Ashland University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Ashland University
Ashland University is known for its philosophy of “Accent on the Individual,” committing to...

Ashland University

Ashland, Ohio

There’s something special about a university that defines itself as having exemplary teaching practices and engagement that prepares students for their life calling. Ashland University faculty and staff are known for building nurturing relationships with students that lead them down their path to success.


Since 1878, Ashland has been rooted in the values of its Christian tradition and focused on fostering an environment that encourages students to be open in their faith and growing in their spirituality.


Ashland is part of a safe and supportive family of scholars and students, a place where students can experience a small-town feel with big-time athletics. It’s a place where community service, real-world internships, and more than 100 social organizations help students become leaders. And with small class sizes, students don’t disappear in the back of large lecture halls. At Ashland University, the accent is on the individual.



Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
3,559 undergraduate students
92% of undergrad students are full time
49% male — 51% female
7% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
174 full-time faculty
218 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
92% of first year students live on campus
44% of all students live on campus

School Location

Situated on a beautiful 135-acre campus with trees, brick walkways, and flower gardens, Ashland University in north central Ohio affords close proximity to the cities of Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus, all while offering the advantages of an intimate campus experience in a small-town setting.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses  
Collaborative Assignments and Projects  
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2016

80% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2016

62% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 13%
White 76%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


Ashland University’s athletic department competes at the highest levels of the NCAA in Division II and is known throughout the country as one of the top Division II private athletic programs. Ashland’s athletic program features 20 intercollegiate sports.

10 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor and outdoor track, soccer, swimming, and wrestling
10 women’s: basketball, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

Ashland is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which is annually recognized as one of the top D-II conferences in the country. Ashland’s mascot is the Eagles, and the colors are purple and gold.

In each of the last 10 full school years, Ashland has finished in the Top 15 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, the national Division II all-sports rankings. In 2014-15, Ashland was No. 2 in the country in the Learfield standings and the No. 1 private school in Division II.

Other Information

Ashland University, which was founded by the Brethren Church in 1878, is known for its abundant opportunities for leadership, service, and fun. Ashland offers more than 100 clubs and organizations, and AU students are encouraged right at the beginning of their college career to get involved in such areas as religious activities, intramurals, Greek Life, theatre productions, and academic research.  

The University has received recognition for its student activities programming from the National Association for College Activities, and its food services have been honored by National Association of College and University Food Service.

The city of Ashland has been listed in FBI studies as having the lowest violent crime rate of any city its size in the state.

Academic Programs

The following programs are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences: Actuarial Sciences (B.S.), Art (B.A.), Art Education (B.S.Ed.), Biochemistry (B.S.), Biology (B.S.), Biotechnology Concentration (B.S.), Chemistry (B.S.), Chemistry Education (Grades 7–12) (B.S.Ed.), Commercial Art (B.A., B.S.), Computer Arts & Graphic Programming (B.S.), Computer Science (B.A., B.S.), Creative Writing (B.A.), Criminal Justice (A.A., B.S.), Digital Media Journalism (B.A.), Digital Media Production (B.A.), Earth Science Education (Grades 7 – 12) (B.S., B.S.Ed.), English (B.A.), Environmental Science – Biology (B.S.), Environmental Science – Chemistry (B.S.), Environmental Science – Geology (B.S.), Fine Arts (B.A., BFA), Foreign Languages (B.S.Ed.), Forensic Biology Concentration (B.S.), Forensic Chemistry (B.S.), French (B.A.), French Education (B.S.Ed.), Geology (B.S.), Geoscience Technology & Management (B.S.), Health & Risk Communication (B.A.), History (B.A.), Integrated Language Arts Education (B.S.Ed.), Integrated Mathematics Education (B.S.Ed.), Integrated Science Education (Grades 7 – 12) (B.S., B.S.Ed.), Integrated Social Studies Education (B.S., B.S.Ed.), International Political Studies (B.A.), Journalism & Digital Media (B.S.), Life Science Education (B.S., B.S.Ed.), Master of Arts in American History and Government (M.A.), Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication (M.A.), Master of Arts with a Specialization in Teaching American History and Government (M.A.), Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (M.F.A.), Multi-Disciplinary Studies (B.A., B.S.), Music (B.A., B.M.), Music Education (B.M., B.S.Ed.), Mathematics (B.S.), Philosophy (B.A.), Physics (B.S.), Political Science (B.A.), Psychology (B.A., B.S.), Public Relations & Strategic Communication (B.A.), Religion (B.A.), Social Work (BSW), Spanish (B.A.), Spanish Education (B.A., B.S.Ed.), Sport Communication (B.A.), Theatre (B.A.), Toxicology (B.S.). The following programs are offered through the College of Business and Economics: 1 Year International MBA (MBA), Accelerated-Accounting/MBA (BSBA, MBA), Accounting (BSBA), Business Administration (B.A.), Business Management (BSBA), Economics (B.A., BSBA), Entrepreneurship (BSBA), Fashion Merchandising (B.S.), Finance (BSBA), Hospitality Management (BSBA), Information Systems (BSBA), International Business (BSBA), Marketing (BSBA), MBA (MBA), Sport Management (B.S.), Supply Chain Management (B.S.). The following programs are offered through the College of Education: Adolescent & Young Adult Education (B.S.Ed.), Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies (EdD), Early Childhood Education (Pre-K – Grade 3) (B.S.Ed.), Early Childhood Intervention Specialist (B.S.Ed.), Intervention Specialist K-12 (B.S.Ed.), Intervention Specialist – Mild-Moderate K-12 (B.S.Ed.), Intervention Specialist – Moderate-Intensive K-12 (B.S.Ed.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Middle Grades Education (B.S.Ed.), Multi-Age Education (B.S.Ed.). The following programs are offered through the College of Nursing and Health Sciences: Athletic Training (BSAT), Dietetics (B.S.), Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), Exercise Science (B.S.), Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science (M.S.), Nursing (BSN), Nursing – Accelerated Track (BSN), Nursing – Advanced Entry (BSN), Nursing – RN to BSN (BSN).

More Distinctions

  • Ashland University is distinct in a number of ways and a number of campus areas have been recognized nationally for its programming or service. These areas include: the Campus Activities Board for the quality of student entertainment it offers; and the student dining service for its food service menu.

  • The Ashbrook Center for its programming that has hosted many political leaders including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Ed Rollins, Colin Powell, and John Boehner.

  • The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top tier in the National Universities category for 2017.

Common Intellectual Experiences

Ashland University’s Undergraduate Core Curriculum is foundational to all undergraduate students’ majors. It acts as the central academic experience that unifies students across all programs, departments, and Colleges. Through the Core, students are taught to embrace the four key elements of Ashland University’s institutional mission: intellectual development and wisdom, ethical behavior and justice, preparation for living and working as citizens, and awareness of global responsibilities. 

The administrators and faculty at Ashland believe that the Core Curriculum does much more for its students than typical gen-ed classes at other universities, as it develops wisdom, skill, and a strong sense of values.

The Core features 10 subject areas—Communication, Composition, Critical Inquiry, Historical Reasoning, Math/Logic, Religion, Aesthetics, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences—as well as a variety of teaching formats.

The Core makes an important effort to seek measurable student learning outcomes, boosting students’ critical thinking skills, analytical reasoning, problem solving, and written communication skills. These outcomes may be measured differently in each Core area, but they all focus on ensuring students the competencies needed to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.

Undergraduate Research

Ashland University is much different than many other small-to-mid-size universities, as it allows students within most majors to conduct research under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. In fact, AU students have played a major role in a number of important research projects on campus, including an investigation of lead content in inexpensive jewelry and toys that led to at least 14 recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Students have even discovered high levels of cadmium in jewelry items purchased at retail stores in Ohio, Texas, California, and New York. Following this report, Wal-Mart pulled many suspect items from its store shelves.   

Diversity/Global Learning

Among the most popular programs at Ashland at the travel learning opportunities offered through the Study Abroad Office. The knowledgeable staff enthusiastically assist students in finding a program that best fits their academic, professional, and personal goals both in the U.S. and abroad.

Ashland University is committed to educating students on a variety of topics related to diversity. Examples of the diverse courses offered include African American Literature; Literature and Gender; Race, Ethnic, and Minority Issues; French Women Writers; and Intercultural Communication. Many of the courses that are taught with a focus on diversity also fulfill requirements within the Core, thus proving to bolster a well-rounded student experience.

Fresh Start

Ashland University is dedicated to supporting students who have been admitted on conditional bases. These students are better prepared to advance to a higher level of education through a supportive pre-orientation program. They are given early move-in benefits in an effort to get acclimated to campus, and they participate in intense workshops on Math, English, soft skills, and stress management. This program, titled “Fresh Start,” is a way to help struggling students build a strong foundation to prepare them for college.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine  
Marching band X
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band  
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station X

First-Year Seminars and Experiences

Ashland University offers Freshman Success Seminars (FSS) that are designed to help first-year students adjust to the academic, personal, and social demands of a diverse university setting, reinforce planning and study skills, and focus on learning techniques at the collegiate level. Throughout the courses, they explore their strengths and goals in order to begin a four-year plan that helps them structure their future course schedules.

Students are strongly encouraged to develop an early and ongoing relationship with both their faculty advisor and the Professional Academic Advisor. This enables them to learn their curriculum requirements, adhere to academic policies and deadlines, and engage in a thoughtful exploration of potential career and graduate school opportunities.

Academic Advising consists of more than registration at Ashland University. Individualized services in scheduling, managing homesickness, dealing roommate troubles, and building strategies for success are among the common means of support that advisors provide.

The focus of Academic Advising is to assist and collaborate with undergraduate students to identify their educational objectives, provide accurate and timely information, and promote responsibility for their overall success.

Writing-Intensive Courses

Within the Department of English, all courses are considered to be writing-intensive. That doesn’t mean, however, that other departments fail to incorporate valuable writing-intensive courses themselves! For example, Communications, History, and Philosophy classes are heavily influenced by students’ abilities to communicate their ideas. In an effort to support students enrolled in such writing-intensive courses, the University provides services and assistance through the Writing Studio.

The Writing Studio, administered through the College of Arts and Sciences, primarily offers individual consultation for papers across the curriculum. Writing Assistants provide guidance and instruction in the following areas: understanding writing assignments and styles, writing essays and critical analyses, supporting theses, revising for structure and grammar, documenting research, and teaching proofreading strategies. More intense essay instruction is available to students through a Writing Lab that is arranged in the Writing Studio.

Students may take this lab concurrently with the writing-intensive courses or by arrangement with any course. The lab course may be taken for a maximum of two credit hours, allowing students to collaborate on current writing assignments to reinforce their skills for college papers and/or assignments.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts  
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Aesthetics, Religion, International Studies

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 74 224 250 37 13 1 0 599

Learning Communities

Ashland University has recently taken a number of steps to set up Living and Learning Communities for a number of academic colleges on campus. These Living and Learning Communities allow students who are new to the school to take several courses together, live near one another, and participate in group activities together. This type of learning environment has successfully and continually helped new Ashland students make a smooth transition into college life.

The Living and Learning Communities create an opportunity for students to meet faculty and other peers within their academic departments day they step onto campus, further strengthening their opportunities to learn both in and outside the classroom.

Faculty mentors who participate in the Living and Learning Communities enthusiastically assist students in acclimating to Ashland University. Their involvement and guidance makes it easy for every student to engage in such social opportunities as festivals, sporting events, concerts, lectures, symposiums, and other extracurricular activities.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  


Internships and Co-op opportunities are extremely important at Ashland University, as the Mission Statement challenges students to develop intellectually and ethically, to seek wisdom and justice, and to prepare for the rigors of living and working as engaged global citizens. Ashland University realizes that, in order for its graduates to be successful, it must make learning opportunities outside of the classroom available to students.  While most majors offer internship-based elective courses, students can also explore opportunities through Ashland’s Student Affairs Division.

Every year, the Student Affairs Division sponsors the Career, Internship, and Graduate School Fair.  This fair helps students learn how to acquire internships, meet successful Ashland University interns, and see what current interns are learning.

There are specific Student Learning Outcomes defined in all internship, co-op, and practica at Ashland University, including Intellectual Development and Wisdom, Ethical Behavior and Justice, Preparation for Living and Working as Citizens, and Global Responsibilities.

Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience

Most majors at Ashland University require a capstone course or a senior seminar as part of their curriculum. These experiences provide students with the ability to implement and practice the methods they’ve learned in previous and concurrent courses, examining multiple objectives, synthesizing concepts, and evaluating ways to put knowledge into practice. Through their culminating work, students demonstrate their overall competence within their respective fields of study.



3,443 Total Applicants
2,495 Total Admissions
627 Total Freshmen Enrollment

72.47% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Priority date: Jun 1


Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Class rank
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence
State residency
Religious affiliation/commitment
Racial/ethnic status
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 460 560
SAT Math 490 580
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math 19 25
ACT English 19 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $19,740
Room and Board (on campus) $9,746
Estimated Total On Campus $29,486


Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-2017 Estimated

$19,044 First year students
$10,778 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-2017 Estimated

$10,778 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,617 Average need-based loan

Application and Financial Aid information

There is no cost to apply for undergraduate admission at Ashland University. Merit, talent, special interest and need-based scholarships and awards are available. Most students find that Ashland University is a great value.