Creating Your Plan of Study/Theme

The liberal studies major allows students to design their own plan of study. Students mix and match courses from any combination of disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts to design their own major organized around a theme.

Designing your own Liberal Studies Plan

Theme: Do you have a theme in mind already? If yes, skip to the plan.  When you are trying to decide how to shape your interdisciplinary degree, it’s important to think about your outcome first.  Do you have a career field in mind? Are there certain subject areas or ideas that you are drawn to? Start by writing those ideas down and then look for common themes across those concepts or career goals.  If there is not a common theme, select the one that seems to interest you most.

Plan: Look at all of the College of Liberal Arts courses taught at OSU-Cascades, which ones stand out to you as fitting in well with your proposed theme?  You need at least two discipline areas from the college, but you can have as many as you like, so write down all of the ones that stand out to you.  Meet with your advisor to continue to develop a final list of courses that meet the Plan of Study guidelines found in the degree checklist and plan of study form below.


The primary purpose of the essay is to indicate:

  1. Why you chose this theme and why it interests you
  2. How the classes you have chosen relate to your theme
  3. What you hope to do with this major in the future

This is your chance to explain why you are doing what you are doing with your Liberal Studies major. When you graduate from Oregon State, you will leave with either a B.A. or B.S. in Liberal Studies.  Your family, future employers and graduate programs will not know what coursework you took to pursue your Liberal Studies degree.  It is important for you to be able to articulate how you pursued your academic focus and interests.

Tools for creating Themes and Plans of Study

Plan of Study Form (PDF)
Plan of Study Form (Word)
Sample Essay
Sample Plan of Study