The Ohio State University, commonly Ohio State or OSU, is a public land-grant research university in Columbus, Ohio. The flagship of the University System of Ohio, it has been ranked by major institutional rankings among the best public universities in the United States. Founded in 1870 as the state’s land-grant university and the ninth university in Ohio with the Morrill Act of 1862, Ohio State was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College and focused on various agricultural and mechanical disciplines but it developed into a comprehensive university under the direction of then-Governor and later U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes, and in 1878 the Ohio General Assembly passed a law changing the name to “the Ohio State University” and broadening the scope of the university. Admission standards tightened and became greatly more selective throughout the 2000s and 2010s.
Ohio State’s political science department and faculty have greatly contributed to the construction and development of the constructivist and realist schools of international relations; a 2004 LSE study ranked the program as 1st among a public institution and 4th overall in the world. A member of the Association of American Universities, Ohio State is a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars, and is the only school in North America that offers an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree in welding engineering. The university’s endowment of $6.8 billion in 2021 is among the largest in the world. Past and present alumni and faculty include 5 Nobel Prize laureates, 9 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Churchill Scholars, 1 Fields Medalist, 7 Pulitzer Prize winners, 64 Goldwater scholars, 6 U.S. Senators, 15 U.S. Representatives, and 108 Olympic medalists. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity“. As of 2021, Ohio State has the most students in the 95th percentile or above on standardized testing of any public university in the United States.
The university has an extensive student life program, with over 1,000 student organizations; intercollegiate, club and recreational sports programs; student media organizations and publications, fraternities and sororities; and three student governments. Its athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Ohio State Buckeyes. The school’s football program has had great success and is one of the major programs of college football; their rivalry against the University of Michigan has been termed as one of the greatest in North American sports. As of 2017, Ohio State’s football program is valued at $1.5 billion, the highest valuation of any such program in the country. The main campus in Columbus has grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States, with nearly 50,000 undergraduate students and nearly 15,000 graduate students. Ohio State competes as a member of the Big Ten Conference for the majority of its sports.