College of Arts and Sciences
Christopher J. Poulsen, Dean
401 Tykeson Hall
The College of Arts and Sciences is the academic and intellectual hub of the University of Oregon, providing a core liberal arts curriculum to the vast majority of UO undergraduates—including those who will go on to earn a degree in one of the professional schools such as journalism or business.
The University of Oregon was founded in 1876 on a liberal arts curriculum, which has evolved over time to meet the needs of contemporary students. The fundamental academic mission of the College of Arts and Sciences is to foster a solid and broad general education, which includes the cultivation of quantitative, analytical, and communication skills; an understanding of social and intellectual history; an appreciation of literary and artistic expression; and habits of creative and critical thinking.
Building on its foundational undergraduate curriculum, the college offers 50 major degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Moreover, the College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of the university’s research enterprise. The college has almost 900 faculty members, including teaching specialists and research scholars who are engaged in active research programs and make original contributions to their respective fields of knowledge. Because of this, students have the opportunity to learn from leading researchers while receiving a liberal arts education that prepares them to be successful global citizens in the 21st century.
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences can take advantage of integrated academic and career advising to help them set their path forward, through a full set of services located in Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall. See “Advising” below for details.
Social, political, and economic change is accelerating at a phenomenal pace, and career paths are evolving in response to these changes. When surveyed, employers say they place high value on critical thinking and problem solving; oral and written communication; teamwork and collaboration; adaptability to new and emerging technologies; leadership skills to guide, motivate, prioritize, and delegate work; and global and intercultural fluency. These are the very skills and knowledge that students gain from a liberal arts education.
No matter what their specific career paths, all UO students benefit from an educational foundation that emphasizes how values, history, and context combine with creative thought and informed inquiry to determine the best way forward, in both professional and civic life. A liberal arts education provides an essential framework for a lifetime of learning, work and growth in a world where many professions are undergoing profound, sweeping transformations.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers numerous disciplinary and interdisciplinary degree programs and majors, a varied selection of minors, and several certificates. These are described in detail in the materials that follow. As part of the requirements for graduation from the University of Oregon, every student undertakes in-depth study in an area of specialization that is the student’s major. Many students find it advantageous to complete a minor or certificate in a further area of specialization that complements the major. Some minor programs offer a student whose major is in the College of Arts and Sciences the chance to gain expertise in subjects offered by a professional school.
The college has preparatory programs for professional specializations. Information about these programs—those offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and those offered elsewhere in the university—is in the Academic Resources section of this catalog.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The University of Oregon offers the libraries, labs, equipment, resources, and academic opportunities of a major research institution, in a learning environment scaled for faculty-student interaction that feels more typical of a private liberal arts college.
More than 20 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences offer an honors program with an undergraduate research thesis requirement.
In addition, undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in faculty research projects. Arrangements must be made with the individual faculty member and the department, or coordinated through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Engagement and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Other opportunities are available via Handshake, the platform UO uses for employment opportunities.
Opportunities are plentiful: last year, almost 800 undergraduates enrolled in research credit hours in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Students who are exploring majors in the College of Arts and Sciences can develop a personalized plan for success at UO and beyond through the integrated academic/career advising services in Tykeson Hall. This new building—designed from the ground up for student success—offers a suite of services that help students consider their life experiences, strengths, interests, and individual, family, and cultural values in the context of a wide array of educational options and career possibilities.
Advisors in Tykeson Hall are organized by six Flight Paths. Flight Paths are thematic categories based on academic and career interests—designed to help students find an intellectual home early in their academic careers by facilitating intentional exploration of their interests, strengths, and values. The University of Oregon’s six Flight Paths are Healthy Communities; Scientific Discovery & Sustainability; Media, Arts & Expression; Global Connections; Industry, Entrepreneurship & Innovation; and Public Policy, Society & Identity.
Exploring students and students declared in majors and minors in the College of Arts and Sciences are encouraged to meet with Tykeson Academic and Career Advisors who are specialized in the majors in the Flight Path. College of Arts and Sciences majors and minors should also continue to seek out advising from departmental faculty when they are looking for specific information about their chosen major or career field, or detailed information about their department and its curricular and co-curricular offerings.
Freshman students must declare their majors by the end of their second year, and transfer students must declare their majors by the end of their first year at UO.
The University Career Center is also located in Tykeson Hall, and its career readiness coaches can help students prepare for life beyond college by building resume-writing or interviewing skills, locating internships or other meaningful experiences, and connecting with employers.
Preparation for Kindergarten through Secondary School Teaching Careers
Students who complete a degree in a College of Arts and Sciences department are eligible to apply to the College of Education’s fifth-year licensure programs in middle-secondary and elementary teaching. More information is available in the College of Education section of this catalog.
CAS 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.
CAS 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.
CAS 401. Research: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.
CAS 402. Supervised College Teaching. 1-5 Credits.
CAS 404. Internship: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.
CAS 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.
CAS 409. Terminal Project. 1-12 Credits.
CAS 507. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-12 Credits.