Founded in 1834, the University of the Ozarks is Arkansas’s oldest university, and one of the first colleges west of the Mississippi River, built as an educational inspiration in the frontier. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Ozarks was originally a Presbyterian school in a two-room pioneer cabin in Cane Hill, AR, eventually moving to Clarksville and evolving into a college. Ozarks has long been known for progress, becoming the first college in Arkansas to admit women and the state’s first predominantly white institution to graduate an African-American student. Ozarks has always stood for academic excellence above all else, and the university has long been ranked in the top tier of Southern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report.
Academic ProgramsThe University of the Ozarks proudly adheres to the traditional liberal arts college model, awarding bachelor’s degrees steeped in the classical humanities and sciences. All students work through a core of general education leading into their majors, and with more than 60 programs, Ozarks offers a full range of options. Ozarks’ student-centered curriculum foregrounds the values of the liberal arts, including critical research, communication, and community, while also building on Ozarks’ Christian heritage with an emphasis on the ethical, spiritual, and moral responsibilities of professional, social, and family life.
As a small liberal arts college, Ozarks maintains a low student:faculty ratio of 14:1, providing students with the means to develop life-altering mentorship relationships with faculty members, as well as engaging in undergraduate research with direction from experienced experts – a key distinction that has value both on the job market, and in applying for graduate programs. The success of Ozarks’ graduates – 90% find employment or enroll in graduate school within six months – demonstrates the quality of Ozarks’ student support, including the Student Success Center, and the Jones Learning Center, the first program ever developed for college students with learning disabilities.
Student LifeThe University of the Ozarks is very small – just over 750 students. That means that life on campus is exceptionally intimate and familial, but it doesn’t mean that student life is boring. In fact, more than 40 student-led organizations and clubs provide students with a way to occupy their down time, build friendships, make professional connections, and keep healthy. Ozarks Outdoors organizes adventure and outdoor recreation trips for students to Arkansas’s many wilderness spots, including activities like hiking and canoeing, while intramural sports bring out the competitive side of Ozarks students. The Ozarks Eagles also field a number of NCAA Division III sports, including baseball, basketball, and more.
As a Christian university, spiritual life is important to student life; all religions and Christian denominations are welcome, and different traditions are welcome and shared. With its Presbyterian heritage, Ozarks puts the values of Christian faith at the center of student life. Weekly services are held on-campus, and the Ozarks philosophy puts Christian cornerstones like service, justice, hospitality, and honesty into every aspect of curriculum. The concept of the Sabbath is also especially important, emphasizing rest, meditation, and gratitude on a weekly basis.