Search within:
Aerial view of Ohio University's Athens campus at sunset
You'll learn just by living here.

Athens Ohio

This college town is always classic, never conventional.

Ohio University doesn't simply deliver a degree. It offers an experience that becomes a part of who you are and what you'll be, forever. Athens is a small but eclectic city located among rolling hills, flowing rivers, a national forest and more. There’s a reason green is our main color; the most beautiful nature in Ohio is right at our doorstep.

Quirky and creative, Athens welcomes you to explore the arts, sciences, and nature. This is a place where city, campus, and community combine for an educational experience unlike any other.

college town in the state of Ohio —Far & Wide
Top 15
most beautiful college campuses in the country —Expedia
Top 100
art community —Americans for the Arts

Get Outside

Bobcats learn just as much on the ridges and in the hollows as they do in the classroom. While we take academics very seriously, not everything worth knowing can be learned in a book. Sometimes you just have to get out there and be open to the full OHIO experience, like joining an archaeology expedition or surveying a proposed trail for endangered species.

A man rides a bicycle through the Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest

Just minutes from campus, the Wayne is a quarter million (!) acres of Appalachian landscape for hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATV riding, fishing, camping, and general exploration. “Not all who wander are lost” isn’t just a sticker on a laptop here. Aside from WNF, there are dozens of nearby nature trails that can, and often do, intersect with your academic and personal development path.

A person runs on the Athens bike path with a sunset peeking through the clouds in the background

Campus Recreation

If you are looking for ways to stay active, there are plenty of opportunities on the Athens campus through Campus Recreation! Visit the 168,000-square-foot Ping Recreation Center or try out the Aquatic Center, Bird Ice Arena, golf course and driving range, or Tennis Center.

If you enjoy the outdoors, go for a run or a bike ride on the 21-mile bike path, or hiking at The Ridges—a 700-acre land lab right on the Athens campus. 


The state's first university

Ohio University gets bragging rights as not only the first university in the state of Ohio (established in 1804), but the oldest university in the U.S. established by federal legislation (aka, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787) before the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1790. From its start with one building, three students, and one professor, OHIO now boasts around 30,000 total students. Talk about growth.


OHIO History & Traditions

Coffee, Food, Music

If you want to be a true Townie (that’s Athens-speak for “local”), you’d better know where to get a good cup of coffee. But not just a grab ’n go caffeine fix. With so much great local food and music, prepare to sit and enjoy—or get up and dance to the beat of the city.

Seriously, bring an appetite. Athens is one of the nation’s first super-local food economies, with more than 140+ food partners proudly committed to serving up the flavors of the region, deliciously and responsibly. As members of the 30 Mile Meal, a ton of restaurants feature local produce from within—you guessed it—30 miles of Athens.

Art Feeds the Soul

When your stomach gets full, there’s plenty of arts and culture to give you a taste of the Athens scene.

Exterior of the historic Athena Cinema in Athens, Ohio

Our Historic Athena Cinema

How many university classrooms are also among the oldest movie theaters in the nation? Operated by the College of Fine Arts and staffed by students, the Athena Cinema plays current and classic films from around the world and just down the street. 

Graffiti wall at Ohio University Athens, Ohio

Art for Activism's Sake

Since the 70s, the Mulberry Street Graffiti Wall has been a canvas for OHIO activists to have their voices heard. The coolest part? It’s not uncommon for these artistic expressions to spark actual change at the university or community level. If you’re new to tagging, check out the Study and Application of Spray Paint, which, yes, is a real student organization. 

Explore Athens, Learn Athens

Since so much of the Ohio University experience relies on just that—experience—take a look around the Athens community through self-guided tours around the area. You can use your phone or computer to "travel" through stops that feature images and interesting info.

Explore mAppAthens

Residential Undergraduate Students

Learning Communities

There's something to be said for meeting as many people as possible, but Learning Communities are one of the ways our big(ish) school feels small.

Living on Campus

At OHIO, your residence isn't just a place to live, it's a place to learn and grow. With more than 6,000 students living on campus, we’re committed to your health and safety, scholarship, student development, citizenship, and diversity—right in your home away from home.

Get On-the-Job Experience

You don’t need to leave Athens to find an internship—often paid!—in the public or private sector. Athens is home to a progressive local government, renewable energy and tech businesses, and more than 100 nonprofit organizations. We have a long history of national service in Athens County. Many grads stay for a year or two to serve the community through AmeriCorps, earning an educational award to repay student loans or to help fund further education.


Students now, alumni later, Bobcats forever...

OHIO is in touch with our community in lasting ways that many universities are not: regional campuses that lift up and lend a hand, undergrad research directly tied to the needs of Appalachia, and activism that has run through students’ veins for as long as we can remember.


Join the Bobcat Family