University of Oklahoma
Created by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting research university serving the educational, cultural, economic and health-care needs of the state, region and nation. The Norman campus serves as home to all of the university’s academic programs except health-related fields. The OU Health Sciences Center, which is located in Oklahoma City, is one of only four comprehensive academic health centers in the nation with seven professional colleges. Both the Norman and Health Sciences Center colleges offer programs at the Schusterman Center, the site of OU-Tulsa. OU enrolls more than 30,000 students, has more than 2,400 full-time faculty members, and has 20 colleges offering 163 majors at the baccalaureate level, 166 majors at the master’s level, 81 majors at the doctoral level, 27 majors at the doctoral professional level, and 26 graduate certificates.
OU has the academically highest ranked student body at a public university in Oklahoma history. OU ranks number one in the nation among all public universities in the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled per capita with a record 222 National Merit Scholars in this year’s freshman class – 26 more than the previous OU record. In addition, The Princeton Review ranks OU in the top 10 public universities in the nation in terms of academic excellence and cost for students. The university ranks in the top 10 in the nation among most wired colleges, one of only a few universities to achieve the ranking two years in a row.
OU has surpassed its goal of $150 million in scholarships and is extending the Campaign for Scholarships for five more years, increasing the goal to $250 million. The success of the campaign has allowed OU to more than double its private scholarships in the last five years. OU is a leader among all American universities in international exchange and study abroad programs. This past year, study abroad by OU students increased by 20 percent. OU currently offers programs in over 50 countries and 100 cities in six continents. Students from 118 countries are enrolled at OU.
OU student Sarah Swenson was recently named a 2011 Rhodes Scholar, becoming OU’s third Rhodes Scholar in 11 years, and the 28th since the scholarship began in 1903. For the third time in four years, an OU Debate Team from the Shannon Self Debate Program has won the national championship in debate. Drama students from OU won the largest number of awards of any university in America in the national Kennedy Center American College Theatre Competition. Two OU students were named 2010 Goldwater Scholars for excellence in mathematics and science, bringing to 30 the number of OU students named to that honor since 1995. This places OU in the top ranks of universities nationally. In addition, two students from OU were named 2010 Truman Scholars. This prestigious national award is given based on a student’s leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of “making a difference.” In 2010, OU won the “PetroBowl” Championship in petroleum engineering, making OU the only school to win the competition three times.
OU is home to one of the two largest natural history museums in the world associated with a university. The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has more than 7 million artifacts and contains 195,000 square feet on 40 acres of land. The museum exhibits include the largest Apatosaurus on display in the world and the oldest work of art ever found in North America — a lightning bolt painted on an extinct bison skull.
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art collections total more than 10,000 works of art, including OU’s Weitzenhoffer Collection of French Impressionism, one of the most important gifts of art ever given to a U.S. public university. The museum also shares the Eugene B. Adkins Collection, one of the most important private collections in the nation of works by the Taos artists as well as Native American works of art, with the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa. Additional collections have further strengthened the museum’s holdings in the areas of Native American and Southwest art.
Boasting one of the most storied college athletic histories, offerings for the sports enthusiast include competition in 19 varsity sports. Schedules can be found on our Events Calendar.
Four buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places – the Bizzell Library, the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, Casa Blanca (the old Alpha Chi Omega sorority house), and the Boyd House - official residence of the University President.
Tours of the historic, park-like campus are encouraged. Guided tours can be scheduled through the OU Visitor Center for a group’s age or focus. Please allow two weeks’ notice for group tours. You can always do a Self-Guided Tour. A guide is written with a general overview and historical points of interest, it allows you to enjoy the “campus beautiful by day and night” at your pace and convenience. Find a guide at the OU Visitors Center or the Norman Welcome Center, 223 East Main Street.