Southern Oregon University is a public liberal arts college that offers a “small college feel” with “university amenities”, located in Ashland, Oregon. Formerly known as Southern Oregon College and Southern Oregon State College, the school was officially founded in 1926 though its roots reach back to 1872 with the founding of Ashland Academy which eventually became the Ashland College and Normal School in 1879. In 1887 the school was declared an official state normal school by the State of Oregon and became a full-fledged state school in 1904 but shut down in 1909 due to lack of funding. In 1926 the school was reestablished as the Southern Oregon State Normal School in Ashland and has only continued to grow and expand since then.
Academic ProgramsSouthern Oregon University specializes in its strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum which is balanced with career-focused preparation. The University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has been so since 1928. A variety of undergraduate, graduate, pre-professional and online degree programs are offered.
Major programs offered at Southern Oregon University include art, biology, business administration, chemistry, communication, computer science, creative writing, criminal justice, early childhood development, economics, elementary education, emerging media & digital arts, English, environmental science and policy, financial mathematics, health and physical education, history, human service, innovation and leadership, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, language and culture, mathematics, mathematics-computer science, music, nursing, outdoor adventure leadership, political science, psychology, sociology and anthropology, and theatre arts. In addition to these and several pre-professional programs, the University offers a number of master degree programs in the areas of business administration, education, environmental education, interdisciplinary studies, music, teaching, and more.
Student LifeSouthern Oregon University has a total enrollment figure of more than 6,000, including nearly 5,500 undergraduate students. Student housing is offered in the form of several University-owned residence halls with additional options for married students or students with dependent children.
Southern Oregon University recognizes a wide range of student-led clubs and organizations; many of the University’s undergraduate majors have associated clubs as well as groups focused on specific hobbies, sports, music, multiculturalism, and much more. These and other University events and activities provide opportunity for students to interact with one another outside of the classroom and develop students’ leadership skills. Southern Oregon University is a member of the NAIA and its varsity teams compete at the Division II level. Known as the Raiders, the University’s teams primarily compete in the Cascade Collegiate Conference while the football team competes in the Frontier Conference. Men’s and women’s sports include basketball, cross country, and track & field along with men’s football and wrestling and women’s soccer, softball, and volleyball.