Why Choose USAO?

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma is an institution unlike any other and its mission is simple: To provide a quality liberal arts undergraduate education at an affordable cost.

Admission Standards
USAO is Oklahoma’s only public liberal arts university. We set our admission standards high so that we can take a personal interest in the educational outcome of every student who comes to our campus.

Superior Faculty
As we are an undergraduate-only university, your classes will not be taught by teaching assistants with no stake in your success or failure. 93% of USAO’s faculty holds the highest degree in his or her field and that is who will be at the front of your classroom, day in and day out. With a student-teacher ratio of 13:1, the majority of classes have fewer than 20 students in them. With those kinds of numbers, it’s hard to get lost as just a face in the crowd.

Core Like No Other
At the center of every USAO graduate’s experience is the interdisciplinary core, sometimes known as the IDS program. This 46-hour series of classes is taken by every student who graduates from USAO. It should not be confused for the “gen-ed” block required by most universities that asks students to take some kind of math, some kind literature or some kind of science. Instead, all USAO students take the same sequence of courses, building a common experience that binds together current students, faculty and alumni. 

These classes are often team-taught by faculty from different disciplines to encourage students to consider information and solve problems from multiple perspectives. This common set of courses is structured to lead students through a logical sequence of learning that promotes critical thinking, communication skills and creativity; all vital skills to not only survive but thrive in today’s turbulent economy.

‘A’ Grade for Curriculum
In a fall 2010 report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, USAO was listed as one of only 19 universities nationwide to receive the highest grade for the integrity of its core curriculum. Read more at

For the last 10 years, USAO was listed on the Best Buys list in U.S. News and World Report. This year, for the first time, USAO was moved to the prestigious “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category in U.S. News – a result of our rising reputation and because we graduate 60 percent of our degrees in the arts and sciences, more than any Oklahoma school, public or private!

Campus Life
The ideal college experience isn’t just about lectures and tests. At USAO, we strive to present our students with a full campus life that will create bonds to last a lifetime. Nestled in a small community that is positioned within a 45-minute drive of three metropolitan areas, USAO offers its students the best of both worlds: a safe environment in which to learn and live with ready access to all the cultural benefits of larger cities. For those who choose to live on campus, USAO provides a wealth of social and cultural events as well as affordable, state-of-the-art housing facilities to maximize your college experience.

Top 100 in America for Value
While it is true that many of these same elements can be found at private universities around the nation, the final and perhaps most important thing that distinguishes USAO is cost. In a recent survey, Kiplinger’s listed USAO among the Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges and, of that list, USAO was the most affordable. With our innovative Fast Track scholarship program, ambitious Oklahoma students can finish their studies in three years and move into the job market with a valuable degree minus 25% of the cost of achieving it.

In short, there is no shortage of reasons to consider USAO as the number-one destination for your college experience. The best way to make sure that what we are offering is as good as it sounds is to schedule a visit to our campus and talk with us about how we might best serve you in your strides towards the future. You’ll be glad you did.