Northeastern State University is the oldest higher education institution in the state of Oklahoma, dating back to 1846 with the founding of the Cherokee National Female Seminary. The original school educated women of the Cherokee nation for 20 years before being purchased by the state in 1909 as a college for teachers. By 1985, the college had evolved into a full-scale, four-year university offering a number of degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. NSU is now the fourth-largest public university in the state, providing a variety of degrees and certificates to nearly 9,000 students each year.
Northeastern State welcomes students of all demographics, but its history as a women's college probably accounts for the fact that about 63 percent of the student body is female. Just over 19 percent of the student body comes from American Indian or Native Alaskan descent while just over 50 percent identify as white. Students who attend the school will enjoy a diverse student population and the chance to interact with a variety of cultures. Acceptance is selective at 75 percent.
At NSU, students can choose from 54 undergraduate programs and 24 graduate programs. Nearly all undergraduate classes have fewer than 50 students, and 84 percent of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students. The most popular programs at NSU center on elementary education, biology, accounting, business and psychology. Students will learn from highly experienced professors, about half of whom have the highest degrees in their respective fields.
Northeastern State University Accreditation Details
Northeastern State University is accredited on an institutional level by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Several programs also hold individual accreditation. The College of Education, for example, holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or NCATE, which recently merged with another accrediting board to form the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Preparation or CAEP. NSU will maintain NCATE accreditation through 2018, at which point the CAEP will conduct its own review.
Northeastern State University Application Requirements
To apply to Northeastern State, interested students will need to complete an online application. The university does not accept paper submissions, and students must also be able to pay the $25 non-refundable application fee once they've completed the application. First-time undergraduate students must meet the following admissions requirements:
- Completion of core curricular classes
- A high school diploma or GED
- Participation in standardized testing, such as the ACT
- A minimum high school GPA of 2.70 or ranking among the top 50 percent in their graduating class
- A record free of disciplinary or criminal activity
Graduate students need to meet minimum GPA requirements, hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and pass certain graduate entrance exams as determined by program. International and resident non-citizens will need to submit additional paperwork. There are three campuses available for students: Tahlequah, Muskogee and Broken Arrow. Students can also pursue a variety of programs entirely online through the school's online division, and some programs can be taken as hybrid or blended classes. Online students follow the same application procedures as students taking on-campus courses.
Tuition and Financial Aid
In-state and non-resident students pay different rates at NSU. For a resident undergraduate, tuition is just over $2,200 per semester. Non-resident undergraduates pay about $5,148. Graduate residents pay just over $2,700 per semester while out-of-state graduates pay around $6,000. Costs may also vary based on program and enrollment status. Northeastern State offers a cost calculator on its financial aid website to help students estimate the cost of attendance.
Students at NSU can apply for federal loans, grants, work-study opportunities and scholarships to offset the cost of tuition and fees. Oklahoma students can also take advantage of a program called Oklahoma's Promise, which allows high school students from low-income families to earn a tuition scholarship. Students who need assistance should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA as well as NSU's scholarship application to determine eligibility.
Online Degrees Available
Students can enroll in more than 400 online courses through NSUOnline, the virtual campus of Northeastern State University. Nearly 42 percent of students at NSU took an online course in the spring of 2014 according to the university website. Those who pursue an online degree can expect a high-quality experience due to the university's participation in the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus. Among the various programs offered, students can pursue a Master of Education in Reading, a health care administration degree or a bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism management.
Master's Degree in Education
Students who want to become reading specialists will appreciate NSU's master's degree in education with an emphasis on reading. The program requires completion of 32 credit hours, divided into six professional education credits, 20 specialized reading courses and six enrichment courses. Topics include literacy assessment, early childhood special education, utilization of resources and emergent literacy development. At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone project of their own design.
At the undergraduate level, students can enroll in the Health Care Administration degree program, which prepares graduates for careers at management levels within health care organizations. This program is designed for students who already hold an associate's degree, and it can be completed in two years provided that students have the prerequisite education. Without an associate's degree, students will need to complete 124 credit hours. As an online completion program, the bachelor's in health care administration requires 66 credit hours covering business and health care classes. Students will pursue courses on the principles of finance, microeconomics, aging processes and long-term care, and health care policy and law, among others.
Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management
The field of hospitality and tourism management is an emerging business opportunity for entrepreneurial students, and NSU offers a degree program that should prepare graduates to work in a wide range of careers, including banquet and catering management, meeting planning and incentive travel sales. NSU requires all undergraduates to take 49 credit hours of general education in addition to specific program credits. For the bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism management, students will need to complete a total of 121 credit hours divided into general education, business core and major-specific courses. At Northeastern State University, students can enroll in degree or certificate programs entirely online, saving time and money in the pursuit of higher education.