About the University

The History

Oklahoma State University was founded on December 25, 1890, as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, just 20 months after the Land Run of 1889. When the first students assembled for class on December 14, 1891, no buildings, books or curriculum existed. Since its beginning as a land-grant institution, OSU has held true to the land-grant mission of instruction, extension and research.

In 1894, two and one-half years after classes began in local churches, 144 students moved into the first academic building, later named Old Central, which is still located on the southeast corner of campus and today houses the Honors College. In 1896, Oklahoma A&M held its first commencement with six male graduates.

On July 1, 1957, Oklahoma A&M College became Oklahoma State University. Technical branches were established in Okmulgee in 1946 and in Oklahoma City in 1961. In 1990, these two technical branches were renamed OSU-Okmulgee and OSU-Oklahoma City; and in 2008, OSU-Okmulgee was renamed OSU Institute of Technology. OSU-Tulsa was formed in 1999 from a consortium of universities that were originally established in 1982. In July of 1988, the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (in Tulsa) became the College of Osteopathic Medicine of OSU. In 2001, it became part of the OSU Center for Health Sciences, which also has an affiliation with its primary teaching hospital—the OSU Medical Center.

OSU is located in Stillwater, a north-central Oklahoma community with a population of around 50,000. Stillwater is approximately 60 miles from the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metropolitan areas and is readily accessible from other major population centers by interstate highway and air. Stillwater added non-stop daily air service to Dallas in 2016.

The University has an enrollment of more than 34,500 students on five campuses. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a large number of fields, as well as the professional Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees. Specialist in Education degrees are also offered in selected fields.

Although OSU is a large, comprehensive university, its size does not minimize the personal attention given to each student. The individual is more than just a number at this university. OSU encourages all students—when they first enroll—to identify the college in which they wish to major. Once a student has identified their major department, they become a very important individual to the faculty and advisers of that department. Because the average number of students majoring in any one department is less than 150, the student can count on personal attention in a friendly environment.

As a comprehensive land-grant institution, OSU offers students many distinct advantages. It has nearly four million volumes in the library’s collection; modern research laboratories and equipment; excellent physical education, recreation and student union facilities; more than 500 student organizations; nationally-recognized residence hall programs; outstanding cultural and athletic events; and nearly 50 nationally-affiliated fraternities and sororities that provide a stimulating educational and social environment.

The Mission

Proud of its land-grant heritage, Oklahoma State University advances knowledge, enriches lives and stimulates economic development through instruction, research, outreach and creative activities.

Student Profile

Oklahoma State University has a diverse student body. Students come not only from Oklahoma, but also across the nation and world. Of OSU's more than 34,500 students, approximately 73 percent are on the Stillwater campus, including students at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. The remaining student population is spread over the OSU system's four other campuses:  OSU-Oklahoma City, OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. Seventy percent of the undergraduates enrolled are Oklahoma residents; 26 percent are out-of-state residents; and four percent from 98 foreign countries. Of the undergraduate population, 51 percent are men and 49 percent are women. Domestic minorities make up approximately 29 percent of the undergraduate student body. The six-year graduation rate of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students is 62.8 percent.

There are more than 5,500 graduate students throughout the OSU system. Over 4,200 of those students are on the Stillwater campus. Of those, 49 percent are Oklahoma residents; 27 percent are out-of-state residents; and 24 percent from foreign countries. Fifty percent of graduate students are men and 50 percent are women. Domestic minorities make up 23 percent of the graduate student body.

An annual report regarding gender equity in OSU's athletic programs is available upon request from the Athletic Department.


Research has been one of the three essential components of the OSU mission since the University’s inception. Research adds richness, depth and broader impact to the other mission components of teaching and outreach. In the sciences and engineering, basic research advances the frontiers of disciplinary knowledge; whereas, applied research improves quality of life and economic prosperity by bringing new products, processes and medicines to the marketplace. Research and creative innovations within the arts and humanities enhance how human beings view and understand the world we live in.

OSU’s faculty and students are engaged in research across the full spectrum of human endeavor and inquiry, including areas of state and national priority. In addition to disciplinary research in virtually all academic units on campus, OSU is strong in several areas of interdisciplinary research. Researchers in the food-energy-water nexus span agricultural innovation, nutrition, engineering, toxicology, geosciences, economics and the social/behavioral sciences. OneHealth is an interdisciplinary framework that recognizes the interconnections between human health, animal health and a healthy planet. OSU OneHealth includes research as diverse as veterinary medicine, ecology, psychology, exercise science and bioengineering—as well as basic research in the bench sciences. Unmanned systems research (including unmanned aircraft) brings researchers from several engineering disciplines together with experts in production agriculture, computer science, information systems and aviation education to create platforms, sensors, data management tools and new applications for this burgeoning field. Such interdisciplinary research strengths are enhanced by big data solutions, including OSU’s high performance computing facilities and advanced analytical expertise.

The Division of the Vice President for Research administers research across the OSU System. The division is comprised of the following units:

The Research Administration office (research.okstate.edu) is responsible for research governance, operations and special programs including OSU Research Week, the Regents Distinguished Research Awards, the President’s Fellows Faculty Research Award, the Otto S. Cox Graduate Fellowships for Genetics Research and the Niblack Research Scholars program. Other areas administered by the office include conflict of interest, complaints of scientific misconduct, core facilities and facilities renovation/development programs, and the University cost-share and University start-up programs.

The Center for Strategic Proposal Development (cspd.okstate.edu) works closely with faculty, staff and administration across colleges and campuses at OSU to develop strong and competitive external funding proposals. An experienced grant writer is available to provide a wide range of pre-award services, advice and information to strengthen and enhance proposal quality.

The Office of University Research Compliance (compliance.okstate.edu) ensures OSU follows federal, state and University regulations that set forth requirements for certain kinds of research. Working through faculty committees, it oversees research involving human subjects, animal models, radiological materials, certain hazardous agents and recombinant DNA.

The Office of University Research Services (urs.okstate.edu) is the document control center for the routing of all proposals and awards throughout the University. It provides support to faculty and staff (through information about funding opportunities, and training seminars); posts online research expenditures and abstracts; and provides guidance for compliance with federal export control regulations that govern the conduct of research and export of specific technologies that may have an impact on national security and trade.

The Division of the Vice President for Research is also home to two core research facilities. The High Performance Computing Center (hpcc.okstate.edu) provides supercomputing services and computational science expertise that enables faculty, staff and students to conduct a wide range of focused research, development and test activities. Its main objective is to facilitate research and aid in educational advancement by integrating state-of-the-art high performance computing technology for multidisciplinary units across the OSU campus and throughout Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State University Microscopy Laboratory (http://microscopy.okstate.edu) is a multi-user instrumentation facility for materials research spanning from nanotechnology to biology and medicine. Analytical capabilities include microscopy via electron beams, force probes and visible light, as well as nanomechanical and nanotribological probes.

In addition to units within the division, the Division of the Vice President for Research is closely aligned with components of the Oklahoma State University Research Foundation (OSURF; osurf.org) which handles technology development, transfer and commercialization on behalf of OSU. OSURF also manages several strategic resources that can connect OSU researchers to industry and other partners. The OSU Research Park is a 160-acre site uniquely designed for collaboration among tenants while providing custom facilities for technology-based or industry-driven companies in all stages of development. The Venture I building consists of OSU and private-sector labs while the Michael S. Morgan Business Accelerator Building is designed to support and serve as an incubator for technology-based start-ups. The Technology Development Center (tdc.okstate.edu) manages OSU’s innovative technologies and other intellectual property for the benefit of the University and the public. In carrying out this mission, personnel work with faculty, staff, administrators and students to protect OSU’s intellectual property and license it to commercial firms. Cowboy Technologies (cowboytechllc.com) is a for-profit, limited-liability company within OSURF with the mission to be a catalyst for commercializing university inventions. The company goals run parallel with that of OSU’s land-grant mission of taking University research from “Campus to Community.”

Research Centers and Facilities

OSU has multiple research centers and facilities across the Stillwater campus and throughout the state. The NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ESPCoR) program leads a statewide initiative that conducts cutting edge research while building Oklahoma’s talent pipeline in STEM fields (http://okepscor.org). The National Energy Solutions Institute (nesi.okstate.edu) fuses the needs of private industry in energy production, distribution and conservation with practical and impactful academic research.

The Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases (ocrid.okstate.edu) works toward understanding and treatment of a major health problem in the U.S.

The Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Adversity (circaok.com), a collaboration between OSU and the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, is establishing the linkages between childhood difficulties and later physical health.

The Unmanned Systems Research Institute brings together researchers from all over the university and the state to advance unmanned aerial systems and related technologies and applications.

The Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center provides large and small businesses, producers and entrepreneurs access to faculty and staff with expertise in business and technical disciplines. The FAPC seeks to develop successful value-added enterprises in Oklahoma.

The Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center is a state-of-the-art research, development, testing and education center located on the OSU-Tulsa campus. Faculty from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and materials science and engineering work collaboratively there on research and graduate education.

The Henry Bellmon Research Center houses six of OSU’s leading interdisciplinary research programs:  synthetic chemistry, biodiversity, biophysics, photonics, bioforensics and biogeophysics. These are but a few of OSU’s research centers and facilities; for other examples and more detailed information, visit https://research.okstate.edu/center-institutes.html.


Oklahoma State University's long and proud tradition of excellence in international studies and outreach has its roots in the post-World War II era when U.S. President Harry S. Truman appointed OSU President Henry G. Bennett as the first chief executive officer of the Point Four Program. This program is known today as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Over the past half-century, hundreds of faculty members have served abroad on numerous projects sponsored by the United States Government and private foundations. Faculty members are increasingly engaged in research and outreach dealing with international trade and development and have contributed extensively to scholarship on global issues. Dr. Henry G. Bennett’s international legacy and OSU’s long-standing dedication to international relations and outreach is evident in the university’s continued international endeavors and significant international student population. The current OSU student body represents more than 100 countries in its academic instruction, research and service activities.

The School of Global Studies and Partnerships serves as a catalyst for the internationalization of OSU and actively promotes the university’s engagement with state, national and international communities by fulfilling compelling educational needs and advancing the development of Oklahoma.

Administrative and Outreach Units

The Study Abroad/NSE Office coordinates reciprocal exchange agreements with 80 institutions in over 35 countries, as well as affiliated programs and the National Student Exchange (NSE). The office provides personalized advising on study, research, internships and service programs abroad. Academic support and pre-approval of courses to be taken abroad, along with support both during and after the international sojourn, are provided for interested students. Study abroad programs offer students the opportunity to experience different peoples, languages and customs and to gain essential global competence. OSU set a goal to provide every undergraduate student with a meaningful international experience prior to graduation, which study abroad can fulfill. Two one-credit courses are offered by the study abroad staff to help students maximize their experience abroad. The office also administers three Global Studies scholarships that serve as incentives for study abroad participation—the Provost’s Study Abroad Scholarship, the Don and Cathey Humphreys Scholarship, and the Gerry Auel First Passport Grant.

The English Language Institute (ELI) was established in 1970. ELI’s mission is to equip non-native speakers of English with the English proficiency, academic skills and cultural knowledge necessary to gain entrance to and achieve success at Oklahoma State University or any American institution of higher education. In addition, English language and culture programs can be tailored to meet the needs of educational institutions, businesses and government sponsoring agencies. Regularly enrolled OSU international students who feel a need for additional language study may enroll part-time in ELI as well.

Institute students, who may represent as many as 10 or 20 different countries in any given semester, range from recent high school graduates to career professionals returning to school for master’s or doctoral degrees. The ELI has three semesters:  spring, summer and fall and offers mid-semester arrival in spring and fall. Classes offered include listening/speaking, reading, composition, grammar and optional electives.

For more information, contact the English Language Institute, 307 Wes Watkins Center, 405.744.7519, e-mail to osu-eli@okstate.edu or visit eli.okstate.edu.

Global Partnerships promotes international research, education and development on behalf of the Oklahoma State University and the state of Oklahoma through building worldwide linkages; pursuing and coordinating collaborative projects; and reaching out to state, national and international audiences. The unit assists the university in developing and maintaining overseas partnerships, creating new academic programs and in other aspects related to the globalization of the academic offerings of Oklahoma State.

The OSU-UPAEP Liaison Office is housed in the Wes Watkins Center and supported by the School of Global Studies. The office promotes bilateral exchanges between the United States and Mexico, increases in the number of OSU students studying abroad in Mexico and increases the number of Mexican students enrolled at OSU. The office also aids in preparation of exchanges with Mexican universities, provides professional contacts and serves as a local expert resource about Mexico.

The Fulbright Resource Center assists students, recent graduates, faculty members, developing professionals and artists in pursuit of Fulbright Grants for international opportunities in research, study, teaching or creative activities abroad. The Fulbright Grant is a highly-competitive national award established in 1946 by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright to increase international understanding through educational exchange. Awards are offered annually for international travel and short- and long-term assignments in over 140 countries around the world.

The Wes Watkins Center for International Trade and Development (CITD) focuses on both international trade and international development on behalf of OSU and the state of Oklahoma. In the area of international trade, the CITD is part of the Oklahoma Small Business Development (OKSBDC) network and provides Oklahoma’s small- and medium-sized businesses with hands-on high quality and confidential one-on-one counseling to help begin exporting or to expand the export of goods and services. In the area of international development, the CITD provides informational resources or special project development to assist communities overseas with meeting basic needs for food, water, education and health. Service projects have taken place in many parts of the world, including Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. These development projects are chosen to provide assistance to non-governmental organizations and as an opportunity for service projects and experiential learning for OSU students. In addition, the CITD is involved in international development projects providing technical assistance and trade capacity building on export development for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), international trade and Customs policy matters in areas such as Customs Reform and Modernization, Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation and implementation, and Trade Facilitation.

Office of Individual Study

OSU Individual Study undergraduate courses provide a self-paced, independent, and online format for students with full-time work, family, or military responsibilities. Students in-state, out of state or out of country can choose either a twelve-month or semester-long format. The yearlong courses have open start dates so students may begin a course anytime they wish. Courses are delivered through the OSU learning management system, Brightspace; however, students who do not have Internet access can participate in courses using print-based materials.

Call 405-744-6390 or visit is.okstate.edu to browse classes, tuition rate and enrollment information. For information on all OSU online courses and degrees, visit osuonline.okstate.edu, call 405-744-1000, or email osuonline@okstate.edu.


Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and programs within the colleges are also accredited. The HLC may be reached at:

230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
Phone:  800.621.7440/312.263.0456
Fax:  312.263.7462

In the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the undergraduate program in biochemistry and molecular biology is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The undergraduate forestry program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The landscape architecture program (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture) is accredited by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The landscape management program is accredited by the National Association of Landcare Professionals (NALP). The professional education program in agricultural education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) formerly known as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In addition, the undergraduate biosystems engineering program is accredited by Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET as a component of associated engineering programs in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, the chemistry program is certified by the American Chemical Society; the program in communication sciences and disorders is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; the School of Media and Strategic Communications, which offers programs in multimedia journalism, sports media, and strategic communication, is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC); the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; the Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music; the program in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association; and the Department of Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

In the College of Education, Health and Aviation, the Aviation Management and Professional Pilot options are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).The counseling psychology and school psychology programs are both accredited by the American Psychological Association. The school counseling and community counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The school psychology program is also accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists. The Recreational Therapy Program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) which is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The Recreation Management program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT); COAPRT which is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). All Professional Education programs are accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) formerly named the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

In the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, bachelor's degree programs are accredited by nationally recognized accreditation organizations. Programs in aerospace engineering, architectural engineering, biosystems engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and management, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET http://www.abet.org. Programs in construction engineering technology, electrical engineering technology, fire protection and safety technology, and mechanical engineering technology are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET, Inc., http://www.abet.org. The Bachelor of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Programs culminating in a baccalaureate degree in the College of Human Sciences are accredited by specialized accreditation organizations. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) has accredited the undergraduate interior design program. The pre-production and the production management apparel curricula is endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Education Foundation, making it one of only 13 approved programs in North America. The Child Development Laboratory is licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) and has received a Three Star Differential Quality Certification from the Department of Human Services. The Child Development Lab School is also accredited by the accrediting branch of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).Program approval has been granted to the early childhood education program by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. The Early Childhood Education program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Family and Consumer Sciences Education program has been accredited by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation in cooperation with the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Marriage and Family Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The Didactic Program in Dietetics and the Dietetic Internship at OSU are both currently granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, ph. 312.899.0040 ext. 5400.

The Spears School of Business is accredited by AACSB InternationalThe Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is the premier accrediting agency for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools, worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review process. All Spears programs are AACSB accredited with the exception of the M.S.in Economics and the PhD in Economics which do not come under the AACSB’s scope of review. The School of Accounting is evaluated separately, and is fully accredited by AACSB. There are only 186 schools world-wide that have attained this status for both business and accounting programs.

The Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. The Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, and the Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.

The animal care programs of the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, the College of Human Sciences, and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology are accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC).AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. AAALAC International accreditation shows that an institution is serious about setting, achieving and maintaining high standards for animal care and use and is committed to animal welfare in science .AAALAC International offers the only international accreditation for animal care and use programs, and it has become recognized around the world as a sign of quality science.

Programs at OSU's branch campuses have also received accreditation from national agencies.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Center for Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association.

Programs at OSU-Tulsa are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, carrying the same accreditation as programs on the Stillwater campus. Refer to individual colleges for the specific agencies.

Refer to the appropriate college sections in this Catalog for further information on accreditation of specific programs.

General Education

Oklahoma State University is committed to producing graduates who have a depth of knowledge in their major fields of study and a breadth of general knowledge to address issues in a complex society. OSU graduates have a mastery of a specific subject matter and solid, diversified general education. With a commitment to breadth in general education, the following philosophy was adopted in 2001:

General Education at Oklahoma State University provides students general knowledge, skills and attitudes conducive to lifelong learning in a complex society. Specifically, general education at Oklahoma State University is intended to construct a broad foundation for the student's specialized course of study; develop the student’s ability to read, observe and listen with comprehension; enhance the student's skills in communicating effectively; expand the student's capacity for critical analysis and problem solving; assist the student in understanding and respecting diversity in people, beliefs and societies; and develop the student's ability to appreciate and function in the human and natural environment.

General education courses are aligned with one of four content areas:  analytical and quantitative thought (A), humanities (H), natural sciences (N), and social and behavioral sciences (S). In addition, OSU students must participate in an international dimension course (I) and in natural sciences courses that include a lab component and have a scientific investigation (L) designation. As of Fall 2008, all new students are required to complete a diversity (D) course. A course is qualified to be part of the general education curriculum if it meets the needs of students in all disciplines without requiring extensive specialized skills and satisfies all the criteria for a specific general education area. The criteria for each general education area follow:

  • Analytical and quantitative thought (A) courses incorporate the study of systems of logic and the mathematical sciences and place primary emphasis on the development of the intellect through inductive and/or deductive processes. Their aim is broader than proficiency in techniques and includes appreciation of how the processes can supplement intuition and provide ways to analyze concrete problems. Goals of "A" courses are to prepare students to critically analyze and solve problems using quantitative, geometric or logical models; form inferences using logical systems and mathematical information and communicate them in writing; give appropriate multiple representations (symbolical, visual, graphical, numerical or verbal) of logical or mathematical information; and estimate, analyze or check solutions to problems to determine reasonableness, alternative solutions, or to determine optimal methods or results.
  • Diversity (D) courses emphasize one or more socially constructed groups (e.g. racial, ethnic, religious, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation) in the United States. Goals of "D" courses are to prepare students to critically analyze historical and contemporary examples of socially constructed groups in American society or culture and the distribution of political, economic and/or cultural benefits and opportunities afforded to these groups; to understand how these groups relate to the student's academic discipline and American culture; and demonstrate their understanding through written work that provides them the opportunity to enhance their writing skills.
  • Humanities (H) courses concentrate on the expression, analysis and interpretation of ideas and the aesthetics or values that have formed and informed individuals and societies; and emphasize diversity in the expression of human ideas and aesthetic or cultural values. Goals of "H" courses are to prepare students to critically analyze the relationships of aesthetics, ideas or cultural values to historic and contemporary cultures; develop an understanding of how ideas, events, arts or texts shape diverse individual identities; and demonstrate their understanding through written work that provides them the opportunity to enhance their writing skills.
  • Contemporary international culture (I) courses emphasize contemporary cultures outside the United States. Goals of "I" courses are to prepare students to critically analyze one or more contemporary cultures external to the United States; understand how contemporary international cultures relate to complex, modern world systems; and demonstrate their understanding through written work that provides them the opportunity to enhance their writing skills.
  • Scientific investigation (L) courses include the equivalent of at least one semester credit hour of laboratory experience aimed at interpreting scientific hypotheses and emphasize scientific inquiry and experimental methodology. Goals of "L" courses are to prepare students to critically analyze scientific problems, formulate hypotheses, conduct appropriate experiments and interpret results; solve problems using scientific inquiry and experimental methodology; communicate procedures, results and conclusions to others; and demonstrate their understanding through written work appropriate to the discipline that provides them the opportunity to enhance their writing skills.
  • Natural science (N) courses feature the systematic study of natural processes, and the mechanisms and consequences of human intervention in those processes; and place primary emphasis on the subject matter of one or more basic physical or biological sciences in a broadly integrative fashion. Goals of "N" courses are to prepare students to understand the scientific inquiry process; critically analyze the physical world using the language and concepts of science; use the methodologies and models of science to select, define, solve and evaluate problems in biological and physical sciences; evaluate evidence, interpretations, results and solutions related to the physical and biological sciences; understand the consequences of human intervention in natural processes and mechanisms; and demonstrate their understanding through written work appropriate to the discipline that provides them the opportunity to enhance their writing skills.
  • Social and behavioral sciences (S) courses propose theoretical constructs to explain human behavior and society in social and/or physical environments; and are based on empirical observation of human behavior rather than the study of aesthetics, ideas or cultural values. Goals of "S" courses are to prepare students to critically analyze generalizations about society and explore theoretical structures; understand the role of empirical observation in the social and behavioral structures; and demonstrate their understanding through written work that provides them the opportunity to enhance their writing skills.

Athletic Programs Mission

Oklahoma State University is committed to providing regionally and nationally competitive athletics programs as an integral part of the overall educational mission of the University. Sponsored programs comply with the highest recognized standards of the institution and the athletic governing bodies. Intercollegiate athletics operate in harmony with the University's stated mission and are committed to the intellectual, cultural, physical and social development of the student-athletes as individuals. Opportunities for student-athletes are provided without discrimination. OSU is a member of the highly competitive Big 12 Conference.


The OSU campus is one of exceptional beauty, with modified Georgian style architecture in many of the buildings. The main campus encompasses 840 acres and more than 200 permanent buildings. These facilities include the Edmon Low Library, ranked first in the state of Oklahoma and one of the largest libraries in the entire Southwest. Other facilities include the nation’s largest and newly renovated Student Union, Old Central (the University’s original, first permanent structure on campus), the Henry Bellmon Research Center, Noble Research Center, Donald W. Reynolds School of Architecture, and the Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts.

The unique new home for the Spears School of Business on Hester Street opened in spring 2018. The building is designed to promote collaboration and hands-on, experiential-learning to best prepare graduates for success in the modern workplace. The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts is expected to open in 2019 and will be a premier cultural venue for the campus and region. The 93,000-square-foot McKnight Center will stand prominently along the southwest corner of University Avenue and Hester Street within walking distance of the Student Union.

In 2006, OSU launched its campus Master Plan 2025, calling for more than $850 million in projects to improve facilities in four areas:  academics, student life, infrastructure and athletics. The historic and far-reaching plan is transforming the OSU campus.

The North Classroom building, funded in part by the state's Higher Education Capital Bond Program, opened on the north side of the Stillwater campus in January 2009.The facility offers the latest in teaching technology and features an eco-friendly eatery.

The Multimodal Transportation Terminal and 1,100-space Monroe Street Garage opened in the fall of 2009.The facilities provide a central point of contact for various modes of transportation serving OSU-Stillwater and the OSU branch campuses, as well as the community and surrounding areas. Two-thirds of the funding for the facilities came from a Federal Transit Administration grant. OSU has added two more multi-level parking garages, one on the southwest corner of campus opened in the spring of 2013, and the 4th Avenue Parking Garage which opened in fall of 2016 adjacent to the site of the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts.

The impressive Henry Bellmon Research Center opened in 2010. The $70 million building, the largest project in the state’s Capitol Bond Program, provides state-of-the-art laboratory space for a wide-range of disciplines and encourages collaborative research.

OSU opened several renovated buildings in 2009.Thanks to a gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, OSU doubled the size of the building housing its School of Architecture. Historic Old Central, built in 1894, was renovated and remodeled to house the Honors College. The renovations to Old Central have won numerous architectural awards. Murray Hall, built as a women's dormitory in 1933, was renovated to house seven departments from the College of Arts and Sciences.

A $63 million facelift to OSU’s prestigious Student Union greatly enhanced facilities and services to students. Campus Life is now prominently located on the second floor of the Union and dining options have been enhanced and expanded. The Center for Services to Students area in the Union continues to house the Bursar, Registrar, Scholarship and Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admissions and the Learning and Student Success Opportunity Center in one convenient location to better serve students. In 2016, OSU completed a major renovation to the Union’s Atherton Hotel that enlarged rooms and upgraded accommodations.

The renovation of the west end of Boone Pickens Stadium created one of the premier collegiate football facilities in the country. The University also completed several athletic projects north of Boone Pickens Stadium. OSU opened the Sherman E. Smith Training Facility (an indoor training center) and a new outdoor track in 2013.The Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center opened in early 2014.The new tennis center features six indoor and 12 outdoor courts and is one of the leading collegiate tennis facilities in the country. Athletics also is pursuing funds for a new baseball facility and construction of a new soccer field is underway.

OSU opened its Postal Plaza Gallery in 2014 as the home of the OSU Museum of Art, showcasing the university’s extensive art collection and strengthening its connection to downtown Stillwater. Also in 2014, it opened the Library Auxiliary building on the west side of campus to handle printed volumes and free space in Edmon Low Library to better meet study and online research needs of today’s students; and the Information Technology building to centralize IT employees opened next door to the Library Auxiliary.

In spring 2015, OSU opened the Bert Cooper Engineering Laboratory for structures and materials engineering with a new geothermal systems for energy efficiency. University Commons, a new traditional-style residence hall, opened for the fall 2015 semester. Located north of the Colvin Center on Hall of Fame, the facility was enhanced a year later with the opening of the nearby North Dining Facility, which features seven distinctive dining choices, with a focus on healthy, fresh options.

The new north wing of the College of Human Sciences building opened in fall 2016 and houses hotel and restaurant, design and other programs. Also in 2016, OSU opened a new Veterinary Health Sciences academic center and the Charles and Linda Cline Equine Teaching Center.

OSU is completing work on a state-of-the-art Central Plant to replace its inefficient 1940s Power Plant. The facility will reduce OSU’s environmental footprint, save energy costs and feature an 80-person classroom. Work has started on a new engineering lab west of the architecture building that will provide the latest in facilities and address incredible student growth.

Prior to the launch of Master Plan 2025, construction and renovation brought a number of enhancements to the campus. In 1995, Willard Hall was completely renovated and became home to the College of Education, Health and Aviation. Willard was a 1939 vintage women's dormitory. For its efforts in the Willard project, OSU received an architectural award for the historic preservation of the building.

The Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, dedicated in 1996, supports the essential mission of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources by allowing faculty and students the opportunity to investigate the ways and means of adding value to Oklahoma's raw foodstuffs.

The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology opened its $31 million Advanced Technology Research Center in 1997. This multidisciplinary building enhances the University's role as a front-runner in basic engineering and related research in a variety of fields that are relevant to Oklahoma, the United States and the world.

A renovation of the Classroom building was completed in 1998.This building is the principal undergraduate classroom facility for the University. The Classroom building remodeling effort gives students an updated facility with state-of-the-art teaching systems.

The first of four phases of apartments and suite-style accommodations for new student housing was completed in 2000.Phase II, completed in the fall of 2001, included family housing, apartments and suites. Phase III student housing opened in fall 2003, and the fourth phase of on-campus student housing was completed and opened in 2006. OSU has expanded campus bus service for both the Stillwater community and the OSU-Stillwater campus to aid students, faculty and staff in their educationally related transportation. Additionally to reduce energy costs and emissions, OSU converted its entire fleet of campus buses to compressed natural gas in 2010.

In 2001, OSU constructed the new Athletic Center. The Athletic Center was built on the site of Gallagher-Iba Arena. The top of the original building was removed, and the Athletic Center was built completely over and around Gallagher-Iba Arena resulting in the expansion of its seating to approximately 13,000 for athletic, academic and entertainment activities. Historic Gallagher-Iba now continues to exist as the arena within the Athletic Center. In 2004, a state-of-the-art academic center also was built within the building. OSU’s basketball locker rooms within the Athletic Center were upgraded in 2010 for both men and women.

Fall 2004 saw the reopening of the Colvin Recreation Center after a major renovation and expansion. The facility was originally constructed in the late 1960’s and was in need of modernization and more space. The project included a new outdoor pool, climbing wall, expanded workout and locker space, and indoor jogging track.

Improvements continue in the University's outdoor spaces as well, and a landscape architectural master plan developed in 2010 is guiding those efforts. Major east-west streets, Hall of Fame Avenue and University Avenue have been greatly updated, and the university has completed a complete redesign and reconstruction of Monroe Street, which runs north-south through the heart of the campus. A series of landscape projects near student residential facilities have occurred in recent years. In the summer of 2005, the Edmon Low Library plaza was restored by installing a new surface on the main upper plaza and the lower area. Completed in 2013, Legacy Walk provides a scenic east-west pedestrian thoroughfare in front of the library, connecting to Hester and Monroe streets. In the fall of 2016, OSU unveiled an impressive Welcome Plaza outside the southeast corner of the Student Union. The plaza is an inviting garden area featuring statues of a galloping mare and her foal.

OSU is a leader in network computing resources. The University has applied the student technology fee in concert with other University resources to create a second-to-none networking system on campus that includes new computer laboratories, high speed inter-laboratory connectivity, and a virtually seamless interface to the Internet across campus.

Lake Carl Blackwell, located eight miles west of Stillwater, as well as land surrounding the lake, are owned by OSU. The area includes approximately 3,350 acres, bordering the 3,000-acre lake that provides the water supply for OSU. It is also used for research activities, in addition to being a popular regional recreational area.

Additional properties include 1,900 acres of farm land and facilities in Payne County, as well as 2,900 acres and various structures devoted to research stations around the state.