Old Dominion University

A woman with dreadlocks working on a laptop in a kitchen at Roanoke College.

Introduction

Old Dominion University, also known as ODU, is a public research university located in Norfolk, Virginia. This university is renowned for its comprehensive range of academic programs, experiential learning opportunities, and diverse student body.

Overview of Old Dominion University

ODU offers over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs across various fields, including business, engineering, education, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. This university is home to over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 countries, making it a globally diverse institution.

ODU is committed to providing its students with hands-on learning opportunities, including internships, research, study abroad programs, and community service projects. The university also offers robust athletic programs and a vibrant student life, with numerous clubs and organizations and on-campus events throughout the year.

History and founding of Old Dominion University

Established in 1930 as an extension of the College of William and Mary and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Old Dominion began as a two-year school offering teacher and engineering training. The institution evolved rapidly into a four-year college and gained its independence in 1962 as Old Dominion College.

In 1969, the college transitioned to Old Dominion University under the leadership of President James L. Bugg Jr. This change was driven by the university’s growth in enrollment, expansion of research facilities, and preparation for graduate programs. Today, Old Dominion University is a nationally recognized institution of higher learning, serving as a vital member of the Hampton Roads community and beyond. [1][2][3][4]

Location and Campus

Location of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia

Old Dominion University is located in Norfolk, Virginia, a coastal city home to the world’s largest U.S. Navy base, Naval Station Norfolk. The university’s waterfront campus covers 250 acres straddling three historic neighborhoods: Larchmont, Highland Park, and Lamberts Point.

City setting and campus size of Old Dominion University

The university campus is situated in a midsize city setting along the Elizabeth River, approximately five miles north of downtown Norfolk. The campus covers an area of 251 acres and enrolls over 24,000 students, including over 600 international students from 99 countries. [5][6][7][8]

Academic Programs and Research

Overview of academic programs offered at Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers diverse academic programs across its nine colleges and schools, including architecture, humanities, business, education, engineering, health sciences, law, science, and technology. The university also offers distance and online learning programs.

Focus on research initiatives and opportunities

Old Dominion University is a research-driven institution with a focus on problem-solving and innovation. The university’s research initiatives cover a broad spectrum of fields, including engineering, health sciences, humanities, marine science, modeling, simulation, and cybersecurity. The opportunities for students and faculty to engage in research are expansive, with numerous centers, institutes, and partnerships available. [9][10][11][12]

Academic Programs and Research

Overview of academic programs offered at Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers a wide range of academic programs across its nine colleges and schools, including architecture, humanities, business, education, engineering, health sciences, law, science, and technology. The university also provides distance and online learning programs.

Focus on research initiatives and opportunities

Old Dominion University is known for its research-driven approach to education with a focus on innovation and problem-solving. The university’s research initiatives cover a broad spectrum of fields, including engineering, health sciences, humanities, marine science, modeling, simulation, and cybersecurity. There are numerous centers, institutes, and partnerships available to faculty and students for research engagement.

Student Life and Community

Energetic residential community at Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University’s residential community provides an energetic and welcoming atmosphere for students. From the freshman experience in dorms to their transition to upperclassman apartments, students find a supportive community. The varied residence hall communities offer numerous opportunities for social and academic engagement.

Initiatives that contribute to the economy of Virginia

Old Dominion University’s initiatives contribute significantly to the economy of Virginia, with an annual contribution of $2.6 billion. The university’s entrepreneurship programs, centers for innovation, research programs, and humanities and arts events all contribute to the local and statewide economies. [13][14][15][16]

Support for Veterans

Support and resources available for student veterans at Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University is a military-friendly institution with a quarter of the student body affiliated with the US military. The university offers an extensive list of services to help veterans succeed, including recognition of military experiences towards degree attainment, academic support team, and distance learning programs.

Partnerships with military and veterans’ organizations

Old Dominion University has partnerships with military and veteran organizations such as the Warrior-Scholar Project and the Tillman Foundation. These partnerships provide opportunities for students to benefit from tailored academic and professional support, including mentoring, scholarship, and career development programs. [17][18][19][20]

Monarch Athletics

Old Dominion University’s athletic department, The Old Dominion Monarchs, consists of 18 intercollegiate sports teams. They have a successful record, winning numerous conference championships in sports such as basketball, field hockey, and more. [21][22][23][24]

ODU Admissions and Financial Aid

Old Dominion University offers a valuable and high-quality education, and their Office of Finance and Office of Student Financial Aid can help students explore ways to pay for college. Over half of the students attending ODU receive financial help from various sources, including federal and state grants, scholarships, and educational loans. [25][26][27][28]

Conclusion

Why should someone attend ODU?

Old Dominion University is the perfect choice for students who are looking for a vibrant and diverse community with a cosmopolitan flair. The location of the institution in the heart of Norfolk, Virginia provides easy access to an immense economy, making it an ideal place for those who are pursuing their career goals. Additionally, students can take advantage of the large-scale offerings available at ODU, with over 154 different areas of study, ensuring that students can find the career path that suits them best.

But that’s not all, attending ODU also means having access to a travel hub with an international airport, rail, and ground transportation. This makes it easy for students to access various travel destinations, including major cities and attractions, and travel to ODU’s campuses from home. 

ODU’s reputation as a place for innovators also makes it an excellent choice for students who want to make their mark in their chosen fields. With a variety of campus events to participate in, from sports games to concerts and lectures, you can join the ODU community and experience all the exciting opportunities that await you there.  Overall, ODU offers a valuable and high-quality education, a diverse and engaged student body, and various opportunities for educational, artistic, and professional growth.