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Future Sooner Parent FAQs

How large are the classes at OU?

The average class size at OU is just under 32 students. In fact, only 4% of our classes have over 100 students.

The format of the class will depend on the nature of the subject matter and the method of presentation selected by the professor. Many classes are small: most language and Honors classes are around 20 students and many upper-division classes are around 40 students. Other classes combine a large lecture and small discussion groups. As a freshman, your son or daughter will probably have a mixture of classes in terms of size and format.

All freshman English composition classes are limited to 19 students.  OU also boasts a 18:1 student to faculty ratio, which ensures your student will get the personal attention he or she deserves.

Does OU allow freshmen to have cars on campus?

Yes. If students drive to campus, they need to purchase a parking permit from the Parking and Transit Office. If students don’t have cars, they can get around Norman using CART (Cleveland Area Rapid Transit), a public transportation system that serves the campus and the surrounding area.

Will someone help students select classes?

As an incoming student, and each semester your student is at OU, he or she will be advised one-on-one with an academic adviser. Most degree programs require that students meet with an academic adviser before they are given permission to register for classes. This is certainly the case for all freshmen. This one-on-one advising allows the student and his adviser to explore and to select the best course options.

Are there special courses for freshmen? What other academic support services are available?

OU recognizes that the transition from high school to college requires many adjustments, the university offers two special semester-long courses specifically designed for freshmen: Gateway to College Learning and Freshman Seminar. Other services include Project Threshold, which is an academic support program established in 1971. The primary goal of this program is to provide services and programs that will increase the persistence and graduation rates of students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Housing Learning Center offers free tutoring in a variety of classes, and the Writing Center provides help with writing skills and assigned papers. UC Action is also a great program in which peer tutors and/or faculty assist students with understanding class material...and it costs nothing! Most sessions are even offered in the evenings. Students also have access to test files and numerous workshops and success seminars throughout the year.

Additionally, a new course called First Steps will begin in Summer 2012 and will assist students in the transition from high school to college. The course will focus on both the character and behavior of the successful college student. Topics to be covered will include, but are not limited to, study skills, time management, goal setting, learning styles, financial planning, emotional intelligence, civic and personal responsibility. 

OU seems so big. How will my son/daughter keep from being lost in the shuffle?

Getting involved in campus groups and activities is an important way for students to feel at home.

With more than 450 student organizations, there's something for everyone at OU! In addition to a variety of academic and cultural support services, OU has everything from the African American Artists Association to the Society of Women Engineers. For a complete list of registered student organizations, visit

What is OU’s enrollment commitment, and how is it paid?

If your son or daughter is a high school senior who has been admitted to the University of Oklahoma and is planning to attend in the fall, a $250 enrollment commitment due by May 1 is required to hold his or her place at OU.

This commitment will cover the student’s housing advance payment and enrollment program fee and will be used to secure the student’s place at OU. If the student becomes exempt from University housing, the housing portion of the commitment will be applied to academic charges in the first semester at OU.

This enrollment commitment is fully refundable if requested in writing prior to May 1. Admitted students with financial need will be considered for deferment upon written request. For more information, and to pay the enrollment commitment, visit

How safe is OU’s campus?

From a recent survey, students remarked that they overwhelmingly felt safe both in the residence halls, and across campus.

The OU Department of Public Safety’s police division patrols the parking lots and exterior grounds throughout the night and early morning hours. Residential floors within the towers and the quads are locked 24-hrs a day, seven days a week. This safety feature assists in ensuring that only those students assigned to live on particular floor gain access. Ground floor doors lock at 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and at midnight on Friday and Saturday. All residents may access the ground floors of the towers with their student ID cards in order to use the computer labs and food services operations.

Resident Advisers are on nightly duty and conduct routine rounds throughout the residence halls. These staff members also provide safety programs for residents throughout the year.

For students who are studying or working on campus late at night, Housing and Food Services, along with the OU Police Department, sponsors a program called Safewalk, where volunteers escort students to their campus destination. This service is available free of charge from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Outdoor emergency telephones are also located throughout the academic and housing areas. These telephones are a push button system that automatically connects to the OU Police Department. For more safety information, visit

What if my student has not selected a major?

Don’t be alarmed if your student takes a semester or two to select a major or if he or she changes majors, as many students do. There are resources on campus to help students understand their interests, set career goals, and choose an appropriate major.

University College provides computer-assisted career exploration, a professional and career library, and help in career and academic major selection. Academic advisers help students select classes that are appropriate for the majors the students are considering and suggest courses to help students explore various possibilities. Students also may find it helpful to visit with faculty in their areas of interest.

Is OU affordable?

OU is committed to keep the door of opportunity open for all qualified applicants. In the past five years, we have more than doubled scholarships opportunities for our students (surpassing the rate of tuition increases).  We also offer a textbook program where students can check out books instead of having to buy them, and there are more than 3,600 of our students who hold on-campus jobs.

Tuition Estimator

The Bursar's Office has a tuition estimator online to help you calculate your first year costs. This tool can be found at the Office of the Bursar's website.

Ask the Sooners

Got a financial aid question? Use the "Ask the Sooners" tool for quick financial aid and scholarship answers.