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On Site: The Citadel

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

At a Glance

  • Charleston, South Carolina

  • Undergraduate Students: 2,650

  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1

  • Acceptance Rate: 86%

  • Six Year Graduation Rate: 74%

  • Freshman Retention Rate: 88%

  • Popular Majors: Business, Criminal Justice, Mechanical Engineering, Intelligence and Security Studies.

The Feel

  • Castle-like architecture surrounding a large grassy quad, Summerall Field. Campus sits adjacent to the Ashley River and students have access to various kinds of boating and sailing.

  • Unique student life! All students commit themselves to a military style of living, including wearing uniforms every day. A high level of structure and discipline is incorporated; students participate in a weekly traditional parade (march) along Summerall Field, and spectators are welcome to attend.

  • Cadets live in barracks, not referred to as residence halls. Instead of RAs the cadets report to retired military personnel.

  • Cadets agree to structured and sometimes limited cell phone use, campus leave, and family visits. The Citadel Family Association provides a great FAQ page.

Standout Points

  • One of 6 dedicated "senior military colleges" in the U.S. Every student who attends is referred to as a cadet and is a part of the Corp of Cadets, which includes military attire, leadership coursework and experience, and other military related requirements.

  • Leadership development is critical to The Citadel’s mission: all cadets are trained to become great leaders through courses and exercises.

  • Unlike a military academy, students are not required to sign on to any particular military branch, and therefore have the choice as to whether or not they want a future in the military. 33% of cadets end up choosing to go into military

  • Excellent for those interested in pursuing a career in the FBI or other 3-letter government agencies.

  • Football is their largest spectator sport, members of NCAA Division I - Football Championship Subdivision

Fun Fact

  • The freshmen male cadets are referred to as “knobs,” due to their shaved heads resembling a doorknob.

Bottom Line Fit: For any student looking for very structured, military style living and who wants to develop as a leader. Great for those who want to "try out" a military life without actually committing, while also getting a reputable degree.

Learn more about The Citadel!

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