The College of Liberal Arts strongly endorses the vision and mission of Oregon State University to serve the people of Oregon as one of America's top ten land grant universities and to contribute to the civic, economic, and social foundations of society. Above all, the College of Liberal Arts will maintain commitments to ensure excellence in teaching, scholarship, outreach and service, creative activities and to protect academic freedom and program integrity in the liberal arts disciplines.
When Oregon State University (then the Oregon Agricultural College) became a land-grant college in 1868, it was a typical liberal arts college of the day. As OSU's curriculum expanded into the sciences and technology in the early 20th century, the liberal arts were de-emphasized and grouped into the Division of Service Departments. After World War II, OSU President A.L. Strand pushed to re-emphasize the liberal arts, and in 1959 divisional majors in humanities and social sciences were offered for the first time. In 1961 the School of Humanities and Social Sciences was established, and additional degree programs were developed in the 1960s. In 1973, the school became the College of Liberal Arts, including the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Fine and Performing Arts. Today, the College of Liberal Arts has a large student enrollment, many renowned faculty and a dedicated and philanthropic alumni base.
The College of Liberal Arts remains the cornerstone of the University. CLA provides OSU students with an excellent educational experience that prepares them to embark on a lifetime of learning and to adapt to a rapidly changing world. The liberal arts are personally enriching and eminently practical, and when our students leave OSU, they have the critical thinking and communication skills to succeed in their careers and their lives.