Ohio Wesleyan University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Ohio Wesleyan University
Due to the strength of its liberal arts program, Ohio Wesleyan alums are well-rounded...

Ohio Wesleyan University

Delaware, Ohio

Home of the Battling Bishops

Ohio Wesleyan University is a strong liberal arts college that is nationally known for its blend of scholarship and teaching, service learning, and student engagement. Chartered in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan is a highly selective, coeducational, residential, privately supported liberal arts college located 20 minutes north of Columbus in Delaware, Ohio, a vibrant community of 26,000 in one of the fastest-growing counties in the country.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
1,734 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
47% male — 53% female
46% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
142 full-time faculty
74 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

94% of students live on campus.

School Location

Delaware, Ohio.

Retention Fall 2014

79% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate

66% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 7%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 7%
White 72%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 5%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


NCAA Div III, North Coast Athletic Conference.  21 varsity sports (10 men‘s: basketball, swimming & diving, baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, cross-country, golf, tennis, track & field. 11 women’s: basketball, volleyball, swimming & diving, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, cross-country, tennis, track & field, golf)

Other Information

Ohio Wesleyan University is a highly selective, coeducational, residential, privately supported liberal arts college chartered in 1842.

Academic Programs

Accounting; Ancient Studies; Anthropology; Applied Music; Art Education; Art History; Astrophysics; Biology; Biochemistry; Black World Studies; Botany; Chemistry; Chemistry; Computer Science; Dance Theatre; Earth Science; East Asian Studies; Economics; Economics Management; Education; English Literature; English Creative Writing; English Nonfiction Writing; Environmental Studies; French; Genetics; Geology Professional; Geology General; Geography; German Literature; German Studies; History America; History Europe; History Developing World; Humanities–Classics; International Business; International Studies General; International Studies Regional; Journalism; Latin American Studies; Mathematics; Mathematics Statistics; Medieval Studies; Microbiology; Music Education; Music History & Literature; Music Performance; Music Theory; Neuroscience; Philosophy; Physical Education General; Physical Education; Physics; Politics & Government; Pre-Dentistry; Pre-Engineering (3-2 program)*; Pre-Law; Pre-Medicine; Pre-Optometry; Pre-Physical Therapy; Pre-Public Administration; Pre-Theology; Pre-Veterinary Medicine; Psychology Non-Quantitative; Psychology Quantitative; Religion; Renaissance Studies; Sociology; Spanish; Sports Management; Sports Science; Studio Art; Theatre; Theatre Education; Urban Studies; Women’s & Gender Studies; Zoology General; Zoology Pre-Professional.

* Pre-engineering 3-2 combined degree options include: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Environmental Engineering.

More Distinctions

  • In the US News & World Report 2007 edition of "America's Best Colleges", Ohio Wesleyan University is ranked among the top 100 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation.

  • Ohio Wesleyan was once again included in the latest edition of the book Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope, former New York Times education editor.

  • The John Templeton Foundation has recognized Ohio Wesleyan University for exemplary student programs in both volunteer service and spiritual growth.

  • In The Washington Monthly College Rankings, published in September 2006, Ohio Wesleyan was ranked among the top 100 of over 200 liberal arts colleges.

  • Ohio Wesleyan is one of the 158 colleges named a Best Midwestern College byThe Princeton Review.

  • Ohio Wesleyan University is included in The Princeton Review 2007 edition of The Best 361 Colleges.

  • Ohio Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the North Central Association.

  • The Ohio Wesleyan University education department has been granted accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The student body of OWU is deeply involved in all aspects of campus life. It is a matter of pride among students, alumni, faculty, and administrators that undergraduates play a major role within the entire University community…

Deeply Involved

At Ohio Wesleyan, research, independent study, internships, and service learning are valued as highly as the classroom experience. They allow students to make connections to the real world, find their passions, and seize opportunities to leave positive marks on society. Every faculty member is active in research and is deeply committed to teaching research techniques and encouraging independent study as early as a student’s first year.

Undergraduate Research

Original research options are available in physics, microbiology, pre-medicine, psychology, astrophysics, zoology, and economics. Students work with state-of-the-art equipment, and, collaborating with professors, they forge new ground by working on projects funded by such agencies as the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Foundation.

Study Abroad

Ohio Wesleyan offers numerous study-abroad options. Semester programs such as the New York Arts Program and Wesleyan in Washington offer students the opportunity to participate in real-world experiences in their areas of academic interest. As freshman, all students are encouraged to plan to participate in these programs.

Honors Program

Ohio Wesleyan’s honors program offers students a number of unique opportunities. From the first day of the first semester, honors students work closely with faculty to explore topics of mutual intellectual interest. A variety of courses help honors scholars develop considerable abilities the challenging study and rigorous intellectual discussion among faculty and peers. The honors program consists of tutorials, honors courses, and advanced sections of existing courses. All honors courses are fully integrated into the university’s curriculum, and most fulfill distribution, major, and minor requirements.

Community Service

Ohio Wesleyan has the longest operating community-service program among universities in the state. True to the university’s motto, “Education for leadership and service,” over 85 percent of Ohio Wesleyan students participate in some sort of community service. They serve as mentors in middle schools in Columbus and volunteer  in the immediate Delaware community, participating in Habitat for Humanity and joining service-oriented spring-break trips. In 2003, the university was awarded a two million dollar grant from the Lilly Foundation to promote the theological exploration of vocation on campus.

The core strength of Ohio Wesleyan is the quality of its faculty. Again and again, student surveys show that the high level of teaching is one of the most positive aspects of the undergraduate experience. The faculty is known for its commitment to teaching and close interaction with students inside and outside the classroom or laboratory…

Commitment to Close Interaction

Faculty members regularly get together with students in informal settings and engage their students in one-on-one conversations. Small classes afford personalized attention from professors, all of whom hold the PhD or highest degree attainable in their field.

Ohio Wesleyan’s faculty number 134, with an additional seven equivalent full-time positions occupied by part-time faculty, who include emeriti faculty and others from the community and nearby Columbus. The faculty is 34 percent female and 66 percent male, with 11 percent from underrepresented groups. The student-to-faculty ratio is thirteen to one, and the average class size is nineteen.

Undergraduates comment that “while classes can be tough, professors really want you to succeed and truly learn the material.” Instructors serve as mentors for students. “Their real reason for being here is to teach,” students agree. “They may also do research, but that is secondary, and they always use us (undergraduate students) to assist with any research (which looks great on our resumes).”

Faculty Achievements

Each year, many faculty members receive research grants and fellowships, make presentations at professional meetings, and publish in or serve on editorial boards of prestigious journals. Examples of national awards won by the Ohio Wesleyan faculty include National Science Foundation fellowships, National Institutes of Health fellowships, National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, John Simon Guggenheim fellowships, and Fulbright fellowships.

Hometown Delaware offers OWU students a quaint, quiet, small-town setting complete with tree-lined streets in which to pursue their studies. The city is only a half-hour north of the state capital, Columbus, America’s fifteenth largest city. Columbus provides OWU undergraduates with numerous opportunities for internships, access to international research projects, and a wide range of cultural events, shopping centers, and restaurants…


Housing options include six large residence halls with special-interest corridors and a number of smaller special-interest units, ranging from the Creative Arts House to the Peace and Justice House. Ohio Wesleyan also offers a number of substance-free living areas, as well as a variety of sponsored activities that are alcohol-free and well attended by students. The campus recently opened a new Wesleyan Student Center that is substance free, and the university sponsors numerous seminars on healthy lifestyles.

Greek Life

The OWU fraternity and sorority system was founded in 1853, and approximately 33 percent of the current student body belong to one of seventeen fraternity and sorority organizations. A number of fraternities have houses on the residential end of the campus. There are no residential sororities. Greek life at OWU is inclusive; all non-Greeks are welcomed to participate in Greek-sponsored activities, and many do. In addition to sponsoring social events, the Greek community is also involved in a wide range of service initiatives.


On campus, students can participate in more than one hundred campus organizations, as well as twenty-three NCAA Division III men’s and women’s athletic teams. The Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops compete in the North Coast Athletic Conference, one of the premier leagues of Division III athletics. Men compete in basketball, tennis, baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, golf, cross-country, sailing, track and field, swimming, and diving. Women’s sports include basketball, tennis, volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, cross-country, sailing, track and field, softball, swimming, and diving. On average, 60 to 75 percent of the student body participate in intercollegiate and/or intramural athletics at some point during the school year.

Campus Diversity

Diversity is an important component of the OWU community. OWU students represent forty-four states and forty-five countries. Individualism is encouraged, and the exploration of cultural boundaries is incorporated into curricular and extracurricular programming. The president’s office established the President’s Commission on Racial and Cultural Diversity, which issues an annual report about the state of racial and cultural diversity at OWU. It makes recommendations for the university president and others that might address concerns noted by commission members. This group also annually recognizes outstanding achievements of individuals or organizations with the President’s Award for Racial and Cultural Diversity.

Tremendous Track Record

Ohio Wesleyan has a base of more than 25,000 alumni worldwide. OWU’s graduates include:

  • Branch Rickey ’04, named ESPN’s Most Influential Sports Figure of the 20th Century
  • F. Sherwood Rowland ’48, the 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
  • Charles Warren Fairbanks 1872, Vice President under Theodore Roosevelt
  • Best-selling novelist Richard North Patterson ’68
  • Oscar-winning film producer Fred Baron ’76 (Moulin Rouge)

Ohio Wesleyan has a tremendous track record of preparing students to succeed at the next level. More than half of graduating students pursue further study within five years of graduation. Graduate placement rates for pre-med students average 89%, and law school acceptance rates top 95%. Here are some of the programs that recent graduates have joined after completion of the bachelor’s degree at Ohio Wesleyan:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Northwestern University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Notre Dame


Admissions Fall 2014

3,981 Total Applicants
2,958 Total Admissions
458 Total Freshmen Enrollment

74.30% of applicants admitted

Application Requirements

  • Completed application (OWU or Common)
  • Personal Essay
  • College Advisor’s Report
  • Teacher’s Evaluation
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official ACT or SAT test scores
  • Application Fee of $35 (waived if application completed online)

Online application available via https://admin.owu.edu/cgi-bin/public/menu.cgi 





Tuition $41,660
Fees $260
Total $41,920
Room and Board (on campus) $11,680
Room Only $6,050
Board Only $5,630
Estimated Total On Campus $53,600


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
70% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aid

$26,109 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid received
$8,198 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

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