Founded in 1868, Oregon State University is a Land Grant campus - one of the "people's colleges," as Abraham Lincoln famously described them -- and over the past 40 years has added Sea Grant, Space Grant and Sun Grant designations. Ivy League stalwart Cornell is the only other U.S. university so recognized.
OSU is the only Oregon institution to hold both the Carnegie Foundation's top ranking for research universities, a recognition of the depth and quality of OSU's graduate education and research programs, and the Carnegie Foundation's "Community Engagement" designation, which speaks to the depth and breadth of the university's service to its many communities. OSU is Oregon's largest non-health sciences university, earning most of the federal research dollars awarded to Oregon colleges and universities and bringing in more than $275 million in fiscal year 2010 in scientific grants and contracts.
Through its centers, institutes, Extension offices and Experiment Stations, OSU has a presence in every one of Oregon's 36 counties, including its main campus in Corvallis, the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center in Newport, OSU Cascades in Bend and multiple locations in Portland, including the OSU Portland Center.
OSU's academic programs are increasingly recognized as among the best in the nation. Conservation biology, agricultural sciences, nuclear engineering, forestry, fisheries and wildlife management, community health, pharmacy and zoology are ranked in the nation's top 10 for their respective disciplines. They are among the 81 undergraduate and 100 graduate degree programs offered through OSU's 12 colleges.
Those programs enroll nearly 24,000 students from every county in Oregon, every state in the country and more than 90 nations. OSU also attracts a greater share of high-achieving students from Oregon than any other institution, particularly from the Portland Metro area.
OSU's main 400-acre campus in Corvallis includes a Historic District, making OSU one of only a handful of U.S. university campuses to be so included on the National Register of Historic Places. The district includes 83 buildings and outdoor spaces, all arranged around a campus plan created in 1909 by famed architect John C. Olmsted of the Boston-based Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm. The Olmsted's are known for their design of such iconic outdoor spaces as New York's Central Park and Yosemite National Park.
Corvallis has been named one of the best college towns in the country, based on its high quality of life, the academic environment of Oregon State University, and the professional opportunities available locally to graduates.
Corvallis placed fifth both in the list of best college towns, and fifth as a best overall college destination, based on 227 college metropolitan areas assessed by the American Institute for Economic Research. The independent non-profit organization publishes an annual index ranking the 75 best college towns and cities in the nation.
Oregon State University is among 41 "Best Buy Schools" named in the 2013 edition of "The Fiske Guide to Colleges," and one of only two in the Pacific Northwest named to the list (Evergreen State College in Washington is the other).
Schools included on the list are ranked as inexpensive or moderately priced, and have four- or five-star academic ratings.
Oregon State University has been named to the Princeton Review’s 2012 Green Rating Honor Roll – the only university in Oregon to achieve the distinction.
The ratings were announced this week and OSU is among 16 U.S. colleges and universities given top honors by the Princeton Review for receiving the highest possible score (99) in its Green Rating tallies this year.
Oregon State University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is among the top 25 in the country, according to the 2013 MFA Index reported in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers magazine.
The ranking is based on data collected from the previous year’s MFA applications throughout the country, and weighs factors such as popularity, selectivity, class size and funding. OSU’s program, which was established in 2002, appeared on the list for the first time this year at No. 22.
Oregon State University has become the second-largest purchaser of green power of any university in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 20 College & University list of green power purchasers.
The university purchased about $430,000 in renewable energy certificates for 2011 from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. By purchasing the certificates, the environmental benefits created by the facility directly offset the environmental impact of the university’s conventional energy use.
Oregon State University has received a “Gold” designation in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), the second highest rating a university can receive.
STARS is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, of which OSU is a member. Schools are rated on education and research, operations, planning, administration and engagement, and innovation.
Oregon State University has been named the Pacific-10 Conference champion in the EPA Green Power Partnership’s 2010-11 College and University Green Power Challenge.
OSU purchased more renewable energy than any other school in the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12), with 51,595,400 kilowatt hours of green power purchased and used. OSU has been the Pac-10 champion every year since the 2007-08 school year.
Oregon State University retained its top spot in the state for RecycleMania 2011, an annual, nationwide recycling competition between universities.
By recycling and composting a total of 483,449 pounds during the 10-week competition (Jan. 23 through April 2), OSU nabbed first place, while claiming the RecycleMania Civil War title over the University of Oregon by recycling and composting 5.5 pounds more per person. OSU also beat its own 2010 totals, recycling and composting 67,831 pounds more – a 23 percent increase – and sending 201,158 fewer pounds of materials to the landfill, a 17 percent decrease over the previous year.
Oregon State University was given top marks as one of the best campuses in the country in 2011 for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
OSU is among 33 American colleges and universities to receive the highest ranking from the Campus Pride LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, which lists reports on nearly 300 campuses. The index uses detailed, voluntary questionnaires from participating universities, and ranks them on everything from LGBT support and institutional commitment to campus safety and academic life.
Oregon State University’s Energy Center received Platinum LEED certification, the highest certification possible. Officials say it is the first platinum-rated power facility in the nation, the first Platinum LEED building on campus, and one of only two in the Oregon University System.