Living & learning in a Top 7 Global Intelligent Community within America’s 14th largest city.
15 minutes outside of Columbus, Ohio in the city of Westerville, Otterbein has a picture-perfect campus. You’ll love everything about this place. Ohio’s capital city is full of fun and top-ranked attractions and Westerville mixes old and new, adventure and relaxation, with all the benefits of a charming and safe small town. There are plenty of opportunities to make our campus your new home. You can start a new club, volunteer, perform in our marching band, cheer for the Cardinals in the Red Zone, take advantage of our rich Art Scene shows and exhibits or just catch up with friends in our student-friendly campus.
What's life like on campus?
When we think of home, we think of …
A place that feels safe and comfortable.
A place where people are more than friendly — they notice rough days, too.
We think of a place where you can genuinely be who you are and know that’s more than okay, it’s expected. Home can be quiet, crazy fun and beautiful. Home is where you find some of your favorite people.
Dance, get involved, study, laugh.
Go out on the town or chill on the couch.
Welcome to life at Otterbein.
What can I do for fun once classes are done?
Otterbein won’t let you sit on the sidelines. In fact, we’re counting on you to become a part of this place. Start a new club. Volunteer. Go on a 2 a.m. doughnut run. Play in the Marching Band. Cheer for the Cardinals in the Red Zone. Catch up with friends and grab some tater tots in the Nest.
It’s easy to get involved and feel at home from day one at Otterbein. Our students like to make things happen and they care about making a difference. Fun is what you make it here and you’ll find plenty of friends by your side to share the ride.
Will Otterbein feel like home? How's the food?
Welcome to campus life! Claim your space and make it your own — from your room to your favorite place to study, hang out or soak in your picture-perfect campus.
Your new address? You’ll find it filled with new friends, spaces to hang out, study and learn more about yourself. What about roomies, you ask? Whether you live in the residence halls or commute, you’ll find “home” is any place you share with friends.
As for what’s on the menu, it’s a mouthful — from meal plans to the values that drive them. Catertrax, Otterbein’s dining service, cares about delicious food, dietary needs, allergies, and nutrition as much as sustainable practices. Meals made from scratch with options that match your schedule and preferences — so grab a meal to go or eat it with friends.
Are all students welcome? How does Otterbein feel about equity and inclusion?
Equity and inclusion are an ongoing pursuit. There are milestones and commitments in Otterbein’s history that make us proud of our long-standing position of inclusiveness. We also believe we should expect more of ourselves as a community, as individuals and an institution — always. The work, the need for understanding and respect — it’s never done. So at Otterbein, we believe we’re better if we learn and grow together to address the issues. Bottom line? You belong here. Period. You can stand out, but you’ll never stand alone.
“College is about learning to make meaning from your experiences — to stand up for what you think is right and to be kind, compassionate, and revere every person’s identity.”
— Rev. Judy Guion-Utsler, Otterbein Chaplain
Whether you need to ask a question, raise a concern, or just talk through an issue, there are people, organizations, and resources on campus that can help.
If you decide to make Otterbein your home, the people of this great university will change your life forever.
Why can Otterbein claim it's home to the perfect location?
Picture perfect campus. Walking the tree-lined paths. This feels like home and you couldn’t be happier about it.
Super friendly town. Safe neighborhood. Westerville is officially one of the best places to live.
Big-city fun. Big-time opportunity. Described as a “brain magnet,” Columbus tops lots of “Best City” lists for rankings that range from fun stuff to do to a great market for jobs.
Grounds for thought. Epic cream puffs. A Thurmanator as seen on “Man vs. Food.” And some of the nation’s best ice cream. From fine cuisine to food truck festivals — Columbus and Westerville serve it up right.
From major shopping at Easton and Polaris to thrifting and boutiques — if it’s on your list, you’ll find it in Columbus.
Cheer for the Cardinals at home games for free — or root for the Clippers (Triple-A baseball), the Blue Jackets (NHL) or the Crew (MLS), watch the PGA Memorial Tournament, ride in Pelotonia or run in the Cap City Half-Marathon.
Grab an Otterbike and get out there! Parks, bike paths, sailing, disc golf, zip-lining and hiking — you’ll find it here!
What makes Otterbein a safe place to live?
Your health and safety matter to everyone here. Students will tell you there aren’t many places as caring or as involved in your life as Otterbein.
Wellness. The whole person. We care about every part of your experience. (So much that it’s part of our mission!) A Campus Health Center powered by OhioHealth. A fully-licensed Counseling Center for psychological health. Wellness Wednesdays and other programs to inspire and inform. There are seven major hospitals in Columbus — with two major hospital facilities, an Urgent Care and pharmacies less than a mile away from campus.
Safety. Yes, this is a safe campus and a safe community — but common sense precautions like locking your car and taking valuables inside for the night are still smart. Otterbein’s chief of police sends students a monthly safety newsletter with tips. Check out the statistics. View the map of our around-the-clock monitored emergency telephones or explore how we make sure you’ll be prepared for emergencies.
Can I serve a greater good? Can I practice my faith?
Serving the common good is woven into Otterbein’s moral fabric. We believe our students have an opportunity and responsibility to make a difference — through their service, their studies and their unique talents and interests. We will nurture, inspire and challenge you to find your calling and understand your potential to do good. Learn more about our Center for Community Engagement.
“We’re all called to be something better. Otterbein holds you to high standards because they know you’re capable of more. It’s exciting, overwhelming and inspiring to know I can bring a change to our campus and our community.”
— Kris Crews, Journalism and Media Communication
We also believe in offering the support, spaces and communities to nourish your faith and values. From worship services to religious organizations to serving others as an expression of faith, Otterbein’s chaplain is an advocate, an ally, a counselor and a great resource to help you examine how to nurture your spirituality. Learn more about our Religious and Spiritual Life Organizations.
Campus Life Information for Parents
When can we visit Otterbein’s campus?
We’d love to have you visit! Share the Otterbein experience from the moment you step foot on campus. Visit more than once — all of the cool Cardinals are doing it!
Visits options are available for individuals or groups to get to know your new home. Tour campus, sit in on a class, meet with faculty, spend the night or shadow a student.
How many students live on campus and what is campus life like?
Join 85% of our first year students who live on campus where there’s a home for everyone. What’s there to do on campus? You could run a new distance record, run an organization, or make a doughnut run. Talk with a national expert you’ve wanted to meet forever or talk with friends you feel like you’ve known forever. Go green or go Greek. Cheer for the team in the stadium or cheer on your roommates on game night.
What if my son/daughter has roommate issues?
Each residence hall provides multiple levels of assistance in resolving roommate issues. The first stop is to have your child talk to their RA, or Resident Assistant. This person is trained and skilled at mediating issues and helping to open the lines of communication. They will also be the person to escalate any issues to the Hall Director or other Residence Life staff.
Will my child be safe and healthy?
Being part of the Otterbein family means someone is always there for you. Otterbein has its own police department committed to your safety. There are 42 emergency telephones on campus that are constantly monitored plus security escorts, help changing a flat tire, crime prevention education and more. The Otterbein Police Department is here to ensure your home for the next four years is a safe one. Wellness coaches who provide events on wellness topics (with pizza!), counseling services offered year-round, psychological health care, and the health center which helps treat illnesses, injuries and other services provided by nurse practitioners and doctors are here to help keep you well.
Our son/daughter is considering participating in Athletics, what is the process to get in touch with coaches?
If you want to join the ‘Bein Squad we would encourage you to connect with a coach. Fill out the recruit form and they’ll be in touch.
I’m passionate about my community. I want to serve and give back to as many people as possible.