Oklahoma State University's proud legacy of extensive international activity had its beginning more than fifty years ago with United States President Harry S. Truman's appointment of OSU President Henry G. Bennett as the founding director of the Point Four Program. OSU's initial contribution to the Point Four Program was the establishment of an agricultural college in Ethiopia and played a significant role in the Program's evolution into the present-day United States Agency for International Development. OSU faculty and staff, working with the government of Ethiopia, created Alemaya College, which later became Haremaya University. Later projects in Egypt and Pakistan furthered the university’s commitment to global collaboration, and the impact of the university around the world.
In 1988, the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade and Development was established in the state of the art Wes Watkins Center. The CITD provided both a tangible extension of the university’s commitment to serving as a focal point for global trade for the state of Oklahoma, but also its commitment to continued assistance in global development and sustainability. This was enhanced in 1999 when the university established a School of International Studies, an interdisciplinary graduate program which provides global perspectives on the disciplines represented at the university. The heart of the curriculum is addressing global challenges through an interdisciplinary framework, and the SIS relies on over 200 faculty across the university, from all academic colleges, to provide an integrated academic program that prepares our students to engage the most pressing global issues. In 2017, the Division of International Studies and Outreach, and the School of International Studies, were rebranded as the School of Global Studies and Partnerships.
Oklahoma State continues to engage the world through our education, research, and service. Currently, Oklahoma State University has the largest number of international students in the state of Oklahoma, with over 1800 students representing almost 100 nations. In addition, the university sends almost 1200 students abroad to gain a global perspective on their area of study, and increase their understanding of the ways in which their chosen professions will be impacted by global trends. The university also offers a number of dual degree programs, in partnership with overseas universities, and is continuing seeking ways to both bring OSU expertise to address global need and to bring global perspectives to our students.