Oregon State University (OSU) is a public, four-year university in the city of Corvallis. It is the flagship university of the Oregon University system; the Cascades campus is a branch campus located in the city of Bend.
Founded in 1868 as a small college, the school received university status in 1961 and has served over 200,000 students since its inception. The university currently awards bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. Its Carnegie classification is Doctoral/Research-Extensive.
Oregon State’s mission is “to stimulate a lasting attitude of inquiry, openness and social responsibility”. It is one of only two educational institutions and the only public university in the United States with land grant, sea grant, space grant, and sun grant designations.
In addition to the Graduate School and Honors College, OSU is comprised of the following academic colleges:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
- Liberal Arts
- Public Health and Human Sciences
- Veterinary Medicine
Undergraduate degrees are awarded in over 200 different disciplines. Some of the most popular majors include agriculture studies, American studies, botany, computer science, environmental engineering, forest engineering, horticulture, liberal studies, merchandising management, nutrition and food management, psychology, range land resources, and wood science and technology. Students must take a number of baccalaureate core courses emphasizing writing, world cultures, the arts and sciences, literature, creative thinking, diversity, and global awareness.
Graduate degrees are awarded in more than 100 programs including a handful of interdisciplinary programs. Other professional degrees that are awarded include the DVM and the Pharm.D.
OSU has a strong research orientation, and offers many opportunities for students at all levels to participate in original research projects. The university is home to the internationally renowned Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology. The University also operates the Hatfield Marine Science Center, in Newport, Oregon, which is associated with a number of federal and state agencies, and the Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory.
The library system boasts nearly 2 million print volumes, over 240 research databases, over 71,000 online academic journals, and over 20,000 downloadable ebooks. The OSU libraries, which boast a large special collection of the original papers of scientist Linus Pauling, belong to the Orbis/Cascades Alliance, which allows students to easily borrow any of the millions of volumes housed in area libraries.
Students can pursue online degrees, lifelong learning, and K-12 outreach through the school’s distance education arm. It is possible to earn degrees in agriculture, anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, fisheries and wildlife, horticulture, human development and family sciences, liberal studies, natural resources, political science, sociology, and women’s studies entirely online.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State is home to the Linus Pauling Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The Institute advocates the study and use of vitamins and plant chemicals in maintaining health and preventing disease. It was established in 1996.
The Master Gardener Program was originally founded to develop in-state experts to diagnose problems and diseases in plants throughout Oregon. Today there are thousands of active Master Gardeners with an OSU education who contribute substantially to environmental health and food production throughout the state.
Admissions are competitive. The average GPA for incoming first-year students is 3.5. Prospective students are expected to have studied four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, two years of science, and two years of a foreign language.
To apply for financial aid and determine aid eligibility, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.
In addition to the usual assortment of state and federal aid options available to any college or university student in the state of Oregon, OSU administrates dozens of its own scholarships. Institutional scholarships awarded by the school include Presidential scholarships, Provost’s scholarships, diversity scholarships, and a unique International Provost Scholarship program.
Student Financial Aid Details
Campus is home to over 300 student clubs and organizations, literally offering something for nearly every student’s personal or professional interest. There is an active residential Greek system on campus, as well as a large network of residence halls and dining facilities.
OSU is notable for its Coalition for Community Dialogue (formerly known as Team Liberation), a student-driven initiative offering human relations workshops to address racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ageism, ableism, religious, effective community communication, and leadership development.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Oregon State’s athletics teams are known as the Beavers. The Beavers compete on the intervarsity level in NCAA Division I. Men’s competitive sports include baseball, basketball, football, rowing, golf, soccer, and wrestling. Women’s competitive sports include basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, track, and volleyball. The Beavers have won three NCAA championships.
Students can also participate in more than 30 intramural sports and many club sports. The Dixon Recreation Center (DRC) is home to swimming and diving facilities, as well as workout equipment, game courts, and weight rooms. There are exercise machines at the DRC hooked up to the grid, allowing students to produce energy by expending energy!
Orange and black have been official school colors since 1892. The current mascot, Benny Beaver, is the fourth mascot at OSU, after the school went through a coyote, a man named “Doc,” and another beaver of a different name. Today Benny graces the football, basketball, and other major athletic competitions.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.