Northeastern State University, also known as NSU, is the oldest post-secondary institution in the state of Oklahoma. A public university located at the base of the Ozark Mountains in Tahlequah, the school also operates branches in Muskogee and Broken Arrow in addition to its main campus.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, NSU has a “three-fold mission of teaching, research, and public service.” It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.
The university has a unique history. The Cherokee National Female Seminary was created in 1851, prior to Oklahoma’s statehood. In 1909, state legislature approved a normal school for Tahlequah and purchased land, buildings and equipment from the seminary. The normal school became Northeastern State Teachers’ College in 1921 and transitioned into a state college offering a comprehensive curriculum in the 1950s. The university received its current name in 1985.
Students can pursue both undergraduate and graduate programs at Northeastern, which is comprised of the following colleges and departments:
- College of Business and Technology
- College of Education
- College of Extended Learning (Continuing Education)
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science & Health Professions
- College of Optometry
- Graduate College
Bachelor’s degrees are offered in subjects including accounting, art, biology, criminal justice, education, environmental science, general studies, history, mathematics, Native American studies, nursing, optometry, social work, special education, theatre, and more.
Graduate degrees, some with particular concentrations, are offered in over 15 areas. These include master’s level programs in American studies, communication arts, English, business administration, education, counseling psychology, accounting and financial analysis, library media and information technology, and criminal justice. There are no academic doctoral degrees; the Doctor of Optometry is offered through the College of Optometry.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Northeastern State College of Optometry was established in 1979. It is one of just 14 schools in the nation that offers a doctorate in Optometry.
NSU applications can be submitted online. In addition to a completed application, prospective students must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students who are still enrolled in high school at the time of application must have final transcripts sent to the Admissions Office after graduation.
In general, students must have a high school diploma from an accredited school or GED equivalent as well as a high school GPA of 2.7 better or a score of 20 or higher on the ACT. To be considered for admission, students must also successfully complete the following high school courses: 4 units of English; 3 units of laboratory science; 3 units of mathematics; 3 units of history and citizenship; and 2 units of electives selected from the subjects listed above, computer science, or foreign language.
Transfer students and international students will have additional requirements; the Admissions Office can supply further details and information.
Graduate school applications can be submitted online. Prospective graduate students are advised to consult the department to which they are applying for a full list of prerequisites and requirements. Basic requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher along with acceptable GRE, GMAT, or other standardized test scores. The graduate school application deadline is generally one month prior to desired term of entrance, but some programs have earlier dates and/or limited availability.
Students who seek financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. Common types of aid awarded to undergraduates include grants, scholarships, and loans. Students who meet GPA and ACT score requirements may receive 4-year academic scholarships from the university. Some students with good academic standing and financial need may also be eligible for a partial tuition fee waiver. Work-study programs and part-time on-campus employment for students who do not meet federal work-study requirements are also available.
Native American students can contact their tribal higher education office for more information about scholarships or grants available to Native Americans. Approximately one-fourth of NSU students identify themselves as Native American.
Qualified graduate students may benefit from teaching or research assistantships, which often include a stipend and waiver of tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult their individual department as to applying for assistantships or fellowships.
Student Financial Aid Details
Living on campus in one of the university’s residence halls is recommended. Research has found that residential students tend to have higher GPAs and are more likely to graduate than commuter students.
There are things to do on all NSU campuses throughout the year. Events and activities include homecoming, football games and other athletic events, career fairs, lectures, concerts, festivals, theatrical performances, family days, and more.
Student life includes a variety of ways to get involved outside of the classroom. Campus is home to fraternities, sororities, academic groups, religious groups, and shared interest clubs, such as the Social Dance Society, the Kindred Spirits Gospel Choir, the Chess Club, and the Fashion Association.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Northeastern is an NCAA Division II School. The NSU RiverHawks (known as the Redmen until 2006) compete in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Men’s sports include football, basketball, baseball, golf, and soccer. Women’s sports include basketball, softball, golf, soccer, and tennis. The RiverHawks are supported by the spirit squad, which includes a co-ed cheerleading team, dance team, and mascot, Rowdy the RiverHawk.
Athletic facilities include a fieldhouse, stadium, baseball field, and soccer and softball fields.
Among the championships and awards that NSU athletics have received are a division championship in men’s basketball in 2003, conference and national championships in football, a women’s basketball division championship, and two women’s conference championships in tennis.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.