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Ohio Valley Conference

Learn About the 12 Colleges in the Ohio Valley Conference

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The Ohio Valley Conference is an NCAA Division I athletic conference whose members are all public universities from the Midwest  and Southeast. The conference headquarters are located in Brentwood, Tennessee. The conference sponsors 8 men's sports (including football) and 9 women's sports.

1. Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University
fuzzybunnyrainbow / Flickr

Established in 1927, Austin Peay State University is named after a former Tennessee governor, and many buildings are named after governors. Students can choose from 56 Bachelor's degree programs; business is the most popular with undergraduates. The university has been growing rapidly in recent years, and the school wins high marks for its campus safety, ROTC program, and sports programs.

  • Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 10,873 (10,020 undergraduates)
  • Team: Governors
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Austin Peay State University profile.

2. Belmont University

Belmont University
EVula / Wikimedia Commons

Belmont University's 75-acre campus sits just two miles from downtown Nashville, a location that has helped Belmont's programs in music and music business flourish. The university frequently ranks highly among master's-level institutions in the south, and top-ranked Vanderbilt University is just a couple blocks away. Students can choose from over 75 areas of study; music business and nursing are the most popular with undergraduates. The university has a 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and about half of all classes have 20 or fewer students.

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • School type: private Christian university
  • Enrollment: 6,395 (5,004 undergraduates)
  • Team: Bruins
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Belmont University profile.

3. Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University
Caitlinator / Flickr

Founded in 1895, Eastern Illinois University occupies a 320-acre campus. The university consistently ranks well among Midwestern public universities. Undergraduates can choose from 47 Bachelor's degree options; programs in communications and education are particularly popular. The university has a 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio. Textbook costs are about the lowest anywhere because of EIU's textbook rental program. Student life is active with over 230 organizations as well as 29 fraternities and sororities.

  • Location: Charleston, Illinois
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 11,178 (9,657 undergraduates)
  • Team: Panthers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Eastern Illinois University profile.

4. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University at Night
patrickcoe / Flickr

Established in 1906, Eastern Kentucky University offers 168 degree programs through its five colleges; professional fields in business, health, and education are quite popular among undergraduates. EKU has a 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio. The university has over 150 student organizations and an active fraternity and sorority system.

  • Location: Richmond, Kentucky
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 16,062 (13,902 undergraduates)
  • Team: Colonels
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Eastern Kentucky University profile.

5. Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University Football
hectorir / Flickr

Founded in 1883, Jacksonville State University has a 20 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and programs in business, nursing, criminal justice and education are most popular among undergraduates. Students can choose from over 100 student organizations including an active fraternity and sorority system. The school's "Marching Southerners" marching band has a strong reputation.

  • Location: Jacksonville, Alabama
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 9,490 (8,199 undergraduates)
  • Team: Gamecocks
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Jacksonville State University profile.

6. Morehead State University

Morehead State University
Addison Alexander / Wikimedia Commons

Morehead State University's 500-acre main campus features hiking trails and a lake. The university prides itself on its friendly environment and the close relationships between students and faculty. MSU has a 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and over 75% of classes have fewer than 20 students. Students can choose from over 100 clubs and organizations, and the surrounding area offers many options for outdoor recreation. MSU students come from 42 states and 35 countries.

  • Location: Morehead, Kentucky
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 10,968 (9,417 undergraduates)
  • Team: Eagles
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Morehead State University profile.

7. Murray State University

Murray State University
BlueGold73 / Wiki

Murray State University has a 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 19, numbers that are impressive for a public university. The university consistently ranks highly among public master's universities, and it also wins high marks for its value. The school has 190 student organizations, and about 10% of students are members of a fraternity or sorority.

  • Location: Murray, Kentucky
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 10,623 (8,664 undergraduates)
  • Team: Racers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Murray State University profile.

8. Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University
Agathman / Wikimedia Commons

Southeast Missouri State University has an 18 to 1 student / faculty ratio, classes that average 25 to 35 students, and over 200 areas of study. Programs in professional fields such as business, communications, education and corrections are extremely popular among undergraduates, and the curriculum emphasizes hands-on experiential learning. Southeast has a campus textbook rental program that significantly reduces the cost of books for students.

  • Location: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 11,378 (10,254 undergraduates)
  • Team: Redhawks
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Southeast Missouri State University profile.

9. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Illinois2011 / Wikimedia Commons

Located just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) allows students to take advantage of the city's opportunities while enjoying the woodlands of a 2,660-acre campus that overlooks the Mississippi River. SIUE students come from 42 states and 50 countries. The university with its 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio takes pride in the interactions fostered between students and their professors. SIUE has a well-regarded "Senior Assignment" program in which seniors work with the faculty to complete a capstone project.

  • Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 14,235 (11,428 undergraduates)
  • Team: Cougars
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the SIUE profile.

10. Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University
The Peep Holes / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee State University students come from 42 states and 45 countries, although about three quarters of all students are from Tennessee. Undergraduates can choose from 45 Bachelor's degree programs, and classes are often small with an average size of 22. The university has a wide range of clubs and organizations including an active Greek system and the Aristocrat of Bands marching band.

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • School type: Public historically black university
  • Enrollment: 9,165 (7,105 undergraduates)
  • Team: Tigers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Tennessee State University profile.

11. Tennessee Technological University

Tennessee Tech
Turvy / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee Technological University, more commonly called Tennessee Tech, is located about an hour from the state's three biggest cities -- Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Undergraduates can choose from 44 majors, and professional fields such as nursing, business, and engineering are most popular. Tennessee Tech does well in regional and national rankings for both the quality of its academic programs and the school's value..

  • Location: Cookeville, Tennessee
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 11,768 (9,920 undergraduates)
  • Team: Golden Eagles
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Tennessee Tech profile.

12. University of Tennessee at Martin

UT Martin Skyhawk Marching Band
stephenyeargin / Flickr

The University of Tennessee at Martin's 250-acre main campus is listed on the National Directory of Botanical Gardens. An adjoining 680-acre farm serves the research needs of the agricultural programs. UT Martin tends to rank well among master's-level universities in the Southeast, and the school's student profile and graduation rates have been improving in recent years. The university has a 19 to 1 student / faculty ratio.

  • Location: Martin, Tennessee
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 7,910 (7,497 undergraduates)
  • Team: Skyhawks
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the University of Tennessee at Martin profile.
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