The Oregon State University Baccalaureate Core 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. Nearly 1,000 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 Faculty Senate Baccalaureate Core Committee determines which courses will satisfy each of the requirements above. WIC courses will be reviewed by the WIC Director and the Faculty Senate 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 academic unit. 4) The WIC course must be taken in the student’s major. Each interdisciplinary major has a list of approved WIC courses for that major. (WIC Rationale) A current list of approved Baccalaureate Core courses can be found in the OSU Catalog.

To add or delete the Baccalaureate Core status from an existing course, submit a Change Course proposal via the Curriculum Proposal System.

Defining characteristics of Baccalaureate Core courses are available at http://apa.oregonstate.edu/assessment/baccalaureate-core-assessment. Additional information is available at http://main.oregonstate.edu/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 academic units 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 academic unit chair or head.

Baccalaureate Core Requirements

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

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:

  • Mathematics: MTH 105, *Intro to Contemporary Mathematics, or higher level mathematics (3)
  • Writing I (3) (WR 121, must earn at least a C–)
  • Speech (3)

To prepare for the upper-division Writing Intensive Course (WIC) 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

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.

Additional skill course category to be completed:

  • Fitness (3)

Perspectives Courses (lower and upper division) (24)
No more than two courses from any one academic unit 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 academic unit 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. One course is from each of the following areas:

  • Contemporary Global Issues (3)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (3)

WIC (Writing Intensive Course, upper division, included in credits for major) (3)
The WIC course must be taken in the student’s major. Each interdisciplinary major has a list of approved WIC courses for that major.

Total (48) + WIC (3) = 51

Approved By Date
Faculty Senate Baccalaureate Core Committee 02/08/2018