Carlow student” for a short while. Carlow typically schedules two of each in the fall and spring. Check out the currently scheduled Admissions Events.

     Back to top

    7. When will I know if I've been admitted to Carlow University?
    Carlow uses a “rolling admissions” process. Admissions decisions are made year-round, and there is no strict admissions “deadline.” However, because we are committed to small class size and want everyone to receive maximum consideration for admission and scholarships, we do strongly encourage students to apply as soon as possible.

    Once we receive all required components of your application (including the application form, official high school transcripts and official scores from the SAT and/or ACT), we review your overall credentials and make one of the following decisions: 1) admit, 2) conditionally admit, or 3) deny.

    8. Are SATs and/or ACT required for admission? 
    Yes, you must take either the SAT or the ACT, or both. When completing multiple SATs, we will use the highest math and critical reasoning scores.

     Back to top

    9. What SAT score do I need to get into Carlow?
    Carlow considers a variety of factors when reviewing your profile, so there is no specific “set of numbers” that guarantees admission. Students scoring below 1000 out of a possible 1600 (on the combined critical reasoning and mathematics scores, excluding the writing score) are strongly encouraged to re-test, especially if they are interested in qualifying for selective programs and/or significant academic scholarships. All academic merit scholarships are also based upon a combination of your cumulative high school grade point average and your standardized test scores.

    For admissions and scholarship consideration, Carlow will continue to use the combined math/critical reasoning (verbal) test scores to calculate the total SAT, as these measures have been thoroughly tested and researched. This total SAT score will continue to be used as one of the primary factors in making both admissions and scholarship/financial aid review.

    The writing component of the standardized tests will be considered as one of the many other factors reviewed in a candidate's file, and particularly considered in cases where a writing sample is required. 

    Students seeking admission will be required to submit scores from the ACT or SAT test with the writing component. 

    10. Are there scholarships available?
    Yes, Carlow offers a wide range of scholarships. Most awards are based on a student’s academic performance, but some are service-based. Most scholarships are automatically awarded upon admission to those who qualify. A handful of scholarships involve a separate application process. In addition to scholarships, Carlow awards grants on the basis of eligibility. Find out more about Scholarships and Grants.

     Back to top

    11. What is financial aid and how do I apply for it?
    Financial aid refers to an assortment of vehicles to help you and your family afford a university education. Students and their parents must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1st. FAFSA submission results in the tabulation of your family’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Deducting the EFC from Carlow’s total cost of attendance will determine your family’s “financial need,” which is financed via some combination of loans, grants (if you are eligible), and scholarships (if you are eligible).

    12. Do students at Carlow University have interaction with the other local colleges/universities?
    Yes!

    • You can cross-register at any one of the other local colleges or universities at no additional tuition cost.
    • You can participate in a number of designated activities at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.
    • Carlow offers several dual-degree/combined programs with Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
    • You have access to library holdings at the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library.

     Back to top

    13. Must I reside on-campus my first year?
    No, you may commute from home or another location. We strongly encourage you to live on-campus your freshman year so you can become as involved in our campus community as possible. On the other hand, Carlow’s small student body and tradition of personalized service enable commuters to feel much more “at home” and involved, than at larger schools.

    14. Do men attend Carlow University?
    Yes, Carlow has admitted men since 1945, with the largest percentage currently enrolled in our adult and graduate programs. Carlow now offers on-campus housing for men!

     Back to top

    15. How much does it cost to attend Carlow University?
    Carlow is very affordable compared to many private universities. The actual cost to your family is entirely dependent upon your financial aid eligibility, which is determined via the FAFSA application process. You can also use one of our convenient Cost Calculators to estimate your tuition costs. 

    16. What is Carlow's student housing like?
    Carlow offers very spacious accommodations! Our carpeted residence hall rooms (most of which house two students) contain two beds, two dressers, two mirrors, two bookshelves, two closets, two computer ports, an air conditioner, a telephone, and free cable television. You and a friend can room together if you both decide to attend Carlow. Find out more about Student Housing.

    Back to top 

    17. How many students attend Carlow University?
    While offering a rich array of academic majors and respected graduate-level programs, Carlow University is committed to maintaining our proud tradition of small classes, which optimizes the personal experiences of students. Including our graduate and adult-degree programs, about 2,300 students attend Carlow. Entering first-year enrollment averages 230, so our traditional undergraduate population remains around 1,000 students.

    18. What is the student diversity like at Carlow? 
    As one of the most diverse campuses in western Pennsylvania, Carlow’s student body is approximately 22% minority. The top religion identified by our students is Roman Catholic, but there are students of many faiths and backgrounds who attend Carlow. Find out more facts about Carlow.

    Back to top 

    19. How safe is Carlow University?
    Carlow has always maintained an especially safe campus. In our 80+-year history, there has never been a “major” crime of any kind committed here. Carlow University employs its own police force, which provides 24-hour protection seven days a week. The dorms are constantly monitored and house a multi-layered security system with several separate check points between the outside and a student’s dorm room.

    20. What percentage of students obtain employment upon graduation?

    • 79% of Carlow graduates obtain employment upon graduation in their academic field.
    • 16% attend graduate school (a combination of medical, law, business, and major-related programs).
    • A majority of the remaining five percent obtain employment immediately, but not in a field “directly-related” to their academic concentration.

    Back to top

    21. Are students allowed to have a car on campus?
    Parking permits are available to all commuting students. The current fee is $230.00 per semester. Although exceptions have been made for special circumstances, resident students are not permitted to have a car on campus.

    22. How many computer labs are on campus?
    Carlow houses several computer labs in various buildings, including the dormitories, library, and AJ Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology. In addition, each floor of the dormitory offers a single-unit lab for after-hours use. There is also a 24-hour, multi-unit lab located on the 3rd floor of Frances Warde Hall.

    23. Do I need to bring my own computer?
    Although there are plenty of terminals for use on campus and it is possible to complete your studies without owning your own computer, the vast majority of students bring their own to facilitate their academic work. Our IT Department will provide computer and software recommendations. Every dormitory room contains two computer ports.

    Back to top