campus encounters

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Carlow University

Carlow University (visited 11/7/15)

Carlow as seen from 5th Street.

Carlow as seen from 5th Street.

I’ve never heard of a school that allowed students to become Autopsy Specialists before. That’s just one of the things that makes this campus a hidden gem!

Carlow walkway

Carlow walkway

Carlow is not at all what I expected. Although this is a self-contained campus located right in Pittsburgh, it’s more compact than what I thought it would be. The old brick buildings are built onto a hillside of a main street next to some of the major hospitals and close to the University of Pittsburgh.

Carlow quad

Walking up the steps from the street, there are pockets of gardens, places to sit, and attractive water features; the campus opens up at the top of the hill to a small quad surrounded by old buildings including a former convent. Even with the traffic just down the hill and downtown Pittsburgh not that far away, the campus feels like an oasis.

Best known for it’s Education, Business, and Health Services, it still has a strong liberal arts foundation. It was ranked 69th in the country by the ETS College Rankings Index for graduate job placement and earnings.

Some of the best and most unusual programs are:

Interior of the gym

Interior of the gym

We spoke with several students who were watching or helping to staff a basketball event in the very small gym on campus. They love the school, rating it from 7-9/10. They love the community and that everyone is really accepting. They appreciate the improvements on campus such at the revamped library and student center.

Carlow statue and seating“This is definitely a Catholic school, but nothing is forced.” Students have to take one religion/theology/philosophy class but there are no mandatory masses. Only about 1/3 of students who report a religious preference say that they are Catholic; another 20% say that they’re “Other Christian,” with other religions making up almost ¼ of the student body. One of my students who is Jewish is currently a sophomore at Carlow and loves it.

This is still very much a regional campus with only about 5% of students coming from outside Pennsylvania. 75% of freshmen – but only 30% of all undergraduates – live on campus. It’s still almost completely women (only 11% male) with men only recently being able to live on campus, according to the students we talked to. “There are definitely more men now that there’s a men’s basketball team.”

(c) 2015

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