About Otterbein University
We honor our past because it shapes our future.
Otterbein’s story begins in the mid-1800s, before the abolition of slavery, before the women’s right movement, before equality and inclusion were rights. In 1847, equality and inclusion actually laid the foundation of Otterbein.
We included women as faculty members and as students from our founding, and we were the first institution in the nation to do so. Otterbein admitted students of color before the Civil War, rescued fugitive slaves and welcomed Japanese-American students who had been sent to internment camps during World War II. And we gave students a voice in our story through our unique governance system beginning in the 1920s. Today, approximately 3,000 students come to Otterbein each year to experience that same spirit of inclusion.
The mission of Otterbein University is to educate the whole person in a context that fosters the development of humane values. Otterbein University is a private, church-related, coeducational college that sponsors traditional and continuing education programs of liberal arts and professional education at Baccalaureate and Master's levels. Our commitment is to the liberal arts as the broad base of all learning.
Otterbein by the numbers...
Location: Westerville is a residential community of 36,000 residents on the northeast side of Columbus, Ohio, offering a small-town atmosphere with all the conveniences and opportunities of a big city.
Enrollment: Approximately 3,000 men and women from throughout the United States and several foreign countries.
Curriculum: Otterbein offers a choice of 73 majors and 44 minors, as well as individualized courses of study. We also offer five graduate programs in business administration, education and nursing, including our doctor of nursing practice degree.
Student/Faculty Ratio: The student to faculty ratio at Otterbein is 11:1.
Campus: Otterbein's 140-acre campus is accented by the historic Towers Hall, which was constructed in 1872 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Renowned for its Department of Theatre and Dance, Otterbein students perform plays for the community in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, which was renovated in 2005. The Department of Art operates three galleries. Otterbein's Art and Communication Building was renovated in 2006, and is home to the Miller Gallery, the student radio station (WOBN), student newspaper (Tan & Cardinal) and the student-run Westerville television station (WOCC). Classes began in fall 2009 at both the newly built Center for Equine Studies and the Science Center, which completed a $20 million renovation and addition.
Arts: Otterbein University Theatre and Otterbein Summer Theatre stage nine shows a year. Plays range from classical Shakespearean dramas and British comedies to musicals and experimental works. The music program at Otterbein includes the concert band and concert choir, opera theatre and musical theatre, a marching band, a vocal jazz group and several instrumental ensembles. Otterbein students also perform with the Westerville Symphony at Otterbein. Three galleries feature art by students, faculty and guest artists, as well as pieces from Otterbein's permanent collection. The Otterbein Signature Series has hosted notable visiting artists including acclaimed independent filmmaker Gus Van Sant and Joel Meyerowitz, whose photography of Ground Zero after September 11, 2001, has traveled the world.
Athletics: Men and women compete in the Ohio Athletic Conference, NCAA Division III. There are nine varsity sports each for men and women, including varsity women's lacrosse, which takes the field in March 2012. A complete intramural program is available to all students.
Community Service: Otterbein's Center for Community Engagement has been honored by the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor roll for five consecutive years. Every year, more than 70,000 hours are donated by Otterbein students through our Center for Community Engagement. Approximately 80% of the student body participated in community service in 2009-10. In addition, 90 service-learning courses enrolled over 1,000 students that same year.
Fraternities and Sororities: Otterbein has seven fraternities and six sororities.
Read more about our Accreditation and Honors.