Ohio State University-Main Campus

Ohio State University-Main Campus Rating: 4.1/5 (583 votes)

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Ohio State University is a public school founded in 1870 in the city of Columbus. As a land grant university with strengths in many growing disciplines, it has grown to be the third largest campus in the nation in terms of population. Today the university is the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio, boasting an enrollment of more than 57,000 students on the main campus and thousands more among its branches.


Academic tracks of study include over 170 majors distributed among 18 colleges.

Both the undergraduate and graduate business programs have strong academic reputations. The medical school, counseling/personnel services graduate program, and education programs are all renowned as well. Popular majors for undergraduates include social sciences, business and marketing, and engineering. Many students choose the university for its Graduate School in Design or its Center for Slavic and East European Studies.

Research facilities on campus include a polar research center, a heart and lung research center, an aeronautical lab, and many other specialized centers and labs that draw graduate students from far and wide.

The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Most Popular Fields of Study


In keeping with its reputation for academic excellence, the university has a competitive admissions process. The admissions process is based on three primary criteria: successful completion of a college preparatory high school curriculum, class rank or GPA, and ACT or SAT scores. Although either SAT or ACT scores are required for admission, the school reiterates that they represent only one aspect of a holistic review process that includes many factors.

Other considerations include advanced high school coursework, ethnic, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity, and other background factors. Competitive admissions factors do not apply to Ohio residents applying to branch schools.

February is the application deadline for admission to the Autumn semester, although December applications are given full consideration for scholarships and financial aid.

Financial Aid

Over 75% of students receive some form of financial aid. For entering or prospective freshmen, the financial aid application process overlaps to some degree with the admissions process, in that some of the materials used to determine whether a student is accepted will also be used to determine whether he or she will be eligible for financial aid, how much aid will be disbursed, and the form that the aid will take.

The completion and submission of a standard FAFSA form and all applicable addenda is a key element of the financial aid process. In addition, documentary verification in the form of financial records and other documents is also usually necessary to make a final need assessment. In addition to federal, state, and school-based grants, other financial aid options include loans, work-study jobs, and need- and merit-based scholarships.

For priority consideration, entering freshmen are urged to check for current year deadlines. Typically, scholarship deadlines fall in December, while the deadlines for other types of aid applications fall in February in March.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3047th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Ohio.


With a student body numbering over 57,000, campus life is diverse and vibrant. As the largest single-campus university in the United States, The student body boasts an unusually diverse mix of students from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, with nearly 23% of the students classified as first-generation college students, a figure that far exceeds the nationwide average of 15.9%.

The urban setting of Columbus offers students extensive opportunities for entertainment, employment, and enrichment. Set just a few miles from downtown, the campus is immersed in the center of this bustling metropolitan environment.

More than 60 fraternities and sororities are active at Ohio State. Popular fraternities include Beta Theta Pi, Chi Phi, Omega Psi Phi, Lambda Chi Alpha, and Kappa Sigma, while sororities include groups such as Alpha Sigma Upsilon, Chi Omega, Delta Zeta, and Kappa Delta.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


With several nationally prominent sports teams, the Buckeyes represent an appealing part of campus life for many students.

The school’s teams participate in NCAA Division I, and most are qualified to compete in the Big Ten Conference. The athletics program has a history of record-breaking achievement, including being one of only three universities in the United States to have won national titles in men’s baseball, basketball, and football.

Buckeye basketball and football games are often heavily attended by students and community supporters alike, and the school’s award-winning marching band lends an added dimension of entertainment to sporting events. The mascot is Brutus Buckeye. School colors are scarlet and grey.


Notable alumni include:

  • Noble laureates Paul Flory, Willaim A. Fowler, and Kenneth G. Wilson
  • Pulitzer prize winners Mary Oliver, Nick Anderson, Judith Miller, Julia Kelly, and Jim Schaefer
  • Authors Virginia Hamilton, Harlan Ellison, John Jakes, and Clayton Rawson
  • Playwrights Jerome Lawrence, Kermit Hunter, Adrienne Kennedy, and Velina Hasu Houston
  • Cartoonists Kerry G. Johnson, Milton Caniff, John Backderf, Brian Basset, and Jeff Smith
  • United States Senators Sherrod Brown and Thomas R. Carper
  • Scientists Homer Burton Adkins, Thomas D. Brock, Roy Plunkett, Douglas Prasher, and Christopher Williams
  • Astronauts Ronald M. Sega, Robert Henry Lawrence Jr, Nancy J. Currie, and Charles Bassett

Information Summary

Ranks 11th in Ohio and 301st overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Ohio and 442nd overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 3 0.01
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 34 0.06
Robbery 17 0.03
Arson 6 0.01
Burglary 37 0.07
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 13 0.02
Arrest 87 0.15

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 1,289 0.16
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 87 0.01
Forcible Rape 565 0.07
Robbery 3,244 0.41
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 15,169 1.93
Larceny 30,259 3.84
Vehicle theft 3,615 0.46

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Columbus, OH 43210
Surrounding communityLarge city (inside urban area, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population9,728 (9,728 urban / N/A rural)
Households446 (2.48 people per house)
Median Household Income$20,865
Families353 (2.74 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Research Universities (very high research activity)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, high graduate coexistence
GraduateComprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District3903

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 587th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $9,168 $9,168 $24,888
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $869 $869 $869
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $382 $382 $1,037
FT Graduate Tuition $11,560 $11,560 $29,224
FT Graduate Required Fees $865 $865 $865
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $723 $723 $1,827
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $25,479 $25,479 $41,199
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $25,479 $25,479 $41,199
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $15,723 $15,723 $31,443

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Medical Degree — Tuition $28,744 $46,552
Medical Degree — Required Fees $957 $957
Dentistry Degree — Tuition $31,192 $64,128
Dentistry Degree — Required Fees $3,817 $3,817
Optometry Degree — Tuition $23,928 $52,984
Optometry Degree — Required Fees $865 $865
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $19,608 $38,208
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees $865 $865
Veterinary Medicine Degree — Tuition $27,744 $61,872
Veterinary Medicine Degree — Required Fees $865 $865
Law Degree — Tuition $27,168 $42,120
Law Degree — Required Fees $865 $865

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $9,735 $10,037 $9,735 $10,037 $24,630 $25,445
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,602 $1,248
On-Campus – Room & Board $10,782 $11,182
On-Campus – Other Expenses $4,752 $2,452
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $10,782 $11,182
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,752 $2,452
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $6,264 $4,432

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$60
Graduate Application Fee$60
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 31,359 (15,751 male / 15,608 female)
Admitted 17,413 (8,456 male / 8,957 female)
Admission rate 56%
First-time Enrollment 7,130 (3,594 male / 3,536 female)
FT Enrollment 7,121 (3,586 male / 3,535 female)
PT Enrollment 9 (8 male / 1 female)
Total Enrollment57,466

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Big Ten Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Big Ten Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Big Ten Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Big Ten Conference

ACT Test Admission

111th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 83%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 26 / 32
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 26 / 31
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 27 / 31

SAT Test Admission

106th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 39%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 540 / 660
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 610 / 720
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1150 / 1380

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity11,451
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 118th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $109,685 ($116,863 male / $92,132 female)
Number of FT Faculty 2,152 (1,354 male / 798 female)
Number of PT Faculty 5,037
FT Faculty Ratio 0.4 : 1
Total Benefits $214,033,752

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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