Oglethorpe University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Oglethorpe University
Oglethorpe is a model for liberal arts education in a constantly changing global world....

Oglethorpe University

Atlanta, Georgia

An Education Designed to be Different.


Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe is Atlanta’s leading liberal arts and sciences university, renowned for its groundbreaking Core program. Oglethorpe holds a unique position as a traditional liberal arts college in a vibrant international city, and offers an academically rigorous undergraduate education combined with opportunities to apply that knowledge through unparalleled experiences.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,155 undergraduate students
92% of undergrad students are full time
41% male — 59% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
63 full-time faculty
0 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Moderately residential: 66% of students live on campus.

School Location

Atlanta, Georgia—the lush, suburban campus is only 10 miles north of the heart of Atlanta. The historic district of the 100-acre campus has been designated in the National Register of Historic Places.

retention fall 2015

73% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

53% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 6%
Hispanic/Latino 10%
Black or African American 18%
White 33%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 4%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 26%


NCAA Division III; Southern Athletic Association. 16 varsity sports (8 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field; 8 women’s: basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, track & field, volleyball). Intramural and recreational sports options are available. The OU Men’s Golf Team is the 2012 and 2009 Division Three National Champions, and 8-time conference champions. Women’s Basketball was the 2009 Conference Champion and a Division III Final Four Contender.

More Distinctions

  • Oglethorpe has consistently been listed favorably by multiple national publications including the Fiske “Guide to Colleges,” The Princeton Review “Student Access Guide and “The Best 371 Colleges,” Barron’s “300 Best Buys in College Education,” Washington Monthly's "Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges," Forbes" America's Top Colleges," and US News and World Report “Best Colleges.”

  • Oglethorpe received two large grants during the 2011-2012 academic year: a $5 million grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation to help build a new campus center, which opened in August 2013, and a $1 million grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation to help fund scholarships for Oglethorpe students.

  • The National Review College Guide named Oglethorpe University one of “America’s Top Liberal Arts Schools.”

  • Oglethorpe is a member of the Annapolis Group, an organization of the leading national independent liberal arts colleges.

  • Since 2006, Oglethorpe has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to and achievement in community service.

On a campus where intellectual curiosity drives the learning experience, Oglethorpe students examine the world from many diverse perspectives.


Each year, Oglethorpe hosts four annual Days of Service, two alternative breaks, and various daily volunteer opportunities within four key focus areas: education, environmental stewardship, health & wellness, and homeless & hunger. Students, staff, and faculty members collaborate at various nonprofits during Orientation Day of Service (August), Atlanta Day of Service (October), MLK Day of Service (January), and Oglethorpe University Day of Service (April). Through Alternative Winter and Spring Breaks, Oglethorpe has traveled to New Orleans, Savannah, Tuscaloosa, and an international trip to Guatemala. Some ongoing service opportunities include tutoring middle school students at PATH Academy, sorting food items at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, providing guidance to 8th graders through their service-learning initiative at Drew Charter School, and helping to weed, harvest, and water the OU-Brookhaven Community Garden.


Students engage on an international level through the Center for Global Education, which offers study through partner institutions in twelve countries, along with independent study abroad at an institution of a student’s choosing. There are also short-term, for-credit trips throughout the year and unique associate programs with Oxford University (England) and the Umbria Institute (Italy).  In 2012, Oglethorpe launched a strategic partnership with study abroad provider Global LEAD. Within this partnership, Oglethorpe introduced GO: Rome, a study abroad center in Italy, part of the “Global Oglethorpe” program, in the summer of 2014.


Oglethorpe’s 13:1 student to faculty ratio guarantees personal attention for each student on his or her academic journey. Through course work or the Honors Program, students publish papers or present research at academic conferences with faculty support. Oglethorpe’s students have been actively engaged in the Atlanta community for years, through internships at some of the country’s largest businesses or through the Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program. Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research (OJUR) is a scholarly journal promoting undergraduate research. It seeks to preserve and make available the creative and academic invention of Oglethorpe’s campus constituency. The journal serves as both a digital repository of scholarly output and a platform for publishing works of the campus community that promote inventive and original works. Additionally, since it launched a Service Learning Program in 2006, Oglethorpe has been helping students integrate classroom theories and curriculum with hands-on service learning opportunities in the real world. The Service Learning Program at Oglethorpe is supported by a 2013 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Oglethorpe’s groundbreaking Core curriculum allows students to begin working on their major right away. Designed to provoke discussion, Core courses represent various disciplines and works, exploring the human condition in different ways, from different angles. Every student at Oglethorpe takes Core courses all four years. By year four, students are connecting ideas from their repository of knowledge.

Questioning, Active, Alive with Possibilities.

At Oglethorpe, the promise of a great education is matched by a dedicated and passionate faculty. Oglethorpe faculty members are focused on fostering student learning. Whether teaching courses in their discipline or a section of Oglethorpe’s unique Core curriculum, faculty members bring a wealth of knowledge to classroom discussions, while constantly pushing students to delve deeper into the subject at hand.  96 percent of faculty holds the terminal degree in their field. All undergraduate courses are taught by faculty members; there are no TAs. Included in the faculty are textbook authors, National Endowment for the Humanities fellows, a Guggenheim fellow, a French knight, a political columnist, scholars of Shakespeare and the Civil War, community activists, and academic organization leaders. Official office hours are posted by each professor, but students are also likely to stop professors on the academic quad for a short chat or see them at campus lectures, exhibitions, or performances.


The Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program, run by two politics professors, exposes students to civic life while researching the history and philosophy of citizen leadership through the ages. The Urban Ecology program, led by one of the first urban ecology PhDs in the nation, combines ecology, environmental science, economics, psychology, and public policy to produce scientists and urban planners focused on sustainable, equitable urban growth.


Popular majors include business administration, communication and rhetoric studies, accounting, and psychology. At Oglethorpe, undergraduate majors can be chosen from more than 60 academic programs. Students may also choose to develop an Individually Planned Major, an opportunity popular among those seeking interdisciplinary studies.

Only minutes from Atlanta, Oglethorpe thrives with an array of student activities.

Small campus comforts, big city opportunities

Oglethorpe is located on 100 acres in Brookhaven, one of the safest and fastest growing neighborhoods in Atlanta, and is a quiet oasis within a bustling metropolis. The residential campus houses more than 700 students in six residence halls and a six-house Greek row. Four residence halls feature private bedrooms with shared bathrooms and common areas along card-access hallways.

Student Life

ACTIVITIES: Student activities are coordinated through the Student Government Association, which hosts all-campus parties in the fall and spring, a homecoming dance, and a variety of club-sponsored events and performances.

ATHLETICS: Oglethorpe’s 16 athletic teams provide plenty of opportunities for the campus community to show school spirit.

GREEK LIFE: Ten Greek organizations (five sororities and four fraternities) offer social events, fundraisers, and community service efforts on a regular basis.

RESIDENCE LIFE: The residence life office also offers programming through its resident assistants.

CAMPUS TRADITIONS: Campus traditions include Stomp The Lawn, the Petrels of Fire race, Oglethorpe Day, Battle of the Bloody Marsh, EggsAM,  Boar’s Head holiday concert, and the Carillon Ceremony,  when seniors ring the carillon bells prior to graduation.


Off-campus events are plentiful as well, with many trips and programs coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement. Recently, students met with actors in a local theater before a debut performance, were shown a new exhibition at the High Museum of Art by the museum’s director, and spoke with the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta after an exclusive tour of the facility. Students have also travelled to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), CNN Center Headquarters, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta History Center, Carter Center, Dialogue in the Dark, and more.


Additionally, many public figures have come to Oglethorpe’s campus to speak. Recent guests have included President Jimmy Carter, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, The Honorable Roy Barnes, media mogul and entrepreneur Ted Turner, Bernice King, former Georgia Governors Roy Barnes and Sonny Perdue, Congressman John Lewis, and playwright Eve Ensler. Students have taken day trips with classes to New York City, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, to explore museums, theater, neighborhoods, businesses, politics, and culture.

Oglethorpe builds a strong foundation for success in any future endeavor through on-campus career counseling and active alumni participation.


It’s rare for a liberal arts college to be so interconnected – geographically and relationally – to an international city like Atlanta. The A_LAB provides Oglethorpe students the opportunity to gain the practical experience to complement their academic program, as well as the opportunity to solidify career decisions, gain work experience, and provide a service to the community in their fields of interest. Over 40% of upperclassmen at Oglethorpe have completed internships with companies such as The Carter Center, CNN, Georgia Pacific, Atlanta Magazine, Zoo Atlanta, the Atlanta History Center, and the Georgia State Legislature. In addition to these Atlanta-based internships, Oglethorpe maintains resources and affiliations for nationwide opportunities.


Oglethorpe alumni graduate with the ability to think, contribute, and act as responsible and entrepreneurial citizens. Graduates go on to the most selective graduate programs in the country, including Brown, Columbia, Duke, New York University, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, to name a few. Over 80 percent (double the national average) of Oglethorpe students applying to medical school are admitted, thanks to their deep understanding of society and human nature.

Alumni are deeply involved in the campus community. Whether helping students find a job, volunteering alongside them in university-wide days of service, serving on the board of trustees, or contributing to scholarship funds, alumni are deeply connected to Oglethorpe long after graduation. Notable alumni include poet Sidney Lanier, Hollywood director Vincent Sherman, National Baseball Hall of Famer Luke Appling, and civil rights advocate Congressman Charles Longstreet Weltner.



2,768 Total Applicants 
2,172 Total Admissions 
326 Total Freshman Enrollment

78.47% of applicants admitted


  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 530 630
SAT Math 510 600
SAT Writing 500 600
ACT Composite 22 28
ACT Math 17 25
ACT English 19 29
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $33,520
Fees $280
Total $33,800
Room and Board (on campus) $12,180
Estimated Total On Campus $45,980


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

97% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
87% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$25,699 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,757 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates