Southwestern Oklahoma State University


For students who want to study at a small public university in the Great Plains, Southwestern Oklahoma University may be the school for you. Located on a rural campus in Weatherford, Oklahoma, SWOSU has a variety of academic programs students can choose from, including its flagship pharmacy program. For students who want to study in a quiet, bucolic environment, SWOSU is a great fit.


Information Summary

Ranks 8th in Oklahoma and 1094th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 79.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $21,241
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT 75%ile scores 24
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 20 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 66% / 36%
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,267


The university was established by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature more than 100 years ago and was originally intended to be a normal school, that is, a teacher’s college. The Southwestern Normal School included a high school and a two-year teacher’s training program. The high school was later closed and the school began offering bachelor’s degrees in the 1920s when it was renamed Southwestern State Teachers College.

During the WWII era, the school added arts and sciences programs and a school of pharmacy. The school went through a series of name changes before being re-dubbed as Southwestern State College. A master’s degree program for teaching was added in the 50s, and the university became Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1974. The university merged with Sayre Junior College in the late 80s, and the Sayre campus is now a satellite of SWOSU.


College Building :: Southwestern Oklahoma State University
College Campus :: Southwestern Oklahoma State University


Southwestern Oklahoma State University offers a variety of academic programs and small class sizes, giving students value for their education dollar.

In keeping with its mission to provide greater access to higher education, the university maintains a number of associate’s programs, many of them located on its Sayre campus, the site of a former community college.

The university’s academic programs are divided into five colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Graduate Studies
  • College of Associate and Applied Programs
  • Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College

The university offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in about 60 programs.

The university’s most popular associate’s degree programs include:

  • Liberal Arts: 48 percent of enrollment
  • Health Professions: 39 percent of enrollment
  • Business/Marketing: 11 percent of enrollment

SWOSU’s most popular bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Business/Marketing: 22 percent of enrollment
  • Health Professions: 20 percent of enrollment
  • Education: 17 percent of enrollment
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 8 percent of enrollment
  • Parks and Recreation: 7 percent of enrollment

SWOSU prides itself on offering quality education in a small setting. More than 60 percent of its teaching staff hold doctorate degrees, the student to teacher ratio is 20 to 1, and very few courses are taught by graduate assistants.

The university’s unique Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College offers degrees in education and tribal administration. The tribal college has aspirations to eventually become a freestanding entity.

Like most modern universities, SWOSU has distance learning opportunities that allow students with work and family responsibilities to take courses at home via the Internet.

U.S. News and World Report ranks SWOSU No. 88 among regional universities in the West. The publication also ranks it No. 37 among public institutions in the West and gives praise to the university’s pharmacy program.

The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits schools in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The association also accredits schools for the Navajo Nation.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Southwestern Oklahoma State University has a selective admissions policy. However, about 91 percent of students who apply to the university are admitted.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University has no admissions deadline, however, deposits for housing are due Aug. 1. Students will need to submit high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. An admission essay is also required. Students should also turn in relevant documentation of volunteer work and letters of recommendation. To enter the university’s bachelor’s degree programs, students should have and ACT of at least 19. Most SWOSU students have ACT scores of between 18-23.

As of Sept. 2011, the university has a $15 application fee.

Financial Aid

Students applying to the Southwestern Oklahoma State University are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of Oregon, the university and other organizations that students may be eligible for.

The university awards some guaranteed scholarships based on a point system that factors in students high school GPA with a few other factors. Scholarships can be maintained by keeping a good GPA at SWOSU.

The university’s office of financial stands ready to help students find other grants and scholarships they may be eligible for. About 64 percent of students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University receive student aid in terms of loans, grants or scholarships.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5513th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Oklahoma.


SWOSU has an enrollment of about 4,500, and the small size of the school gives it a close-knit feeling of community.

SWOSU has about 70 student organizations students can participate in, including Greek, professional, academic and recreational groups.

The university has a student wellness center, where students can go for medical care as needed. Much of SWOSU’s two-year programs are located at its Sayre campus.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is currently in the process of building a $19 million, 72,000 square foot events center. When completed, the center will provide facilities for conventions, concerts, athletic events and more.

SWOSUpalooza is a concert event that’s been held for 12 years at the university. The event showcases regional and local musicians and also brings in nationally known musicians. The last SWOSUpalooza was headlined by Eve 6. The event was formerly free of charge, but now a small fee is charged for tickets.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Southwestern Oklahoma State University participates in the NCAA division II and is a member of the Lone Star Conference.

Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, football, golf and rodeo. Women’s teams include softball, volleyball, golf, rodeo, basketball, soccer and cross country.

In 1996, the university’s football team won a NAIA national championship. The school’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams also do well in competition, often placing extremely well.

SWOSU’s athletic teams are known as the Bulldogs. School colors are blue, white and grey.

Additional School Information

SWOSU has a number of notable alumni, including NFL coaches Rex and Rob Ryan, NASA engineer John Aaaron who helped safely complete the Apollo 13 mission and billionaire Bob Magness, a cable television leader who ran TCI.


*Southwestern Oklahoma State | Southwestern Oklahoma State University | Best College | US News." US News & World Report | News & Rankings | Best Colleges, Best Hospitals, and more. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <>.

*"Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs :: SWOSUSPORTS.COM." Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs :: SWOSUSPORTS.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <>

*The College Board College Handbook, 2010 . 47th ed. New York: College Board, 2009. Print.

*McGrath, Anne. Ultimate college guide 2010 . 7th ed. Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks Inc., 2009. Print.

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