Driving along the corn fields laced with giant windmills on either side of the highway, one could barely imagine the Ivy-league-like campus the road was about to unveil. I first passed the Miami equestrian training grounds which was hosting some sort of competition. As I drove further along, a large, tall, dark, brick clock tower would beckon me to the Miami University of Ohio campus. Sure enough, adjacent to this clock tower was an immaculately manicured and precisely lined soccer field. The red brick buildings that I then encountered, reminded me of Harvard, but on a larger scale. As I drive around the periphery of campus, I am impressed by how close “off” campus actually is to the campus. Fraternity and sorority houses boasting names such as, “Alligator Alley,” “You Had Me At Merlot,” “The Great Fratsby” or “Jam Box” are a stone’s throw away from campus. The downtown area (called Uptown) is lined with cute little coffee shops, restaurants and stores, all within walking distance of the campus. I can’t help but notice the sense of community among the students as I visit the student union where students rally around the sushi bar, pizza station or huddle around the big screen tvs watching some basketball game. They are presumably a homogenous group; but, they are friendly and seem to enjoy each other’s company, nonetheless.
I didn’t just see a student whip by me driving a pink wrapped Ferrari did I? Or, how ‘bout that gold BMW or Matte Finished Audi R8? Yep, sure did, all Miami students. There is some affluence here for sure, but I am told there is a place for everyone here. And, I believe it. The stories of the “Miami Mergers” (Miami alums who marry Miami alums) speak to the happiness that can be created here and the relationships that can be formed. I scurry off to check out the state of the art recreation center, fully equipped with a climbing wall, work-out facilities, yoga classes, a student indoor ice rink and 2 Olympic-sized pools. While there, I see a crowd peering in a window to watch the Miami RedHawks’ D-1, ranked, hockey team. Hockey is big here; I get to watch the team practice. Cool. There are so many nuances to my day and experiences that I just could not have gotten if I weren’t on the campus. I skip down the stairs, grab a latte at the coffee shop on campus, rub the brass turtle’s foot at the center of campus for good luck and hop in my car, off to the next campus visit.
Quick Facts About Miami University
- Mid-sized University (about 17,000 undergraduates, 2,600 graduate students)
- Situated in a rural town in Oxford, Ohio. The closest larger town is Cincinnati, Ohio about 45 minutes away and Dayton about 30 minutes from campus. While the student body is on the larger size, the campus footprint makes the school feel much smaller.
- Miami students come from all 50 states and 79 countries
- Demographic Profile: 86% white, 3% Asian, 4% African American
- On the semester system Aug.- Dec.; January Term (J-term – 6-weeks) and late Jan.-early May
- Over 120 areas of study
- The Farmer School of Business, College of Engineering and Computing and Education are among the most popular programs of study
- Business and Engineering Schools are direct admit
- Greater than 2,000 students/year participate in funded undergraduate research with a professor in a broad range of fields
- Nearly two-thirds of Miami courses have fewer than 30 students
- Study abroad in over 90 countries: 55% of students participate; semester, J-term and summer opportunities
- Miami has a campus in Luxembourg and also offers a study abroad program
- Greek system is vibrant on campus. 35% of students participate. The majority of Greek houses are off campus. There are a couple of Sorority houses on campus, but no Fraternity houses. Students cannot live in a house until sophomore year, and must be in good academic standing.
- Plenty to do for students who do not join the Greek system
- more than 450 club and organizations
- 50 + club sports plus intramurals
Magellan counselor Kathy Kelleher is the proud mom of a Miami University of Ohio alumnus! She has visited many times.