Bluffton University


At Bluffton, you can be assured of exceptional undergraduate, graduate and continuing and professional education programs.

Embodied in our four enduring values of discovery, community, respect and service, you’ll find a character-building education that helps you achieve your personal and professional goals for use in a global market. Grounded in the Mennonite values of peacemaking and service, Bluffton’s faith tradition serves as a useful framework for your personal exploration and faith development.  In other words, at Bluffton you’ll develop Christian values for a global community.

Home to a multifaceted student body of more than 1,100, Bluffton is situated on 65 acres of lush, wooded grounds that line the banks of the Little Riley Creek in the village of Bluffton, Ohio. You’ll quickly feel a part of our campus community as you develop relationships with peers and dedicated faculty.

As an undergraduate student, our active student life makes it easy to make new friends in the close-knit, welcoming atmosphere of your home-away-from-home.



1899 by the General Conference Mennonite Church; today affiliated with Mennonite Church USA


997 undergraduate students and 97 students in graduate programs. The average incoming student has a 3.2 high school GPA and a 22 ACT score. (in 2014-15)


There are 55 full-time faculty, 45 of which have earned a terminal degree, and 45 part-time faculty (in 2014-15).


Bluffton offers academic study in more than 50 academic programs, an adult bachelor's degree-completion program in organizational management and master's degrees in education, organizational management, business administration and business administration with a health concentration.


More than 95 percent of students at Bluffton receive some form of financial aid.


Undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board for 2014-15: $39, 148. If you are serious about attending Bluffton where discovery, community, respect and service come together to form a truly unique educational experience we have financial aid programs in place to make sure that Bluffton University is affordable for you.


Bluffton University holds a certificate of authorization from the Ohio Board of Regents to confer the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, master of arts in education, master of arts in organizational management and master of business administration. Bluffton University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association,, 312-263-0456, and the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities.

Bluffton has been accredited by the HLC since 1956.



Bluffton’s education department is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the State Department of Education of Ohio for the preparation of teachers at the initial and advanced levels in the regular academic fields and in specialized fields.

NCATE currently accredits 623 institutions which produce two-thirds of the nation’s new teacher graduates each year. NCATE-accredited schools must meet rigorous standards set by the profession and members of the public. Teacher candidates must have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach and the skills necessary to convey it so that students learn.


The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education at the baccalaureate level. At the last review, Bluffton’s social work program received full re-accreditation through 2021.


The dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)  of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Bluffton’s dietetics program has been approved /accredited  since 1985. Bluffton University had its most recent accreditation review in 2014, receiving a 10 year accreditation.

Bluffton is the only small, private university in Ohio to feature a dietetics program, and it attracts students from all over who are interested in the field. It is also the only Mennonite school to offer such a program.


Bluffton University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.



The 2014 edition of the U.S.News & World Report’s Best Colleges guidebook ranks Bluffton in the top tier - placing 25th among 99 institutions - in the “Best Regional Colleges” listing. Bluffton has made the U.S.News rankings the last 16 years. More about U.S.News...


The university is an institutional member of

• Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio

• Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

• Council of Independent Colleges

• Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference

• National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

• Mennonite Education Agency

• National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III)

• Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges


• American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education


While Bluffton is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, its students, faculty, staff and alumni are not necessarily Mennonite. 

Today, Bluffton continues to be committed to passing along our core values - discovery, community, respect and service - to each new generation of students.

"Shaped by the historic peace church tradition and nourished by a desire for excellence in all phases of its programs, Bluffton University seeks to prepare students of all backgrounds for life as well as vocation, for responsible citizenship, for service to all peoples and, ultimately, for the purposes of God's universal kingdom."

The village of Bluffton is a friendly Midwestern town in Allen County, Ohio, a safe and peaceful place where neighbors on and off campus look out for each other.

The rural village of Bluffton is home to 4,000 people as well as the 234-acre Bluffton University campus and nature preserve. Its residents are your professors, your fellow church members and the people you may work or volunteer with during your time here.

Go bowling, to the movies or enjoy Main Street shops offering everything from sports gear to crafts from developing countries. If you're looking for a day trip, Cedar Point amusement park, Toledo and Dayton are all less than a two hour drive away.

What makes a Bluffton education valuable?

A community where singing at chapel is as valued as competing in soccer or football. Professors who are as likely to challenge you at Ultimate Frisbee as in class. 

We put our heart and soul into your education. So you can put yours into the world.


Choose from more than 85 majors, minors and interdisciplinary programs, two graduate programs and a variety of continuing and professional education opportunities that are nationally recognized for excellence. In 2014, U.S.News & World Report identified Bluffton as one of America’s Best Colleges in the top tier of Midwest baccalaureate colleges. You’ll also find us cited in the current edition of Barron ‘s Best Buys in College Education.

Bluffton’s academic program is multifaceted, providing you with opportunities to become engaged and informed citizens. Cross-culturalprograms provide you with ample opportunities to study throughout the United States and the world. The arts and lecture program, which supplements the general education curriculum, allows you to take in a variety of musical events and lectures for credit.

Programs of Study

• Accounting

• Art *

• Art & writing

• Biblical and theological studies

• Biology

• Broadcasting & journalism

• Business administration *

• Business - Finance

• Business - Human resources

• Business - International

• Business - Management

• Business - Marketing

• Business - Nonprofit management

• Chemistry

• Coaching

• Communication

• Communication - Organizational

• Communication - Theatre

• Communication in church organizations

• Computer science

• Criminal justice

• Economics *

• Education - Adolescent/Young Adult

• Education - Art

• Education - Child Development *

• Education - Early Childhood

• Education - History

• Education - Intervention Specialist

• Education - Language Arts

• Education - Math

• Education - Middle Childhood

• Education - Music

• English *

• Exercise science

• Exercise science - Wellness

• Food & nutrition - Business

• Food & nutrition - Dietetics

• Food & nutrition - Wellness

• Graphic design

• History *

• Individually designed major

• Information technology *

• International studies

• Marketing

• Mathematics

• Missions

• Music *

• Music - Business

• Music - Ministry

• Music - Performance studies

• Music - Piano pedagogy

• Peace & conflict studies

• Philosophy

• Photography

• Physics

• Political science

• Pre-chiropractic

• Pre-dentistry

• Pre-engineering

• Pre-law

• Pre-medicine

• Pre-optometry

• Pre-podiatry

• Pre-seminary

• Psychology

• Public health - Advocate

• Public health - Educator

• Public health - Pre-epidemiology

• Public relations

• Recreation management

• Social studies

• Social work

• Sociology

• Spanish *

• Sports information

• Sport management - Communication

• Sport management - Organization

• Sport and recreation leadership

• Strength & conditioning

• TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages)

• Theatre

• Theological studies

• Wellness

• Women's studies

• Worship Arts

• Writing *

• Youth ministries *

Art department

• Business studies department

• Communication & theatre department

• Education department

• English & language department

• Health, fitness and sport science department

• History & religiondepartment

• Mathematics department

• Music department

• Nutrition & dietetics department

• Science department

• Social sciences department

• Three-year program


• Graduate programs in business

• Opportunities include:

• Master of Arts in Organizational Management (MAOM)

• Master of Business Administration (MBA)

At Bluffton, you can supplement your MBA with a concentration to support your career aspirations. Through our MBA program you will develop a general set of management skills while the concentration will focus on a specific area.  The concentration will consist of three or four specialized elective classes.

o Health Care Management Concentration

o Sport Management Concentration

o Accounting and Financial Management Concentration

o Leadership Concentration

o Production and Operations Management Concentration

• Online MBA (in collaboration with Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College)

Graduate programs in education

Courses offered through the Bluffton graduate programs in education can strengthen classroom teaching, be used for license renewal, expand options with additional endorsements or lead to a cost-effective, convenient and challenging graduate degree in education. Through this program, we seek to collaborate with practicing teachers, administrators and the Ohio Department of Education to meet the varying needs of educators in Ohio s schools.


Curriculum and instruction

• Intervention Specialist licensure

• Online reading endorsement

• Summer Mathematics Workshops

• Leadership Endorsement

• Post-baccalaureate program

Our Faculty

Our faculty members challenge their students, share insights gained through professional experience and communicate the knowledge they’ve spent a lifetime acquiring. They don’t rely on teaching assistants (Bluffton doesn’t have any), and they’re supportive in the classroom, active in the community and committed to teaching. With most classes smaller than 20 students, allowing for personal relationships to develop between Bluffton students and faculty, it’s no surprise that U.S. News and World Report  ranks Bluffton University in the top tier of Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest.

International admission requirements

This information is for international students interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree from Bluffton University.

To apply for admission, international students need to submit the following:

• Application for admission to Bluffton University. Students have the option of submitting a paper version (pdf) or on-line application. Applications must be received 3 months prior to the start of each academic semester to allow for necessary processing time.

• Official TOEFL or SAT examination results. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 500 (paper version) /180 (computer version) /64 (internet version) is required for admission consideration. For the SAT, a minimum score of 920 (Critical Reading and Math) is required. We do not waive the requirement to take one of these examinations.

• Official (not copied) academic records (i.e. transcripts, national examination results, grade reports) from all previous school work. Students must provide documented proof of having completed the equivalent level of secondary school in their respective country required for them to pursue university level work.

• Proof of financial support. We ask all students to complete financial aid application and declaration of finances forms.

• Two teacher recommendations. Download this form.

• International students transferring from another college or university in the United States to Bluffton need to complete a transfer recommendation form(pdf) from each institution they have previously attended. This form needs to confirm you are in good academic standing and have no outstanding financial commitments. These students do not need to complete the two teacher recommendations listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find several commonly asked questions by international students interested in studying at Bluffton University:

Can international students earn money working on Bluffton's campus?

Yes. International students are allowed to work on campus during the year and over the summer. A variety of jobs are available across campus.

Is it easy for international students to get involved in campus activities?

Yes. Many of Bluffton s current international students are very involved in leadership positions across campus. In addition, there is a campus organization, called the International Connection, that meets regularly. This student organization is designed to promote international programming on campus and to provide a support network for international students.

Where do most international students come from who attend Bluffton?

We have a variety of countries represented. Some of them include Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sweden, Burkina-Faso, Vietnam, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

Where do international students live?

Bluffton University is a residential campus. All of our traditional students live on campus in one of our residence halls. International students are assigned a room on campus just like every other student attending Bluffton. There are usually two people in a room and 30 students on a floor. Bluffton does not allow international students to live off campus.

Are there scholarships or grants available for international students to attend Bluffton?

There are a limited number of international student grants available to students demonstrating a financial need for assistance. 

Do international students from English-speaking countries have to take the TOEFL or SAT?

Yes. All entering international students have to take either the TOEFL or SAT. We require all entering American students to take the SAT or an equivalent entrance exam.

Is there someone for international students to contact with specific questions during the application process?

Phil Birkey, the international programs counselor, is the primary contact for international students planning to attend Bluffton University. He works with all entering international students.

Learning at Bluffton University goes beyond the traditional classroom, and our wide variety of student organizations are key outlets for our students to expand their knowledge and real-life experiences, both socially and spiritually.

Whatever your interests – from academic pursuits to sports and recreation, from community outreach to student government – Bluffton has nearly 60 different co-curricular organizations on campus. And if you can’t find the group you’re looking for, you can start your own!

The Office of Student Involvement works to unite this base of student organizations through a variety of programs, including workshops, resources, and service opportunities.

So get involved – perform on stage, report for Bluffton Connection (the online news source), explore your faith, be a radio DJ, serve on Marbeck Center Board, lead a club – it’s all here for you!


• Art Club

• Bluffton Education Organization (BEO)

• Bluffton University Business Leaders (BUBL)

• Bluffton University Nutrition Association (BUNA)

• C. Henry Smith Scholars

• El Club de Espanol

• English Club

• Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association (OCMEA)

• People's Movement 

for the Advancement of History (PMAH)

• Recreation Club

• Science Club

• Social Work Club

• Sports Management Club

• Student Investment Club


• Cheerleaders

• College Republicans

• Fault Lines (line dancing club)

• International Connection

• Japanese Anime Club

• Marbeck Center Board

• Multicultural Student Organization

• P.E.A.C.E. Club

• Peer Awareness Leaders (PALS)

• Student Alumni Association

• Ultimate Frisbee

• Women's Circle

• Yoga Club

• Young Americans for Liberty

• Young Democrats


• The Bluffton Connection

• Shalith

• WBWH radio


• Chapel/Sunday Night Worship


• FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)

• Hall Chaplains

• Ministry Teams

• Spiritual Life Week


• Student Senate

• Hall Association


Chamber ensembles are formed each year based on student interest. The various ensembles typically include:

• Brass Ensemble

• Camerata Singers

• Concert Band

• Flute Ensemble

• Jazz Ensemble

• Choral Society

• Gospel Choir

• Musical/Drama

• Saxophone Quartet

• University Chorale