The Smartest Way to Learn


WESTERVILLE, OHIO, has all the charm of a picture-perfect, friendly, and safe small town with all the big-city benefits offered by its neighbor, Columbus, Ohio—the 14th-largest city in the country. Westerville was named the seventh-happiest suburb in the United States by (2014) and the fifth-friendliest town in America by Forbes (2012). Westerville is just a 12-minute drive from the John Glenn International Airport (Columbus). The American Midwest’s seasonal climate includes lots of sunshine in the summer and some snow in the winter.


type of SCHOOL: Founded in 1847, Otterbein University is a private, comprehensive liberal arts institution.

size of campus: 140 acres

number of students: Approximately 2,400 undergraduate and 500 graduate students

number of faculty: 174

colleges, programs, and degrees: Otterbein offers bachelor’s degree programs in the Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, Music, Music Education, Science in Education, and Science in Nursing areas. Our students can select from more than 70 majors, including new STEM programs. We also offer graduate programs in Business Administration, Nursing, Education, Educational Mathematics, and Allied Health.  

geographic diversity: Students represent 18 different countries. 

international student services: Through its Office of Social Justice and Activism and Office of International Admission, Otterbein conducts initial and ongoing orientation, helps international students adjust to a new culture and academic system, provides important information on immigration regulations initially and throughout their stay, assists them with immigration processes, coordinates their activities, advises the International Student Association (ISA), oversees the Host Family Program, and assists and counsels international students in many other ways. The ISA is one of the most active organizations on campus. The ISA holds social functions and cultural events, such as the International Night, a joint project with the African American Student Union. In addition, students can enjoy excursions to interesting sites in Ohio and such out-of-state locations as Niagara Falls, Canada; Washington, DC; and Chicago, Illinois. Otterbein also offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, which provides the perfect setting to improve your English for academic or professional goals.

international student budget: (Estimated)
Full-Time Tuition $31,424
On-Campus Room and Board $10,528
Books and Supplies $1,712
Transportation $1,152
Miscellaneous Costs $1,500
Total $46,316 


financial aid: Most international students receive merit-based aid of $11,000–$15,000 per year. No separate application is needed to be considered. We do not offer need-based financial aid.

test score requirements: The middle 50% of students accepted in 2016 scored between 1065–1300 on the SAT (ERW & M) and 21–26 on the ACT. In addition, English-language proficiency can be met with a minimum TOEFL score of 79 iBT or 550 PBT, IELTS score of 6.5, ACT English score of 21, or SAT ERW score of 500.

application deadlines and fees: The deadline to apply for spring semester 2019 is October 1, 2018, and for fall semester 2019, it’s December 1, 2018. The application fee is $50.

Otterbein offers the smartest way to learn
Think that’s a bold claim? It is. And it’s true.

Choosing a college is all about finding the right fit. And while many of those “fit” factors focus on finding the place where you feel most at home, another critical factor is determining which university will do the best job in helping you get ready for life after school. 

At Otterbein, being ready means our students graduate with the life skills, knowledge, and experience that translate to success in work and in life and prepare them to lead lives of purpose. (You will, of course, have fun and make great friends too!) 

So if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Does how I learn matter?” the answer is: yes. It does.

It starts with your major...
You’ll go in depth with your studies at Otterbein, guided by professors whose mission goes beyond just teaching you. They’re invested in you and the individual you have the potential to become. 

With one faculty member to every 11 students, personal attention is part of the Otterbein experience. “I feel like I got a lot more one-on-one attention from my professors,” said Mengyum Zhao, a 2016 Communication and Design graduate from Beijing, China.

Otterbein’s size means professors know your name. But they also know your goals, talents, weaknesses, and how to get you from where you are to where you need to be. Dan Steinberg, professor of Communication, approaches opportunities for his students by considering the individual. “I spend time with students to understand what each has to offer and needs to learn,” Steinberg said. “I capitalize on those attributes and tailor internship and networking experiences to the students’ interests. I work very hard to get the right experience to the right student.”

Josh Plichta, a senior in Public Relations and one of Steinberg’s advisees, can attest to the importance of personal attention. He has already secured impressive internships with Steinberg’s help, including the chance to work with “The Big Play,” an initiative headed by NFL star Will Allen and his foundation. “Dan and other Otterbein professors truly want to help students pursue their interests. I don’t think you find that at other schools as much,” Plichta said.

Otterbein’s perfect proximity to Columbus, the country’s 14th-largest city, means incredible internships like these are plentiful! 

Otterbein offers more than 70 majors and 40 minors. Still exploring? Otterbein’s Center for Student Success can help you explore how your talents and goals align with courses of study and career options.  

Next, Otterbein’s curriculum...
Some schools call their curriculum the “general education” requirements. Otterbein’s academic curriculum is anything but general.  

In fact, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the nation’s authority on undergraduate education, has described Otterbein’s Integrative Studies (IS) curriculum as the model they wish other schools would follow.  

The entire purpose of Otterbein’s IS curriculum is to prepare you for a rapidly shifting marketplace and world. It’s not enough anymore to be an expert at simply one thing. According to Wendy Sherman Heckler, Otterbein’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of University Programs, to really be competitive and relevant, you have to know how it all works together. “A truly well-rounded education is necessary in an age when students could change careers multiple times,” Sherman Heckler explained. 

Our alumni will tell you the ways IS courses help you master a broader world-view is exactly what distinguishes them in their careers. “I never really realized the value of an Otterbein education until after I left campus. Working in a professional world, you very quickly realize that not all institutions are actually created the same,” said Scott Fais ’98, an award-winning television journalist, producer, and host.

Finally, it’s the Otterbein experience...
Otterbein is nationally recognized for its expertise and commitment to hands-on learning, or what we call our “Five Cardinal Experiences.” It comes down to making sure you apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations. 

Otterbein believes in connecting students to life-changing experiences that are as unique as each one of our 2,400 undergraduate students.

These experiences might mean that research you conducted with your faculty mentor gets published in a national scientific journal, like it did for Bobby Geiger when he was only a sophomore. Or it could be that you will go on a service trip to Uganda to help improve educational facilities like Meghan Davis did as a freshman. Or it could mean that you land an exclusive internship with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium or gain professional insight from a one-on-one conversation with a national network news anchor. 

“You can only learn so much in the classroom. Hands-on experience gives you the chance to actually apply that knowledge to real-world scenarios and problems. It also helps you determine if you are in the right field of study,” said Chase Moyer, a senior Actuarial Science major. “I know what I learned [in my internship] at Nationwide helped me understand my interests and guided me and my career.”

Leading a life of purpose
What makes Otterbein the smartest way to learn? 

It’s the way an Otterbein education prepares you for how things work in the real world. Otterbein outcomes—like critical thinking, the ability to communicate clearly, and solving complex problems—are more important to 93% of employers than a student’s specific field of study, according to a survey published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

You’ll graduate from Otterbein with more than a career—you’ll leave with a commitment to making a difference. When you join our model community, you’ll find Otterbein graduates are leaders in their professions and their communities who care about serving the common good. Our 25,630 alumni around the world are shining examples and are ready to mentor your next steps. “We will challenge you to find your purpose—the kind of career or calling that will ensure you leave your imprint on the world,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Otterbein will prepare you to stand out, to make an impact in the world around you. “Otterbein is the best I’ve seen at transforming students’ lives—at taking a student who did not always believe in him or herself and showing them all of the great and wonderful things that they can do with their lives,” said Meredith Frey, associate professor of Psychology.

Ready to learn more? Hear from Otterbein students and take a virtual tour at Call the Office of International Admission at +1-614-823-1500 or plan your visit online at