Briar Cliff University is a private, Franciscan liberal arts university in Sioux City, Iowa.Briar Cliff University is situated on a scenic hilltop on the outskirts of Sioux City, a few minutes from downtown. Sioux City (which has a population of about 90,000) is located on the Missouri River and is the principal city of a three-state metropolitan area. Directly across the river are the states of South Dakota and Nebraska. Briar Cliff University is accredited as a degree-granting institution by Higher Learning Commission. It is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. It is licensed by the Iowa Department of Education to certify 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. Prior to the Fall 2011 semester, the academic year consisted of three 10-week terms, September through May. As of Fall 2011, the academic year consists of two semesters, as well as a January Term, a May Term, and a Summer Term. As of 2017, the January Term was eliminated. The average class size is 14 students.
Briar Cliff offers four-year academic programs and pre-professional programs in over 30 fields of study, culminating in a Bachelor's degree. Graduate degrees offered include a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, Master of Arts in Management in Leadership, Human Resources Management or Sports Management, Master of Health Administration, Master of Science in Nursing for Family Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Physical Therapy.