Rankings & Recognition

Ashland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Higher Learning Commission
230 S. LaSalle Street Suite 7-500
Chicago IL 60604

Ashland University is authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents to grant bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Individual programs are accredited by the  Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, the American Association of Theological Schools, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council on Social Work Education, the American Chemical Society, the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.


Our rankings and graduate successes clearly illustrate that Ashland holds dear its commitment to serving the individual student and that an Ashland education is a proven investment in your future. We pride ourselves on providing students with an educational experience that offers internships and global experiences as well as the individual commitment necessary for them to stay competitive in a fast-paced world.

Below is just a sampling of the national recognition that Ashland University has garnered:

  • Scores from the most recent Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) Test affirms that Ashland University is more successful than nearly all other CLA institutions in transforming students’ lives by significantly boosting critical-thinking, analytic-reasoning, problem-solving and written-communication skills. Last year, Ashland University conducted student learning outcomes assessment testing with the Collegiate Learning Assessment test, one of the premier national assessment mechanisms in the United States. More than 200 Ashland students took the test to measure their foundational critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills and the results have strengthened Ashland's growing academic reputation, according to Interim Provost Dr. Doug Fiore.

    “We did very well, in fact, the Ashland University students ranked well above the national average for value added achievement, scoring in the 85th percentile of schools taking the test, which included hundreds of schools across the country,” Fiore said. “This means that freshmen achieved greater gains in critical-thinking, analytic-reasoning, problem-solving and written-communication skills by their senior year at Ashland University than at other CLA-assessed universities enrolling students with similar academic backgrounds.”

    The online CLA tests were administered to 100 freshmen in September and October of 2012 and to 100 seniors in February of 2013. The criteria for student selection were randomized by the Office of Institutional Research and the exams were proctored by the University Core director as well as student interns and technological coordinators. "When faculty set high expectations and students are provided with challenging academic curricula, they thrive,” Fiore said. “These scores validate that our primary institutional and academic missions are being met. I personally commend our faculty and academic support services for the excellence in which they conduct their work.”

  • In 2014, Ashland University was ranked as a Top Best Value College by Educate To Career's ETC College Rankings Index. Ashland was ranked as the 156th best value college out of 1,222 U.S. colleges.

  • Ashland University has been recognized as the top private college for teacher education in the state of Ohio by the Online College Database in its newest ranking titled “Top Colleges in Ohio Shaping the Next Generation.” Ashland was the only private college in the Top 10 in this ranking, which honors the post-secondary institutions in the state that graduated the most education and teaching professionals in 2012.

  • Ashland University has been ranked by Washington Monthly as one of the “Best Bang for the Buck” colleges for National Universities. Ashland continues to be listed each year as one of the best colleges and universities in the nation in these Washington Monthly rankings.

  • Ashland University finished second in the nation in the final 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup NCAA Division II all-sports standings, which are based on points awarded for each institution's finish in up to 14 sports -- seven men's and seven women's. A perennial powerhouse in Division II athletics, Ashland has finished in the nation's Top 10 for eight  consecutive seasons, in the Top 5 each of the last four years and in the Top 3 in three of the last four years. Ashland is the highest ranked private school in the country.

  • Ashland University’s home, Ashland, Ohio, is listed as the eighth most affordable college town in the United States as ranked by Great Value Colleges website. Great Value Colleges ranked the top 50 Great Affordable College Towns in the U.S. and Ashland placed eighth with a cost of living index of 88.5 and an average cost of a one-bedroom apartment at $515.

  • Ashland University’s student dining service is recognized as one of the best in the nation as it has captured the first place award 10 times in the standard menu competition of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

  • Ashland University is named as one of the top schools in Ohio for the greatest lifetime return on investment by AffordableCollegesOnline.org.

  • Ashland University’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) has been recognized for the quality of the student entertainment it offers on campus as it has received the top Programming Organization of the Year award through the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Mid-America Regional Conference a total of 10 times, including the last three years in a row.

  • Ashland University is ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the top research universities in the country and as the No. 156 ranked college in the Midwest.

  • Three of Ashland University’s online programs were recognized with high rankings in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report lists for Best Online Programs for 2017. Ashland University’s Online Bachelor’s Program was rated as the second best online program in Ohio and the 92nd ranked program nationally among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, while AU’s Master of Business Administration Online Program was ranked as the fifth best online program in Ohio and the 111th nationally among the Best Online MBA Programs. Also, AU’s Education Online Program was ranked 123rd among the Best Online Education Programs.


Academic Programs: Toxicology

Ashland University is one of only a few institutions in the state that offers a bachelor of science degree in Toxicology, and is particularly unique in its offering that degree in the context of a liberal arts and sciences environment.

Toxicology is the science that studies the effects of toxicants (in other words, poisons) on living organisms. Toxicologists conduct basic research on the effects of toxicants on human health and the environment, develop and perform tests to assess the safety of drugs and other chemical products and assist government agencies in developing regulations and standards in areas ranging from food safety to pollution control. Toxicologists also work in applied areas such as clinical medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and forensic science.

Academic Programs: Teacher Education

Ashland University's teacher education program, which offers pre-K through doctorate level courses, is one of the largest among independent and state institutions in Ohio . The undergraduate teacher education program is the largest academic program on campus and has been NCATE accredited since 1973. All of Ashland University's education programs undergraduate, master of education, doctor of education and professional development services are recognized on a state and national basis.

Ashland University's new College of Education Building, which was completed in the spring of 2006, is home to the undergraduate teacher education program as well as the master of education and doctor of education programs. The two-story, 52,000-square-foot building provides much needed student instructional space in the form of 12 classrooms, four seminar rooms, 60 faculty and staff offices, several commons or meeting areas, state-of-the-art media center, peer teaching studio with one-way viewing mirror and 120-seat lecture hall.

Academic Programs: Political Science/The Ashbrook Center

The Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs teaches the meaning and significance of America by providing an academic forum for the study, research and discussion of the principles and practices of American Constitutional government and politics.

The Ashbrook Center's programs are directed to the scholarly defense of individual liberty, limited constitutional government and civic morality, which together constitute our democratic way of life.

Some of the world's most noted political figures, including Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, Margaret Thatcher, Dick Cheney, Benjamin Netanyahu, Henry Kissinger and William J. Bennett have participated in the Center's programs. Renowned scholars from such schools as Harvard University, Duke University, the University of Virginia and Claremont McKenna College have taken part in our conferences and lectures.

The Ashbrook Center was established and named in honor of the late Congressman who represented Ohio 's 17th Congressional district for 21 years. Representative John Ashbrook was a popular and forceful advocate and spokesman for limited constitutional government and reduced federal spending. That concept was re-emphasized by President Ronald Reagan when he personally dedicated the Center on May 9, 1983 .

The Ashbrook Center sponsors the Ashbrook Scholar program, hosts a series of campus lectures and conferences, publishes scholarly monographs and books, offers seminars that assist high school social studies teachers in deepening and broadening their understanding and appreciation of American history and provides internship opportunities for our students who are interested in careers related to public affairs.

Academic Programs: Finance/The Trading Room

Ashland's program in Finance is distinctive because it includes the study of investment theory, which students put into practice by managing two portfolios of approximately $400,000 a piece on real-time basis, the study for NASD Series 7 examination, the study for the NASD Series 66, networking with our Corporate Partners such as Edward Jones, AXA Equitable, New York Life, MetLife and Smith Barney and participating in national and regional conferences.

The Finance program also sponsored the creation and activation of the Institute for Contemporary Financial Studies, which is devoted to the scholarly development of solutions to real business problems.

Ashland's finance major is the fastest-growing program in the Dauch College of Business and Economics and graduated the most seniors of any major in the College at the May 2008 commencement.

Graduates from this program are being placed in prominent positions with Edward Jones, ING, Farmers Insurance Group, National City, MBNA, Wells Fargo, MetLife, Putnam, Key Corp., AXA Equitable, UBS, KPMG, Cohen & Company, J.M. Smucker, Westfield Group, Stifel Nicolaus and Stark Investments.

A key aspect of this program is the new Trading Room (named the Center for Financial Education) and Ashland University is one of the smallest universities in the country to have such a trading room.

Located in the Richard E. and Sandra J. Dauch College of Business and Economics, this real-life trading room environment functions as a classroom as well as a laboratory facility. Through a large screen television offering access to live coverage of CNBC and CNNfn, Bloomberg and other financial networks and tickers and data walls, which update security prices and exchange rates continuously, students experience the challenges of an actual trading environment, real time market data and a vast amount of research data.

Individual double workstations include computers with software for simulated and real-time trading, settlement, analytics, pricing, portfolio management, research and derivative pricing. The Eagle Investment Group, a student-run organization, manages approximately $800,000 of the University's endowment with an average return of 11.25 percent since the program began in 2000, when the Dow's average was 3.61 percent with the S&P500 at 2.48 percent during the same time frame.

Academic Programs: Master of Business Administration Ashland University offers one of the largest Master of Business administration programs in the state of Ohio and the program boasts a very high student satisfaction rate. A national survey by a well-established educational assessment organization ranks MBA programs across the country on a seven-point scale and Ashland’s program received very high marks, including ranking first in seven of 13 categories when compared to nine other institutions in its Carnegie Classification.

Ashland University’s Master of Business Administration program is designed to provide mid-level professionals with a top-management perspective on organizational effectiveness by equipping them with the conceptual framework necessary to operate a business or functional area of a business. Ashland University MBA students have the option of using their nine hours of elective credit to earn a specialization in a specific area of business, including:

  • Project Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Management
  • Finance
  • Global Management

Students also can propose a customized specialization, and seek approval from a faculty mentor and from the chair of the graduate business program. Ashland’s MBA program is designed to help students develop their ability to lead people and manage resources to achieve organizational effectiveness by developing key managerial competencies. It directs students toward a more fruitful way of integrating their individual efforts with those of their colleagues by employing a team-based, integrated, cross-disciplinary approach to understanding organizational management. Ashland offers MBA courses, both traditional format and online, at its main campus in Ashland as well as at off-campus centers located in Columbus and Massillon/Stark County, and sites in Westlake, Medina and New Philadelphia.

5 things that set Ashland apart

  1. Ranked in the Top 200 National Universities by U.S. News & World Report for the past two years. Ashland is one of only three private institutions in the state in this category
  2. 9:1 student to faculty ratio
  3. Established a four-year Graduation Guarantee program that helps keep college costs predictable
  4. Five core values that foster excellence in teaching, character formation, academic freedom, moral integrity and individuality
  5. Modern, state-of-the-art facilities in a traditional campus setting