Carlow University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Carlow University is a small, private Catholic university residing in Pittsburg, PA. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional liberal arts programs. It is dedicated to providing students with a high quality academic environment that features individual attention and career development. With strong ties to its Catholic roots and the values of the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow strives to offer transformational academic experiences to a diversity of learners and it empowers them to succeed in their selected field as compassionate and responsible leaders.

The university is guided by a commitment to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, which believes in the changing power of the liberal arts and a committed to education that inspires social responsibility and a design to work for the good of all people. Carlow operates under the notion that no single academic discipline contains all truth, so it promotes a multidisciplinary approach to scholarship and research. The approach to instruction and scholarship that focus on collaboration, flexibility, and inclusion establishes a learning environment where students experience mutual respect and empathy. Its vision is to become a prominent Catholic institution known for providing innovative educational experiences where students reach their maximum potential and become ethical leaders dedicated to a merciful and just world.

The core values of Carlow University include: mercy, hospitality, service, discovery, and sacredness of creation. Carlow offers 29 undergraduate majors, 15 graduate majors, and two doctoral programs through its three colleges: College of Learning and Innovation, College of Leadership and Social Change, College of Health and Wellness. It its dedication to small classes that promote individual attention, the student to faculty ratio at Carlow University is 12 to one.

Carlow University was founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy as Mount Mercy College, a school for women. The Sisters of Mercy were pioneers for the higher education of women and it created the college to combine liberal arts education with career development to provide women in the region equal educational opportunities with men. The first commencement was in 1933. The college began accepting male students in 1945 under the GI Bill. The school experienced expansion and added more structures and programs throughout its early ages. It became Carlow College in 1969 and it continued to expand. It is named after Carlow, Ireland. In 1978, the college began offering accelerated courses for working adults. The school finally received university status in 2004. Today, Carlow University is home to more than 2,200 students.

Carlow University Accreditation Details

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Carlow University to offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing programs at Carlow University.

Carlow University Application Requirements


  • Complete and submit the application form, if students apply online, Carlow waives the admission fee
  • Submit a complete, official high school transcript
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary schools
  • Submit official SAT/ACT scores
  • Submit an essay and/or letters of recommendation


  • Complete and submit the graduate application
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions
  • Submit official graduate level standardized test scores, such as the GRE, MAT, or GMAT
  • Compose and submit a personal essay on one of four topics: short-term and long-term goals, reasons for seeking graduate study in the specific program, strengths and skills the student can bring to the program, how the student plans to use the degree
  • Submit resume or curriculum vitae
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Complete and submit any additional requirements for certain programs

Tuition and Financial Aid



  • Full-time student up to 18 credits: $13,975 per semester
  • Part-time students and more than 18 credits: $889 per credit
  • Summer undergraduate courses: $675 per credit


  • All MFA, MFF, and FNP courses: $969 per credit
  • All other master's level courses: $825 per credit
  • Doctoral courses: $969 per credit

Financial Aid

Carlow University participates in a variety of financial aid programs, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study.


  • Trustee Scholarship
  • Presidential Scholarship
  • Provost Scholarship
  • Dean Scholarship
  • College in High School Award
  • Catholic High School Award
  • Out of State Grant
  • Family Member Grant
  • Legacy Grant
  • Courtesy Grant
  • Graduate Endowed Scholarship
  • Marie C. Jennings Memorial Women of Spirit in Graduate Nursing


  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Pennsylvania State Grant


  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Alternative Loans

Federal Work-Study Program

Carlow University participates in the federally funded work study program that provides jobs to students who need financial assistance in paying for educational expenses. Jobs are available both on and off campus. Although the exact pay varies, students make at least the current minimum wage. Pay depends on employer, position, job duties, and qualifications. Students are paid every other week.

Master of Science in Nursing in Education and Leadership at Carlow University

The Master of Science in Nursing in Education and Leadership prepares students to pursue advanced positions in education, administration, or clinical practice. Graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to take on leadership roles in a variety of health care settings. The leadership curriculum is facilitated in a multidisciplinary educational atmosphere and features interactive instructional methods geared toward adult learners and collaborative group work. The main focus of the program is utilization of advanced practice leadership and expertise in diverse nursing and health care education systems.

The program requires the completion of 33 credits and can be finished in about 20 months for students who currently have a bachelor's degree in nursing. The core courses include evidence based nursing practice, nursing leadership, leadership styles in healthcare organizations, health care innovation and quality, professional collaboration and communications, statistical applications, fiscal management, leadership in adult education, nursing leadership internship, leadership in healthcare ethics and policy, and leadership in evaluation and measurement.

Related Resource: 20 Most Affordable Private Colleges for Master's in Nursing Administration Online Degree Programs

Graduates of the program will possess the necessary skills to integrate primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention efforts in the care of individuals, groups, and communities. They will work as a member of interdisciplinary teams and assess and modify approaches to healthcare delivery. Graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing in Education and Leadership will also synthesize their knowledge to participate in evidence-based practice and recommend changes to improve the lives of an array of patients around the region, country, and world.

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