Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University (YSU), commonly referred to as Youngstown State, is a medium-sized public research university in Youngstown, Ohio. With 12,756 students, a 14:1 student-faculty ratio, and an average class size of 21, YSU is just the right size to move beyond the high school experience without getting lost in the crowd.

Founded in 1908, YSU was known as Youngstown College in 1931 and became accredited through the North Central Association in 1944. In 1955, Youngstown College was renamed Youngstown University, an indication of the school’s broadening curriculum. On September 1, 1967, after becoming a public institution, Youngstown University became officially known as Youngstown State University.

The YSU website states, “Youngstown State University is a student-centered institution committed to the education, development, well-being and success of students of all ages and from all walks of life. Our mission is to give you the tools necessary to reach higher and accomplish more.”


Youngstown State is a classic Ohio college with a rich history behind it. Jones Hall (see photo above) is one of YSU’s oldest buildings, having been built in 1931. It is also the main building that welcomes those coming to Youngstown State University. As such, it is perhaps the best-known and most photographed building of the whole campus. The limestone Tudor-style building was named in honor of the institution’s first president, Dr. Howard Jones.

YSU is situated on a 160-acre campus just north of downtown Youngstown, Ohio, halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. YSU’s campus is notable for its landscaping, which is different than many other urban universities. The geographical center of campus has a park-like atmosphere, featuring a hilly terrain and a campus fountain, as well as a variety of trees and plant life with beautiful spring flowers and colorful autumn leaves.


Youngstown State University emphasizes a creative, integrated approach to education, scholarship, and service. They have caring, involved instructors, and the university’s mission is “to put students at the center, fostering an educational environment that allows you to grow and succeed.”

From business to engineering to the creative arts, Youngstown State has a lot of choices as you begin your college career. Popular majors include Nursing, Biology/Biological Sciences, Liberal Arts and Humanities, Social Work, and Criminal Justice/Safety Studies. Click here for a course catalog:

Youngstown State University offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, and online degrees. The online degrees can be a combination of web-based, hybrid or video conferencing. Distance learners attend a “virtual classroom” so that there is no need to travel to the campus.

Affordable Colleges Online recognizes YSU as one of the Best Online Colleges in Ohio for a variety of factors including student-teacher ratio, job placement, and the availability of career and counseling services.

Student Life

Youngstown State provides an extensive number of student life programs. Students can participate in over 100 clubs and organizations including student government, fraternities and sororities, student media organizations, recreational and varsity sports programs. Collectively known as the Penguins, Youngstown State’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Students can also test out the five-story rock-climbing wall in the Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center, or catch free planetarium shows at the Spitz SciDome.


Youngstown State University is an open admission policy institution. Open admission colleges typically have few admission thresholds and will admit all applicants so long as certain minimum requirements are met. Youngstown State University accepts 64% of students who apply.

According to YSU’s admissions page for new freshmen, applicants must have graduated from high school or have successfully completed the General Education Development (GED) test to be considered for admission. Freshman applicants applying for admission to Youngstown State University must submit a high school transcript and American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores.

Applicants must have a high school grade point average of 2.00 or higher on a 4.00 point scale, have an ACT composite score of 17 or higher, or a combined SAT score of 920 or higher from the evidence-base writing and reading test, and the math test to be admitted unconditionally. Students are excused from this test score requirement only if they have been graduated from high school for two or more years.

Homeschooled applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Test results from the ACT or SAT. Applicants who have been out of school for two or more years are exempt from this requirement.
  2. An official transcript showing documentation of coursework completed in grades 9-12, and indicating date of completion of studies or graduation.
  3. A copy of academic assessment reports (i.e. Iowa Basic Skills Test, California Achievement Test, etc.) pursuant to Section 3301-34-04 of the Ohio Administrative Code.
  4. A copy of the Superintendent’s Exemption Notice showing the student is excused to receive home schooling.
  5. Homeschooled students from states other than Ohio must submit the appropriate documentation required for allowing homeschooling in their state, along with above criteria #1, and #2.

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