AlisonBy Alison Blazer

As the term races on I’m sure you are all getting a feel for how quickly the quarter system can fly by! That’s why it’s so important for each of you to take advantage of all the resources available to students at Oregon State. As you sit in each of your classes in the coming weeks, I’d like you to consider your preferences. What subjects do you love? Are you strongly interested in more than one subject? OSU offers such a vast variety of courses, majors, minors and double degree programs to help students personalize their degree. Every student can create their own unique experience catered to their own personal passions and goals. One of the most sizable ways in which this University aims to help students in their exploration is the Baccalaureate Core. As many of you may know at this juncture, the Baccalaureate Core spans a wide range of disciplines and makes up a significant portion of the credits required to graduate from OSU. These general requirements are not meant to slow your degree progress down, but rather to serve as a tool in the personalization of your degree.

My freshman year I experienced this guided exposure to so many subjects firsthand. I applied to Oregon State as an English major and enrolled in both English and Bacc Core courses my first term as a Beaver. Many people have asked me why I applied as an English major and the answer is simple—English was my favorite subject in high school and as an 18-year-old I could have never imagined the sheer number of subjects that exist in college. During my first months on campus, I was enjoying classes and adjusting to collegiate life, but it wasn’t until I enrolled in Comm 218: Interpersonal Communication during winter term that I felt a genuine spark with a school subject. Week after week I was excited about new material and finally understood what people meant by “finding your passion”. It turns out my favorite subject ever, is a subject that wasn’t even on my radar until I was in college. This goes to show how the Bacc Core exposed me to a variety of classes and, in turn, helped me discover my love of Communication.

Now that I’ve shown how the Bacc Core can help you, you’re probably asking yourself, “Which classes do I take?” With such a large course catalog to select from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s precisely why OSU created Bacc Core Playlists—these pre-selected course lists fulfill the categories of the Bacc Core, while also tailoring the process to a specific interest area. For example, there’s a sustainability playlist—students interested in climate research and natural resources can use this to guide them during registration. Check out this playlist and many more at

So what do you do once you’ve explored your options and found the major that’s right for you? What can you do to take your degree to the next level? OSU’s many minors and double degree programs allow students to excel in several different subject areas. As a senior, I have met students with every possible degree combination you could imagine. The International Degree program allows students to internationalize their primary major by studying abroad, gaining advanced proficiency in a foreign language and writing a thesis. Check out details about the degree here: Another popular add-on option is the Education Double Degree that allows students to become licensed teachers by the time they graduate from OSU- more information on this option can be found here:

If there’s one thing that I want you to take away from this blog, it’s that you truly SHOULD follow your passions. By that I mean talk to your academic advisors about your interests and discuss classes with your friends, roommates and coworkers. There are unlimited degree combinations just waiting to be discovered, and one of them is right for YOU! So share your interests with those around you and pay attention when a subject sparks your interest—it may just be what you’ve been waiting to discover.

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