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Academic Top 5

Academic Top Five Lists

We know that one of the most significant factors in deciding which college to attend is the quality of an academic program. We have put together a top five list for each of our colleges that includes information about what makes them unique, experiential learning opportunities and what you can expect as a student in the college.

College of Architecture student in lab
  1. You will have one-on-one time with award-winning faculty who bring incredible real-world experiences to the classroom and beyond, including Dean Hans E. Butzer, designer of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Skydance Bridge, and Marjorie Callahan, who recently led a U.S. State Department Diplomacy Lab team.

  2. We explore how built environments shape equitable communities. Our students and faculty work with Gibbs College’s Institute for Quality Communities to help address real-world challenges through design.

  3. Our students have access to world-class facilities, Gould Hall and the Creating-Making Lab. Gould Hall has a Digital Making Lab with 3D printers and laser cutters, a Building Information Modeling Lab that supports immersive virtual reality visualization, and a Lighting Design Studio. The 5,000 square-foot Creating-Making Lab has three bays of woodworking areas, laser cutters, CNC routers, a dozen 3D printers, and much more.

  4. Our students consistently receive national recognition for their work in planning, design, and construction. Recently, our students were named finalists in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and placed in the top five of an international design-build competition.

  5. We provide life-changing travel study opportunities for our students where they put their knowledge into practice in places like China, Germany, Uganda, and Dubai. Our Architecture and Interior Design students who study in Rome can take their required courses in the heart of the Eternal City—all while paying OU tuition.

Visit architecture.ou.edu

Students in arts & sciences class
  1. Choose from the largest variety of majors and minors on campus to create your own future. You can combine degrees like biology and Spanish, economics and Chinese, or history and psychology – or you can even design your own major! With programs in the natural and physical sciences, humanities, social sciences, and professional areas, an Arts and Sciences degree will equip you with a range of rigorous perspectives so you will always be ready to meet the challenges of a complex, changing world.

  2. Find the career pathway that is right for you. Professional internships, career-building coursework, and the college’s Student Success Center can help you bridge your individual major to a career that is right for your values, skills, and passions. Our 100,000 alumni are leading the way in a wide variety of fields, including business and industry, research and development, nonprofit organizations, local, state, and federal governments, foreign service, and education.

  3. Help discover new knowledge. Undergraduate research opportunities include going on archaeological digs, investigating medical and visual anthropology, finding new drugs from fungi, helping translate ancient science books, or digitizing collections of historic documents. All Arts and Sciences majors are taught by research faculty who are leaders in their own fields.

  4. Make a difference, locally and globally. Service-learning classes, study abroad opportunities, and internships give students the opportunity to learn about the world while fostering positive change. Through the Carl Albert Center, students work directly with elected officials and nonprofits. Through the Native American Studies Program, students complete internships and practicum courses with Tribal Nations. Through the Withrow Leadership Scholars program, students participate in a “Leadership and Service Abroad” course in Paris and Clermont-Ferrand, France.

  5. Become part of a community where every student is welcome, valued, and supported. Learn more about our active student organizations, dedicated faculty mentors, professional advisors, and the most diverse student body on campus. The Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences is committed to honoring student needs and voices, removing barriers to opportunity, and finding ways to support your academic and personal growth through your four years of undergraduate coursework and far beyond. 

Visit ou.edu/cas


  1. The School of Aviation recently merged with A&GS and celebrates more than 75 years of flight training at OU Max Westheimer Airport, which was selected as Oklahoma’s Airport of the Year for 2021. Flying Magazine ranked OU as the top “university to consider when pursuing a degree in aviation.”

  2. OU’s Research Campus, which houses the National Weather Center, the Radar Innovations Laboratory, and the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, was named Top Research Park of 2013 by the Association of Research Parks.

  3. All A&GS majors have access to state-of-the-art classrooms, computer labs, and research laboratory facilities in the Sarkeys Energy Center, National Weather Center, the Center for Spatial Analysis, and the Radar Innovations Laboratory.

  4. The School of Aviation Studies was selected as one of only four partner universities for the Destination 225 Program, which was developed to lead aspiring pilots to Southwest Airlines. 

  5. Degrees offered through A&GS are very marketable because they address important issues for the planet’s future, such as applied geographic information systems, high-impact weather, renewable energy, climate change, and the growing pilot and air traffic controller shortages.

Visit ou.edu/ags

Aviation student next to plane at airport
  1. Faculty, adjunct faculty, and instructors bring a combined 300 years of operational aviation and real-world experience into the classroom from disciplines of airlines, corporate aviation, air traffic control, Department of Defense, airport management, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and government.

  2. We offer students the opportunity to apply to aviation internships all over the country. Currently, we’re connected to paid and volunteer opportunities at Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Raytheon, Tinker Air Force Base Airfield Operations, OAC, Leidos, Max Westheimer Airport, and UPS, to name a few.

  3. The OU School of Aviation includes learning labs like the Simulation Center with state-of-the-art Air Traffic Control and Advanced Aviation Training Device simulation. Students are exposed to a wide variety of weather conditions and gain proficiency in weather-related decision making in flying and controlling.

  4. Students join a legacy of more than 75 years of flight training at OU. The aviation facilities cultivate a small-college feel and atmosphere with all aviation courses taught at the OU-owned Max Westheimer Airport with class D airspace and full precision approaches.

  5. You can join a number of student organizations that span across aviation disciplines, including the American Association of Airport Executives, Sooner Aviation Club, Sooner Air Traffic Control Association, National Intercollegiate Flying Association, Flying Sooners, National Gay Pilots Association, and Women in Aviation. 

VISIT OU.EDU/AGS/AVIATION

Students walking into Price College of Business
  1. Study globally. Price offers faculty-led programs in Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, and dozens of other destinations, offering cross-cultural and international business experiences.

  2. Give and learn. With our First Fidelity Bank Integrated Business Core program and our top-30 nationally ranked entrepreneurship program, you’ll earn job experience, give back to the community, build knowledge and gain an early edge in the workforce.

  3. Take the lead. The JCPenney Leadership Center provides real-world experience for high-performing undergraduate business students with corporate site visits and student-run conferences such as the Women in Business Leadership Conference, the Parker Leadership Conference and the Alumni Career Conference.

  4. Manage your bottom line. Price offers more than $2 million in scholarships, with more available every year.

  5. Get set for success. Through Price College’s Center for Student Success, you’ll graduate ready to thrive. CSS prioritizes career readiness and professional development, backed by two required undergraduate courses, one-on-one coaching, speakers and industry contacts. 

Visit price.ou.edu


  1. In the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy (MCEE), we have a highly diverse and multicultural student experience with over 30 countries represented.

  2. The Bartell Field Camp, located in Cañon City, Colorado, serves as a base of operations for our students doing their field work during the summer. Located in one of the most geologically diverse regions in the United States, our students get the ultimate hands-on education in earth sciences.

  3. The School of Geosciences provides numerous field experiences for its students, including freshman-level introductory trips, collecting trips with clubs, and upper-division curriculum-based trips, totaling more than 20 field trips annually. Some locations include Guadalupe National Park; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Galveston, Texas; Colorado; and Utah!

  4. Geosciences encourages undergraduate research through a senior thesis, independent study, or as an undergraduate research assistant. Students can receive grants to further their research, allowing them to present their work at national conferences and OU-sponsored research symposiums.

  5. Pick and Hammer Club, one of the three student organizations in the School of Geosciences, provides outreach to K-12 students to get them excited about geosciences. They typically reach over 30 teachers and 2,000 students in Oklahoma each year. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society host networking and mentoring opportunities with alumni in Oklahoma City, as well as technical talks led by industry leaders.

Visit geosciences.ou.edu

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) drilling simulator at OU
  1. In the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy (MCEE), we have a highly diverse and multicultural student experience with over 30 countries represented.

  2. According to U.S. News and World Report, the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering (MPGE) is ranked No. 5 in the nation. MPGE is also recognized by the oil and gas industry as a top-tier school in the recruitment of petroleum engineering graduates.

  3. MPGE has a history of excellence in pioneering new technologies and techniques. OU is home of the first drilling simulator to be placed at an academic institution. In 2019, the college launched the Ronnie K. Irani Center for Energy Solutions, allowing students to gain real-world experience in the Oklahoma oil and gas industry.

  4. The new GeoEnergy Engineering bachelor’s degree will educate engineers to address issues related to energy transition in the world today.

  5. MCEE-specific Study Abroad Programs immerse students in the culture of different countries while they take approved petroleum engineering courses. The summer study abroad programs are designed to complement an industry summer internship (a program requirement). Past programs have gone to Italy, Romania, and Brazil. 

Visit mpge.ou.edu

Student doing classwork on board
 
  1. Our Debt-Free Teachers Initiative is the college’s effort to financially assist and keep highly qualified teachers in Oklahoma after graduation. This program offers to pay up to $20,000 in student loans for those who qualify for the program and teach in a high-need area of education in Oklahoma. Learn more at ou.edu/debtfreeteachers.

  2. We are a nationally accredited Teacher Preparation Program through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which regulates programs that meet or exceed all state and national standards.

  3. The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education (JRCoE) participates in a 1:1 iPad program. Our students receive iPads and have access to a collaborative learning hub classroom, smartboards, and video displays.

  4. JRCoE students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of student organizations, all with national and international ties. These groups help our students further develop leadership skills by actively supporting the Oklahoma City metro community through service learning projects.

  5. One of the pillars of our Teacher Preparation Program is the ample amount of field experiences we offer our students. In partnering with school districts throughout the Oklahoma City metro area, our students get intensive and progressive field experiences in many diverse teaching environments. 

Visit ou.edu/education

Students in Engineering Practice Facility
  1. Our faculty members are among the best in their field. Their research efforts in artificial intelligence to predict weather, developing next generation software, and understanding new ways to produce energy (just to name a few) make a difference in our daily lives. You can contribute to their research through various undergraduate research programs.

  2. Throughout your educational journey at OU, we have embedded collaboration and teamwork into courses beginning in your first year. OU Engineering is built upon the idea that everyone, from faculty and staff to your peers, is here to help you succeed. We encourage students to ask questions, make connections, and build their community with OU. In each class, office, and organization, you will find champions to aid you in your path to graduation.

  3. The first of its kind in the region, the college’s Engineering Pathways Program employs leading engineering education experts in outreach, recruitment, and retention to grow and support our engineering student body. From early engagement through the undergraduate experience, the Engineering Pathways team encourages students along their engineering path.

  4. The Gallogly College of Engineering and Engineers’ Club host the annual Engineering Internship and Job Fair, where you can meet employers from across the world to discuss internship and career pathways. In fact, most students leave the Career Fair with an interview (or two, or more!).

  5. The Engineering Quad is designed to help students connect with other engineers while building support structures and professional networks. Here, student success happens both inside and outside the classroom. Whether it’s in the state-of-the-art facilities such as the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility and Gallogly Hall, the Engineering Learning Center for peer tutoring, or in the numerous study spaces and computer labs, students are given the tools they need to thrive. 

Visit ou.edu/coe

Drawing class
  1. The OU School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma cultivates a vibrant intellectual community that fosters the greatest possible excellence in the study of the visual arts, design, and art history. The school was established in 1915 and is the oldest and most comprehensive school of art in the state of Oklahoma.

  2. Our primary facility is the Fred Jones Art Center, which contains classrooms, large instructional studios, a darkroom, a technology-based fabrication lab, installation spaces, video and film editing rooms, digital photography labs, faculty offices, and the Lightwell Gallery exhibition space. We are also next door to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

  3. Our low student-to-faculty ratios ensure students get personal attention to succeed creatively, personally, and academically. Additionally, our college is fortunate to have caring patron groups who provide our students with scholarships and travel grants for out-of-state opportunities.

  4. To better prepare the next generation of artists for professional success, our faculty hone their skills by maintaining their careers as working artists and scholars in their chosen specialties. Our professors are active researchers and display their creations in exhibitions throughout the region, country, and world. 

  5. We have partnered with the College of International Studies to offer students the chance to experience Italy in OU’s study center in Arezzo. Available year-round and with special courses offered in the summer, Arezzo is a unique opportunity for our students to experience Italian art at its heart.

Visit ou.edu/finearts/visual-arts


  1. The OU School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma cultivates a vibrant intellectual community that fosters the greatest possible excellence in the study of the visual arts, design, and art history. The school was established in 1915 and is the oldest and most comprehensive school of art in the state of Oklahoma.

  2. American Theatre Magazine named the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre one of the top musical theatre programs in the nation. Eight full-time professional faculty work with a self-imposed cap of 50 students. This allows us to offer an unmatched level of personalized training. Alumni are performing on Broadway, in national tours, at regional theatres, and in Europe and Asia, demonstrating that this is one of America’s premiere programs.

  3. The School of Dance is considered one of the leading programs in the nation for training in ballet and modern dance technique. The school boasts two performing companies and both are committed to performing works from the national repertoire by choreographers such as Ailey, Balanchine, Battles, de Mille and Arpino. Opera, musical theatre, and student choreography productions offer additional performance outlets for students.

  4. The Helmerich School of Drama is the second-oldest established school in the nation behind Yale University. We have four fully equipped performance spaces: the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre, a 600-seat proscenium house; the A. Max Weitzenhoffer Theatre, a 225-seat flexible house; the Gilson Lab Theatre, an 80-seat proscenium house; and the Studio Theatre, an intimate blackbox. These spaces are our creative laboratories, providing an exciting training ground for performers, designers, and technicians as well as venues in which enthusiastic audiences support our productions. The College of Fine Arts hosts over 400 recitals, concerts, performances, and exhibitions each year.

  5. An institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1931, the OU School of Music is the only comprehensive music program in Oklahoma. We have over 60 full-time faculty members, whose presence is augmented by an outstanding music facility that includes four state-of-the-art performance halls and a comprehensive Fine Arts Library. The school is packed with action, presenting nearly 300 concerts, recitals, and scholarly presentations a year. 

Visit ou.edu/finearts

Health Science Center campus
  1. The College of Allied Health serves as the academic unit for programs in audiology, communication sciences and disorders, dietetics, nuclear medicine, nutritional sciences, occupational therapy, physical therapy, radiation sciences, radiation therapy, radiography, rehabilitation sciences, sonography, and speech-language pathology. College pass rate on professional entry Boards/Licensure examinations in the 10 professional-entry programs is over 95%. Explore the college at alliedhealth.ouhsc.edu.

  2. The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing was founded in 1911 and is the state’s largest and oldest nursing program. We are dedicated to continuing the leadership and academic excellence that have become synonymous with the University of Oklahoma. The college is home to 11 nursing degree programs with sites in Oklahoma City, Duncan, Lawton, Tulsa, and Norman. Learn more at nursing.ouhsc.edu.

  3. The Hudson College of Public Health is one of only 50 accredited schools of public health in the United States. Our active research program spans five different research centers with major initiatives related to American Indian health and biosecurity research. Visit coph.ouhsc.edu for more information.

  4. The College of Dentistry has Oklahoma’s only doctor of dental surgery program and its only bachelor of dental hygiene program. Dentistry offers the opportunity to blend science, human relations, and technical skills into a satisfying profession, and our college is prepared to provide you with a dental education second to none. Go to dentistry.ouhsc.edu to learn more.

  5. Today’s pharmacist does so much more than counting pills; the College of Pharmacy is leading the way in training community, hospital, clinical, nuclear, managed care, and research pharmacists. We offer an early assurance program for high school seniors who want to secure their future in pharmacy today. Find out more at pharmacy.ouhsc.edu.

  6. A vibrant medical school is critical for Oklahoma’s continuing development and success in medical education, biomedical research, and health care, and the College of Medicine is home to the only Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program in the state. Our campus also includes Oklahoma’s only Level 1 trauma center, National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center, and children’s hospital. Connect with us at medicine.ouhsc.edu.

  7. In coordination with HSC’s six professional colleges, the Graduate College is home to 31 master’s and Ph.D. programs, including biomedical sciences, clinical and translational sciences, and genetic counseling. In preparing the next generation of biomedical researchers and health care professionals, we facilitate a Career & Professional Development Seminar Series with an emphasis on written and oral communication, leadership, teamwork and collaboration, interdisciplinary training, resiliency and wellness, inclusion and professionalism, and networking. Check out available programs at graduate.ouhsc.edu.

Visit go2.ouhsc.edu

OU Honors College
  1. The Honors College is open to any qualified student of any major. In fact, every undergraduate college on campus is represented in the Honors College, so your classroom experience will be enriched by a variety of perspectives. Completing the Honors curriculum is the only way to earn cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude recognition at graduation and on your diploma.

  2. Enjoy the benefits of a smaller class size. All of the Honors College classes are capped at 19 to 22 students. Honors students are also granted unique housing opportunities, including the David L. Boren Hall, an honors floor within the residence halls, and OU’s Residential Colleges.

  3. The Honors curriculum diligently prepares Honors students to compete for such prestigious awards as the British Marshall Scholarship, the Goldwater Scholarship, the Mellon Fellowship, the NEH Younger Scholar Award, the NSF Graduate Fellowship Program, the Rhodes Scholarship, the Truman Scholarship, and the Fulbright Scholar program. Information and applications for these scholarships are available in the Honors College Office, and we have a dedicated advisor available to help interested Honors students through the often complicated application processes.

  4. There are many opportunities for undergraduate research through the Honors College, including the Honors Research Assistant Program (HRAP) and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). HRAP provides Honors students the opportunity to work with professors as research assistants on specific projects, while UROP offers financial assistance for projects under the mentorship of a faculty advisor. Students can compete for research grants of up to $1,000 each semester.

  5. The Honors College offers study abroad opportunities, including the popular Honors at Oxford summer program. OU places a great emphasis on global education, and 40% of Honors College students participate in study abroad programs. 

Visit ou.edu/honors

OU students studying abroad
  1. The Department of International and Area Studies (IAS) is a multidisciplinary department composed of talented professors who study diverse regions and issue areas. We offer a dynamic, timely, and engaging curriculum, which truly fosters global fluency.

  2. We promote and advocate for the internationalization of the college experience, encouraging our students to “Get Up and Global” here on campus and around the world. One aspect of this is the requirement that all IAS majors study a foreign language and participate in a study abroad experience.

  3. Our students learn practical and applicable skills in the classroom and are also assisted in finding internship and networking opportunities beyond the classroom. The learning process connects students to possible employers and prepares them for a variety of domestic and international jobs.

  4. OU’s Career Center has a dedicated staff member for the College of International Studies who helps our students with career opportunities and preparation.

  5. We provide significant merit- and need-based scholarships, which help fund study abroad programs, internships, and research.

Visit ou.edu/cis


  1. Our journalism program was named one of the top 10 programs in the nation by the Radio Television Digital News Association, and we are a national leader in video production. Our professional writing program is one of the oldest in the nation and BestofColleges.com ranked our advertising program in the top 10 in the country.

  2. Thanks to a generous $22 million gift from the Gaylord family, students have access to four state-of-the-art television studios, numerous editing bays, two large multimedia labs, a 2,000-square-foot student-run advertising and public relations agency, nearly 300 computers with the latest media software, and a dedicated podcasting studio.

  3. Our students build strong bonds with one another as they design public relations or advertising campaigns, work on investigative multimedia journalism series with Gaylord News, or write and produce one of our many regular student-run broadcasts, including Sooner Sports Pad and OU Nightly.

  4. You can build an impressive portfolio through multiple professional opportunities. Students produce and direct live broadcasts on Bally Sports. The Emmy Award- winning OU Nightly news program gives students daily, real-world experience. Through the Lindsey + Asp agency and Gaylord Hall Productions, students work with real clients in advertising, public relations, and media production. Our students have paying jobs in sports production and media marketing on campus each year.

  5. There are numerous opportunities tailored for Gaylord College students to explore their majors and their fields abroad. Go connect with professionals in London as part of the British Media Tour, consult with a client at the OU Center in Arezzo, Italy, or take a travel writing course in Puerto Rico. For a more in-depth experience, students can spend up to a year abroad.

Visit ou.edu/gaylord