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.

Goals and Values of the Core

Through the Baccalaureate Core at Oregon State University, students explore knowledge in many fields across the university and learn to think critically about significant issues--locally, nationally, and globally.  Students will learn how knowledge is made in fields from science and mathematics to the arts, geography and political science.  While courses in the major provide expertise in a specific field of study, courses in the Bacc Core offer students a broad sense of what it means to be an educated person and to be well equipped for the challenges of the workplace, citizenship, and constructing a life with meaning.

All OSU students fulfill the Bacc Core as part of their baccalaureate degree. Through the Baccalaureate Core, students

  • build their foundational skills like writing, speech, and mathematics;
  • gain knowledge and perspectives across academic fields and diverse cultures;
  • develop abilities of analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving.


Bacc Core categories and courses can be found in the OSU Catalog. Using the Schedule of Classes, you can identify when specific courses are offered by using the interactive search features. Please review course selections and interests with your Academic Advisor. 

There are sixteen required categories within OSU's Bacc Core. The categories are organized by content areas (Skills; Perspectives; Difference, Power and Discrimination; Synthesis; and Writing Intensive Curriculum). Students will complete one course per category:

  • Skills:  Writing I, Writing II, Speech, Mathematics, Fitness
  • Perspectives: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, a third lab science from either Biological or Physical Sciences, Cultural Diversity, Literature and the Arts, Social Processes and Institutions, Western Culture
  • Difference, Power, and Discrimination (DPD)
  • Synthesis: Contemporary Global Issues; Science, Technology and Society 
  • Writing Intensive Curriculum (WIC)