University College 

100 Wagner Hall
1005 Asp Avenue
Norman, OK 73019

Phone: (405) 325-3521
FAX: (405) 325-7383

mission and administration

Mission of the College 

University College includes Advising, the Assessment Center, the Center for Student Advancement, Freshman Programs, and the Student Learning Center to serve OU students. It is also the academic home of OU's ROTC. Founded in 1942, University College was one of the first academic units in the United States to focus on meeting the special needs of first year students. Since then, many colleges and universities have patterned their first year experience (FYE) programs on the University College model. University College is the entry point for new undergraduate students who come to the University of Oklahoma directly from high school, as well as many transfer students. It is also the academic home of all pre-health professions majors and many students who have not yet decided on an academic major. 

The primary mission of University College is to assist new students in making a successful transition to the university and building a solid foundation for further academic success. The staff of the college provides academic advising, assessment, major exploration coaching, orientation, tutoring, and other services designed to foster academic success and familiarize students with the university and its programs. The services of the college are available to all students of the university, and the staff of the college provides information and assistance to all who seek it.

Administrative Officers of the College 

Nicole J. Campbell, Ph.D., Dean 
Lisa A. Portwood, Ph.D., Assistant Dean 
Lillian D. Miller, M.Ed., Director, Freshman Programs 
John Dell., Director, Center for Student Advancement
Janel Russell-Pendergraft, M.Ed., Director, Academic Advising 
Stephen Crynes, M.Ed., Director, Center for Major Exploration
Johnnie-Margaret McConnell, Ph.D., Director, Student Learning Center


Academic Advising

Stephanie Miller, Assistant Director
Maggie Bartlett, Academic Counselor
Brittney Johnson, Academic Counselor
Nathan Kerswill, Academic Counselor
Tosha King, Academic Counselor
Travis Lightsey, Jr., Major Exploration Coach
Jon Minks, Academic Counselor
Roxy New, Academic Counselor
Kelsey Parker, Major Exploration Coach
Lyndsey Smith, Academic Counselor
Lauren Hackler, Academic Counselor
Taylor Boyd, Academic Counselor

Academic advising is the primary function of University College. Professional academic counselors are available throughout the year to help students decide on majors, select appropriate courses, and become acquainted with university policies and resources. Our goal is to provide students with the support they need to succeed at the University of Oklahoma. 

While enrolled in University College, students will typically take courses common to all degree programs at the university. These include two courses in English composition, three hours in American history, and three hours in United States government (political science). Students will also enroll in courses required for general education, courses required for the major, or courses designed to explore various fields of interest. Students may also take courses to supplement their high school background or to help them be successful in college. 

Students whose American College Test (ACT) scores indicate high aptitude for college work have many opportunities to tailor their programs to their particular abilities. If they have taken high school courses that are equivalent to college work, they may be encouraged to omit certain freshman courses and move into more advanced courses. If they need college credit for the courses omitted, they may take advanced standing examinations to earn that credit. Students should take such action only after discussion of their individual needs and objectives with an academic counselor. Qualified students are also encouraged to apply to the Honors College.

Admission to a Degree-Recommending College 

A student may be admitted to one of the degree-recommending colleges on the Norman campus if he or she has declared a major, completed 24 or more credit hours of college-level work, and achieved an overall grade point average required for graduation from that college. Admission to the degree-recommending colleges at the OU Health Sciences Center requires a separate application process and is governed by requirements unique to each college or program.  

Major Exploration and Advising for Undecided Students 

Many students in University College have not yet chosen an academic major, and at least half of the students who have declared a major will change their minds during their first year. University College offers students the unique opportunity to take a semester or more to explore different career options and academic majors. Rather than being forced to make a premature decision, students are encouraged to evaluate options by enrolling in exploratory classes, participating in inventories designed to assess abilities and interests, and interacting with major exploration coaches who are experienced in working with undecided students. 

The Strong Interest Inventory and FOCUS2 are web-based systems designed to aid students with the process of making a decision about selecting a major and/or a career and are available to all OU students through University College and the Assessment Center. These programs allow students to explore careers and the relationship between choosing a career and choosing an academic major. Both web-based programs are accessible 24 hours a day, every day, online. The college’s major exploration coaches can meet with students and, using results from career assessments and their familiarity with all OU majors, help students narrow their focus about majors and careers.

Pre-Health Professions Advising 

University College advises students seeking to enter professional health fields such as communication sciences and disorders, dental hygiene, nursing, nutritional sciences, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician’s associate, and the radiologic technologies. The assistance of an academic counselor is especially important to the pre-health profession student who wants to complete his/her admission requirements while maintaining a competitive grade point average for admission to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. 

support courses and programs

Making the Transition to College: Courses for First-Year Students 

University College works hard to provide courses that meet our mission of "assisting new students in making a successful transition to the University and in building a solid foundation for further academic success." 

Gateway to College Learning helps students with the transition from high school to college.

University College Seminars give students an opportunity to discover a unique support system while making a successful transition to college learning. Each seminar features exploration of a specific topic with an outstanding instructor and a mentor group.

Explore Sooner - Deciding on a Major explores the majors and minors that OU has to offer, and it helps students find their own interests and strengths.

Faculty Mentoring provides the opportunity for students to build relationships with faculty, increase their network base, and gain valuable life experience.

Strategies for Success assists students who are on academic probation or notice.

Transitions for Transfer Students introduces transfer students to the academic requirements, policies, and resources at the University of Oklahoma.

President’s Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Program 

The President’s Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Program matches entering students and experienced faculty mentors to help create nurturing and personal relationships, thus easing the transition from high school to college. This program provides students opportunities to build connections with faculty and gain valuable life experience. It is a chance to become acquainted with someone who is personally interested in the student's success, and who can guide a student through the complexities of university life. The minimum expectation of the mentoring program is that the student will meet with the mentor twice during the fall semester, once in a group setting, then individually. To participate, a student will enroll in UNIV 1210. This is a zero-credit course, which costs nothing. A student who participates throughout the semester will receive an “S” (satisfactory). 


PACE Awards 

PACE awards represent outstanding accomplishments in four areas, limited to student performance during the fall semester only.

The PACE acronym is interpreted as:     

  • Participation in recognized campus clubs and activities
  • Academic achievement with a minimum of 3.25 in 14 hours
  • Community service either on campus or in the metro area
  • Excellence in leadership positions on campus including residence life

Freshman students may be nominated by faculty, staff, academic advisers, organization sponsors, student organization presidents, and housing resident advisers, or students may self-nominate.  A committee composed of University College administrators and staff reviews all nominations and then selects up to one percent (1%) of the total number of entering freshmen in any given year as PACE recipients.

McLaughlin and Balch Awards

These awards honor several of our top students in University College.

Phi Kappa Phi Award

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society in the United States.  Since 2006, the OU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has recognized outstanding freshmen who have distinguished themselves in their academic achievements at OU.  

Paul Judice Environment Award

This award is given by Dean Nicole Campbell to honor her father's devotion to sustaining the environment.

Sylvia Corwin Education Award

This award seeks to honor the most promising first-year student pursuing a career in Elementary Education.

University College Awards

The University College Awards recognize the most outstanding students in University College.

Dan Tankersley "Boot Strap" Award

This award, presented by the Center for Student Advancement, assists and rewards students who have overcome life obstacles and demonstrated academic perseverance to progress toward graduation.

Alpha Lambda Delta, National Freshman Honor Society 

The national freshman honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta, is sponsored by University College Freshman Programs. Students must have completed a minimum of 12 letter-graded semester hours during their first fall term with no less than a 3.5 OU GPA and no grades of I, N, D, F, or U.

Commencement Banner Carriers

Each year, the University College staff nominates University College students to be honored as the University College banner carrier at the May Commencement ceremony. University College administration selects one of these nominees as the official banner carriers based on their academic success.

Strategies for Success

Center for Student Advancement 

The Center for Student Advancement (CSA) is committed to providing programs and services that promote the retention and success of students experiencing academic challenges. CSA offers advising and courses entitled Strategies for SuccessTransitionsFirst Steps, and Faculty Mentoring. The Center is open for student walk-ins or appointments. For more information on the Center for Student Advancement, call 405.325.2574 or go to Wagner Hall room 150.

New Sooner Enrollment Program 

Beginning in mid-May and continuing throughout summer, University College provides an enrollment and orientation program for new OU students entering in the fall semester. Students and their parents spend half-a-day on campus in small groups, accompanied by guides who are current OU students. Activities include learning about OU, taking assessment tests to ensure proper placement in classes, meeting with academic advisors to discuss majors and select courses, visiting with other campus services and resources, and enrolling in fall classes. Students leave the campus feeling comfortable with OU, with an appropriate schedule, and with a sense of what they can look forward to in the fall. For more information, visit the New Sooner Enrollment Program website.

Entry-Level Assessment 

The Assessment Center provides assessment and course placement services for new and transfer students to give them the best possible chance of success in attaining their academic goals. 

All new students at the University of Oklahoma will be assessed in three areas: reading, English and mathematics. The American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be used as the preliminary screening instrument. Students scoring at certain levels will be placed in the appropriate course or, depending on their test scores and choice of major, further evaluated with a computerized placement examination and/or a writing sample. These tests are used to provide academic counselors with information on students’ current skill levels. If the test results indicate a need for improvement in any of these areas, an academic counselor can help students select courses designed to develop or enhance skills. 

Assessment Guidelines

The University of Oklahoma requires an ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment and Accuplacer Reading and English Placement Assessments to determine readiness for various courses.

Math Placement Assessment - The University of Oklahoma requires all first-time OU students or transfer students who need to enroll in a math course to take an ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment to determine their proper math course placement. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from basic math through pre-calculus and will provide an accurate description of a student’s math skills and a recommended course placement. See Math Assessment for more information.

Reading Placement Assessment - All incoming OU students with an ACT reading sub-score of an 18 or less are required to take a Reading Placement Assessment to determine whether they must take a developmental reading course before moving on to higher reading leveled courses. There are no enrollment restrictions for students with an ACT reading sub-score of 19 or higher. See Reading Assessment for more information.

English Placement Assessment - All incoming OU students with an ACT English sub-score of an 18 or less are required to take a English Placement Assessment to determine whether they must take a remedial English course before moving on to ENGL 1113. There are no enrollment restrictions for students with an ACT English sub-score of 19 or higher. See English Placement for more informatoin.

University College Action Tutoring

The Student Learning Center, a department of University College, offers free tutoring sessions through UC Action. This nationally, CRLA Certified service offers walk-in, small group appointments, online tutoring, and/or faculty directed sessions to help students take action towards their own academic success. 

Enrollment Policies

University College Enrollment Policies 


All University of Oklahoma students must complete a university writing requirement, consisting of six hours of English Composition and/or Expository Writing (ENGL 1113 and 1213 or EXPO 1213). Any student who has not fulfilled the requirement is encouraged to enroll in English and/or Expository Writing. 


Freshman students in University College may not enroll in courses on a P/NP basis. Students in University College who are above freshman standing may enroll in courses on a P/NP basis only if they have a declared major and the approval of that major department. 


Students who have attempted 45 or more semester hours, based on grades of A, B, C, D, F, I, P, NP, S and U, may enroll or continue to enroll in University College only with a 2.00 or higher grade point average in their last OU enrollment period or with a 2.00 or higher OU retention grade point average 


University College students on academic probation must be advised by an academic counselor in University College before they may enroll for the next semester.


All colleges and universities establish certain requirements that must be met in order to earn a degree. These include coursework in both general education areas and courses in a specific major, as well as compliance with academic standards and policies. Although academic counselors and departmental advisers are available to help students plan their programs of study, the individual student has a three-fold responsibility in this regard: 

  1. to know his/her academic standing relative to published standards; 
  2. to understand the published degree requirements; and 
  3. to know and observe academic deadlines, as established in the University’s Academic Calendar.