May 28, 2024  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 [Archived Catalog]

University Vision, Mission, & History

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 known as well for its outstanding faculty of accomplished teachers whose research and creative activity advance knowledge across many disciplines.    

Accreditation and Recognition

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 2023-2024.

Under the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications, Ohio University is designated a Research University (higher research activity) under the Basic Classification category. Only 107 schools - 2.3 percent - of the 4,634 schools assessed by the Carnegie Foundation are classified as a research university (higher research activity). Ohio University’s institutional peers are all classified as either a research university (very high research activity) or a research university (higher 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 specializations in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Scripps College of Communication, Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, College of Fine Arts, College of 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.

Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Ohio University is a center for scholarship, research, and creative activity involving the creation, testing, and dissemination of knowledge, understanding, expressions, and technique.

As a public university, Ohio University has a particular responsibility to address societal issues and needs through such scholarship, research, and creative activity. The scholarly and artistic activity of the faculty enhances the teaching function at all levels of the student experience.

Extended Community

Ohio University serves an extended community. The public service mission of the University, expressed in such activities as public broadcasting and continuing education programs, reflects the responsibility of the University to serve the ongoing educational needs of the region. The regional campuses perform a critical role in serving this extended community.

The University has a statewide responsibility for an extended academic program using independent and distance learning.

It is the purpose of these extended University programs to serve a diverse range of educational needs, from professional groups requiring continuing courses of study related to the practice of their professions, to individuals desiring occasional or special interest study.

Ohio University contributes to cultural and economic development, health care, and to other human services.

Adopted January 15, 1977, and reaffirmed January 1988.

Vision statement updated January 2011.



Ohio University is located in a friendly and safe community in southeast Ohio, approximately 75 miles from Ohio’s state capital of Columbus. Situated 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 was chartered by the State of Ohio in 1804 and is the oldest university in the Northwest Territory. 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 over 23,000 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 about 10,000 students, making the full-time, part-time, and eLearning unduplicated enrollment for Ohio University over 36,000.

University actual expenditures total $678 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 $416 million.