Celebrating more than a century of service as Oklahoma's only public liberal arts college, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma – nationally ranked for quality and value – is a recognized leader and innovator in interdisciplinary studies.
Like the best private liberal arts colleges, USAO offers small classes; award-winning faculty; and a campus culture that fosters inclusivity, close faculty-student interaction and undergraduate research opportunities. USAO educates the whole person, encourages growth through public service, and our athletic teams compete in 13 NAIA sports.
Founded in 1908 as the Oklahoma College for Women (OCW), it was the first college created by Oklahoma's first Legislature. One of only seven state institutions with similar missions ever created in this country, USAO has the oldest original mission of any state college or university in Oklahoma other than the University of Oklahoma. USAO is also the only Oklahoma college named a National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Statement of Core Belief
We believe the best path to a meaningful and purposeful life is an education that integrates knowledge from many disciplines to equip individuals for the 21st century.
Top 10 Distinctives of USAO
- USAO offers a broad educational experience. As Oklahoma's only public liberal arts university, USAO provides students a broad educational experience, grounded in the sciences and humanities, that reinforces communication, critical thinking and problem solving.
- Coursework is built around a unique interdisciplinary core. USAO's Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) program remains as innovative today as when it was created 50 years ago by integrating knowledge from many disciplines.
- USAO pioneered the innovative team-teaching approach. Team-teaching in the IDS program is an innovative approach that puts two or more professors from different disciplines into the classroom, offering students differing perspectives and approaches to the same material.
- Our mission attracts highly qualified faculty. Nearly 90% of USAO's faculty have terminal degrees in their field and no classes are taught by teaching assistants. Faculty members come from prestigious graduate schools from across the country.
- The small campus environment fosters relationships. Enrollment caps contribute to USAO having a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, creating an environment where students have access to faculty and know one another.
- Curiosity is encouraged and nurtured. USAO fosters an environment where curiosity is at the heart of the academic experience and creativity is the norm, not the exception.
- Students stay and graduate. USAO attracts curious-minded students who thrive in this kind of environment and tend to graduate at higher rates than most public universities of its size.
- Graduates succeed in post-graduate study and become leaders in their field. USAO students succeed in graduate school and rise to positions of leadership in their chosen field.
- We counter the common perception that quality is not affordable. Year after year USAO is nationally recognized for its affordability, upward social mobility, as well as the rigor of its academic approach.
- USAO fills an unduplicated role in the state higher education system. As Oklahoma's only public liberal arts university, USAO serves a unique purpose with an educational mission that is unduplicated in the state system of higher education.