Jun 23, 2024  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2015-2017 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2015-2017 [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 is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (formerly the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education). While over 30 of the University’s academic programs are accredited by their own specialized accreditors, Ohio University as a whole is accredited by HLC; all of the University’s programs and units are covered by this institution-wide accreditation. HLC offers three different pathways to institutional accreditation. They are the Standard Pathway, the Open Pathway, and the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) pathway. Ohio University has been in AQIP since 2002. The next Reaffirmation of Ohio University’s accreditation is scheduled for 2015-16.

Under the new 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications, Ohio University is designated a Research University (high research activity) under the Basic Classification category. Only 99 schools - 2.1 percent - of the 4,634 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 5000 of whom 2,700 are full-time students with more than 1,700 graduate assistants, graduate research assistants, and graduate teaching assistants.

The university offers more than 206 master’s and 59 doctoral programs and specilalizations 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, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and the Graduate College.

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 21,000 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 over 10,000 students, making the full-time, part-time, and eLearning enrollment for Ohio University over 38,000.

University actual expenditures total $650 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 $397 million.