Jun 10, 2023  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2013-2015 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2013-2015 [Archived Catalog]

University Profile, Vision, Mission, & History

Profile of Ohio University


Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio and the first in the Northwest Territory. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admission policy.

Ohio University is located in a friendly and safe community in southeast Ohio among the beautiful, wooded hills of Athens, approximately 75 miles from Ohio’s state capital of Columbus.    


Ohio University has been cited for academic quality and value by such publications as U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review’s Best Colleges, and Peterson’s Guide to Competitive Colleges. The John Templeton Foundation has also recognized Ohio University as one of the top character-building institutions in the country. Currently, Ohio University ranks first in the state of Ohio for nationally competitive awards won by its students.  Ohio University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as by a number of professional accrediting agencies.

Under the 2005 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications, Ohio University is designated a Research University (high research activity) under the Basic Classification category. Only 103 schools - 2.3 percent - of the 4,391 schools assessed by the Carnegie Foundation are classified as a research university (high research activity). Ohio University’s institutional peers are all classified as either a research university (very high research activity) or a research university (high research activity).

Graduate Education

The present graduate enrollment is more than 4000 of whom 2,300 are full-time students with more than 1,500 graduate assistants, graduate research assistants, and graduate teaching assistants.

The university offers more than 179 master’s and 42 doctoral programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Scripps College of Communication, Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Fine Arts, Health Sciences and Professions, Center for International Studies, and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

More than 900 full-time faculty members lead these programs; the small student-to-faculty ratio ensures that graduate students can have a strong, one-on-one mentorship with world renowned scholars.

The University offers a wide range of cultural activities to the University community and all of southeastern Ohio. Lecturers, poets, singers, dancers, films, and theater or music groups appear frequently on campus.

The University’s academic calendar consists of two semesters of 14 weeks and a summer session with one 14 week term and two 7-week terms.

Vision Statement


Ohio University will be the nation’s best transformative learning community where students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders.

Mission Statement


Ohio University holds as its central purpose the intellectual and personal development of its students. Distinguished by its rich history, diverse campus, international community, and beautiful Appalachian setting, Ohio University is also known as well for its outstanding faculty of accomplished teachers whose research and creative activity advance knowledge across many disciplines.



Ohio University was chartered by the State of Ohio in 1804 and is the oldest university in the Northwest Territory. Located in the scenic Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio, its classic residential campus is one of the most attractive in the nation. The charm of tree-lined brick walkways on the University’s College Green makes you feel as if you are at a small college rather than a large university. One can walk between most campus buildings within about 10 minutes.

It is possible to live a mile away from the University buildings in a residential neighborhood and walk to work, or to live on a farm within a 20 minute drive. The City of Athens is surrounded by a patchwork of hardwood forests that constitute the Wayne National Forest.

Ohio University’s roots are in post-Revolutionary War America. In 1786 a group of veterans petitioned Congress to purchase, through the Ohio Company of Associates, one-and-a-half million acres north and west of the Ohio River.

Revenue from two townships in the Ohio Company purchase was set aside for support of a university. In 1808 the University opened with three students, and in 1815 awarded its first two bachelor’s degrees.

The University graduated a total of only 145 students until after the Civil War. By 1920 it had 1,072 students, but it was not until after World War II that the University began to approach its present size.

In the 1950s the student population grew from 4,600 to 8,000, and the 1960s saw enrollment burgeon from about 10,000 to some 18,000 students on the Athens campus. In the early 1970s, during the Vietnam era, the student population fell below 13,000. Today the Athens campus serves about 22,000 students.

Since 1946 the University’s service as the major educational and cultural institution in southeastern Ohio has included regional campuses in Chillicothe, Ironton, Lancaster, St. Clairsville, and Zanesville. Today, the regional campuses collectively enroll almost 10,000 students, making the full-time, part-time, and continuing education enrollment for Ohio University more than 31,000.

University actual expenditures total $531 million for all of its operations on all of its campuses. Ohio University is the largest employer in Athens County, with an annual payroll exceeding $343 million. The Athens campus consists of about 1,800 acres and 200 buildings.