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Oregon State University

Themes

ls themes

Liberal Studies themes are as varied as your imagination. Some themes, such as "behavioral studies" draw on two or three social science disciplines to provide students with a broad-based understanding of how people interact and maintain cultural structures and social institutions. Other themes, such as "event coordination" prepare students for a particular type of work in specific industries. Whether you are looking to broaden your theoretical understanding, to gain career related skills, or both, narrowing down your focus is the first place to start.

Designing your own Liberal Studies Plan

  • Theme: Do you have a theme in mind already? If yes, skip to the next step.  When you are trying to decide how to shape your interdisciplinary degree, it’s important to think about your outcome first.  Do you have a career field in mind? Are there certain subject areas or ideas that you are drawn to? Start by writing those ideas down and then look for common themes across those concepts or career goals.  If there is not a common theme, select the one that seems to interest you most.

  • Plan: Look at all of the academic disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts, which ones stand out to you as fitting in well with your proposed theme?  You need at least three discipline areas from the college, but you can have as many as you like, so write down all of the ones that stand out to you.  From that list, go to the course catalog (either on campus or e campus depending on which campus you take your courses from) and review the various course descriptions.  Make a list of all of the course numbers and titles that fit your proposed theme.  Look at your previous coursework; are there any courses you have already completed that naturally fit into your theme?  Once you have a large list of courses, start narrowing the list down until you get a list of classes that satisfies the requirements of the LS plan.

  • All classes from Liberal Arts Disciplines
  • 45-52 credits
  • At least 27 upper division credits
  • One Writing Intensive Course (WIC)
  • No 100-200 level language courses
  • Max of six credits of special projects or internships
  • Less than 50% of your coursework complete when you submit the plan for approval

  • Essay: This is your chance to explain why you are doing what you are doing with your Liberal Studies major. When you graduate from Oregon State, you will leave with either a B.A. or B.S. in Liberal Studies.  Your family, future employers and graduate programs will not know what coursework you took to pursue your Liberal Studies degree.  It is important for you to be able to articulate how you pursued your academic passion in your undergraduate education. Why did you select the courses you did, what do they mean to you? What are your plans after you finish this degree? How will the degree help you achieve those goals?
  • Learning Outcomes: When considering your essay and plan, use the Liberal Studies Learning Outcomes to guide you. It is your responsibility to know and understand these learning outcomes.
  • Approval: Your theme, plan and essay must be submitted to the College of Liberal Arts advising office for approval at least two terms prior to graduation from OSU.  If you are having any difficulties putting together these materials, make sure you schedule an appointment with your advisor, 541-737-0561, to ask for help with this process.

    If you are still having trouble envisioning what a plan of classes looks like, please review these Sample Liberal Studies plans. When you are ready to put together your own theme, please feel free to utilize this LS major worksheet.