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Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. A midsized, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, we offer the benefits and resources of a larger institution along with the advantages of intimate class sizes and close personal relationships.

Mission & Inspiration

Our mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. The Drake experience is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty, and staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation.

Our inspiration is that together we transform lives and strengthen communities.

Core Values

Our core values form the foundation of how faculty and staff perform our work, how we conduct ourselves and how we interact with each other. These values guide our interactions as colleagues in support of delivering on our mission promise. Through these values, we continue to build a stronger, more vibrant campus culture.

  • Joyful Accountability
  • Generosity of Spirit
  • All In This Together
  • Commitment to Mission

Drake at a Glance

History—Founded in 1881 and named for Civil War general Francis Marion Drake, the University boasts more than 130 years of proud history and many traditions.

Enrollment—More than 3,000 undergraduates and 1,800 graduate students from 45 states and more than 52 countries.

Faculty301 full-time instructors and professors, 92 percent holding the highest degrees in their field, and are all focused strongly on their students’ success.

Rankings—Respected sources recognize Drake for:

  • Ranked third in the Midwest for overall quality, for 8 years running, by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Top five in the nation among Regional Universities, by U.S. News & World Report
  • Number 1 in Iowa for highest paid graduates.

Browse additional pride points that Drake has been recognized for here.

College and Schools—The University is comprised of six major academic units.

Living in Des Moines

Des Moines is a diverse and vibrant capital city where many political and social organizations sponsor public activities.

Des Moines remains remarkably affordable and is enhanced by a growing cultural scene that features extensive theater, music, and art venues (not to mention the more than 100 free fine arts events Drake offers to the public each year).

—Respected sources recognize Des Moines for:

  • #4 Best Place to Live, by U.S. News & World Report
  • #8 Best Job Market for 2018, ZipRecruiter
  • #3 Best Place to Live with a Low Cost of Living, Business Insider

Browse additional pride points that Des Moines has been recognized for here.

the cultural scene in Des Moines:

Housing in historic neighborhoods borders Drake’s campus. A short bike or bus ride to areas of downtown Des Moines (particularly the East Village, Court Avenue District, and Western Gateway) leads to affordable urban lofts near art studios, theaters, and community organizations. Suburban locations offer a variety of housing options.

the Des Moines metro:

Consider what the Drake Neighborhood has to offer. Drake builds connections to the diverse communities surrounding it through an urban youth learning garden,  a legal clinic, and a variety of service-learning initiatives.


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