Areas of Strength and Cross Disciplinary Foci

Asian History and Religion

SHPR offers a wide range of courses that introduce students to diverse perspectives on Asia. Encompassing politics, culture, religion, and philosophy, these courses reflect the research expertise and strength of the faculty, and are enhanced by study abroad opportunities, experiential learning, and other educational processes beyond the traditional classroom. Our course offerings intersect with other programs on campus, including a minor in Asian Studies, and certificates in Contemplative Studies and Yoga studies.  By meeting the demonstrably high student demand for knowledge about Asia, these courses cultivate an awareness of the importance of Asia in global society, and support student curiosity into the visions of life which Asian cultures offer.


The study of Ethics provides tools for responsible participation as professionals and citizens, and teaches skills for reflecting on individual and social obligations. Ethics also explores interpretations of what it means to create a live a “good life,” fundamental for college students as they shape their lives as adults. We have a "Philosophy of Happiness" class in the works to help students pursue this goal.

Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities is an online and on-campus certificate. By confronting moral, historical, psychological and ethical dimensions of health, medicine and the healing professions, students in our interdisciplinary program learn to empathize with the suffering and experiences of others and reflect critically on ideas of wellness, disability, medical knowledge, practice, and discourse.

United States History

USA history classes provide a deep understanding of change over time, the ability to view the world from various and often unfamiliar perspectives, and crucial historical context for “how we got here.” Drawing on documentary films, political speeches, government reports, oral history testimony, and popular music, students explore crucial events, debates, and changes in society, economics, politics, and world affairs, as they become part of an informed and engaged community of global citizens. Students develop their skills in reading carefully and efficiently, weighing evidence critically, and writing clearly and persuasively.



SHPR News Feed

Oregon State University to host Phish academic conference

Apr 18, 2019

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host an academic conference devoted to the improvisational rock band Phish from May 17 to 19. Stephanie Jenkins, an assistant professor of philosophy at Oregon State, is organizing the conference. She has been … Continue reading

Listen to an interview with Dr. Nicole von Germeten about her new book “Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico”

Jun 14, 2018

Nicole Von Germeten, “Profit and Passion: Transactional Sex in Colonial Mexico” (U California Press, 2018)  

Kudos to Dr. Rena Lauer on her recent Medieval Academy Publication Subvention award!

Jun 6, 2018

We are very pleased to announce  that the 2018 Medieval Academy Publication Subvention has been awarded to Rena Lauer (Oregon State University) to support the publication of her forthcoming monograph, Colonial Justice and the Jews of Venetian Crete (Philadelphia: University of … Continue reading

Food of the Faithful – Tibetan studies scholar Geoffrey Barstow explores the limits of Buddhism

Jun 4, 2018

“Available sources almost universally agree that meat is delicious. Perhaps more importantly, meat is often considered necessary for human health.” “Compassion, placing the needs of others before one’s own, lies at the very center of Tibetan religious rhetoric and self-conception.” … Continue reading

Religious studies program sees increase in non-religious students

May 7, 2018

Community members call for increased recognition of different religions from university. Among adults in Oregon, 68 percent of people identify as participants of a major religion, according to Pewforum’s 2016 survey. Being a university that is home to both domestic … Continue reading