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Youngstown State University, founded in 1908, is a major, urban research university located in Youngstownmarker, Ohiomarker, United Statesmarker. As of fall 2009, there were 14,682 students and a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. The fall 2009 enrollment figure is the highest since 1992, when the number of students on campus was 14,806. Records show that 11,803 of the students are undergraduates. Beyond its current student body, YSU claims more than 77,000 alumni.


The university's origins trace back to 1908, when the local branch of the YMCA established a school of law within the Youngstown Association School. In 1921, the school became known as the Youngstown Institute of Technology and offered its first evening courses. In 1928, a year after establishing the College of Arts and Sciences, the institute once again changed its name to Youngstown College. In 1955, Youngstown College was renamed as Youngstown University, an indication of the school's broadening curriculum.

On September 1, 1967, after becoming a public institution, Youngstown University became officially known as Youngstown State University. The following spring, YSU opened a Graduate School and College of Applied Science and Technology. In 1974, the College of Fine and Performing Arts was established.


  • Dr. Albert L. Pugsley – 1966 – 1973
  • Dr. John J. Coffelt – 1973 – 1984
  • Dr. Neil D. Humphrey – 1984 – 1992
  • Dr. Leslie H. Cochran – 1992 – 2000
  • Dr. David C. Sweet – 2000 – Present


As of fall 2006, the student body totaled 13,183. YSU has approximately 2,100 full and part-time employees, and 426 full-time faculty with 543 part-time faculty. One hundred and sixty-five faculty members boast full-professor rank with 79% of the instructors holding doctorates or terminal degrees. The university also boasts a student to faculty ratio of 19:1.

Tuition for students living in Ohio is $6,333 plus fees, $8,355 plus fees for students coming from the regional service area, and $11,541 for students from out of state. Room and board costs an additional $6,280. YSU will often note that these tuitions are the lowest of any public university in Ohio.
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is primarily a commuter school, with most students living at home or in residence off campus, but approximately 1,000 students live in residence halls on campus. Another 400 live in the University Courtyard apartment complexes just off campus. About 13% of the student body are international students from 55 countries.

YSU is currently trying to get more students to live on campus, with initiatives such as mandatory on-campus housing for students in the Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars program, which is Youngstown State's full ride academic scholarship program. One of the goals for the university's centennial in 2008 is to have 20 percent of the student body living on campus.

There are over 500,000 volumes at the campus' Maag Library, and participation in the OhioLINKmarker program gives access to the collections of 84 other Ohio institutions. The Wilcox Curriculum Resource Center in Beeghly Hall complements the resources available at Maag.

YSU is participating in the Early College program, through which students from the Youngstown City School District can take courses for college credit while in high school. The program is in its fifth year, and has approximately 290 students in the ninth through twelfth grades. Youngstown Early college has also had their first graduating class in Spring 2008.


YSU lies on a campus just north of downtown Youngstown. Although it is not located near any outstanding geographical features, that has not stopped Youngstown State's campus from being noted for its landscaping, which is dissimilar from that of many other urban universities. YSU's geographical center has a park-like atmosphere, featuring a rather-hilly terrain and a variety of trees and plant life, as well as tables and chairs that surround a campus fountain.

Most buildings on campus have been built within the last half-century, making them newer than most buildings in downtown Youngstown, where most buildings were constructed before the Great Depression.


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Jones Hall, often the building that welcomes people coming onto the YSU campus, is also one of the campus's oldest buildings, having been built in 1931, when YSU was known as Youngstown College. Its history as the "main building" of the campus continues today, as it is perhaps the best-known and most photographed building of the whole campus. The building was renamed Jones Hall in honor of the institutions first president, Dr. Howard Jones. Today, the building is used as mainly administrative office space.

The Rayen College of Engineering and Technology is housed in Moser Hall, completed in 1967. The university's geological and environmental sciences department shares the space, and also sponsor the Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum.

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The newest addition to YSU is the Andrews Wellness and Recreation Center. Completed in time for the fall 2005 semester, the Andrews Center gave YSU a complete gym facility, as well as a climbing wall and racquetball courts.

Bliss Hall, completed in 1977 and featuring two auditoriums, is the home of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, including the Departments of Art, Communication (including communication studies and telecommunication studies), Theater & Dance, and the Dana School of Music. Next door to Bliss is the McDonough Museum of Art, which is maintained by the university's art department and displays exhibits of the graduating senior class every semester. McDonough is directly across the street from the Butler Institute of American Artmarker, Youngstown's largest art museum.

Another recent addition to the campus is Beeghly Hall, which was completed in 1998 at a cost of $14 million. The Beeghly College of Education resides there, and it also hosts several programs open to the community, such as the Community Counseling Center. Beeghly, which is located away from the campus proper, is planned to be linked to the rest of the campus through a main pedestrian pathway, a plan that has recently run into trouble [59343].

Kilcawley Center is primarily a resource and community center on campus. It features reading and study rooms, computer labs, a copying center, YSU's bookstore, a variety of restaurants (including a full-service Arby's and a KFC Express), and many student-affairs offices. There are also many meeting and seminar rooms, which can be rented out for events by the community.

YSU has six housing facilities. Lyden House, completed in 1990, and the Cafaro House residential honors facility, completed in 1995, can accommodate a combined 574 students. Christman Dining Commons, YSU's main residential dining hall, is located in the Anne K. Christman Campus Green between these buildings. Kilcawley House is attached to Kilcawley Center in the middle of campus. Weller House, off Wick Avenue, also houses a small number of students in an apartment setting. The University Courtyard Apartments, on the east side of the campus (behind Bliss Hall), were built in 2004. These are commonly known as the Courtyards. They are actual apartments and are not affiliated with housing services at YSU, instead they are managed by an outside company, Ambling Leasing. Beuchner Hall is an independently owned and operated women's residence hall located on Bryson Street and operated by the Beuchner Foundation.Other buildings on campus include: Meshel Hall (Department of Computer Science and Information Systems), Fedor Hall (housing student newspaper The Jambar, student magazine The Yo, student literary magazine The Penguin Review, the Rich Center for Autism, and the Youngstown Early College), Cushwa Hall (College of Health and Human Services, Mathematics and Statistics, WYSU-FM), Williamson Hall (Williamson College of Business Administration), Phelps Building (Geography, Urban and Regional Studies), Maag Library, Tod Hall (YSU administrative offices), DeBartolo Hall (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, aka CLASS), Sweeney Hall (Undergraduate Admissions), and the E.J. Salata Complex (maintenance services), Cligan-Wadell Hall (YSU Police Department), Alumni House (The oldest building on campus houses Alumni Relations and The YSU Foundation).

Current building projects include the Williamson College of Business Administration, currently located in Williamson Hall on Lincoln Ave and the Wick Pollock Inn located on Wick Avenue next to Bliss Hall.

Ward-Beecher Planetarium

A recent upgrade for the university came with the renovation of the university's planetarium located in the Astronomy/Physics department of Ward-Beecher Hall. The planetarium $750,000 upgrade included an all new interior which seats approximately 150, a SciDome full-dome video projector, as well as a Chronos star projector from Spitz. The star projector, which beautifully replicates the night sky onto the planetarium's diameter dome came with a hefty price tag of $489,000.

The planetarium is also the location of the introductory astronomy courses at YSU, which registers almost 1,000 students every year. It has housed over 500,000 students, as well as 750,000 visitors as of 2007. Organized shows are available for groups during the week, and scheduled shows available Friday and Saturday evenings (with a show geared toward a younger crowd Saturday afternoons). All shows are free of charge.


The University comprises the following colleges as of the Summer 2007 academic reorganization:

YSU offers a doctorate in educational leadership as well as a doctorate in mathematics in cooperation with Rhodes Universitymarker. Together with the University of Akronmarker and Kent State Universitymarker, YSU sponsors the Northeastern Ohio Universities College Of Medicine marker, a BS-MD program. YSU engineering students may pursue doctoral studies in cooperation with the University of Akron and Cleveland State Universitymarker. In addition, YSU has 35 masters programs and over 100 undergraduate majors.

The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University was deemed an "All-Steinway" school in 2004. The Dana School of Music is one of the oldest non-conservatory schools of music in the United States . It is housed in Bliss Hall. Additionally, the Youngstown State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performed in March 2005 at New York City's Carnegie Hallmarker. The ensemble's performance was highly praised, and they received a standing ovation.

Youngstown State University is also home to the Center for Working Class Studies and offers a Regional and American Studies program, which was the first of its kind in the United States. The school recently assisted the University of Chicagomarker in developing a similar program. The center is operated by John Russo and Sherry Lee Linkon.

YSU is also known as the one of the few traditional four-year colleges to have actual college professors teach undergraduate students instead of a graduate assistant like most colleges. This is because of YSU offering a relatively low amount of graduate courses, thus allowing professors to teach to undergraduates themselves. In most colleges, graduate assistants are used to teach courses to undergraduate students while full-time professors focus on graduate students themselves, usually only having involvement with the undergraduate courses by grading exams (especially final exams) and term papers if those classes necessitate it.


Labor relations

Since 2005, the labor relations between the administration and the campus unions has become increasingly strained. In August 2005, just before the start of the 2005–06 academic year, two of four campus unions were on strike. Following the conclusion of the strike, relations have remained strained, with some faculty and staff calling for resignation of YSU President David Sweet in May 2007.

The following academic year a special committee was set up to examine labor relations. This committee recommended that the bargaining units for all sides be replaced before the next contract. Subsequent to these recommendations the Vice President for Administration was replaced as well as the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Relations have improved marginally since this time.

Famous alumni

Jake Anderson, Anaheim FIrefighter/ paramedic


  1. [1]
  2. Torisk, E. (2009, March 24). Preserving Pollock: University advances revitalization plan for historic structure. The Jambar, News: 1.
  4. Gwin, Harold. "60 YSU workers call for Pres. Sweet to resign", Youngstown Vindicator, 11 May 2007.

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