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 Earning a Degree at Oregon State University

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Registrar’s Office
B102 Kerr Admin. Bldg.
Corvallis, OR 97331-2130
541-737-4048
Email: registrars@oregonstate.edu
Website: http://oregonstate.edu/registrar/


Administration


Rebecca Mathern, Registrar, 541-737-4048
Nancy Laurence, Associate Registrar, 541-737-0604
Tom Watts, Associate Registrar, 541-737-4048



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University Degree Requirements

Current degree requirements are printed each year in the "Academic Regulations and Procedures" section of the Registration Information Handbook and in the electronic or printed General Catalog, along with other information on a wide range of topics from minimum credits for full-time status to adding courses. All students are encouraged to review this part of the Registration Information Handbook and electronic or printed General Catalog each year for the most current information about OSU requirements and procedures.

Students with questions about baccalaureate degree requirements are encouraged to contact their advisor. Students needing assistance in selecting a major or selecting an advisor may wish to call or stop by the college office.


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Catalog Year Policy

 

Graduation Requirements/Catalog Contract Policy

When determining the graduation requirements for a given student:

  • Students must meet all applicable degree requirements from the published catalog(s).
  • The student’s catalog year for institutional and baccalaureate core requirements is established by his or her first term of attendance (matriculation date) at Oregon State University as an admitted student.
  • The student’s catalog year for college/major/option/minor requirements is based on the date of declaration of the major/option/minor; consequently, a student’s first (primary) major/option must be in the same catalog year. If a primary option is declared in a subsequent academic year, the primary option will be aligned with the catalog year of the primary major. If the primary option did not exist in the catalog year of the primary major, the primary major will move to the catalog year that the primary option was declared.
  • Additionally, while the student’s first major/option must be in the same catalog year, any additional declarations of majors/options/minors will be determined by the declaration dates (and corresponding catalog years). A student, in collaboration with an advisor, can also choose to graduate using a subsequent (to their most recent major declaration date) catalog year within the same major/option.
  • At the time of graduation, all continuously enrolled students, including transfer students, may not use a catalog that is more than ten years old. Students may petition their college's head advisor for an extension of a catalog greater than ten years prior to their expected graduation term.
  • Current policy requires a student to reapply after not enrolling at OSU for four consecutive terms (not including summer terms). The published catalog for the resulting readmission/matriculation date will become the catalog of record for graduation requirements. The Planned Educational Leave Program defined in AR 13.d beginning with the 2011–2012 academic year, provides a mechanism for a student to keep their original catalog of record during a planned absence.
  • For Degree Partnership Program students, the first term the student is admitted to OSU will be the matriculation date and will determine the catalog year for institutional and baccalaureate core requirements. The catalog year for college/major/option/minor requirements will be the same as all other OSU students.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information in the OSU General Catalog. However, Oregon State University or the Oregon State Board of Higher Education may find it necessary from time to time to make changes in courses, curricula, or degree requirements. Students already admitted to a program in which such changes have been made will be reasonably accommodated, if possible, to ensure their normal progress toward a degree. A student may, however, still be required to conform to changes in courses, curricula, or degree requirements as deemed necessary by Oregon State University or the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.

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The Baccalaureate Experience

Oregon State University is committed to creating an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity, academic freedom, diversity, and personal empowerment. This will enable everyone to learn with and from others. This compelling learning experience celebrates knowledge; encourages personal growth and awareness; acknowledges the benefits of diverse experiences, world views, learning styles, and values; and engenders personal and societal values that benefit the individual and society.

OSU develops curricula based on sound disciplinary knowledge and input from practitioners. Students acquire skills and knowledge for a lifetime of learning, and will be involved in scholarly and creative pursuits.

The baccalaureate degree includes:

  • the baccalaureate core
  • an in-depth study in at least one major; and
  • individual elective courses.

Minors are available in many areas and are required in certain programs. Students should check college, school, program, or departmental requirements.

The Baccalaureate Core (bacc core) Curriculum represents what the OSU faculty believes is the foundation for students' further understanding of the modern world. Informed by natural and social sciences, arts, and humanities, the bacc core requires students to think critically and creatively, and to synthesize ideas and information when evaluating major societal issues. Importantly, the bacc core promotes understanding of interrelationships among disciplines in order to increase students' capacities as ethical citizens of an ever-changing world.


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The Baccalaureate Core

The Oregon State University Baccalaureate Core (http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/bcc.aspx) is continually enriched. It emphasizes critical thinking, writing, world cultures, appreciation of differences, the arts, sciences, literature, lifelong fitness, and global awareness in 15 course categories. Over 250 courses are available to meet core requirements. Students must complete a total of 48 credits plus a Writing Intensive Course (WIC) of at least 3 credits.

The Baccalaureate Core Committee determines which courses will satisfy each of the requirements above. WIC courses will be reviewed by the WIC Director and the Baccalaureate Core Committee. The core is governed by the following rules: (1) No more than two courses from any one department may be used by a student to satisfy the Perspectives category of the core. (2) No single course may be used by a student to satisfy more than one subject area of the core even though some courses have been approved in more than one area. (3) Both Synthesis courses may not be taken in the same department.

Defining characteristics of baccalaureate core courses are available at http://oregonstate.edu/admin/aa/apaa/assessment/baccalaureate-core-assessment-0. Additional information is available at http://oregonstate.edu/main/baccalaureate-core.

The purpose of the writing intensive requirement is to insure that each graduate is prepared to write in the discourse, conventions, and genres of his or her major field.

A student completing requirements for two majors, including double degrees as well as dual majors (one degree with two majors), may request that one WIC course satisfy the WIC requirement for graduation in both majors. This opportunity is available if and only if:

  1. The discourse, written conventions, and genres of the two majors are closely related, and
  2. The substitution of a WIC course from one major for that in another major is approved in writing by the chairs or heads of both departments involved and the approval is placed in the student’s academic file.

Students and advisors should be aware that in some cases, the WIC course in a major is an integral part of the degree and substitution may not be appropriate. The final decision rests with the department chair or head.

Baccalaureate Core Requirements


Skills Courses (lower division except WIC) (15)

To support students’ success in all courses, the following first-year Skills courses are to be taken and completed satisfactorily within the first 45 hours of OSU-generated credits.

Writing I (WR 121, must earn at least C–)
Mathematics (approved list below)
Speech (approved list below)

To prepare for the upper-division Writing Intensive Course in the major, the following Skills course is to be taken and completed satisfactorily within the first 90 hours of OSU-generated credits:

Writing II (approved list below)

For transfer students with sophomore standing or above, Writing II and Speech must be completed within the first 45 hours of OSU-generated credits. These requirements apply to all students, whether full time or part time.

Note: No single course may be used by a student to satisfy more than one area of the core even though some courses are approved for more than one area.

Fitness (3)
Mathematics: MTH 105, *Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics, or higher level mathematics (3)
Writing I (3)
Writing II (3)
Speech (3)

Perspectives Courses (lower and upper division) (24)

No more than two courses from any one department may be used by a student to satisfy the Perspectives category of the core. GEO courses listed under Physical Science are considered to be from a different department than GEO courses listed under any other Perspective category. Choose an additional course from either Physical Science or Biological Science.

Biological Science (including lab) (4)
Physical Science (including lab) (4)
Plus choice of additional physical or biological science (including lab) (4)

Take a minimum of one course in each of the following areas:

Cultural Diversity (3)
Literature and the Arts (3)
Social Processes and Institutions (3)
Western Culture (3)

Difference, Power, and Discrimination Courses (3)


Synthesis Courses (upper division) (6)

Both synthesis courses may not be taken in the same department.
Contemporary Global Issues (3)
Science, Technology, and Society (3)

WIC (Writing Intensive Course, upper division, included in credits for major) (3)


Total (48) + WIC (3) = 51

 


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Approved Baccalaureate Core Courses

For the current and complete list of approved baccalaureate core courses, go to http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/bcc.aspx.


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Major Program

In-depth study in at least one area is required in each baccalaureate degree. Major requirements often include not only courses within the given discipline but also necessary prerequisites and work in related areas.

Students must satisfy all the requirements of their major department and major college. The dean's certification of fulfillment of all requirements of the major college is required.


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Upper-Division Courses

  1. Credits in upper-division courses: minimum 60 (exclusive of upper-division physical education activity courses).
  2. Credits in each major: minimum 36, including at least 24 in upper-division courses.

For further details on upper-division course requirements, see Academic Regulation 25c, Institutional Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees, http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/ChapterDetail.aspx?key=75#Section2893.


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Practicum Courses and Internships

Academic performance is not the sole criterion for admission to and continuation in certain courses and programs at the university, particularly practicum courses and internships. The university may find it necessary to evaluate a person's behavior and background to determine the ability to maintain the standards of professional conduct which are necessary in some disciplines. An evaluation may take into consideration current performance as well as past experiences and actions which could effect the ability to perform in the particular course or program.


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Grade-Point Average (GPA)

A minimum GPA of 2.00 on OSU cumulative grade-point average is required. See Academic Regulation 25e, Institutional Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees, http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/ChapterDetail.aspx?key=75#Section2893.


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Total Credits

A minimum 180 earned credits, which must include:4,5

  1. Credits in upper-division courses: minimum 60 (exclusive of upper-division physical education activity courses).
  2. Credits in each major: minimum 36, including at least 24 in upper-division courses.

4 Some degree programs may require more than 180 credits.
5 Unearned credits are those courses for which a grade of F, N, U, I, W, Y, AUD, or WAU are assigned as a final grade for that course. All other grades are calculated as earned credit.

For further information on total credits required, see Academic Regulation 25c, Institutional Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees, http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/ChapterDetail.aspx?key=75#Section2893.


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Academic Standing

Oregon State University expects students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. At the conclusion of each term, grade-point averages are calculated and academic standings determined for students seeking a baccalaureate degree according to the criteria outlined in the Grades, Regulations, and Records section of this catalog.


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Academic Residence Requirement

Academic Regulation 25f, Academic Residence (http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/ChapterDetail.aspx?key=75#Section2893), Institutional Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees, states:

  • A minimum of 45 of the last 75 credits, or 150 total credits, must be completed while the student is in academic residence at OSU. "Academic Residence" is defined as OSU courses taken as a degree-seeking student of OSU or courses through one of the following approved special programs: Professional degree programs which require that the student enroll in another institution while finishing the bachelor's degree at OSU or an international study program sponsored by the Oregon University System.
  • A minimum of 15 upper-division credits used to meet the preceding residency requirement (1) must be taken in each of the student’s majors.
  • Credits earned by special examination for credit (AR 23) are not considered in academic residence.

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Other Graduation Requirements


BA Degree Requirements

The bachelor of arts (BA) degree is conferred for broad and liberal education in various approved areas of studies (typically humanities, arts, social science, and sciences). Requirements for the BA degree differ from those for a bachelor of science (BS) degree in the same department. Many departments offer only one or the other of the two baccalaureate degrees. Check departmental curricula for detailed information. The BA degree requires second language proficiency, including American Sign Language (ASL), equivalent to that attained at the end of the second year course in the language as certified by the School of Language, Culture, and Society. See the Academic Regulations for more details.

Concurrent and Subsequent Baccalaureate Degrees

Academic Regulation 26: http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/ChapterDetail.aspx?key=75#Section2894

  1. Concurrent Baccalaureate Degrees: An undergraduate student may be granted two or more baccalaureate degrees (for example the BA or BS) at the same graduation exercise. The student must:
    1. Complete institutional, college, and departmental requirements for the degree;
    2. Complete, for each additional degree, a minimum of 32 credits more than the requirements of the curriculum requiring the least number of credits; and
    3. Complete each additional 32 credits in residence.
  2. Subsequent Baccalaureate Degree: A student who has received a previous baccalaureate degree from either OSU or another accredited university may be granted a subsequent baccalaureate degree. The student must:
    1. Complete, for a BA degree, the requirements for foreign language proficiency (AR 25d);
    2. Achieve a minimum of 2.00 on OSU cumulative grade-point average;
    3. Complete requirements of the major college and receive the dean’s certification; and
    4. Meet the requirements for a concurrent degree as specified in AR 26a, if a previous baccalaureate degree has been received from OSU. The additional credits may be taken at any time prior to or subsequent to the granting of a previous OSU baccalaureate degree. Students with a baccalaureate degree from another institution must meet the Academic Residence requirement in AR 25f.
  3. A student seeking a baccalaureate degree under the provisions of either AR 26a or AR 26b also must satisfy the appropriate residence requirements as defined in AR 25f.

Subsequent Credentials: Minors, Certificates, Options, and Majors

Academic Regulation 27: http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/ChapterDetail.aspx?key=75#Section2895

  1. Subsequent Minors and Certificates: A student who has received a previous baccalaureate degree from either OSU or another accredited university or college may be granted a subsequent minor or certificate. The student must:
    1. Complete current requirements for minor or certificate and receive the dean’s approval;
    2. Achieve a minimum of 2.0 OSU cumulative grade-point average on work taken for subsequent credential;
    3. Academic residence: minimum 15 credits in residence.
  2. Subsequent Options and Majors: A student who has received a previous baccalaureate degree from OSU may be granted a subsequent option or major credential:
    1. Complete current requirements for option or major and receive dean’s approval;
    2. Achieve a minimum of 2.0 OSU cumulative grade-point average on work taken for subsequent credential;
    3. Academic residence: minimum 15 credits in residence.
  3. Additional credits necessary for subsequent credentials may be taken prior to or subsequent to the granting of a previous baccalaureate degree.

Requirements for Certificates

See individual certificate programs described in this catalog.

Requirements for Advanced Degrees

For advanced degree requirements see the Graduate School section of this catalog or contact the Graduate School. Students who take courses they wish to apply toward an advanced degree before they have received baccalaureate degrees may have a limited number of credits reserved by petition. Also see Reserving Credits in the Graduate School section. A graduate student also may obtain baccalaureate degrees from Oregon State University by satisfying the requirements for subsequent degrees.


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Double Degrees

A student may earn multiple degrees simultaneously. Additional degrees may also be earned subsequent to a prior degree award. The degrees may be offered by the same college, or by different colleges. For each additional degree, a student must complete a minimum of 32 credits above the minimum number of credits needed for one degree. Each degree application is reviewed by the appropriate academic advisor. Advisors complete a separate graduation audit for each of the degrees. Each degree awarded will be recorded as a separate degree award on the student’s record. The student will also receive a separate diploma for each degree awarded (See Academic Regulation 26).

Some programs, such as the Education Double Degree or the International Degree, require that a primary degree be completed in order for the secondary degree to be awarded. When multiple degrees are not dependent on one another, one of the degrees may be awarded even though the requirements for the other degree is not yet met.


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Dual (or Multiple) Majors

A student may earn two or more majors within a single degree program (a particular combination of degree, college, and campus, e.g. BA degree from the College of Liberal Arts on the Corvallis campus). It is sometimes possible to complete two or more majors within the minimum number of credits required for a degree, but usually the student must complete additional credits to complete requirements for all of their majors. For this reason, dual (or multiple) majors are obtained within the same college. The advisor must complete one graduation audit that includes all of the majors. The student’s academic record will list one degree with two or more majors, e.g. Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Chemistry. The student receives one diploma. Dual (or multiple) majors may be obtained concurrently with the completion of the degree, or in some cases may be earned as a credential subsequent to completion of the degree. (See Academic Regulation 27.)

Note: Occasionally, with careful planning, a student can complete two majors from separate colleges in less than the 212 credits required for two degrees. When this occurs a student can petition for an exception, and graduate with two majors from separate colleges. The student must pick one college as their home college and all majors will be associated with the home college. The student must have the support of advisors from both major programs to have their petition considered.


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Honors Degrees

Students completing the honors college curriculum receive an honors degree in the college of their major, e.g. HBS Honors Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, or HBA Honors Bachelor of Arts in English. In some cases it might be possible for an Honors College student to earn multiple degrees simultaneously by following the double degrees requirements outlined in Academic Regulation 26.

Students seeking an honors degree must meet the requirements of the Honors College in order to receive their degree. Students that complete an Honors degree will have the honors degree recorded on their academic record. The student’s diploma will also include the honors degree designation (e.g. Honors Bachelor of Science, etc.).


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Applying for Bachelor's Degree and Graduation

Students should consult with their advisor to check progress toward graduation requirements. Progress will be based on the formally declared major, minors, options, degree, and other applicable requirements. Prior to submitting an application for graduation the student is responsible for verifying that all of the aforementioned components of their declared program(s) are accurate and complete. Applications are submitted via MyOSU to the Office of the Registrar. They may be filed up to three terms before the expected graduation term so progress can be monitored each term. However, applications must be submitted no later than the end of the second week of the term in which the student plans to complete degree requirements. The Registrar’s Office checks for total credits, academic residency, total upper-division credits and grade-point average.

Please keep the following in mind when using the online application for graduation:

  1. Students should make all necessary changes to their program prior to submitting an application for graduation. In the interest of providing accurate degree audits, it is imperative that the curriculum under which the student applies for graduation accurately reflects their educational goals.
  2. Undergraduates must be of senior standing before being eligible to submit an application.
  3. Students who wish to change graduation dates or program information after the first application must cancel their existing application for graduation and file an new application in accordance with the stated deadline.
  4. Students receiving multiple degrees will need to apply for each degree separately.
  5. Students must be a current OSU student (see 'Re-Enrolling Students' below).

Additionally, please be aware that all corresponding transcripts are sealed, meaning the academic record cannot be altered, by the Office of the Registrar 90 days after the conferral of a degree. This ensures that the academic course work that reflects the components that substantiated the awarding of the degree is accurately and permanently recorded.

 


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Degrees With Distinction

Graduates who have completed at least ninety credits at OSU or sixty upper-division credits at OSU, and who have an OSU cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, are awarded an OSU degree with distinction as follows:

Academic Distinction OSU GPA Range Graduation
Honor Cord Color
Cum Laude 3.50–3.69 Orange
Magna Cum Laude 3.70–3.84 Gold
Summa Cum Laude 3.85–4.00 White

These distinctions are noted on diplomas.


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Undergraduate Research/Arts Fellow Honor Distinction

Oregon State University recognizes significant engagement and accomplishment in undergraduate research and the arts by awarding an honor distinction of "Undergraduate Research/Arts Fellow" to students of all majors upon completion of a significant research or creative arts experience under faculty mentorship. "Research" here is intended to encompass modes of scholarship and inquiry as they are variously practiced and defined in OSU’s academic disciplines. Students completing significant creative projects in the arts may receive the honorary distinction "Undergraduate Arts Fellow." The distinction will be noted on the student’s transcript, and the student will receive a blue honor cord to be worn at graduation ceremonies.

To qualify for the Undergraduate Research/Arts Fellow distinction:

  1. Students must demonstrate involvement in all major phases of their project including conception, implementation, and presentation. This involvement will generally consist of sustained work over multiple quarters resulting in an original contribution relative to the discipline.
  2. The project presentation must be to an audience that extends beyond the immediate research group or creative context, for example at a public performance, departmental symposium, the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Excellence, a professional meeting, or through publication in a student or professional journal.
  3. Evidence of the presentation must be submitted with the final honorary distinction application and deposited into the OSU Scholars Archive.
  4. A member of the OSU Graduate Faculty must endorse the application, verifying satisfaction of the criteria described above.

To apply for the distinction, students should complete the OSU Undergraduate Research/Arts Fellow Honor Distinction Application, which will be made available on the Oregon State Undergraduate Research Framework website (http://oregonstate.edu/students/research/). The application includes a detailed narrative description of the project and the student’s involvement in specific research/creative tasks, a timeline of the student’s project engagement, details of the public presentation, and the Graduate Faculty member’s endorsement. Applications are submitted to the head advisor in the students’ major college, who will sign the application and transmit to the Office of the Registrar for processing. Applications may be submitted at any time during the undergraduate’s career but no later than three weeks prior to a student’s anticipated graduation date.


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Dissertation/Thesis

Upon completion and acceptance of a dissertation/thesis at the conclusion of a program of study, the dissertation/thesis will be recorded on a student’s transcript, notating the title and term/year that the dissertation/thesis was accepted by the university.


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Re-Enrolling Students

Re-enrolling students are reminded that graduation requirements may have changed. Students are responsible for consulting their college for changes in their curriculum. If a program has been discontinued, students cannot expect to continue pursuit of that program. Re-enrolling students are also reminded that individual retention and re-enrollment standards of specific colleges may be in effect.


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Transfer Students

Oregon community college students entering OSU who have completed the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree (meeting the block transfer agreement between Oregon community colleges and Oregon public universities) will satisfy the lower-division requirements of the baccalaureate core (except those in the synthesis requirement) and have junior standing for registration.

When entering OSU, Oregon community college students who have completed the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree will have junior standing for registration and will satisfy the lower-division requirements of the baccalaureate core, except those in the synthesis requirement. The AAOT degree meets the block transfer agreement between Oregon community colleges and Oregon public universities.


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Transfer Credits

Decisions on transfer courses meeting specific baccalaureate core (general education requirements) will be made by the Office of Admissions with the Faculty Senate and the Office of Academic Programs. Some requirements may be met by advanced placement or international baccalaureate. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions. Articulation tables for baccalaureate core courses can be found on the Web at http://oregonstate.edu/admissions/transfer/bacc_core_1140.html.


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