|see "Early Names"|
|Type||Public land-grant research university|
|Established||October 27, 1868(official designated charter day)|
|Endowment||$819.6 million (2021)|
|4,700 (Spring 2023)|
|Students||37,121 (Spring 2023)|
|Undergraduates||32,014 (Spring 2023)|
|Postgraduates||4,439 (Spring 2023)|
|1,458 (Spring 2023)|
|Campus||Small city, 400 acres (160 ha)|
|Newspaper||The Daily Barometer|
|Colors||Orange and black|
Oregon State University (OSU) is a public land-grant research university based in Corvallis, Oregon. OSU offers more than 200 undergraduate-degree programs along with a variety of graduate and doctoral degrees. It has the seventh-largest engineering college in the nation for 2023. Undergraduate enrollment for all colleges combined averages over 32,000 while an additional 5,000 students are engaged in post-graduate coursework through the university. In 2023, over 37,000 students were enrolled at OSU - making it the largest university in the state. Out-of-state students typically make up over one-quarter of the student body. Since its founding, over 272,000 students have graduated from OSU. It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity".
Chartered as a land-grant university initially, OSU became one of the four inaugural members of the Sea Grant in 1971. Memberships in the Space Grant and Sun Grant research consortia were awarded in 1991 and 2003, making it one of only three schools in the nation to obtain land, sun, sea and space grant memberships. OSU received a record high $449.9 million in research funding for the 2022 fiscal year and has ranked as the state's top earner in research funding for over 50 years. OSU is also one of the top five doctoral university destinations in the nation for Fulbright Scholars (2022–2023).
The university's roots date to 1856, when it was founded as a primary and preparatory community school known as Corvallis Academy. The school's first teacher and principal was John Wesley Johnson, a famous figure in Oregon higher education. Johnson received his secondary education in Corvallis and his undergraduate from Pacific University before working at the new academy. He later attended Yale University and became an instrumental figure in the development and administration of several other early Oregon colleges. Within a decade of its inception, college-level coursework was added to the academy's curriculum, making it the first public college in the region and a magnet for Oregon's young adults seeking a profession. The university adopted eight name variations during the 1800s and three more in the 1900s. Like many of today's land-grant colleges and universities, name changes were common during this period and helped schools better align with some of the largest available grants in agricultural research.
|1872||Corvallis State Agricultural College|
|1876||State Agricultural College|
|1881||Corvallis Agricultural College|
|1886||State Agricultural College of Oregon|
|1890||Oregon Agricultural College|
|1927||Oregon State Agricultural College|
|1937||Oregon State College|
|1961||Oregon State University|
Corvallis area Freemasons played a leading role in developing the early school. Several of the university's largest buildings are named after these early founders. The school offered its first college-level curriculum in 1865, under the administration of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the school's first president, William A. Finley.
On August 22, 1868, official articles of incorporation were filed for Corvallis College. October 27, 1868, is known as OSU Charter Day. The Oregon Legislative Assembly designated Corvallis College as the "agricultural college of the state of Oregon" and the state's designated recipient of the Land Grant. Acceptance of this grant required the college to comply with the requirements set forth in the Morrill Land-Grant Acts. The school was then authorized to grant Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees. The first graduating class was in 1870, with Bachelor of Arts degrees. In 1872, the name of the school was changed to Corvallis State Agricultural College. As the school's name changed so did its mission. Coursework in the sciences and technology became the most popular majors starting in 1900.
In 1914, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, known then as the State Board of Higher Curricula, began assigning specific colleges to Oregon State University and the University of Oregon in an effort to eliminate duplication. "...the board confined studies in engineering and commerce to the Corvallis campus and major work in the liberal arts and related subjects to the University of Oregon in Eugene. This was the first in a series of actions to make the curricula of the two schools separate and distinct." In 1929 the legislative assembly passed the Oregon Unification Bill, which placed the school under the oversight of the newly named Oregon State Board of Higher Education. A doctorate in education was first offered in the early 1930s, with the conferral of four Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1935. That year also saw the creation of the first summer session. The growing diversity in degree programs led to another name change in 1937, when the school became Oregon State College.
Campuses and educational outlets
Main campus (Corvallis)
The 420-acre (170 ha), tree-lined main campus serves as an internationally recognized arboretum and the centerpiece of Corvallis, Oregon. The campus is 83 miles south of Portland, near the middle of the state's Willamette Valley. Much of the main campus was designed by landscape architect John Charles Olmsted in 1906. In 2008, Olmsted's early campus design was designated by the National Register of Historic Places as the Oregon State University Historic District. It is the only college or university campus in Oregon to hold a historic district designation. The Memorial Union was designed by OSU alumnus and renowned Oregon architect, Lee Arden Thomas. It has been recognized as "one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in Oregon."
In 2016 OSU completed the construction of a 30-acre branch campus in Bend. This campus is called OSU-Cascades and offers students living in Oregon's central region an opportunity to attend select classes closer to their homes.
Oregon State offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs made up from a selection of over 1,500 online courses in more than 110 subjects. U.S. News & World Report ranked OSU's online bachelor's degree programs 4th in the nation in 2021 and has ranked them in the top 10 since 2013. In 2021 College Choice ranked the Ecampus liberal arts program number one in the nation. The same faculty teaching on campus also offers many of their programs and courses online through the Oregon State University Ecampus website. Students who pursue an online education at Oregon State earn the same diploma and transcript as on-campus students.
OSU Portland Center (offices, classrooms and meeting spaces)
In 2017, Oregon State University's Portland headquarters were relocated to the newly renovated Meier & Frank building. The building features offices, classrooms and meeting spaces; which fill the entire second floor of the historic downtown Portland building.
Located just across the street from downtown Portland's Pioneer Square are offices for the OSU Extension Service, the OSU Foundation, the OSU Alumni Association, and the OSU Athletics department. The downtown location provides the university with a more central location, in the state's largest city, to maintain a base of operations. Aside from offices, the second floor also provides classroom space for teaching, research and meeting space for outreach engagement - similar to the work at OSU's other campuses in Corvallis and Bend. Executives and university scientists working on major initiatives, such as the Marine Studies Initiative, use the space for lectures and international conferences.
The OSU Portland Center is also an important part of the OSU Advantage partnership. The partnership brings members of private industry, from throughout the world, to Portland to discuss proposed commercialization initiatives.
Organization and administration
Colleges and schools
All academic courses at OSU operate under the quarter-system, which breaks down into four, 11-week terms. The professional disciplines taught at OSU are divided among 11 colleges, an honors college, and a graduate school. Each college has a dean who is responsible for all faculty, staff, students and academic programs. Colleges are divided either into schools or departments, administered by a chair/head/director who oversees program coordinators. Each school or department is responsible for academic programs leading to degrees, certificates, options or minors.
- College of Agricultural Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Engineering
- College of Forestry
- University Honors College
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Pharmacy
- College of Public Health and Human Sciences
- College of Science
- Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine
The OSU Educational Extension is a section for non-students and adult education.
The OSU Extension service is an agricultural extension established on July 24, 1911, under the leadership of Vice Provost Ivory W. Lyles (OSU Extension Service Administration). There are OSU Extension offices, Combined Experiment & Oregon Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Branch Experiment Stations located throughout the state. Programs include 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources (includes OSU Master Gardener), Family and Community Health/SNAP-Ed, Forestry and Natural Resources, OSU Open Campus, K-12 Outdoor School, and Oregon Sea Grant.
Together with university leaders, the Oregon State University Foundation publicly launched Oregon State's first comprehensive fundraising campaign, The Campaign for OSU, on October 26, 2007, with a goal of $625 million. Donors exceeded the goal in October 2010 nearly a year ahead of schedule, resulting in a goal increase to $850 million. In March 2012, the goal was raised to $1 billion. At OSU's annual State of the University address in Portland on January 31, 2014, President Edward J. Ray announced that campaign contributions had passed $1 billion, making OSU one of 35 public universities to cross the billion-dollar fundraising mark and one of only two organizations in the Pacific Northwest to reach that milestone. The Campaign for OSU concluded on December 31, 2014, with more than $1.1 billion from 106,000 donors.
The Oregon State University Foundation is a nonprofit organization chartered to raise and administer private funds in support of the university's education, research and outreach, governed by a volunteer board of trustees. It holds net assets exceeding $1 billion and manages most of the university's composite endowment, valued at more than $827 million.
In October 2022, the Foundation publicly launched Believe It: The Campaign for OSU, the university’s second comprehensive fundraising and engagement campaign, with a $1.75 billion goal for student and faculty support, facilities and equipment and strategic initiatives. Donors have stepped forward with over $1 billion in gifts since the campaign began in 2017.
Oregon State has varied and numerous partnership agreements with international institutions, including James Cook University in Australia, the University of Forestry in Bulgaria, Lincoln University in New Zealand and India's Gokula Education Foundation.
Undergraduate admission to Oregon State is rated "selective" by U.S. News & World Report. The total student enrollment for the 2021–2022 academic term was 33,193, the largest of any university in Oregon.
For fall 2015, OSU received 14,058 freshman applications; 11,016 were admitted (78.4%) and 3,593 enrolled. Fall of 2022 brought in the largest freshman class the university had seen, with 7,146 new students. The average high school grade point average (GPA) of the enrolled freshmen was 3.58, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were 480-610 for critical reading, 490-630 for math, and 470-590 for writing. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 21–28.
|Combined SAT (max. 2400)[i]||N/A||1430-1810||1430-1810||1440-1820||1440-1830||1460-1830|
|ACT Composite (max. 36)[i]||21-27||21-27||21-27||21-28||21-28||22-28|
OSU has more majors, minors and special programs than any other university or college in Oregon.
Research has played a central role in the university's overall operations for much of its history. Most of OSU's research continues at the Corvallis campus, but an increasing number of endeavors are underway at various locations throughout the state and abroad. Research facilities beyond the campus include the John L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory in Corvallis, the Seafood Laboratory in Astoria and the Food Innovation Laboratory in Portland.
The university's College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) operates several laboratories, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center and multiple oceanographic research vessels based in Newport. CEOAS is now co-leading the largest ocean science project in U.S. history, the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The OOI features a fleet of undersea gliders at six sites in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with multiple observation platforms. CEOAS is also leading the design and construction of the next class of ocean-faring research vessels for the National Science Foundation, which will be the largest grant or contract ever received by any Oregon university. The first of three planned research vessels, the Taani, was launched in May 2023 and will be stationed in Newport, Oregon. OSU also manages nearly 11,250 acres (4,550 ha) of forest land, including the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest.
The 2005 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognized OSU as a "comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary" university. It is one of three such universities in the Pacific Northwest to be classified in this category. In 2006, Carnegie also recognized OSU as having "very high research activity", making it the only university in Oregon to attain these combined classifications.
In 1967 the Radiation Center was constructed at the edge of campus, housing a 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor. The reactor is equipped to utilize Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) for fuel. U.S. News & World Report's 2008 rankings placed OSU eighth in the nation in graduate nuclear engineering. In the early 2000s, researchers at the campus reactor developed a prototype for an alternative, small-scale reactor to power factories, buildings, and other individual large-scale industrial facilities. More recently, Oregon State University has partnered with a leading manufacturer of small-scale reactors, NuScale, to provide continued research and development for commercial applications.
OSU was one of the early members of the federal Space Grant program. Designated in 1991, the additional grant program made Oregon State one of only 13 schools in the United States at that time to serve as a combined Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant university.
In 2001, OSU's Wave Research Laboratory was designated by the National Science Foundation as a site for tsunami research under the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. The O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is on the edge of the campus and is one of the world's largest and most sophisticated laboratories for education, research and testing in coastal, ocean and related areas.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funds two research centers at OSU. The Environmental Health Sciences Center has been funded since 1969 and the Superfund Research Center has been funded since 2009.
OSU administers the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a United States Forest Service facility dedicated to forestry and ecology research. The Andrews Forest is a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.
OSU's Open Source Lab is a nonprofit founded in 2003 and funded in part by corporate sponsors that include Facebook, Google, and IBM. The organization's goal is to advance open source technology, and it hires and trains OSU students in software development and operations for large-scale IT projects. The lab hosts a number of projects, including a contract with the Linux Foundation.
Oregon State University is one of the few universities to have ROTC detachments for each branch of the US Military. Oregon State University Army ROTC is a distinguished program and has been taught regularly since 1873. The so-called Beaver Battalion is known as the West Point of the West for producing more commissioned officers than any other non-military school during World War II. It is located in McAlexander Fieldhouse, named after General Ulysses G. McAlexander, the former commander of Army ROTC.
After the Second World War ended in 1945, a Department of Naval Science was added at Oregon State. Providing officer training for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps, it is now one of the largest in the nation and has earned the unofficial title "Naval Academy of the Northwest." On July 1, 1949, the US Army Air Corps training branch became a separate officer training unit now known as Aerospace Science. The Oregon State Air Force ROTC draws more freshmen scholarships than any other AFROTC unit in the nation and has had over 1,000 officers commissioned. In 1977, two graduates of the OSU AFROTC became the first women pilots in the Air Force. Today, the Army and Air Force ROTC programs at the university share the McAlexander Fieldhouse.
In 1999, OSU finished a $40 million remodeling of the campus library. Known as the Valley Library, the remodeled building was selected by The Library Journal as its 1999 Library of the Year, the first academic library so named.
Rankings and recognition
In 2023, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked Oregon State University in the top 1.4 percent out of 20,531 degree-granting institutions of higher education worldwide. The CWUR is known for relying heavily on outcome-based data to compile their rankings.
In its 2021 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked Oregon State University's oceanography program 5th in the world, its agricultural sciences program in the top 50 worldwide, and its earth sciences, ecology and water resources program among the top 100 worldwide.
Corvallis is Oregon's 10th-largest city. It is a relatively small community and many of the local events have a strong connection to the university. OSU has over 400 active student organizations and groups. The campus is only a few hours' driving distance from any number of outdoor recreation opportunities. Several federal and state natural forests and parks are popular student destinations. These include the Cascade Range, a rugged coastline, several large forests, the high desert and numerous rivers and lakes. Portland, Oregon's largest city, is 85 mi (137 km) north of campus.
From 1930 to 1968, OSU was home to the Gamma chapter of Phrateres, a philanthropic-social organization for female college students. Gamma was the third chapter of the organization, which eventually had over 20 chapters in Canada and the U.S.
Most older OSU students live off campus, but on-campus housing is available and required for most incoming freshmen. There are 16 residence halls on campus.
The LaSells Stewart Center is the conference and performing arts center for the campus. Many famous speakers have graced the stage of the campus's main auditorium, Austin Auditorium, while the Corvallis-OSU Symphony plays there frequently. The OSU Office of Conferences and Special Events is in the auditorium.
The university is home to Orange Media Network, the university's student media department. Orange Media Network encompasses the award-winning The Daily Barometer student newspaper, KBVR 88.7 FM, KBVR-TV, Prism Art and Literary Journal, lifestyle magazine Beaver's Digest, and fashion magazine DAMchic.
The Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU) is the officially recognized student government at Oregon State University and represents all students in campus affairs and at community, state and federal levels regarding issues that directly influence the quality of and access to, post-secondary education.
|Race and ethnicity||Total|
Like most American universities and colleges, OSU actively works to diversify its faculty and staff. In 1993, OSU reported having difficulties retaining and hiring minority faculty members. Only 150 out of 2,284 faculty members were black, Native American, Asian, or Hispanic. In response, the school president and vice president introduced a hiring initiative to promote and enhance diversity. The initiative "recognizes the compelling need to build a welcoming and inclusive university community and the direct relationship between excellence and diversity".
Oregon State University has several cultural centers aimed at promoting diversity and supporting students of color, including the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, Native American Longhouse, Asian & Pacific Cultural Center and the Centro Cultural César Chávez. It also has a Pride Center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
In the fall of 2022, 30 percent of Oregon State University's total enrollment was composed of students of color.
In a 2008 national ranking of academics, athletic opportunity and overall performance, Oregon State was selected as one of America's "premier" universities. The ranking, performed by STACK magazine, placed Oregon State 29th in the nation's "Elite 50" universities and was uncontested within the state for that year. Since then, the University of Oregon has also appeared in the STACK rankings.
The history of Oregon State athletics dates back to 1893 when "Jimmie the Coyote" was recognized as the first official mascot. In 1910, the official mascot was replaced by the beaver and remains the school's mascot to this day. In 1915, the university's varsity athletic teams were invited to join the Pacific Coast (Athletic) Conference as one of four charter members.
Reser Stadium now serves as the home field for the school's football team. The school mascot is Benny the Beaver and first appeared on the football sidelines in 1952. The next year Oregon State added a football stadium to its campus, known then as Parker Stadium. Fundraisers in 2006 and 2007 helped expand Reser Stadium from 35,000 seats to 46,200. A time lapse video recording of the expansion is viewable on the internet. 1962 saw OSU's (and the west coast's) first Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Terry Baker. The University of Oregon is the university's in-state rival for athletics. The annual Oregon–Oregon State football rivalry football game is one of the longest-running rivalries in all of college football.
The university's home golf course, Trysting Tree's, features championship-worthy golf and practice facilities. The name of the course can be traced back to a locally famous tree near Community Hall on campus where student couples would meet to make dates. Basketball is held in Gill Coliseum and named after former Beavers coach Slats Gill. The Coliseum is also home to the university's Collegiate wrestling team. Baseball is played in Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The OSU baseball team, won back-to-back NCAA Division I Baseball Championships in 2006 and 2007 and added a third win in 2018. Softball is held in the OSU Softball Complex. Opened in April 2001, the $1.5 million OSU Softball Complex seats 750. Oregon State hosted a Regional and Super Regional tournament in the 2006 NCAA tournament, winning both and moving on to the Women's College World Series.
Oregon State has a total of four NCAA championships. In addition to the three baseball titles (2006, 2007 and 2018), the Beavers won the 1961 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship. In 1975, the men's rowing Varsity-4 with coxswain team won the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Collegiate Rowing Championships in Syracuse, New York, establishing a course record which stood for 15 years. The Oregon State racquetball team has won 10 consecutive USA racquetball intercollegiate championships, beginning in 2008.
The 2018 Oregon State baseball team won the NCAA Division I Championship defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks in three games making it their third title ever in the sport of baseball managed by the same manager from the previous two titles Pat Casey.
Faculty and staff
OSU has several notable faculty members, including:
- Bernard Malamud, novelist and short-story writer
- George Poinar Jr., entomology professor whose work extracting DNA from insects fossilized in amber was the inspiration for the novel and film Jurassic Park
- William Appleman Williams, historian
- Ernest H. Wiegand, inventor of the modern Maraschino cherry
- Pat Casey, baseball coach who was named Coach of the Year by several publications in both 2006 and 2007 when he led the baseball team to back-to-back national championships
- Slats Gill, former OSU basketball coach and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Corinne Manogue, physicist, best known for clarifying superradiance in both gravitational and electromagnetic contexts
- Tevian Dray, mathematician, co-author of scientific paper "On the existence of solutions to Einstein's equation with nonzero Bondi news"
- Ralph Miller, former OSU basketball coach and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- Dana Reason, director of the Popular Music Studies Program and acclaimed Canadian pianist and composer
- James Cassidy, soil scientist, bassist and keyboard player for Information Society
- Craig Robinson, former OSU head basketball coach and the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama
- Bernadine Strik (1962–2023), horticulturist.
Oregon State University has numerous nationally and internationally famous alumni who have contributed significantly to their professions. Among over 200,000 OSU alumni, scientist and peace activist Linus Pauling may be the most famous. Pauling is the only recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes, in the fields of chemistry and peace. Oregon State athletes have had a significant showing in professional sports, including more than 15 MLB players, more than 20 NBA players and more than 130 NFL players.
Points of interest
- Endurance Array
- Hatfield Marine Science Center
- Linus Pauling Institute
- O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory
- Oregon State University Cascades Campus
- Oregon State University Radiation Center
- Peavy Arboretum
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