Alva is a city in Woods County, Oklahoma, along the Salt Fork Arkansas River. The population was 4,945 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Woods County.
Established in 1893, the town got a normal school in 1897 that became today's Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
Alva was established in 1893 as a land office for the Cherokee Outlet land run, the largest of the land rushes that settled western and central Oklahoma. The site was chosen for its location on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and likely named for a railroad attorney, Alva Adams, who had become governor of Colorado.