Ouachita emphasizes love of God and love of learning
Fostering “a love of God and a love of learning in a Christ-centered learning community,” Ouachita Baptist University continues to earn national recognition as a leading liberal arts university. In addition to being cited among America’s top colleges by U.S.News & World Report and Forbes, Ouachita has been ranked by CollegeFactual.com among the top 100 “Best Nationwide Colleges for Your Money.”
Providing a variety of opportunities for our students to experience quality academic, spiritual, and personal growth in a close-knit campus community, Ouachita also offers a competitive financial aid program. University officials recently introduced the innovative Loan Affordability Pledge to help limit our students’ long-term higher education costs. The Loan Affordability Pledge provides financial assistance to students and their families, helping repay student and parent loans if graduates’ salaries are below $36,000 annually.
Ouachita focuses on academic excellence in seven schools: Business, Christian Studies, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The University also offers several pre-professional programs in such fields as architecture, dentistry, dietetics, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, and physical therapy.
With a low 13:1 student-faculty ratio, Ouachita students have the opportunity to get to know their professors on a personal level as mentors and role models. Graduates have an impressive 97% acceptance rate to graduate schools across the nation.
Among recent additions to the University’s academic emphasis is a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the School of Fine Arts and a three-year Biomedical Scholars Program in the Patterson School of Natural Sciences. Additionally, the Hickingbotham School of Business and the Huckabee School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies are partnering to offer a sport management emphasis geared toward students interested in pursuing careers in the business side of the sports industry.
Ouachita’s Biomedical Scholars Program will provide a rigorous academic curriculum enhanced with experiential learning through study abroad opportunities, clinical shadowing rotations, experimental research, and community service. Dr. Tim Knight, Dean of the Patterson School, said the accelerated program is specifically designed “for those students who are really focused and have a firm desire to pursue professional school after their undergraduate experience.”
In addition to Ouachita’s outstanding residential undergraduate program, two new academic initiatives were launched last fall. An off-campus Associate of Arts degree program in Conway, Arkansas, has been developed in partnership with New Life Church. The University also has established Ouachita Online, offering accredited online Bachelor of Arts degrees with majors in business administration and Christian studies.
According to Dr. Stan Poole, Vice President for Academic Affairs, “Launching online degree programs is a major step for the University as we seek to provide educational opportunities to those who would otherwise not have access to a traditional Ouachita education. Our faculty are committed to providing a distinctive Ouachita educational experience in an online format.”
Ouachita’s growth isn’t limited to the academic arena. The University recently dedicated Cliff Harris Stadium, named in honor of Ouachita alumnus and former Dallas Cowboys star Cliff Harris who played in five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls.
Affirming Ouachita’s “faith-based, quality education,” Harris reflected, “I know through personal experience that when tough times come in life, the foundation that Ouachita provides allows you to have the strength to withstand the storms of life that everyone faces.”
Other recent construction projects on campus include an expanded and remodeled Rosemary Adams Department of Visual Arts in Moses-Provine Hall and new facilities for the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community. Each of these facilities is designed to enhance the learning environment and campus experience for our students.
Rosemary Adams, a 1963 Ouachita graduate, encouraged students to use the upgraded visual arts classrooms and galleries as settings to “come in here and learn and learn and learn.”
“When you leave this place,” she added, “I want you to take this specialness and that learning and go out and make the world a better place.”
Ian Cosh, Vice President for Community and International Engagement and Director of the Elrod Center, said a primary goal of the center is to equip Ouachita graduates “to be generous men and women in all the ways that generosity can be measured,” including time commitment, compassion, creativity, and sharing material resources.
In the areas of ministry and service, Tiger Serve Day, Ouachita’s semi-annual community service effort coordinated by the Elrod Center, has logged more than 70,000 volunteer hours by students, faculty, and staff since 1997.
“I think it’s pretty cool to see our campus come together to serve the community,” said Taylor Graves, a senior psychology major. “Not many people have the opportunity to say that they have done something like this, and I love how it is such a special time for Ouachita and the Arkadelphia community.”
Students also have the opportunity to serve on mission projects in Arkansas and around the world as well as participate in the European Study Tour, the Pruet School of Christian Studies’ Biblical Studies Tour, and other international education options in such settings as Australia, China, France, Japan, South Africa, and Spain.
Ouachita’s Christ-centered learning community features more than 40 campus organizations, plus social clubs, intramural sports, and ministry opportunities. Tiger Tunes, Scholars Day, Christian Focus Week, and the Battle of the Ravine are among campus highlights each year. The Ouachita Student Foundation, a campus organization focused on “students helping students,” has raised more than $1 million for student scholarships over the past four decades.
As a founding member of the NCAA Division II Great American Conference, Ouachita’s 400 student-athletes compete on 14 intercollegiate athletic teams. With abundant opportunities to cheer the Tigers to victory, Ouachita has earned recent conference championships in football, men’s basketball, men’s tennis, and women’s soccer while also producing individual national champions in swimming and wrestling.
The Office of Admissions Counseling hosts a variety of events throughout the year to help prospective students discover the Ouachita difference, including Tiger Days, Preview Days, GROW (Getting Ready for Ouachita’s World), and personal campus visits. To learn more, visit obu.edu, call 800-DIAL-OBU, or download Ouachita’s mobile app.
School Size: 1,600 students
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Costs (2015–2016):
• In-state tuition (academic year): $23,600
• Out-of-state tuition (academic year): $23,600
• Room and board (academic year): $7,140