Olivet Nazarene University
Faith is at the heart of superior academics, nationally competitive athletics, thriving social atmosphere, and countless ministry opportunities at Olivet.
Get to know Olivet Nazarene University
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Marching band
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- Symphony orchestra
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Financial Aid Advisors
- Student Success Initiative
- Peer Mentors
At Olivet, students don’t sit passively listening to lectures. The University offers a dynamic, engaging, interactive experience designed to empower students to achieve their life goals — getting into an elite graduate or medical school, being offered a dream job, and more.
Olivet students prepare for graduate school and future careers through numerous opportunities for expanded scholarship and research. Math and science students, for example, work closely with faculty members on visionary, 10-week research projects through the Pence-Boyce Research Program and Fellowships and Olivet Research Associates Program. Students even receive stipends so they can work full-time on their projects.
Every April, during Scholar Week, students from all academic disciplines — along with faculty and other guests — are invited to present results of their academic research projects during a week-long series of lectures and discussions.
Service to the local and global community is a central theme in many Olivet academic programs. Social work students organize an annual Christmas party and toy drive for children of jail inmates. Business students have created integrated marketing plans for small businesses in Swaziland and Haiti and raised thousands of dollars in disaster relief for Haiti. Senior engineering students have traveled to South America and installed water purification systems they designed themselves, to provide clean drinking water for impoverished, remote villages. Physical science students conduct interactive astronomy shows in Olivet’s all-digital planetarium for hundreds of elementary students every year.
Each semester, ONU offers off-campus study programs. Some of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities BestSemester programs include:
- The American Studies Program in Washington, D.C.
- Australia Studies Centre
- China Studies Program
- Contemporary Music Center
- India Studies Program
- Latin American Studies Program
- Los Angeles Film Studies Center
- Middle East Studies Program
- Oxford Summer Programme
- Scholar’s Semester in Oxford
- Uganda Studies Program
- AuSable Institute
- International Business Institute
- ISA Spain (Barcelona)
- Nazarene International Language Institute
- Oxford Summer Program
- Quetzal Education Research Center (QERC)
- Environmental Studies (Costa Rica)
- Tokyo Christian University
Costs are usually comparable to a semester at Olivet, and students earn academic credit for these programs. Some financial aid is available. Numerous educational and mission-oriented, short-term trips are available to ONU students during the Christmas, spring and summer breaks. Hundreds of Olivet students participate in volunteer service trips each year.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 1%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 8%
White, non-Hispanic: 71%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 2%
Olivet offers more than 140 undergraduate areas of study and holds the accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission and other top accrediting associations. Seasoned faculty members challenge each student, believing that Christians can increase their impact on the world through excellence in scholarship, thought, and communication.
Olivet students study in small classes with a student-faculty ratio of just 15:1, learning exclusively from professors, not teaching assistants. They actively participate in learning and collaborate in groups.
Olivet’s Honors Program encourages and nurtures academically gifted students, preparing them to become the Christian scholars and servant leaders they were meant to be. Honors Program highlights include one-on-one mentored research with a professor of choice, with funding provided; or study-abroad opportunities during junior year; a presentation of research at an Honors Research Symposium; and numerous community service and cultural event opportunities.
In fine arts, Olivet’s School of Music and Department of Art and Digital Media have consistently earned the Apple Distinguished School designation since 2014 for their participation in the iLearn@Olivet initiative. Launched in 2013, iLearn@Olivet utilizes iPad technology for every music major, ensemble, core art course. The technology is also utilized by music and art faculty and staff members.
Students have the opportunity to thrive in an environment that prepares them for technology-driven industries. The Reed Hall of Science features a three-story wing dedicated to studying technology and innovation, and the Walker School of Engineering is equipped with state-of-the-art engineering design labs.
State-of-the-art academic facilities include Benner Library and Resource Center, information hub for digital and print research and communication; and Strickler Planetarium, one of the Midwest’s few all-digital planetariums, renovated in 2008 with the same technology in Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.
Students have the opportunity to accelerate their work toward a graduate degree with Olivet’s 4+1 programs. In just five years, students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in either business administration or organizational leadership. The School of Theology and Christian Ministry also offers an accelerated format for a few of its degree offerings.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
Olivet is about more than just classrooms and books, offering countless opportunities for spiritual and personal growth. When they are not at one of the University’s coffeehouses, campus events, in Chicago or working out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, Olivetians can be found doing …. just about everything!
Outside the classroom, Olivet students participate in more than 90 clubs and organizations, including 20 intramural sports, the 195-member marching band, two orchestras, 28 musical ensembles, and multiple theatre performance opportunities.
Among these organizations are nearly 20 student-led ministries, through which students serve the community and the world in hundreds of ways. Olivetians can be found leading worship at summer camps for junior high students, playing checkers with veterans at a nursing home or building the next “Habitat for Humanity” house. During spring and summer breaks, Shalom Project groups travel in the U.S. and abroad to extend the love of Christ.
Weekly chapel services, student-led Upper Room services, and local churches offer students, faculty and staff the opportunity to worship and grow together. Chapel services, held in the 3,046-seat Centennial Chapel, regularly feature renowned spiritual, business, political and other leaders who offer instruction and inspiration for the ONU community.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 93%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for married students
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
Olivet’s 275-acre main campus is located 45 miles south of Chicago, in the historic village of Bourbonnais, Illinois. The area offers shopping, restaurants, entertainment and outdoor recreation through the Kankakee River State Park system. Students benefit from ONU’s proximity to Chicago’s cultural, sports and entertainment attractions. Connections to professional internships and employment opportunities are additional advantages.
ONU competes in 22 intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
Approximately 80 percent of the student body participates in Olivet’s vibrant intramural program, which includes Basketball; Cornhole; Dodgeball; Euchre; Flag football (men’s and women’s); Kickball; Pickleball; Pool (billiards); Soccer (indoor and outdoor); Softball; Spikeball; Volleyball (indoor and sand); Table tennis; Tennis; Ultimate Frisbee; and Whiffleball.
Colors: Purple and gold
No matter their destination after graduation, Olivet graduates find success — in every sense of the word. Olivet has a worldwide network of more than 37,000 alumni, living in all 50 U.S. states and 30 countries. As educators, medical professionals, musicians, engineers, pastors, lawyers, missionaries and business professionals, Olivetians are living out the “Olivet difference” in their homes, workplaces, churches and communities.
The David L. Elwood Center for Student Success, a cooperative effort among faculty and staff, helps foster a campus-wide culture of success. Its services are aimed at helping students develop their full potential during their college years and beyond. The center seeks to foster a balanced Christian worldview that results in students embracing lifelong learning, personal integrity, and commitment to God and His Church.
Upon graduation, Olivetians are often sought by top companies and admitted into prestigious graduate degree programs. For more information about where Olivet students have continued their excellence, please visit www.olivet.edu/academics.
Academic GPA | Standardized test scores | Application Essay | Character/personal qualities
Rigor of secondary school record | Class rank | Recommendation(s)
Interview | Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability | Alumni/ae relation
Religious affiliation/commitment | Volunteer work | Level of applicant’s interest
First generation | Geographical residence | State residency
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 490 | 75th Percentile: 600
25th Percentile: 480 | 75th Percentile: 590
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 18 | 75th Percentile: 26
25th Percentile: 19 | 75th Percentile: 27
Application closing date (fall): Rolling
Priority date: May 1
Tuition & Cost
Room & Board: $8,990
Contact Olivet Nazarene University
1 University Avenue
Bourbonnais, IL 60914