With just under 25,000 students, Oklahoma State University has all the perks of a large Tier 1 research university while still being a manageable size. The collegial and friendly Cowboy culture is evident on campus and in the quintessential college town of Stillwater (the student body makes up more than half the town's base population). Founded in 1890 (mere months after the Oklahoma Territory land rush), Oklahoma State University prides itself on its history and its focus on fulfilling its mission as a land grand institution. Nearly 30% of undergraduate students hail from outside Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State University students can pursue more than 250 majors and enjoy a favorable faculty-student ratio (with an average class size of 32 students). OSU does not offer a structured exploratory studies program geared toward students who have not yet settled on a major, but students can apply as undeclared and receive special academic advising to help them identify their strengths and interests.
OSU offers students significant tools to ensure academic success -- the Lasso Center offers free one-on-one tutoring in academic subjects (as well as peer tutoring options and executive functioning and academic success coaching), the OSU Writing Center provides writing support services across disciplines, and the Mathematics Learning Success Center offers all OSU students free tutoring in lower-level math courses (as well as some selected upper-division courses).
The OSU Honors College benefits include priority registration, small discussion-based classes, dedicated academic advising, access to honors-only facilities such as computer labs, and the option to live in honors housing. OSU undergraduate students frequently find opportunities to pursue research (even outside the STEM fields), and the Freshman Research Scholars program provides $1,000 grants to freshman who are eager to dive into research opportunities (the application is inside the portal and the deadline for consideration is February 1st). The Riata Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is housed within the Spears School of Business, but is open to all students across the campus.
OSU's merit scholarships are generous, even for students with a more average academic profile. Many students will receive enough scholarship aid to reduce or eliminate the out-of-state tuition differential. High achieving nonresident applicants are also eligible to be nominated by OSU admissions to receive the OSHRE scholarship ($15,520 for up to 5 years which defrays the out-of-state tuition entirely, plus $3,200 to put toward housing, books, and other expenses).
Housing options include traditional shared and single rooms, furnished suite-style living, with and without shared living rooms. Students interested in a single bedroom can opt for a private room in the traditional dorms or one of several single bedroom configurations available in the suite-style and apartment housing. Though OSU lacks a central dining hall, the meal choices are abundant, with everything from national franchises to local favorites on the menu (meal cards allow students to swipe their card at any available campus dining option). Our tour guide advised that the bronze meal plan is more than enough for the vast majority of students.
OSU sports are highly competitive on the national stage -- the Cowboys are justly proud of their 52 NCAA national championship titles. Game days are a big deal in Stillwater, and OSU boasts "America's Greatest Homecoming" (crowds of alumni and family easily triple Stillwater's population during Homecoming week). Club and intramural sports offer students considerable opportunities for athletic pursuits outside of the many NCAA D1 sports.
The campus recreation center includes an indoor track, rock-climbing wall, outdoor pools, basketball and racquetball courts, as well as state-of-the-art weight training and cardio equipment. While options are abundant, only 20% of students participate in Greek life. Students can also participate in more than 500 student clubs and other organizations.
Students interested in pursing an aviation major (professional flight, aviation management, or aerospace security) will enjoy OSU's new state-of-the-art flight facility (opened 2022) and its top-notch fleet. Offering FAA-approved Part 141 training, OSU's students are eligible for the reduced 1,000 hours benefit under R-ATP.
Oklahoma State University offers a broad range of opportunities and experiences (and at an affordable price).