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Close-Knit Christian Liberal Arts Education at OBU

Ouachita Baptist University appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South.

Ranked among the U.S. News & World Report’s top 229 nationally, Ouachita Baptist University is a non-profit CCCU member in Arkansas granting two associate and 64 bachelor’s majors, including three online, at a 12:1 student-faculty ratio. For example, the B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics shapes a 120-credit, ACEND-accredited plan under Dr. Detri Brech in Jones Science Center with 1,200 clinical hours for 93.75 percent Registered Dietitian exam passage. Chaired by Dr. Eric Phillips, the B.A. in Theatre has a 120-credit, audition-based curriculum split into Performance, History, and Technical Design tracks with student productions like Charlotte’s Web in the 200-seat Verser Theatre.

Online via Moodle, the B.A. in Christian Studies accelerates the 120-credit Pruet School sequence led by Dr. Danny Hays with eight-week, Web-based courses from Spiritual Formation to Biblical Hermeneutics plus one required internship, such as New Life Church or Elrod Center. The B.A. in Elementary Education boasts a 100 percent Praxis pass rate after a 120-credit, CAEP-accredited path directed by Dr. Kathy Collins with Wetherington Teaching-Learning Center practice, Kappa Delta Pi membership, and Costa Rica missions.

Other Ouachita Baptist degrees include the B.S.N. in Nursing, B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A. in Accounting, B.A. in Worship Arts, B.S. in Biomedical Sciences, B.A. in Spanish, B.S. in Computer Science, B.A. in Social Justice, and B.S. in Kinesiology.

About Ouachita Baptist University

Ouachita Baptist University originated on September 6, 1886, when Samuel Stevenson and James M. Gilkey started Ouachita Baptist College as the faith’s first Arkansas institution. In 1900, President John William Conger acquired a 13-acre Arkadelphia campus on the Ouachita River. In 1907, Ouachita famously started the Battle of the Ravine rivalry with Henderson-Brown College. Until 1933, tuition was free for all ministers and their dependents. On January 1, 1942, Ouachita Baptist earned initial regional accreditation. In Fall 1962, it accepted the first two African-American students and desegregated. Three years later, the Ouachita Baptist University name was adopted. In 1987, the Riley-Hickingbotham Library was renovated to hold over 200,000 volumes. In 1991, OBU ended its graduate program to focus on baccalaureate liberal arts schooling.

Endowed for $108.2 million, Ouachita Baptist University now employs 125 faculty teaching 1,594 Tigers from 30 nations who join 60+ clubs like Phi Alpha Theta and contribute 80,000 service hours yearly for 98 percent graduate school success. In 2019, Ouachita Baptist won the CSPA Silver Crown Award for its Ouachitonian yearbook. In 2018, OBU received the Outstanding Student Advancement Program from CASE for Tiger Tunes. Forbes placed OBU 473rd overall with the 151st best liberal arts education. On Niche, OBU has America’s 31st best religious studies, 50th safest campus, 51st best dorm housing, and 94th top teaching degrees. The Wall Street Journal included Ouachita Baptist University in the 600 best countrywide. WalletHub honored OBU 255th for career outcomes and 168th for faculty resources. Washington Monthly also crowned OBU 194th for social mobility.

Ouachita Baptist University Accreditation Details

On February 20, 2018, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) updated the Institutional Status Report to extend Level II accreditation at Ouachita Baptist University through 2027-28 under its 16th president, Dr. Benjamin R. Sells, who earned the Harvard Institute for Educational Management Certificate. Headquartered 715 miles north via Interstate 57 in Chicago, Illinois, this giant 19-state Great Plains Region accreditor is approved by the U.S. Department of Education and Arkansas State Board of Education. The Academic Affairs Office also lists the following degree-specific OBU accreditations:

  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Ouachita Baptist University Application Requirements

Starting at Ouachita Baptist University is considered “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since only 1,375 of the 2,162 Fall 2017 applicants were selected for 64 percent acceptance. First-year Tigers must have completed 16 units of accredited high school academics. Four units of English plus three units of Social Science and Math are preferred. General Education Development scores above the 50th percentile would qualify. Freshmen must present a 2.75 GPA or better, though the mean is 3.64. The Office of Admission stipulates a minimum 940 SAT or 20 ACT composite score. The Tiger Network Leadership Program raises requirements to the 1020 SAT mark. Transfers with 29+ credits and GPAs above 2.0 enjoy test-optional entrance. The exception is for international students who need TOEFL scores of 78 iBT, 213 cBT, and 550 pBT or higher.

Ouachita Baptist University conveniently has rolling admission with a priority freshmen deadline of January 15th for freshmen. Prospective transfers can apply through August 15th for Fall, December 20th for Spring, and April 15th for Summer starts. Note the $150 tuition deposit is refundable only until May 1st. Accordingly, complete the step-by-step OBU Application for free online. Forward official transcripts to 410 Ouachita Street Box 3777 in Arkadelphia, AR 71998. The Tiger Handbook also requests supplemental items like the standardized test scores, GED certificate, health form, financial verification document, passport copy, transfer clearance form, and work/extracurricular history. Learn more by contacting (870) 245-5000 or admissions@obu.edu.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Ouachita Baptist University is charging full-time bachelor’s tuition of $13,640 each semester or $27,280 annually. Undergrads pay mandatory general fees of $310 each term. Residing at the Arkadelphia campus’ dorms like Frances Crawford Hall adds $3,680 for yearly rent. Standard meal plans for Commons Dining Hall are $3,950 extra. OBU budgets $1,000 for travel, $1,100 for textbooks, and $2,200 for miscellaneous costs by year. Traditional annual attendance equals about $40,200 on-site and $32,570 if commuting. However, online tuition is $325 per credit. The Pruet School of Christian Studies has a $345 LOGOS Software fee online too.

According to the NCES College Navigator, Financial Aid Office at Cone-Bottoms Hall Suite 130 gets 97 percent of full-time OBU Tigers tuition assistance averaging $17,540 each for $25.27 million combined. Institutional funds include the Opportunity Award, Dean’s Scholarship, Founder’s Scholarship, Collegiate Scholarship, Transfer Student Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, Southern Baptist Church Matching Grant, Minister’s Child or Spouse Award, Legacy Award, Associational Scholarship, Band Scholarship, Theatre Arts Scholarship, Athletic Scholarship, and International Study Scholarship. The President’s Scholarship gifts $74,000 total over four years to freshmen with minimum 3.9 GPAs. National Merit Finalists applying before March 1st earn $1,000 awards from Ouachita Baptist. File FAFSA forms coded 001102 for federal resources, such as the Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized Loan. Arkansans also pursue the Higher Education Opportunities Grant, Minority Teacher Scholarship, Single Parent Scholarship, Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship, Second Effort Scholarship, and more.

Search through eight accredited schools conferring 60+ Christian degrees on the Ouachita Baptist University website.