Oregon State University (OSU) is one of Oregon’s largest public universities and has an enrollment of over 31,000 students across its Corvallis and Bend campuses. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: OSU offers over 200 academic programs and is considered a leading research university, especially for programs related to forestry, agriculture, sustainability, and the environment.

However, its acceptance rate is fairly high at 82%, so admissions are not highly selective.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Oregon State University, including its academics, student life, admissions, rankings, and more. We’ll provide details on the pros and cons of OSU to help you determine if it’s the right fit for your educational goals.

Overview and Notable Facts About Oregon State University

Oregon State University (OSU) is a renowned public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon. Established in 1868, it is the state’s largest university and has gained a reputation for its excellence in education, research, and community engagement.

OSU consistently ranks among the top universities in the nation and has been recognized for its innovative programs and contributions to various fields.

History and Location

With a rich history spanning over 150 years, Oregon State University has evolved into a leading institution. Situated in the heart of the picturesque Willamette Valley, Corvallis provides a vibrant and supportive environment for students.

The university campus boasts stunning natural beauty, with its proximity to forests, rivers, and mountains offering ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Enrollment and Academics

OSU is home to a diverse student body, with enrollment numbers consistently exceeding 30,000 students. The university offers a wide range of academic programs, including more than 200 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate programs.

Students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning experiences, collaborative research projects, and internships, all of which contribute to their personal and professional growth.

Notably, OSU is recognized for its strong programs in fields such as engineering, agriculture, forestry, marine sciences, and business. The university’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research is reflected in its faculty, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields.

Tuition and Financial Aid

While tuition costs are an important consideration for many students and their families, Oregon State University strives to provide affordable education. The university offers various financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities, and loans.

Students are encouraged to explore these resources to make their education more accessible.

Additionally, OSU has been recognized for its commitment to helping students graduate with minimal debt. The university’s financial aid advisors are readily available to guide students through the application process and provide information on available resources.


Oregon State University values diversity and strives to create an inclusive and welcoming campus community. The university celebrates a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 100 countries.

OSU actively promotes diversity through various initiatives, including cultural events, clubs and organizations, and support services for underrepresented groups.

Furthermore, OSU’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its faculty and staff, who bring a wide range of perspectives and experiences to the university. This diverse environment enhances the educational experience and prepares students to thrive in a globalized world.

Academics at Oregon State University

Oregon State University (OSU) is renowned for its strong academic programs and commitment to excellence in education. With a wide range of majors and programs, including online degrees, and a focus on cutting-edge research, OSU offers students a comprehensive and rewarding academic experience.

Majors and Programs

OSU offers over 200 undergraduate majors and programs, providing students with a diverse range of options to pursue their academic interests. Whether you’re interested in business, engineering, agriculture, or the arts, OSU has a program for you.

The university is known for its strong programs in fields such as forestry, marine science, and engineering. Additionally, OSU offers numerous interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple areas of study.

One of the unique aspects of OSU’s academic offerings is its commitment to sustainability. The university has been recognized as a leader in sustainability education, offering majors and programs that focus on environmental science, renewable energy, and sustainable business practices.

This emphasis on sustainability aligns with Oregon’s commitment to environmental stewardship and provides students with valuable skills for a rapidly changing world.

Online Degrees

OSU is also a pioneer in online education, offering a variety of online degrees that provide flexibility and accessibility for students. Whether you’re a working professional looking to advance your career or a student who prefers the convenience of online learning, OSU’s online programs offer the same high-quality education as its on-campus counterparts.

The university’s online degrees cover a wide range of disciplines, including business, education, computer science, and more.

OSU’s online programs are designed to provide students with interactive and engaging learning experiences. Through innovative technologies and dedicated faculty, students can participate in discussions, collaborate with classmates, and access course materials from anywhere in the world.

Online students also have access to the same support services as on-campus students, ensuring a seamless and successful educational journey.


Research is a cornerstone of Oregon State University’s academic mission. The university is classified as a Carnegie Doctoral University with “Very High Research Activity,” placing it among the top institutions in the country for research.

OSU’s faculty and students are engaged in groundbreaking research across a wide range of disciplines, from science and engineering to social sciences and humanities.

OSU is a hub of innovation and discovery, with research centers and institutes dedicated to areas such as sustainable agriculture, marine studies, robotics, and renewable energy. The university’s research efforts not only contribute to advancements in knowledge but also have real-world applications and impact.

OSU consistently ranks among the top universities for research funding in the nation, attracting grants and partnerships from government agencies, industry leaders, and nonprofit organizations.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a degree in a specific field, earning an online degree, or engaging in cutting-edge research, Oregon State University offers a vibrant academic environment that fosters learning, innovation, and personal growth.

Campus Life at Oregon State University

When it comes to campus life, Oregon State University offers a vibrant and diverse environment for students to thrive. With a wide range of activities and opportunities, students can make the most out of their college experience.

Housing and Residential Life

Oregon State University provides a variety of housing options for students, ranging from traditional residence halls to apartment-style living. The university’s Housing and Residential Life department strives to create a welcoming and inclusive community for students to live and learn.

With on-campus amenities such as dining halls, study areas, and recreational facilities, students have everything they need within reach. Additionally, the university offers various themed housing communities, allowing students to connect with others who share similar interests or academic pursuits.

Athletics and Clubs

Oregon State University takes pride in its athletic programs, with a strong emphasis on team spirit and competition. The university’s sports teams, known as the Beavers, participate in the Pac-12 Conference and have a dedicated fan base.

Whether you’re a player or a spectator, attending sporting events can be an exciting way to support your school and connect with fellow students. In addition to athletics, Oregon State University offers a wide range of student clubs and organizations, catering to a diverse range of interests.

From academic clubs to cultural groups, there are countless opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities and meet new people.

Greek Life

Greek Life is a prominent aspect of campus culture at Oregon State University. The university is home to a number of fraternities and sororities, providing students with the opportunity to join a close-knit community and develop leadership skills.

Greek organizations often organize social events, philanthropy initiatives, and academic support programs. Joining a fraternity or sorority can enhance your college experience and provide a network of lifelong friends.


Oregon State University prioritizes the safety and well-being of its students. The university has implemented various safety measures, including a campus-wide emergency notification system, 24/7 campus security, and a dedicated team of police officers.

Additionally, the university provides resources and support services to promote a safe and inclusive environment. Students can access counseling services, self-defense workshops, and educational programs to ensure their personal well-being.

Admissions Information

Acceptance Rate

Oregon State University is a moderately selective public university with an acceptance rate of 82% for fall 2022. This means that out of every 100 students who apply, 82 are accepted. While not highly exclusive, OSU still attracts over 30,000 applicants per year, so admission is somewhat competitive.

Students with grades and test scores above average have a good chance of getting in. The university has seen rising application numbers in recent years, so the admissions rate may continue to decrease.

SAT/ACT Scores

OSU does not require the SAT or ACT, but students who choose to submit test scores should aim for the following:

  • SAT: 1160-1350
  • ACT: 24-30

For students in the top 25% of applicants, the middle 50% test score range is:

  • SAT: 1230-1400
  • ACT: 27-32

Submitting standardized test scores can strengthen your application, though they are optional. Strong grades in high school college prep courses are more important.


OSU has the following minimum requirements for freshman admission:

  • High school GPA of 3.0 or higher in core college prep courses
  • Completion of the following high school courses:
    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of math (Algebra 1 and higher)
    • 3 years of science
    • 3 years of social studies
    • 2 years of a second language
  • ACT or SAT scores (optional)
  • 1 short answer essay

Meeting these baseline requirements makes you eligible for admission but does not guarantee it. The admissions office takes a holistic approach, reviewing grades, test scores, essays, extracurriculars and other factors to select the incoming class each year.

Rankings and Reputation of Oregon State University

National and Global Rankings

Oregon State University (OSU) has consistently been recognized as a top-tier institution both nationally and globally. In the National Universities category, OSU is ranked #139 according to the U.S. News & World Report.

This ranking takes into account various factors such as academic reputation, graduation rates, faculty resources, and student selectivity. OSU’s strong ranking reflects its commitment to providing quality education and research opportunities to its students.

Additionally, OSU has also gained recognition on the global stage. It is ranked #401-500 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. This ranking evaluates universities from around the world based on their teaching, research, industry income, and international outlook.

With its strong global ranking, OSU attracts students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, fostering a rich and inclusive academic environment.

Program-Specific Rankings

OSU’s commitment to excellence extends beyond its overall rankings. Many of its individual programs have also earned prestigious rankings and accolades. For example, the College of Engineering at OSU is ranked #64 in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Engineering Schools ranking.

This recognition highlights the strength of the engineering faculty, research opportunities, and industry collaborations at OSU.

In addition, OSU’s College of Forestry is consistently ranked among the top forestry programs in the nation. It is ranked #3 in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for Forestry ranking. This recognition is a testament to the college’s commitment to sustainable forest management and its impact on the field of forestry.

These program-specific rankings demonstrate OSU’s dedication to providing high-quality education and research opportunities across a wide range of disciplines. Whether you’re interested in engineering, forestry, business, or any other field, OSU offers programs that are nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence.


In summary, Oregon State University is a large public research university that offers quality academics at an affordable price. Its strengths include strong programs in the sciences and engineering, research opportunities, online degrees, and a scenic campus in Corvallis.

However, admissions are not highly selective. OSU may be a great choice if you’re looking for a balanced education with solid career preparation and hands-on learning at a public university.

We hope this detailed overview has provided the information you need to determine if applying to and attending Oregon State University is the right decision based on your educational and career goals.

Similar Posts