Liberal Studies


Description of Liberal Studies Major

The Liberal Studies major allows students design their own plan of study (major) organized around a theme. The theme is created by the student to support their career and personal goals. This interdisciplinary approach provides greater breadth and flexibility than can be found in other majors.  Students mix and match courses from disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU-Cascades. 

These departments include: American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English, Communication, Political Science, Psychology, Spanish and Sociology at OSU-Cascades campus. 

Students in Liberal Studies receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for a variety of experiences and careers. Liberal Studies introduces students to diverse subject matter. In addition to this breadth of new knowledge, students will develop communication skills and the ability to think critically, a combination in demand everywhere in today's job market. The OSU-Cascades Liberal Studies program encourages students to seek opportunities beyond their degree requirements to further facilitate their ability to think critically and communicate competently in contexts outside the university.

Tools for Liberal Studies Majors

Creating your Plan of Study/Theme

Liberal Studies students create their own major courses through identifying a theme for their major and developing Plan of Study (list of major courses). Students are required to submit their Plan of Study with a supporting justification essay to the College of Liberal Arts. Your advisor will help you with this process. The major Plan of Study must be submitted by the deadline set by the College of Liberal Arts.

Students typically choose to create their own theme for the Liberal Studies major course requirements.  The theme should reflect a students career and personal goals.  Students will work with their advisor to help develop their theme.  Check out the Themes website for more info. Students may choose a pre-designed themes established by departments within the OSU-Cascades College of Liberal Arts (CLA) instead of creating their own theme/plan of study.  Students should still work closely with their advisor to plan within the designed themes.

Sample Plan of Study/Essay: Global Human Studies for International Business

Sample Plan of Study/Essay: Social Science, Lit, and Written Communication

Sample Plan of Study/Essay: American Cultural Literacy

Sample Plan of Study/Essay: Constructing Culture

Liberal Studies Advising

Detailed advising information can be accessed by visiting the OSU-Cascades Advising page.

Future students should connect with an Admissions Advisor for admission and program questions.

New students, including transfer students, begin their advising process by registering to attend a required new student orientation session at which time they will meet with an academic advisor.

Pre-Education Tools

If you are interested in pursuing Education/Teaching within Liberal Studies, you may consider choosing the Pre-ed Option in Liberal Studies.  Students will complete a revised version of the University Baccalaureate Core and the College of Liberal Arts Core Requirements.
Sometimes the Pre-Education option is not ideal for transfer students.  Many students complete the general Liberal Studies major (without the Pre-Ed option) while simultaneously preparing for entrance into the MAT program.   Work with your Academic Advisor to work toward your degree and take the pre-reqs for the MAT program.

Pre-Education website 

Master of Arts in Teaching website

Pre-Law Tools

Check out these helpful websites to prepare and research a pre-law focus as a Liberal Studies major. 

Pre-Law Program College of Liberal Arts

3+3 Law Program - OSU and Willamette partnership

Liberal Studies Faculty

neil-browneNeil Browne, Associate Professor, English

natalie-dollarNatalie Dollar, Associate Dean, Arts & Sciences; Associate Professor, Speech Communication; Liberal Studies Lead

james-fosterJames Foster, Professor, Political Science

henry-sayreHenry Sayre, Distinguished Professor, Art History

Visiting Faculty 

Ellen Santasiero, English

Liberal Studies OSU-Cascades Courses