Oregon State University (OSU) is a publicland-grantresearch university in Corvallis, Oregon. OSU offers more than 200 undergraduate-degree programs along with a variety of graduate and doctoral degrees. Undergraduate enrollment averages close to 32,000, making it the state's largest university. Out-of-state students make up over one-quarter of the undergraduates and an additional 5,500 students are engaged in graduate coursework at the university. Since its founding, over 272,000 students have graduated from OSU. The Carnegie Foundation Classification consistently places Oregon State in their most selective tier, "Doctoral University – Very high research activity" and since 2010 has also awarded it with the prestigious "Community Engagement" distinction, making it one of only 28 schools in the nation to hold both.
Chartered as a land-grant university, OSU was also one of the four inaugural members of the Sea Grant program when it formed in 1971. It joined the Space Grant and Sun Grant research consortia in 1991 and 2003, respectively, making it the first public university and one of just four in total to attain membership in all four initiatives (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Cornell University and Pennsylvania State University are the others).. It is one of only six institutions to be a "national participant" among the sun-grant schools, responsible for coordinating the research among the other member schools in nine western states. 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.
In 1888 Benton Hall first served as OSU's administration building and is still part of the campus today.
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 before working at the new academy. He later attended Yale University and was instrumental in developing other 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 has had 11 names since opening, eight of them during the 1800s. Like many of today's land-grant colleges and universities, name changes were common during this period and helped schools better align themselves with some of the largest available grants in agricultural research.
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 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 and the name of the school was changed to Corvallis State Agricultural College. 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. As the school's name changed so did its mission. Coursework in the sciences and technology became the most popular starting in 1900.
In 1929 the Legislative Assembly passed the Oregon Unification Bill, which placed the school under the oversight of the newly formed 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.
The institution's current name, Oregon State University, was adopted on March 6, 1961, by a legislative act signed into law by Governor Mark Hatfield.
In 2016 OSU completed the construction of a 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.US 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 OSU faculty teaching on campus also offer many of these same 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.
The academic programs are divided among 12 colleges and the graduate school, each with a dean responsible for all faculty, staff, students and academic programs. Colleges are divided either into departments administered by a department head/chair or schools administered by a director who oversees program coordinators. Each school or department is responsible for academic programs leading to degrees, certificates, options or minors.
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 & Extension Centers, and Branch Experiment Stations in several counties. 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, Outdoor School, and Oregon Sea Grant.
Together with university leaders, the OSU 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 $744 million and manages most of the university's composite endowment, valued at more than $596 million as of 2018.
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. 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.
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. OSU also manages nearly 11,250 acres (4,550 ha) of forest land, including the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest.
Irish Bend Covered Bridge - The west side of campus is dedicated, primarily, to agricultural research. It is also home to this historic landmark.
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.
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.
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.
Construction of the Oregon Agricultural College Armory, known today as McAlexander Fieldhouse, was completed in 1910.
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.
In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked OSU tied for 139th nationally, tied for 71st top public and tied for 58th "most innovative" university in the U.S., and tied for 277th best globally.
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, which are organized into individual Hall Councils. The residence halls include Bloss Hall, Buxton Hall, Callahan Hall, Cauthorn Hall, Dixon Lodge, Finley Hall, Halsell Hall, Hawley Hall, International Living-Learning Center, McNary Hall, Poling Hall, Sackett Hall, Tebeau Hall, Weatherford Hall, West Hall, and Wilson Hall. Residents make up the membership and each council holds its own elections to select management over the hall government. All the councils are managed by the Residence Hall Association (RHA).
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.
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.
In 2007, Scott Reed was named Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement as OSU Extension Service and OSU Ecampus were aligned under this new division. Ecampus delivers OSU degree programs and courses online and at a distance to students worldwide.
In accordance with the university's mission for diversity, may organizations, clubs, and departments have been formed, including the Office Of Community and Diversity and several cultural and resource centers.
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.
In addition to its mission of ethnic diversity, Oregon State University supports its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population with a Pride Center.
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.
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.
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.
Ulysses G. McAlexander, Commander of Army ROTC from 1907 to 1911 and again from 1915 to 1917. Earned the nickname "Rock of the Marne" during World War I. Helped with the construction of the Memorial Union and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 1930.
^George W. Peavy; Paul M. Dunn; Walter F. McCulloch. "College of Forestry Records (RG 139)". College of Forestry Records. State Department of Forestry—State Archives of Oregon: OSU Oregon State University. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
^OSU Oregon State University (2012). "OAES History". OSU Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences. Oregon State University. Retrieved July 22, 2012.