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Northeastern State University (NSU) is a public higher education institution located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The university has two other campuses, however; one in Muskogee and another in Broken Arrow. Founded in 1909, the school is the oldest higher education institution in the state.

Overview of Northeastern State University (NSU)

The university is dedicated to empowering students, faculty, staff, and the community to reach their full intellectual and human potential by creating and expanding a culture of learning, discovery, and diversity. By offering quality education, Northeastern State University hopes to shape the future of the region, setting a standard of excellence by serving the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic needs of those enrolled. Core values include integrity, collaboration, creativity, leadership, excellence, communication, and diversity.

The total student population is around 7,000. Of those, around 5,500 are pursuing undergraduate degrees. Additionally, the university employs 285 full-time and 119 part-time faculty members, all of whom are responsible for instruction. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. There are also 21 instructional graduate assistants offering additional academic support. The institution reports that 85% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students and 99% of classes have fewer than 50 students.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 17:1
Graduation Rate 39%
Year Founded 1909

Student Enrollment

Total Students7,025


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,988
Female 3,535

Graduate Student

Male 541
Female 961

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NSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 585
Female 889


Male 579
Female 889

Acceptance Rate99%

Male 99%
Female 100%

Enrollment 700

Male 295
Female 409
Application Fee $25
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

NSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Several factors impact the cost of tuition and fees at Northeastern State University. In general, Oklahoma residents can expect to pay around $277 per credit hour for undergraduate 0000-level liberal arts courses and $293 for 0000-level science and health professions courses. All 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000-level undergraduate classes are charged at a rate of $247 per credit hour. Non-residents can expect to pay between $546 and $593 per credit hour, depending on the type of undergraduate course selected.

Northeastern State University does offer guaranteed rates for first-time, full-time freshmen who live in-state. For the 2022-2023 academic year, this rate is $267 per credit hour.

Graduate programs cost more than undergraduate ones. Oklahoma residents will be charged $304 per credit hour, while non-residents pay $631. Notably, however, out-of-state students seeking to enroll in online courses only may qualify for a rate of $305.

It’s also important to realize that some programs have varying tuition and fee amounts. Those interested in pursuing degrees in nursing, optometry, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies should check cost estimates individually.

Additionally, Northeastern State University students must anticipate paying more than tuition and fees when working towards higher education degrees. The institution estimates undergraduate students living off campus will spend $8,140 per academic year on room and board, while those who choose to live on campus will spend $8,292. Living with parents can significantly decrease these projections, but prospective students must also anticipate paying for books, supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.

Northeastern State University participates in a variety of financial aid programs in order to aid students in paying for their higher education. Those enrolled may qualify for scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study from federal, state, and institutional sources. All students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to determine eligibility for financial aid funds. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 95% of students enrolled at the institution received some form of financial assistance. While the majority of aid awarded was in the form of grants and scholarships, 40% of students still required some amount of assistance in loans.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $9,507
Average Total Aid $8,411
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Room & Board $8,120

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,115
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $15,755
  • Books and Supplies - $1,250
  • Room & Board - $8,120
  • Other - $2,640


Northeastern State University provides diverse communities with lifelong learning through a broad array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional doctoral degree programs. Students can expect quality instruction, challenging curricula, various research and scholarly activities, immersive learning opportunities, and the ability to serve the community. The learning environment is service-oriented and supportive, which allows those enrolled to achieve both professional and personal success after graduation.

Students can choose from 59 undergraduate and 26 graduate programs.

The school’s most popular fields of study include:

  • Psychology
  • Accounting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Elementary Education

The university also has a prolific online program. Distance learners can earn degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. There are also numerous undergraduate and graduate certificates available.

As of fall 2020, Northeastern State University had a first-year undergraduate retention rate of 61% for full-time students and 38% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68%. This data, provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), indicates that most students enrolled at the university full-time were pleased enough with their academic and extracurricular experiences that they chose to return to the institution for a second year.

Graduation rates for Northeastern State University are somewhat less promising but do have bright spots. Of full-time, first-time students who began their studies in 2015, 39% graduated within 150% of normal time (six years). However, the transfer-out rate was 19%, which often indicates that students are transferring to institutions that offer a more specific degree they wish to earn rather than that they dropped out. In total, 20% of students included in the data collected were able to graduate within four years. It’s worth mentioning that, based on these statistics, around 60% of students may graduate either from this institution or another that was offering the degree they were looking for. That is much closer to the national average when you take transfers into account.

As a whole, Northeastern State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The baccalaureate, master’s, and certificate programs in nursing are also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Additionally, all programs offered by the university are approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

Student Population Total

Student Population 7,025

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 275 Total Graduates / 19%
Accounting 84 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 51 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 41 Graduates
Operations Management and Supervision 38 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 207 Total Graduates / 14%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 123 Graduates
Dietetics/Dietitian 35 Graduates
Health Services Administration 23 Graduates
Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 15 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 10 Graduates
All Education Majors 160 Total Graduates / 11%
Elementary Education and Teaching 61 Graduates
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 43 Graduates
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 17 Graduates
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 12 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 139 Total Graduates / 9%
Research and Experimental Psychology, Other 139 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 107 Total Graduates / 7%
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 93 Graduates
Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism 8 Graduates
Homeland Security 6 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 40%

Outcome & Salary

Northeastern State University has a very extensive Career Services department that provides students and alumni with a wide variety of resources. Some notably examples include assistance with interview preparation, resumes, cover letters, internships, and networking.

The university also conducts annual outcomes surveys. According to answers from summer, fall 2019, and spring 2020 graduates, just over 80% of respondents were employed, seeking additional education, engaged in volunteer service, or engaged in military service. The average income varied based on program, with graduates from the Gregg Wadley College of Science and Health Professions earning the most and graduates from the College of Education earning the least.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • College of Business and Technology - $44,220.20
  • College of Liberal Arts - $34,918.79
  • College of Education $32,646.00
  • Gregg Wadley College of Science and Health Professions - $47,516.72
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $48,900
College Grads Average Salary $64,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $80,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $640,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,444,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $38,028
10 Year Projected ROI $601,972
20 Year Projected ROI $1,405,972
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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