College Profile: Briar Cliff University
The Catholic Franciscan Learning Place
Briar Cliff University is a nationally recognized, liberal arts university located in Sioux City, Iowa. With a commitment to openness and respect, Briar Cliff University is a Catholic institution with an enrollment of more than 1,100 students from 26 states and four countries. Students are educated in the Franciscan tradition of excellence in liberal arts and career preparation in an environment of care and compassion. Small classes ensure that professors know students and work side-by-side to meet their academic goals and develop their personal values. • Over 40 areas of study
• Classes averaging 19 students
• Three terms so you can focus on fewer classes
• Professors – not graduate students – who teach, mentor, and advise
• Technology-rich campus
• Over 35 student clubs and organizations
• 18 intercollegiate athletic programs Location
Known for its exceptionally welcoming environment, Briar Cliff University is located on a scenic hilltop campus just minutes from downtown Sioux City (population 80,000) at 3303 Rebecca Street. Situated where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet, Sioux City is connected with other metro areas by Interstate Highway 29 and is about an hour away by air from Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis and Denver. Academic programs
Undergraduate majors at Briar Cliff University are offered in over 30 fields of study, in addition to interdepartmental and divisional majors and pre-professional study. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Social Work degrees are conferred. Two-year Associate of Arts degrees are also available in two areas. A Master of Arts in Education is also conferred. The academic year consists of three 10-week terms, September through May, and one-week intensive and two five-week summer sessions. Accreditation and approval
Briar Cliff is accredited as a degree-granting institution by The Higher Learning Commission, Member-North Central Association. The education program of the university is approved by the Iowa State Department of Public Instruction for Certification of Teachers. The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing. History of Briar Cliff University
In 1929, only briar patches covered a 175-foot hill located on the western outskirts of Sioux City, Iowa. But two people – Mother Mary Dominica Wieneke, Major Superior of the Sisters of St. Francis, and the Most Rev. Edmond Heelan, Bishop of the Sioux City Diocese – had a vision. They saw that hill crowned with a Catholic college for women. Mother Dominica and Bishop Heelan met on March 9, 1929 with members of the Sioux City community. Businessmen attending that meeting committed themselves to raising $25,000 to support the establishment of the college in Sioux City. After this showing of community support, significant events followed in rapid succession. On Sept. 18, 1930, the college, named Briar Cliff after the hill on which it is located, was dedicated. Four days later, 25 women started classes in Heelan Hall, the only building on campus. In 1937, the university’s two-year program was extended to four years. Fifty-five men were admitted to Briar Cliff in 1965 and co-education was formalized in 1966 with the admission of 150 full-time male students. The innovative Weekend College program started in the fall of 1979. The spring of 1980 saw the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A Master of Arts in Education was implemented in the summer of 2001. The college officially became a university on June 1, 2001. The university’s academic growth required an expanding physical plant. As time passed, more buildings began sprouting from the briar-covered hill: a four-story addition to Heelan Hall in 1948; the library and Our Lady of Grace Chapel in 1959; Alverno Hall, a women’s residence, in 1965; a gymnasium in 1966; Toller Hall, a men’s residence, in 1967; Noonan Hall in 1968; the Newman Flanagan Center in 1982; the addition of three classrooms in the theatre in 1986; the completion in 1988 of the Baxter-DiGiovanni Living & Learning Center; KLIF-AM campus radio station in 1987; and the renovated dining hall in 1989. The $6 million, 43,350-square-foot Stark Student Center opened in the fall of 2000. Additionally, extensive renovations to Alverno Residence Hall have expanded Briar Cliff’s recreational facilities. The construction of the McCoy Arnold Center, completed in 2004, further enhanced recreational facilities. For more information, please visit
* Briar Cliff University or
* BCU Inspired.com.
712-279-5239 (financial aid)
||Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above|
||1,000 - 4,999|
|Title IV Eligibility
||Participates in Title IV federal financial aid programs|
College Student Services Offered
||Academic/career counseling service|
||Employment services for students||Yes
||Placement services for completers|
||On-campus day care for students' children||
College Special Learning Opportunities
||Distance learning opportunities|
||ROTC: Air Force||
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Briar Cliff University Website
Admissions Considerations & Recommendations
|Open admission policy
|Admission test scores
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language
Applicants (most recent fall period)
Admissions (most recent fall period)
Percentage of Students Submitting Test Scores
SAT Percentile Scores
ACT Percentile Scores
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid
Average Amount of Financial Aid Received
Average Tuition for Full-Time Undergraduates
Average Tuition for Full-Time Graduates
Comprehensive Fee for Full-Time Undergraduates
Per Credit Hour Charge for Part-Time Undergraduates
Per Credit Hour Charge for Part-Time Graduates
||Student Body Size||Yes
||Total Dormitory Capacity|
College Levels Offered
||Less than one year certificate||No
||One but less than two years certificate|
||Two but less than 4 years certificate|
All Academic Programs
- Management Information Systems and Services, Other.
- Special Education and Teaching, General.
- Mathematics, General.
- Spanish Language and Literature.
- Social Work.
- Music, General.
- Social Sciences, Other.
- Health and Physical Education, General.
- History, General.
- Business Administration and Management, General.
- Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
- Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies.
- English Composition.
- Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist.
- Psychology, General.
- Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General.
- Theology/Theological Studies.
- Environmental Science.
- Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist.
- Chemistry, General.
- Kinesiology and Exercise Science.
- Political Science and Government, General.
- Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration.
- Nursing/Registered Nurse (RN, ASN, BSN, MSN).
- Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other.
- Computer Science.
- Education, General.
- Elementary Education and Teaching.
- Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General.
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other.
- Commercial and Advertising Art.
- Secondary Education and Teaching.
- Art/Art Studies, General.
- Art Teacher Education.
- English Language and Literature, General.
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