Otterbein University

Founded in 1847, Otterbein University is a comprehensive, private, liberal arts institution that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctor of nursing practice degree.

Inclusive. Innovative. Progressive.

It’s the best way to describe Otterbein’s history, present and future. Founded in 1847, Otterbein University is a comprehensive, private, liberal arts institution that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctor of nursing practice degree.

Located in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, Otterbein is home to approximately 2,900 students. For more than 120 years, Otterbein has enrolled international students into its academic programs and fostered global partnerships.

Nationally recognized for its innovative curriculum, it is one of only six schools to serve as a site for the Association of American Colleges and Universities project on experiential learning.

Why Otterbein?

Otterbein surrounds you with courses, experience and opportunities designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need to be successful—in your career, your community and your life.

  • Our unique Integrative Studies (IS) program is a curriculum that some experts say should be the model other schools follow.
  • By blending the liberal arts and professional studies, students develop critical thinking and the ability to communicate clearly and solve complex problems, which is more important to 93% of employers than a student’s specific field of study. “It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success,” conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities by Hart Research Associates.
  • 11:1 Student-to-Faculty Ratio
  • Ranks in the top 10% among 149 peers in the Regional Universities—Midwest Category, U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges”
  • 96% of graduates employed or continuing their education in graduate school within 6 months of graduation (Class of 2015)
  • Otterbein has been honored “With Distinction” by the White House for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year since the lists inception in 2006.

5 Cardinal Experiences

Otterbein believes you should be recognized for experiences that help you to stand out in the world. Whether you decide to present at a conference or do an internship abroad, Otterbein is there to support you in gaining real world experience. These experiential transcripts can help you to distinguish yourself after graduation.

As a student, you can apply for one, or all of these “cards”:

  1. Research & Creative Work
  2. Community Engagement
  3. Leadership & Citizenship
  4. Global & Intercultural Engagement
  5. Internships & Professional Experience

Otterbein’s Great Location

Otterbein is located in Westerville, Ohio, on a picture-perfect campus. Westerville was named 5th friendliest town in America (Forbes and Nextdoor.com, 2013). It is only a 15 minute drive to Columbus, Ohio, which is ranked as the 15th largest city in the nation and the 5th best city for new college grads in 2016 (LinkedIn and Trulia). Otterbein has the best of both worlds, a friendly campus near a big city with lots of options.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Otterbein offers over 70 majors and 40 minors in the areas of art; biology and earth sciences; business, accounting and economics; chemistry, communication; education; English; engineering; equine science; health and sport sciences; history and political science; interdisciplinary; mathematical sciences; modern languages and cultures; music; nursing; physics; psychology; religion and philosophy; sociology, criminology and justice studies; theatre and dance; and pre-professional programs.

Graduate Degree Programs

Otterbein offers graduate degrees in allied health, education, educational mathematics, MBA, and nursing. Otterbein University’s Graduate School programs are for professionals who make a difference and who challenge the status quo. They are leaders who combine real success with innovative, entrepreneurial thinking, problem-solving capabilities and collaboration that improves organizational processes.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

Learning a new language occurs when you are immersed in the culture in which the language is used. Rather than teaching skills in isolation, the ESL program at Otterbein University uses a holistic method of language learning.

The program combines language skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing while developing academic skills such as research and note taking. Students are immersed in the classroom for 4-5 hours per day, 5 days a week.

As students near the end of the program, they can begin taking content-based courses and/or some regular courses. Conditional admission is available to students that meet academic requirements but need additional language training to be successful in a U.S. classroom.

International Student Life

The Office of Diversity oversees social and cultural activities for international students at Otterbein. Examples of some of the outings students go on include ethnic restaurants, amusement parks, the Circleville Pumpkin Show, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and local parks. On campus, students enjoy events such as International Night and the homecoming parade.  


$30,000—$35,000 Year

Fast facts

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Top Programs icon

Top Programs

Business, Engineering, English Language (ESL)

Type of school icon

Type of School


  • School Size

  • Student Body Gender

  • Religious Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students

  • Conditional Admission Available

  • Setting

    Small/College town, Suburban
  • Accreditation and Certification

  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Apartment, Dormitory
  • Test Scores

    IELTS: Band 6.5+, TOEFL: 79+

Westerville OH
Visit us
1 South Grove St. Westerville, OH

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