Earning a Degree

Administration

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

Rebecca Mathern, University Registrar and Associate Vice Provost - Academic Affairs, 541-737-4048
Mike Jefferis, Associate Registrar - Catalog, Curriculum & Scheduling, 541-737-0604
Jennifer Ketterman, Associate Registrar - Operations, 541-737-2830
Kristin Benson, Deputy University Registrar and Associate Registrar - Compliance, 541-737-2012
Autumn Landis, Senior Assistant Registrar - Projects & Communication, 541-737-2018
Sarah Moreno, Assistant Registrar - Athletics Compliance, 541-737-0603

Catalog Rights Policy

The Catalog Rights Policy is outlined in the Grades, Regulations & Records section of this Catalog.

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, outlined in Academic Regulation 25, 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. Baccalaureate degree requirements are published each year in the Academic Regulations section of this Catalog. Students with questions about baccalaureate degree requirements are encouraged to contact their advisor. Student's needing assistance in selecting a major or selecting an advisor should contact their college's advising office. 

The Baccalaureate Core

The Oregon State University Baccalaureate Core is continually enriched. 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. 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. Here is the current and complete list of approved baccalaureate core courses. Defining characteristics of baccalaureate core courses are available on the Baccalaureate Core website.

Monitoring Degree Progress with MyDegrees

MyDegrees is a web-based degree checklist program and academic advising tool designed to assist students and advisors in reviewing degree progress. It identifies courses the student has completed and courses still needed to fulfill the degree requirements. Students may access this tool through MyOregonState, or through links on the Office of the Registrar website. Video tutorials on how to use MyDegrees are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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.

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 affect the ability to perform in the particular course or program.

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 & Records section of this Catalog.

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. A graduate student also may obtain baccalaureate degrees from Oregon State University by satisfying the requirements for subsequent degrees.

Undergraduate Graduation via Institutional Awarding

To become a degree candidate:

  • You must be a current OSU student with senior standing
  • You must be enrolled in the final course(s) required for your program of study

With Institutional Awarding, undergraduate students no longer need to apply for graduation. Students should meet regularly with their academic advisor to ensure their progress to graduation. 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.

Commencement exercises are held annually in June and attendance is optional. Ecampus students planning to travel to Corvallis for Commencement can contact Ecampus Student Services for additional information.

Double Degrees

A student may earn multiple, distinct degrees simultaneously. See Academic Regulation 26. Additional degrees may also be earned after your first degree was awarded. The degrees may be offered by the same college, or by different colleges. To earn a double degree, or for each additional degree, a student must complete a minimum of 32 credits above the minimum number of credits needed for one of the degrees. On the student’s academic record, each degree awarded will be recorded as a separate degree with its major (e.g., Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Bachelor of Arts in English). The student will also receive a separate diploma for each degree awarded.

Some double-degree programs — Education (BA, BS, HBA, HBS), Innovation Management (BA, BS, HBA, HBS), Sustainability (BS, HBS), International Studies (BA, HBA) — require that a primary degree be completed in order for the secondary degree to be awarded. 

Dual (or Multiple) Majors

A student may earn two or more majors within a single degree program. 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. 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. With careful planning, a student can complete two majors from separate colleges in less than the 212 credits required for two degrees. The student can petition to 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 college head advisors from both colleges.

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, HBA Honors Bachelor of Arts in English). Students seeking an honors degree must meet the requirements of the Honors College in order to receive their degree. Students who 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).

Degrees with Distinction

Graduates who have completed at least 90 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.

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 or the summer 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, symposium/seminar, the annual CUE (Celebration of Undergraduate Excellence) at OSU, a professional meeting, or through publication in a journal.
  3. Evidence of the presentation must be submitted with the final honorary distinction application and deposited into the OSU Scholars Archive.
  4. The faculty mentor 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. Students that complete a thesis in the Honors College, International Education, Physics, BioResource Research or the Bioenergy Minor should submit Form A while form B is to be used for all other research/creative activities.  The Form B which application requires submission of a detailed 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 faculty mentor’s endorsement. Applications are submitted to the head advisor in the students’ major college, who will sign the application and transmit to the Director for Undergraduate Research for signature before it is sent 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.

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.

Oregon and Washington Transfer Students

When entering OSU, Oregon community college students who have completed the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree, and Washington community college students who have completed the Direct Transfer Associate Degree, will have junior standing for registration and will satisfy the lower-division requirements of the baccalaureate core, except for the synthesis requirement. For more information about how OSU accepts any of the transfer degrees, call OSU Admissions at 800-291-4192.

OSU will accept a maximum of 12 credits in professional, vocational, and technical courses. You must still meet requirements in your chosen major, minor, or professional program.

California Transfer Students

OSU accepts the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to satisfy lower-division (general) core requirements. The IGETC was developed for community college students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution but are undecided about which one and/or undecided about a major. Students interested in the IGETC path to transfer are strongly advised to see an academic advisor prior to enrollment. The minimum requirements are: 36 quarter (24 semester) academically transferable hours, 2.25 cumulative GPA, IGETC Area 1 Group A English requirement (C– or higher grade), IGETC Area 2 Mathematical Concepts requirement (C– or higher grade), and student must be admissible to the last institution they attended.

For more information about how OSU accepts any of the transfer degrees, call OSU Admissions at 800-291-4192.

Transfer Credits

Decisions on transfer courses meeting specific baccalaureate core (bacc core) requirements will be made by the Office of Admissions in collaboration with the Faculty Senate and the Office of Academic Programs. Some requirements may be met by Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions. Articulation tables for baccalaureate core courses can be found online.