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.

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?


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.”

Melissa Gilbert, Director, Center for Community Engagement

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.

Kyle Turner, Zoo & Conservation Science

How will I be prepared for life's challenges?



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.”

Bridget Bowman ’20, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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?


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.

- Jaden Lunger ’18, philosophy major and Cardinal soccer student-athlete

Visit Otterbein

Come on in and find out more about Otterbein University and our students. Talk with an admission counselor about everything we have to offer. Now that you have explored our academic opportunities and campus life offerings, schedule a visit and see it for yourself.

We can’t wait to meet you!

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.

Affordability is one of our main priorities at Otterbein. Our Opportunity Scholarships covers tuition for Ohio families with incomes of $60,000 or less.

Learn more about our Opportunity Scholarship >

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.

Ready to call Otterbein home? Pay your enrollment fee to reserve your spot.

Go to our Fee Payment site >