Writing Foundations (WR 121Z) (x)

4 credits​

Quantitative Literacy and Analysis (x)

4 credits​

Art and Humanities - 2 courses (one global focus) (x)

6-8 credits​

Communication, Media, and Society (Social Science) (x)

3 credits​

Social Science (x)

3-4 credits​

Scientific Inquiry and Analysis (Natural Science with lab) - 2 courses (x)

8 credits​

Difference, Power, and Oppression: Foundations *​

3-4 credits​



2 credits​

Beyond OSU Career Integration​

0 credits​

Writing Elevation*​

3 credits​

Advanced Difference, Power, and Oppression​

3-4 credits​

Seeking Solutions​

3-4 credits​

Writing Intensive Curriculum​

In major​

Total credits​


(x) Core Transfer Map (CTM) curriculum, * Satisfied by AAOT in addition to CTM


*Courses in the Writing Elevation category are at the upper division (300/400) level, with the exception for WR 227Z.  Students who transfer WR 227Z will satisfy the Writing Elevation category.  Students who complete their AAOT writing requirement with a different writing course will be required to take a Writing Elevation post-transfer.


Oregon State University’s Baccalaureate Core is a universal educational experience for the 21st-century learner that promotes economic, social, cultural, and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation, and the world. The curriculum strives to develop students’ intellectual capacities and resiliency to be critical agents who transform knowledge into action. Through deep and integrative experiences, OSU’s general education meets students where they are in their educational journey and equips them for meaningful, lifelong learning. Our Baccalaureate Core is designed to foster student potential to innovate and change the world by solving complex problems, adapting to change, and becoming community members in a global society.

Goals for General Education at Oregon State University
  • Foundational Modes of Inquiry and Innovation — students will use multiple modes of inquiry, within and across a variety of disciplines, to develop fundamental skills and breadth of knowledge that promote lifelong learning and creative problem-solving.

  • Social and Environmental Justice — students will examine evidence from a variety of perspectives to grow their cultural and environmental awareness and increase their capacity to enact social and environmental justice.

  • Navigation of a Complex Global World — students will apply skills necessary for navigating a world with multiple perspectives and global interconnectedness.

  • From Here to Career — students will gain professional skills and competencies designed for adaptability, longevity, and integrity in a global workforce.

Category Descriptions

Transitions - 2 credits

Many of our students’ needs (e.g., initial career exploration, gaining skills necessary to succeed in college, health and well-being, knowledge of OSU resources) are best handled in a required New Student course. Transitions is a set of OSU-specific courses that:

  • Socialize students and build community
  • Educate students in effective academic behaviors, goal setting and resiliency building
  • Explain the goals of the Bacc Core and the broader OSU educational mission
  • Introduce foundational concepts in health and well-being, health equity, and campus resources that contribute to individual and community health.
  • Begin student exploration of interests, values, and strengths associated with academic, personal, and professional development
  • Introduce students to financial literacy
  • Acculturate students into OSU life and other things that make OSU special.

Specific sections or courses will be developed and tailored to first-year and transfer students and to the specific needs and audiences of Ecampus and Cascades.

Beyond OSU - 0 credits

Beyond OSU is a sequence of career-related activities and/or events. Student surveys suggest that nearly all students list career-related purposes as a primary reason they come to college. This requirement is intended to incorporate career development into the curriculum, thereby ensuring that every student has the skills and knowledge needed to find meaningful work in their field after completing their academic journey at OSU. There will be three required "touchpoints" for students. One of these will be in the Transitions course mentioned above. The other two touchpoints will be flexible. These might be online modules, career services events, or other career-relevant activities. We anticipate that these activities will leverage existing programs (e.g., online resources, current career programming).

We recognize the various populations of students we have and their unique goals. For instance, some students, especially on Ecampus, are already situated in a job and are looking for career advancement or a career shift. Some students may be relatively clear about what they want to do whereas others are not. The flexibility of this requirement helps students pursue their own pathway. In addition, it is important to note that we define “career” broadly, to include, for instance, students who wish to pursue work in nonprofits or in social activism (see, e.g., the Social Action Works program).

Writing - 7 credits

  • Writing Foundations (4 cr) is OSU’s current Writing I (WR121). It is required as part of the Core Transfer Map. Is serves as an introduction to college-level writing and key rhetorical concepts.
  • Writing Elevation (3 cr) revises the current Writing II category. There is broad agreement throughout OSU that students need quality writing instruction, practice, and feedback between WR 121 and Writing Intensive Curriculum (WIC). There is also broad appeal for strengthening the connection between intermediate writing and students’ majors. The goal of this requirement is to elevate students’ ability to write within a range of contexts, while also preparing them for their chosen academic discipline and WIC courses.  

Quantitative Literacy and Analysis

Quantitative Literacy and Analysis is an expansion of OSU’s current Math Category to include mathematical statistics. Math is part of the CTM. The expansion of this category adds new domains of mathematical analysis to the category. However, it is not intended to include other domains that may be mathematics adjacent (e.g., discipline-based statistics classes). Quantitative literacy and analysis skills are vital in our information-rich world.  This new version of the core requirement gives students options among algebra, calculus, and mathematical statistics courses allowing them to develop critical thinking skills with essential mathematical concepts and models.


Question: Will this category include mathematics and statistics classes taught outside of those departments?

Answer: As envisioned by the Bacc Core Reform Committee, no. However, the broader question of restrictions on whether or not categories will be restricted to only courses being taught in certain units is a question for implementation.

Communication, Media, and Society - 3 credits

Communication, Media, and Society is a re-envisioning of the current Communication requirement. Communication is integral to best practice in general education, and one of the most sought-after skills by employers. Communication as a discipline is increasingly identified as a social science. This category is designed as a communication course teaching skills related to communication process from a social science perspective. Consistent with this, in discussion with the School of Communication, the Committee is proposing that courses in Communications, Media and Society take a social science orientation. As such, they will count as a Social Science course in the CTM. 

Therefore, learning outcomes, criteria, and rationale will have to be written in a way that this category meets the CTM Social Science Requirement. Additionally, this category will include courses in the “newer” forms of communication afforded by advances in digital technology. Finally, supervised practice in communication is integral to this category.

Arts and Humanities - Global and General - 6-8 credits

Students will take two Arts and Humanities courses. Two such courses are required by the CTM. These courses will follow the CTM learning outcomes.  If taken at OSU, one course must have a global focus.

  • Arts and Humanities: General Focus (3-4 cr) will promote critical inquiry and the development of intellectual abilities through the study of the arts and humanities. Creative expression is a fundamental human activity that results in the production of objects, environments, and experiences that engage the senses, emotions, and/or intellect. The humanities grapple with the human condition in all of its complexity through time and across cultures. The humanities include knowledge of history, philosophical traditions, major religions, diverse cultural legacies, literature, film, and music.
  • Arts and Humanities: Global Perspectives (3-4 cr) is an arts and humanities course, as described above, that encourages critical engagement with social, political, and cultural issues in a global context.

Social Sciences - 3-4 credits

Social Sciences includes courses that concern people and how they relate with one another, including studies of individuals, families, communities, markets, movements, and political structures from the perspective of contemporary social science. This category is analogous to our current Social Process and Institutions category but more overtly inclusive of social science courses focused on the individual level. This will count towards one social science course in the CTM.

Scientific Inquiry and Analysis

Scientific Inquiry and Analysis (8 cr) includes two natural science courses, each with a lab. These courses will engage students in the high-impact practice of scientific inquiry and explore generation and uses for scientific evidence. These courses involve developing knowledge of basic scientific concepts, how science works, and collaborative group problem solving. Labs accompanying these courses will engage students in the process of science from observation and hypothesis testing through data collection and analysis culminating in science communication to a general audience. If possible, courses should address how scientific issues impact social and environmental justice.

This category includes both Biological and Physical Science courses and counts as Natural Sciences with a lab in CTM. Consistent with the CTM, students will no longer be required to take both a Biological and a Physical Science course; they can take both Natural Science courses in one area if they prefer. Each course is worth 4 credits but if majors or programs have 5 credit lab science courses already embedded in their curriculum, they may use those 5 credit courses to fulfill the lab science requirement in the GE.

Difference, Power, and Oppression - Foundations and Advanced - 6-8 credits

The Difference, Power, and Oppression categories represent a revision and expansion of the existing Difference Power and Discrimination Category. These course requirements will provide students the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge about how systems of power function, both broadly and specifically within their disciplines, through active learning and engaged learning. These courses are designed to help ensure that students receive an anti-racist undergraduate educational experience. 

  • Difference Power, and Oppression Foundations (3-4 cr) is a lower division course. It is intended that entering first-year students take this course within the first two years at OSU. In addition to changing the name, language will be added to DPO (formerly DPD) learning outcomes to specifically require that these courses take up race, racism, and racialization, and grapple with anti-racism as it relates to course content. 
  • Advanced Difference, Power, and Oppression (3-4 cr) is an upper-division course designed to embed DPO topics into majors and disciplines. As such, it is intended that these courses be part of major curricula. The courses ask students to contemplate the real-world impacts of their field of study in relation to difference, power, and oppression. Courses are intended to be relatively small .

Seeking Solutions - 3-4 credits

Seeking Solutions (3-4 cr) is a collaborative course focused on having students work in teams to solve complex, multifaceted problems. The problems that are the focus of this category are those that are sometimes termed “Wicked Problems”. Such problems are extremely difficult to solve because they can be framed in multiple ways, have multiple complex causes, are often symptomatic of other problems, and do not have an exhaustive set of potential solutions. Such problems tend to require transdisciplinary thinking and involve a wide range of stakeholders. They typically have a social component. Such problems typically have both a local and global dimension. Solutions to these sorts of problems have multiple consequences, not all of which are desirable. Examples of relevant problems could include climate change, environmental degradation, emerging pandemics, health inequality, racial inequality, poverty, and others. One of Oregon State’s strengths is that it focuses on such problems and works to identify solutions. This category is designed to highlight this signature element of OSU.

A central goal of this course is to have students wrestle with these sorts of complex, multifaceted problems and work to solve them. Students tell us that they want to do this. They come to OSU wanting to make an impact on the world and solve real problems. In fact, the notion that OSU students will be equipped to tackle the world’s pressing problems is a central focus of OSU’s messaging to prospective students. There have been successful versions of similar courses both here (e.g., FES 485) and elsewhere (e.g., North Carolina State’s “Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions” courses). Overall, this is a course that is designed to deepen how students think about problem-solving.

The courses will include interdisciplinary student teamwork as a core component.  This is in response to longstanding campus interest in implementing a teamwork component into the Bacc Core. Teamwork is a prominent component of best practices in general education. In addition, stakeholder groups, notably our industry partners, consistently emphasize that working in groups with disparate others (people with different backgrounds, goals, and priorities) is an area in which students need experience and practice.

Implementation of the courses should adhere to certain parameters. Incorporating teamwork into the courses will require them to be designed in such a way as to make this manageable. The issues and problems that are the focus of this category should consider the global dimension of the problem, in accord with our goals for the Bacc Core. Courses are to be upper division and limited to students with at least junior standing. One of the goals of this category is for students to engage in team problem solving with people whose experiences and point of view differ from their own. Therefore, these courses are intended to be taken outside of a student’s major. 


Writing Intensive Curriculum - credits in major

Writing Intensive Curriculum (WIC) is OSU’s current WIC requirement. Its stated purpose is to teach students the standards of writing in their discipline and to use writing as a mechanism for learning. As is currently the case, WIC will be implemented in courses required within majors and focused on major content. WIC courses will continue to be assessed by the Bacc Core Committee evaluating the writing dimensions of the course but not the disciplinary content.