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Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Oklahoma is to provide the best possible educational experience for our students through excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and service to the state and society

Overview Statement

Created by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting research university serving the educational, cultural, economic and health-care needs of the state, region and nation. The Norman campus serves as home to all of the university’s academic programs except health-related fields. The OU Health Sciences Center, which is located in Oklahoma City, is one of only four comprehensive academic health centers in the nation with seven professional colleges. Both the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses offer programs at the Schusterman Center, the site of OU-Tulsa. OU enrolls almost 32,000 students, has more than 2,800 full-time faculty members, and has 21 colleges offering 172 majors at the baccalaureate level, 156 majors at the master’s level, 81 doctoral-level majors and 54 graduate certificates. The university’s annual operating budget is $2.05 billion. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution.


2018 Freshmen Class:

  • 34.9% minority (record)
    • 27.6 percent self-identified as black, Native American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander
  • Total Incoming Freshmen: 4,385
  • Average ACT Score: 26.2
  • Ranked First in High School Class: 262
  • 4.0 High School GPA: 557
  • Average High School GPA: 3.63
  • 54.8% female, 45.2% male

Freshmen to Sophomore Retention: 90.16%

4-year Graduation Rate: 43.5%

More than 80% of the 2015 freshman are either enrolled as seniors or have graduated, which is a record high

  • Tuition remained flat this year for both in-state and out-of-state students so that we can open doors for more students to become Sooners.
  • Nearly every scholarship for incoming freshmen is increasing for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Crimson Commitment - As part of its dedication to affordability, the University of Oklahoma is launching the Crimson Commitment program. The Crimson Commitment will cover tuition and average fees for both incoming and current resident students who are recipients of Oklahoma’s Promise beginning fall 2019. The program is an upgrade and replacement of the previous Sooner Promise program. A student who is enrolled in OU’s Crimson Commitment will not have to pay tuition or, combining outside and OU resources, up to $8,000 in student fees for four years.
  • As of November 30, the university’s goal to double research has already resulted in 742 grants for over $174 million since July 1. This is an increase of 98 grants for over $15 million since November 1. We are partnering with NASA, NOAA, NSF, DOD, HRSA, DOEd, NIH, DOE and many other funding agencies and organizations.

Norman Campus:

  • A University of Oklahoma biologist and director of environmental studies, K. David Hambright, was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in the field of freshwater plankton biology, particularly for contributions to understanding food web structure and function across multiple trophic levels. Hambright will be honored at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 16.
  • Recent University of Oklahoma graduate Lucy Mahaffey was named a 2019 Marshall Scholar, OU’s seventh since the scholarship began in 1953. As a Marshall Scholar, Mahaffey plans to attend the University of Nottingham to earn a master’s degree in Slavery and Liberation, followed by study at the University of Edinburgh to earn a master’s degree in Comparative Public Policy. Mahaffey has researched human trafficking for 12 years.
  • University of Oklahoma honors student Allecia Jones was named a 2019 Charles B. Rangel Fellow. The Rangel Fellowship recognizes students who demonstrate a commitment to careers in the federal government, serving in the US State Department’s Foreign Service. Thirty fellowships were awarded for the 2019 academic year. 
  • The university announced $68 million in GEAR UP partnership awards to the K20 Center with an additional $68 million of matching funds for a grand total of $137,006,776. With these awards, the K20 Center has an opportunity to make a significant impact on the quality of education in 46 schools and more than 12,000 students across Oklahoma, many of which have been deeply affected by issues such as poverty and teacher shortages. In the short term, the grants will have an economic impact by creating 92 new jobs, and in the long term will create thousands more college graduates who will positively impact Oklahoma’s economy for years to come. Studies show that a college graduate will earn a million dollars more in their work career than a high school graduate.
  • The Advanced Radar Research Center, a collaboration of the School of Meteorology and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as several NOAA organizations, is developing the most advanced weather radars in the world, capable of tracking storms in seconds rather than minutes. Soon, production of these radar systems will begin on the Norman Research Campus.
  • OU recently celebrated the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory project, known as GeoCarb, a science mission to space led by OU and funded by NASA. At $161 million, it is the single-largest contract to be received in school history. The mission marks one of the most exceptional accomplishments in OU history. NASA administrator James “Jim” Bridenstine visited the Norman campus in October to celebrate the mission.
  • OU researchers are developing new approaches to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria are becoming increasingly more common, so finding aggressive therapies is an urgent national priority.
  • OU researchers developed a new antibiotic formulation to fight staph infection caused by MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant infectious bacteria will improve patient outcomes and lower the economic burden, making it possible to create an effective antibiotic that can reduce expensive hospitalization costs.
  • The Tom Love Innovation Hub leads the Oklahoma Catalyst Programs to grow small businesses in the state with funding from the Small Business Administration, Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, Economic Development Administration and the Oklahoma Business Roundtable for the Catalyst Researchers program, which provides training and mentorship to Oklahoma graduate students and post-doctoral researchers
  • The Tom Love Innovation Hub leads the Oklahoma Women Impacting STEM and Entrepreneurship Conference (OK-WISE) to highlight the scientific, economic and societal impacts made by Oklahoma women.
  • A University of Oklahoma professor in the School of Meteorology received a five-year, $15 million NASA grant that includes multiple collaborators to advance understanding of the summer stratosphere and the complex linkages between convection, large-scale dynamics and atmospheric conditions. OU will receive funding for students, advances in computational abilities for real-time radar products for the mission, and additional opportunities for field experiences.

Health Sciences Center:

  • Jacob E. “Jed” Friedman, Ph.D., has been named as director of Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at OU Medicine and associate vice provost for diabetes programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Over 800 physicians, pharmacists, and dentists are pursuing advanced residency and fellowship training at the Health Sciences Center, the largest Graduate Medical Education (GME) program in the state, improving patient care access for Oklahomans and strengthening the healthcare workforce.
  • The OU Health Sciences Center and OU Medicine are developing new treatments to improve patient care and grow Oklahoma’s economy. Priority areas include cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, aging, children’s healthcare, vision, neurosciences, immunology, and infectious diseases, as well as research to prevent disease and improve the quality of care. 
  • OUHSC researchers bring the largest amount of NIH funding to Oklahoma, generating significant returns on investments.  We are looking for industry partners and investors, especially to solve problems through biomedical engineering and medical devices. 
  • The Presbyterian Health Foundation (PHF) has provided millions of dollars in critical funding to start-up and scale research projects, ranging from fetal development to treatments for Clostridium difficile infection. In May 2018, the Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) the highly-competitive status of “NCI Designation” and was awarded a P30 Cancer Center Support Grant.  
  • The Stephenson Cancer Center is one of only 69 (Top 2%) other cancer centers in the U.S. to be a Designated Cancer Center by the NCI and the only one in the state of Oklahoma. 
  • The Stephenson Cancer Center leads the country in NCI clinical trial enrollment, ahead of other cancer centers such as Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Clinic, Dana-Farber Cancer Center, and UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • The Stephenson Cancer Center is Oklahoma’s leading cancer research organization, with more investigators and more cancer research funding than any other organization in the state.
  • Dr. Gary Raskob, a researcher at the OU Health Sciences Center, the academic partner of OU Medicine, published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that patients who are given a daily, low dose of an existing anti-clotting medication had significantly fewer blood clots for 45 days after leaving the hospital, without causing excess bleeding.  This is an example of how research distinguishes an academic health system like OU Medicine.
  • The Health Sciences Center competitively renewed a $20 million grant to expand the work of the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources program, which is a collaborative effort among multiple institutions, physicians and American Indian tribes throughout Oklahoma, especially rural areas. The grant builds research capabilities in Oklahoma and drives economic growth.  Examples of impact include—the Oklahoma Primary Healthcare Improvement Cooperative to disseminate evidence-based medical practices in rural areas, the Healthy Hearts for Oklahoma project to reduce the toll of cardiovascular disease on Oklahomans through over 260 clinical practices in nearly every county in Oklahoma, and research and interventions to address the opioid epidemic.
  • OU and the Cherokee Nation are addressing tobacco-related cancer disparities through a program of research, training and education for American Indian students and investigators. The initiative is in collaboration with the Health Sciences Center and the Stephenson Cancer Center.
  • The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center currently has 29 core research members with over $9 million in NIH support. The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and Pediatric Endocrinology continues as the largest site of the TODAY study, an NIH-funded project examining clinical outcomes of those who developed type 2 diabetes in youth. This is the largest and longest-running study of its kind in the world and has generated over 70 publications that provide new insights into the disease and its management; the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and Pediatric Endocrinology is home for 2 mentored research awards (K) from NIH that examine how obesity leads to inflammation and diabetes and how diabetes during pregnancy affects the offspring’s risk of future metabolic disease.
  • The OU College of Nursing was awarded a $1 million federal grant to launch the implementation of its falls prevention program in collaboration with the Oklahoma State Department of Health with funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and continues to provide case management expertise to patients at OU Medicine and across the state.
  • OU Medicine is the essential provider of adult and children’s services found nowhere else in Oklahoma, from the Level 1 Trauma Center to the Level 4 NICU and comprehensive Children’s Hospital.
  • OU Medicine specialists bring the latest technologies to patient care, with the largest group of surgeons in the state to offer advanced robotic and minimally invasive surgeries.


  • The OU-Tulsa Early Childhood Education Institute is observing the development of 900 three-year-olds who will be studied until third grade. The institute is setting the national standard in early childhood education research.
  • For FY19, total gifts including cash, pledge balance and planned gifts are $56.7 million as of November 30, which is up more than $19.9 million compared to the same time last year.
  • In November 2018, the university announced a $34 million dollar gift made to the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center (HHDC) at OU Medicine. The gift will be allocated over the next 10 years to fund research, talent and technology. The gift from The Harold Hamm Foundation is the largest gift ever made to the HHDC and follows the gift given by Mr. Hamm in 2007 that established the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center with the goal to cure diabetes.
  • Generous donors gave more than $475,000 on OU Giving Day to go directly to scholarships and OU programs. That’s $300,000 more than we raised during the inaugural OU Giving Day in 2017.
  • The university received one of the largest single gifts in OU history with a $20 million investment that will be used to renovate OU ROTC program facilities, including the historic Armory, and to establish a scholarship endowment benefiting students enrolled in the Army, Navy or Air Force ROTC programs.
  • The OU College of Public Health has been officially named the Hudson College of Public Health in recognition of a $5 million leadership gift from Dr. Leslie Hudson and Mr. Clifford Hudson. Their generous contribution increased the number of graduate student fellowships available in the college and provided for the establishment of an annual symposium that brings important educators and thought leaders on public health issues to the university to interact with students, faculty and community leaders.
  • In recognition of major gifts from the Avenir Foundation and Professor Chun Lin, a former OU faculty member and current chair of the OU Department of Physics and Astronomy Board of Visitors, the university dedicated the Dodge Physics Complex and Lin Hall, a new academic building featuring more than 18,000 square feet of research laboratory space and an astronomy observatory on the roof.
  • In December 2017, the OU College of Architecture was named in recognition of a leadership gift from Christopher C. Gibbs, a 1967 graduate of OU who founded two construction and land development companies, Christopher Homes and PLC Land Company, which are responsible for the planning, designing and building of more than 15,000 homes, neighborhoods and planned communities in California, Texas and Florida.
  • The Sooners opened the 2018-19 academic year with 37 national championships and a continuing streak of producing at least one national title each year. That streak is currently sitting on six years. Men’s gymnastics leads all teams with 12 national team titles.
  • OU has won 287 conference titles since its first in 1915. Softball, women’s gymnastics and men’s gymnastics have won seven consecutive league titles while football has won the Big 12 championship for four consecutive seasons.
  • Winner of its last seven games and 34 of its last 37 going back to 2016, Oklahoma will make its third College Football Playoff semifinals appearance in the last four years when it faces Alabama in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29.
  • The spring 2018 semester marked OU’s 13’s consecutive semester GPA above a 3.00. The 3.13 recorded by OU’s student-athletes during the spring was the best single semester mark in recorded school history.
  • The 2017-18 academic year marked the 19th consecutive year for OU to produce at least one CoSIDA Academic All-American.

OU has produced 29 Rhodes Scholars; no other university in Oklahoma has had more than three.

OU is the only university in the nation, public or private, whose students have won Goldwater, Mitchell, Truman, Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright and National Security Education Program scholarships in the same year.

OU is home to the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, considered to be second in prestige only to the Nobel Prize and often referred to as the “American Nobel.” Thirty-one Neustadt laureates, candidates and jurors have won the Nobel Prize in the past 46 years.  

In 2017-2018, more than $21.8 million in privately funded scholarships were awarded to undergraduate and graduate students.

Over the past 20 years, OU has seen exponential growth in the number of privately funded endowed faculty positions, which allow OU to recruit, retain and reward top faculty who excel in the classroom and in their research. In OU's first 105 years, 101 endowed faculty positions were established. Currently, OU has 550 endowed faculty chairs, endowed professorships and Presidential Professors.

OU's online bachelor's degree programs, offered through OU Extended Campus, consistently rank among the top online programs in the nation for veterans in U.S. News & World Report's assessment of schools and universities. The publication considered 97 schools in their evaluation of U.S higher education options for nontraditional learners in 2018, and OU was among the top eight public institutions included on the list.  

OU has established a faculty-in-residence program with faculty members and their families living in apartments in the student residence halls.

OU’s Bizzell Memorial Library has been named among 18 stunning university libraries around the world, according to Architectural Digest.

Established in 1928, the award-winning OU Press is the oldest in the Southwest. It is a leading publisher of books about Native Americans and the American West.

The highly acclaimed journal of international literature, World Literature Today, is published at the University of Oklahoma. 

The OU Health Sciences Center is one of only four comprehensive academic health centers in the nation with seven professional schools: Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Graduate Studies.  

With more than 660 doctors , OU Physicians is the state’s largest physician group.  The practice encompasses nearly every adult and child specialty.  

Many OU Physicians have expertise in the management of complex conditions that is unavailable anywhere else in the state, region or sometimes even the nation.  Some have pioneered surgical procedures or innovations in patient care that are world firsts.  

OU Children’s Physicians is a group of 200 doctors  who practice as part of OU Physicians. These specialists see many children with birth defects, critical injuries or serious diseases who can’t be helped elsewhere. Oklahoma doctors and parents rely on OU Children’s Physicians’ depth of experience, nationally renowned expertise and sensitivity to children’s emotional needs. 

The Stephenson Cancer Center, the largest public-private biomedical initiative in Oklahoma history, provides patient-centered care, offering the most advanced cancer detection and treatment technology, the largest and most experienced group of cancer specialists, a wide array of supportive services and an environment that provides a warm and comforting experience for patients and caregivers.   

Harold Hamm Diabetes Center is one of the top comprehensive diabetes centers in the world for adults and children with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, engaging in novel research aimed at progress toward a cure for diabetes and its complications, providing dramatically improved patient care, and preventing the spread of diabetes through education and early detection.