The world needs thinkers and doers. People with brilliant ideas who act on them. People who can’t wait to solve a problem. People like you.

Pursuing an education in the arts, humanities and social sciences will spark your creativity while building critical-thinking, communication and life skills. It’s also an excellent career strategy because employers look for people with well-rounded academic backgrounds and hands-on learning experience. 

The liberal arts curriculum at Oregon State University will develop and improve your skills, whether your talents lie in design, drawing, writing, organization, relationship-building or performance. Learn how to harness your craft, to be a leader, to improve your community.  

Oregon State offers strong academic programs taught by field-leading professors who are as committed to your success as you are. 

Get ready for what’s next. 

A successful career in the arts and social sciences starts with a well-balanced college-preparatory curriculum. Classes in English and speech will sharpen your writing and communication abilities, and you should also take classes to develop fundamental computer skills. If you’re interested in a field that involves working with and helping people, take advantage of extracurricular and volunteer activities to develop your social and leadership skills during your high school career.

Do more than just see the world as it could be.


Bring the career you’ve dreamed of a lot closer to reality.

You can design awesome houses or furniture. Bring ideas to life through teaching or research. Create blockbuster video games. Wow people as a sales or advertising professional. Give everything you’ve got through the performing arts. In the social sciences, you could pursue a career in business, politics or law, work in a federal, state or local government agency, a nonprofit or another community organization.

Get a head start on your career with learning experiences beyond the classroom. For example, study abroad programs will broaden your perspectives and develop new skills through unique classes and hands-on learning. Many employers prefer to hire people with international experience and knowledge of other cultures. All arts and social sciences programs at Oregon State are designed to prepare you to step directly into a career or attend graduate or professional school.

Your First Year

Off we go. Getting started at Oregon State.

Your first year at Oregon State will be spent building a solid foundation for a well-rounded education. You’ll develop your critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills through courses from Oregon State’s Baccalaureate Core — the physical and biological sciences, mathematics, writing, fitness, cultural diversity and freshman orientation — along with some beginning courses in your particular area
of interest.

To make sure you get off to a good start and stay on course for graduation, you should meet with an advisor as you plan your first-year program — and at regular intervals after that.

OSU offers more than 200 academic programs


The following colleges offer programs in this area:

College of Agricultural Sciences

Environmental Economics & Policy

Sustainability (Double Degree)

College of Business

Design and Innovation Management

Apparel Design

Interior Design

Merchandising Management

College of Forestry

Natural Resources

  • Conservation Law Enforcement
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Forest Ecosystems
  • Human Dimensions in Natural Resources
  • Integrated Conservation Analysis
  • Landscape Analysis
  • Natural Resources Education
  • Policy and Management
  • Urban Forest Landscapes
  • Wildland Fire Ecology
  • Individual Specialty Option

Renewable Materials

  • Art & Design
  • Science & Engineering
  • Management & Marketing
  • Advanced Wood Manufacturing

Tourism, Recreation and Outdoor Leadership

  • Outdoor Recreation Management
  • Sustainable Tourism Management
  • Nature, Eco and Adventure Tourism (OSU-Cascades)
  • Adventure Leadership Education (OSU-Cascades)

College of Public Health and Human Sciences

Human Development and Family Sciences

  • Child Development
  • Human Services

Public Health

College of Liberal Arts

American Studies (OSU-Cascades)


  • Archaeology
  • Biocultural Option
  • Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology

Applied Visual Arts

  • Fine Arts
  • Photography


  • Art History
  • Visual Arts
  • Photography

Arts, Media and Technology (OSU-Cascades)

Creative Writing

Digital Communication Arts

  • Multimedia
  • New Media Communications
  • Writing


  • Law, Economics and Policy
  • Managerial Economics
  • Mathematical Economics


  • Film Studies

Ethnic Studies



Graphic Design


Liberal Studies

Marine Studies


  • Instrumental Performance
  • Music Education
  • Music Production
  • Piano Performance
  • Popular Music Studies
  • Vocal Performance

Music Studies


Political Science

  • Environmental and Energy Politics
  • International Affairs
  • Law and Politics


  • Contemplative Studies

Public Policy

Religious Studies

Social Science (OSU-Cascades)


  • Crime and Justice
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Sociology


Speech Communication

  • Communication
  • Theater Arts

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

  • Queer Studies

You’ve learned — and will learn — from great educators. You can become one, too.

Oregon State’s colleges of Education, Liberal Arts and Public Health and Human Sciences all offer strong programs to prepare you for teacher certification. For teaching in an elementary school, choose a program such as early childhood development or liberal studies; these will give you the broad academic background needed for the elementary school classroom. To prepare for teaching in middle or high school, you’ll pursue a double degree, one in education and the other in the subject you want to teach. You can also take advantage of multiple opportunities to work with middle and high school students.

There are many paths to becoming a teacher, and Oregon State will help you find yours. Be sure to talk to the advisors in your major academic field.

4-year graduation guarantee

The College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State offers the chance for first-year students to get on a guaranteed track to graduation in four years.  Learn more here.


Put law school on a faster track.

If you’re thinking of a career in law, Oregon State will help you hone your logic, writing and critical reasoning skills. In addition, through a unique 3+3 partnership, you can complete your first three years in Oregon State’s College of Liberal Arts, then transfer to the Willamette University College of Law in Salem or the Lewis & Clark College Law School in Portland. That means you can earn your bachelor’s degree from Oregon State and your law degree from either Willamette or Lewis & Clark in six years.

Internships give your career a head start.

Learning by doing is one of the best ways to prepare for a career, and internships are increasingly important for landing a great job after college. On-the-job experience, professional contacts and in some cases, a job offer after graduation are just some of the benefits.

You might work at the Oregon Legislature, state and local government agencies, law firms, newspapers, radio and television stations, design firms or apparel companies. You might even complete an internship overseas with a variety of international companies.

Your professors, department and college, as well as Oregon State Career Development Center, can help you set up an internship. You can choose to take a term or two off from classes, take classes while completing your internship or do one over the summer.

Put yourself out there.

Oregon State offers a resource-rich environment that encourages you to combine your studies in liberal arts and social sciences with opportunities like the Honors College and study abroad programs. You’ll find challenging, unique experiences that support your academic, professional and personal growth — and have fun, too.

Multiple scholarships are available. Be sure to apply.

Get some help paying for college with a variety of university scholarships, as well as those from individual colleges and departments. Most scholarships are awarded based on information in the Oregon State scholarship application submitted with your application for admission, but others require separate applications. The deadline for applying for university scholarships is Feb. 1. Be sure to check with your college and department on the deadlines for other scholarships.