The Liberal Studies (LS) program's mission is to facilitate the development and implementation of an interdisciplinary, thematically-based learning program selected by the student. Liberal Studies themes are as varied as your imagination. Some themes, such as "Cultural Studies through Literature" draw on two or three liberal arts disciplines to provide students with a broad-based understanding of how people interact and maintain cultural structures and social institutions. Other themes, such as "event coordination" prepare students for a particular type of work in specific industries. Whether you are looking to broaden your theoretical understanding, to gain career-related skills, or both, narrowing down your focus is the first place to start.
Designing your own Liberal Studies Plan
Theme: Do you have a theme in mind already? If yes, skip to the next step. When you are trying to decide how to shape your interdisciplinary degree, it’s important to think about your outcome first. Do you have a career field in mind? Are there certain subject areas or ideas that you are drawn to? Start by writing those ideas down and then look for common themes across those concepts or career goals. If there is not a common theme, select the one that seems to interest you most.
Plan: Review all of the academic disciplines offered through the College of Liberal Arts. Which ones stand out to you as fitting in well with your proposed theme? You need at least two discipline areas from the college, but you can have as many as you like, so write down all of the ones that stand out to you. From that list, go to the course catalog (either on-campus or Ecampus depending on which campus you take your courses from) and review the various course descriptions. Make a list of all of the course numbers and titles that fit your proposed theme. Look at your previous coursework; are there any courses you have already completed that naturally fit into your theme? Once you have a large list of courses, start narrowing the list down until you get a list of classes that satisfies the requirements of the LS plan. When you are ready to create your plan, use the Liberal Studies Plan Form to construct your plan proposal and submit to your advisor.
- All classes from Liberal Arts disciplines
- Consist of courses from at least two disciplines
- 45-52 credits
- At least 27 upper division credits
- One Writing Intensive Course (WIC)
- Must have a minimum of 2.3 GPA in the Liberal Studies courses
- No S/U grading allowed in plan of study
- No 100-200 level language courses
- No WR 121 or baccalaureate core COMM courses
- Max of six credits of special projects or internships
- Maximum of 20 previously completed credits in Liberal Arts disciplines can be applied to new LS major
- Liberal Studies Major must go through the approval process
If you are looking for inspiration in your plans, you can reference the 2 samples here (courses may differ according to availability and prior experience - plans include all courses for a full 4-year plan, LS major courses are bolded):
Sample #1: Event Planning
Sample #2: Cultural Studies through Literature
Essay: This is your chance to explain why you are doing what you are doing with your Liberal Studies major. When you graduate from Oregon State, you will leave with either a B.A. or B.S. in Liberal Studies. Your family, future employers and graduate programs will not know what coursework you took to pursue your Liberal Studies degree. It is important for you to be able to articulate how you pursued your academic passion in your undergraduate education. Why did you select the courses you did, what do they mean to you? What are your plans after you finish this degree? How will the degree help you achieve those goals?
Learning Outcomes: When considering your essay and plan, use the Liberal Studies Learning Outcomes to guide you. It is your responsibility to know and understand these learning outcomes.
Approval: Your theme, plan, and essay must be submitted to your Liberal Studies Advisor for faculty approval. You have up to two academic terms to finalize your LS major. If you are having any difficulties putting together these materials, make sure you schedule an appointment with your advisor, 541-737-0561, to ask for help with this process.