An Otterbein education is about hands-on experience, gaining confidence to take risks, learning to work with others, and discovering how to ask the right questions.
Information for Future Students and Their Families
Are you looking for a college that’s right for you?
Here’s what our students tell us helps them stand out. They know other students aren’t getting multiple internships or doing research with faculty from year one — let alone getting published and presenting at national conferences. You’ll be in contention for major internship opportunities and adding experiences to your resume that other students simply don’t get until later. Otterbein specializes in preparing you for all that comes next in life.
On this page:
Why is Otterbein a smarter way to learn?Our Approach
Here’s what our students tell us helps them stand out. They know other students aren’t getting multiple internships or doing research with faculty from year one — let alone getting published and presenting at national conferences. You’ll be in contention for major internship opportunities and adding experiences to your resume that other students simply don’t get until later.
Otterbein specializes in preparing you for all that comes next in life.
What's so great about Otterbein?Our Campus
What’s so great about Otterbein?
YOU! And a few other things like…
- A caring, supportive community.
- The perfect location in friendly Westerville, with big-city fun close by in Columbus.
- A smarter way to learn and experience your education.
- Values that mean you belong, your success matters and you care about the public good.
- Friends and fun.
- And a lot more!
What makes Otterbein great is really what you decide to make out of your Otterbein experience. We can’t wait for you to come visit and see for yourself.
Get the facts! You can learn a lot about Otterbein in just 100 seconds. Here’s the scoop.
Why is Otterbein's approach to experiential learning so important?Experiences
Experiential learning gives you the chance to put your education to work — literally.
You can claim hands-on experiences in ways that are as personalized as your goals, your strengths and your willingness to try something new. Some of the benefits include choosing experiences that …
- Support your major and future career goals.
- Give you the chance to explore places and opportunities you’ve always wanted.
- Help you stand out from the competition.
- Broaden your network with mentors and professional contacts.
- Deepen your education by making connections between what you’re learning and what you’ll be doing outside of the classroom.
“Otterbein is dedicated to the philosophy that an education is not something you receive — it is something you experience.”
Which programs do you offer?Majors & Minors
Through its 21 academic departments, Otterbein offers more than 70 programs of study. It also offers plenty of minors, electives, and individualized studies so you can customize your academic experience.
Still exploring your options? We’ve got that covered, too, with an undeclared pathway designed to help you find the right program.
The Honors Program is a great fit for those of you who want to accelerate your learning and studies with more academic rigor. You might want to consider the Honors residence hall, too, for more opportunities.
Otterbein has given me the experiences, the tools, the advice and more mentors than I could ever imagine.
How will I be prepared for life's challenges?Outcomes
of surveyed students were either employed or continuing their education in graduate school within six months of graduation.
Otterbein students are prepared to stand out. You will succeed because you’ve already experienced lots of aspects of your career — inside of the classroom and outside in the professional world. More experience. More confidence. More success. Otterbein students get more experiences — starting from their first year — than some students at other schools might ever get.
Employers tell us that Otterbein students have it all — a great work ethic, teamwork skills and creative problem-solving capabilities on top of their knowledge and experience.
“I believe my academic experiences are preparing me for life after Otterbein, because they are teaching me how to live in the real world and how to do things on my own.”
How can I express my creativity?The Arts
At Otterbein, you can add your voice to a community of artists, dancers, musicians, writers, technicians and other creatives who share your passion to make art that matters.
You might decide to pick up a camera, a sketchbook, or maybe you prefer the pottery wheel to give shape to your ideas. You can add a dance minor or perhaps you’ll write for one of our literary journals or even contribute to our multimedia news outlet. You’ll find there are many ways to express your voice here.
If you want to create, there are often as many opportunities for non-majors as there are for majors. As early as your first year, you can join one of Otterbein’s music ensembles — vocal, orchestral and jazz. If your inspiration comes from taking in art, you’ve found the perfect home.
From Otterbein’s nationally acclaimed musical theatre program to the immediate proximity of Columbus and its celebrated arts communities, you’ll find every form of expression to feed your desire to be inspired, challenged and moved by the arts.
How can I become a student-athlete?Athletics
If you’re looking to wear the Tan and Cardinal as an Otterbein athlete, you’re joining an incredible team. More than 36% of incoming first-years are student-athletes. The Otterbein Cardinals compete in NCAA Division III of the Ohio Athletic Conference — the third-oldest conference in America, ranking only behind the Big Ten and the MIAA.
To see hard work pay off is special, but the success wouldn’t mean as much if it didn’t happen alongside teammates and best friends.
97% of surveyed students were either employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.
Apply for Admission & Financial Aid
This is a big decision, but you’re not alone. We know that Otterbein is the perfect place to take all your talent and build a great career and life with it. We’ll be here for you every step of the way and we will work with you to put together a financial aid package to help you pay for your education.
of Otterbein first-year students receive some form of merit and/or need-based financial aid.
Academic Information for Parents
What is the most important tip(s) about the college admission process?
Visit — Stepping foot on campus gives you and your student an idea of what life is really like on campus. You can talk to students, faculty and staff and have a chance to ask any questions you may have.
Pay Attention to Deadlines — Application deadlines, scholarship deadlines, payment deadlines. Mark the calendar and don’t miss out on opportunities because the deadline has passed.
Communicate — Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have a question. That’s why we are here!
Our son/daughter’s GPA is higher than their standardized test score. How will this affect their admission decision?
Otterbein does a holistic review of the application, weighing more heavily on the academic transcript. We will look at GPA, test scores, what classes students have taken, the progression of classes, as well as extracurricular activities and involvement to make an admission decision. We understand that one test or one transcript doesn’t always give a full idea of what a student’s high school career is like.
Will my child graduate in 4 years?
Otterbein has a four-year graduation rate that is 21% higher than the average graduation rate at Ohio state public institutions. We plan to keep your student on the path to complete their degree in four years. Through faculty advising and student support services such as the Center for Student Success, our students get the support and guidance they need to stay on track to their degree.
Are students getting jobs after they graduate?
Ninety-seven percent of the Class of 2017 were working or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Otterbein’s academic model of Integrative Studies combined with experiential learning means our students and learning and doing from day one. The Center for Career and Professional Development is involved with students from the start and with our location in Westerville, Ohio, employers know and love to hire Otterbein grads.
What forms of academic support will my son/daughter have access to?
The mission of Otterbein University is to educate the whole person in a context that fosters the development of humane values. Students are paired with a faculty advisor for their major who will serve as the primary point of contact for scheduling classes, internships, and experiential learning opportunities. There are many opportunities for additional support through the Center for Student Success, Academic Support Center and Library, including workshops, tutoring, assessments, study skills, and advising plans.
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.