How the Ohio State App Enhances the Student Experience

A student wearing a backpack looking at a smartphone while walking.

At a place as widespread as The Ohio State University, staying organized and informed is crucial for success. For students navigating life and classes at Ohio State, the Ohio State mobile app has become an important tool, evolving over the past 11 years into a daily essential for thousands of undergraduates. 

An impressive 92% of undergraduate students across all Ohio State campuses rely on the app, which has over 42,000 daily active users. During the 2022-2023 academic year, the Ohio State app had a staggering 67 million screenviews; visitors to the homepage of the official university website,, reach about 7.5% of those views.  

What sets the Ohio State app apart and makes it a staple for students? App developer Chris Fish calls the app “a one-stop shop for all the most important things about the student experience.” The app is the place to go for “the business of being a student.”  

One key feature that enables this is the "For You" screen, a personalized dashboard that greets users upon login. It serves as a comprehensive hub for all the essential information a student might need throughout their day. This screen alone received over 22 million views during the previous academic year. From upcoming classes and assignment due dates to checking their Buck ID balance before grabbing lunch, the "For You" screen streamlines their day.  

The app also serves as the virtual newsstand of the university. Through announcements and news articles managed by the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation (OTDI), students can catch up on the latest university updates. Announcements populate in both the app and on Buckeye Link to keep students informed of timely actions they need to take so they’re always up to date on Buckeye business. 

One of the app's earliest draws was its real-time bus routes map, allowing students to track the live locations of CABS buses around campus. Out of the top 20 most viewed screens in the app, seven are related to wayfinding. The Buses screen of the Ohio State app.

According to Fish, “(The app) really started out with a focus on helping students find their way around a really large place.” 

However, the Ohio State app doesn't stop at transportation; it offers a detailed map of campus buildings for both main and regional campuses. In 2022, this map underwent a significant update as OTDI partnered with departments across campus to add information on accessible entrances and wellness spaces. The Ohio State app is the only place where information about accessible entrances, wellness spaces and gender-neutral bathrooms is organized in one spot. No matter what campus a student attends, they’ll have an equal experience with a campus map full of building, parking and dining details.  

The Ohio State app's success lies not only in its user-friendly interface and useful features but also in its commitment to keeping up with the evolving needs of the student body. Recent additions to the app include a digital BuckID barcode and parking permit QR codes, so students and staff can easily scan both from their phones. Keep the Ohio State app up to date on your mobile device to get new features as they roll out and stay connected to the university experience.  

Want to know more about the history of the Ohio State mobile app? Watch developer Chris Fish discuss the history of the app and its place in OTDI