About Oregon State University

Is Oregon State University the School for You?

Established in 1868, Oregon State University (OSU) is located 85 miles south of Portland, Oregon, and 40 miles south of Salem. The 400-acre campus is located in Corvallis, which has a population of 55,000. Read the information below to find out if OSU is the right university for you.


  • Acceptance rate is 17.2 percentage points higher than the national average
  • High number of academic programs
  • Accepts AP and dual credit
  • Endowment has grown by 17.1% between 2010 and 2011


  • Total cost is $4,339 higher for in-state and $5,488 higher for out-of-state residents than the national average (includes tuition, room and board, and living expenses)
  • Graduation rate is 11 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 23 to 1, which is higher than the national average
  • Far from major cities and airports
  • Very high number of TAs teaching courses

About Oregon State University

Nearly 25,000 students attend OSU annually, including 20,620 undergraduates. These students have many different programs to choose from, as OSU offers more than 200 programs through its 12 colleges. Some of the more unique facilities at this university include 15 Agricultural Experiment Stations, the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center, and 35 extension offices within the county. OSU is also one of only two universities in the country to have space, sea, and sun grant designations.

In 2011, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that approximately 81% of applicants to the university were accepted, which is higher than the national average of 63.5%. However its graduation rates were lower; the 4-year graduation rate at OSU was only 29% in 2011, according to the NCES, while the national average was 40% for that same time. Also, the school has a high retention rate, as 81% of full-time and 61% of part-time students returned to the university after freshman year, according to the NCES. The most popular undergraduate programs in 2011 were family and consumer studies, engineering, and business.

OSU has an average student-to-teacher ratio of 23:1, which is high compared to the national average of 16 students to one teacher. Likewise, a very high number of teaching assistants (52%) teach classes as reported by NCES..

Admissions and Financial Aid at Oregon State University

In order to apply to OSU, you'll need to complete an online application. OSU requires that you submit official transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores, as well as have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in 15 core high school curriculum courses. Of applicants who applied in the fall of 2010, NCES reported that 74% submitted SAT test scores.

OSU's in-state and out-of-state tuition rates are slightly higher than national standards; however, the school awards many different merit-based and need-based scholarships, including departmental scholarships. Additionally, Oregon residents may be eligible for the State of Oregon Opportunity Grant or the Bridge to Success Program for financial assistance.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2011-2012) September 1****
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013) May 1***
Notification of Acceptance (2013-2014) Four weeks after receipt of application materials*
Application Fee (2011-2012) $50**
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 81%**
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2011-2012) $21,475 for OR residents; $35,191 for non-residents**
Average Undergraduate Need-Based Grant or Scholarship Package (2012-2013) $6,593****
Percent of Students with Need Fully Met (2012-2013) 13%****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 4.2%**

Life at Oregon State University

As of fall 2013, all freshmen will be required to live on campus. You'll have the opportunity to live in one of the 18 residence halls, as well as dine at various dining centers, restaurants, coffee shops, and markets located on campus. There are more than 300 student clubs and organizations in areas like sports, music, community service, and theater. You could also cheer on some of the Beaver's 17 varsity sports teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference.

According to 2011 data from U.S. News and World Report, approximately 5% of undergraduate men and 7% of undergraduate women were members of one of the many fraternities or sororities at OSU. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service recognized OSU for its community service efforts by awarding the school with the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll distinction. In keeping with environmental awareness, OSU formed a student sustainability initiative using various elliptical exercise machines at the Dixon Recreation Center to help power the university's electric grid.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city**
Student Population (2011) 20,620 undergraduates; 4,342 graduate students**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 53% to 47%**
% of Full Time Undergraduate Students (2011) 83%**
% of In-state Students (2011) 73%**
% of International Students (2011) 4%**
Retention Rate (2011) 81% for full-time and 61% for part-time students**
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living on Campus 21%****
Number of Libraries 1 on main campus*
Extracurricular Activities Over 300*
Noteworthy 22 elliptical exercise machines supply kinetic energy to the OSU power grid*

Sources: *Oregon State University, **NCES College Navigator, ***College Board, ****U.S. News and World Report.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Oregon State University, 104 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331
  • Phone: (541) 737-4411 / (800) 291-4192