Youngstown State University (YSU or Youngstown State) is a public university in Youngstown, Ohio. Founded in 1908, it became known as Youngstown College in 1931 and sought accreditation through the North Central Association in 1944. As educational needs in the Mahoning Valley changed, Youngstown College grew significantly. In 1955, Youngstown College became Youngstown University, later designated Youngstown State University in 1967. Youngstown State University is the easternmost member of the University System of Ohio.
The university is composed of six undergraduate colleges and a graduate college. Youngstown State University has over 150 undergraduate degree programs and 50 graduate degree programs serving over 11,000 students in studies up to the doctoral level. Beyond its current student body, the university has more than 125,000 alumni across the country and around the world.
Collectively known as the Penguins, Youngstown State's athletic teams compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The university is a member of the Horizon League in all varsity sports, with the exception of football which competes in the Football Championship Subdivision of the NCAA as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, bowling which competes in the Southland Bowling League, and lacrosse which competes in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
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 a College of Arts and Sciences, the institute once again changed its name to Youngstown College. In 1955, the name was changed again to Youngstown University to reflect the school's broadening curriculum. A private, for profit Youngstown College was formed in 1987 and had no affiliation with YSU. It closed its doors in mid 2000 due to financial issues.
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.