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College Spotlight: University College

A unique and varied part of the OHIO community


University College holds a unique position in the OHIO community. It is a degree-granting college, offering four associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees in specialized studies and criminal justice. It administers the University Professor Program and 1804 Fund to recognize outstanding teachers and enhance undergraduate learning. And it promotes academic success through the Academic Advancement Center, the Allen Student Help Center, Learning Communities, and Commuter and Veteran Student Services. In short, the college is a leader in collaboration, innovation, and academic enrichment to ensure that each individual at Ohio University can reach his or her maximum potential.

Ali Rudnick

Students seeking to earn University College's Bachelor of Specialized Studies (BSS) degree are unique. Self-directed and highly motivated, they craft their own academic programs, often combining diverse areas of interest. With the BSS, Ali Rudnick created her own major by combining communications, marketing and management, which prepared her for an internship at Sony Music in Nashville. Upon graduating, Ali plans to move to Nashville to work at a major record label.

Scholars Programs

University College is the academic home to many innovative and collaborative scholars programs, including:

  • The Ohio Fellows Program, a nontraditional scholars experience returning to Ohio University after 42 years.
  • The Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, which seeks to inspire and encourage women from all majors to become engaged, confident and connected leaders at Ohio University and beyond.
  • The Bachelor of Specialized Studies Departmental Honors, which provides support for scholarly research and thesis development.
  • The University College Scholars Learning Community, taught by the University College Dean, Dr. David Descutner.



All first-year students in University College participate in learning communities, which help students launch their college careers and correlate to higher grade-point averages, higher rates of retention, and higher levels of engagement on campus. Above, Dr. Debra Thompson, assistant professor of political science, interacts with her learning community in a Political Science 1010 class.


Marine Corps veteran Michael Logue, BSA '11, partnered with University College to enhance academic services for veterans. This effort culminated in Ohio University's ongoing recognition as a "military friendly" institution.


University College-trained student Orientation Leaders, selected through a competitive application process from all OHIO majors, join the University in welcoming each incoming class of approximately 4,000 new students when they attend Bobcat Student Orientation. Orientation leaders are some of Ohio University’s best and brightest students.


Administered by University College, the University Professor Program recognizes outstanding teaching by selecting four to six exemplary faculty members—such as 2012 honoree Dr. Jeffrey Rack, professor of chemistry and biochemistry—to receive a monetary award and support to develop a new course they've always wanted to teach.


University College is home to OHIO's Army and Air Force ROTC programs, which attract students who desire to serve their country. The programs equip them to lead and prepare them for commissioning as Army or Air Force officers. Both programs are proud of their national reputations for excellence.

Anisa Hussein

Anisa Husain, BSS '07, 2012 recipient of University College’s Outstanding Recent Alumna award, interviews Madonna in New York City at the premier of “W.E.,” a film the pop star co-wrote and directed.

Supplemental instruction

OHIO students visit the Academic Advancement Center over 15,000 times annually for tutoring, supplemental Instruction, computer lab assistance, study skills courses, and advising. Above, Supplemental Instruction Leaders Kevin McCormick (center) and Connor Cox (far right) assist Bailey Hanson (left) and Caleb Greenwood (second from right) with Math 1200 equations during a session in Morton Hall.


All University College students take a first-year seminar as part of a learning community during their first semester on campus. With University College's instructor-as-advisor model, the student's seminar instructor is also her or his academic advisor. University College academic advisor Tanya Barnett, above, adds that students make a strong, lasting connection with the instructor-advisor and their community.