Oregon State University, one of only two institutions designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant university, is a tremendous place. With over 24,000 students, it is Oregon’s research university, earning more federal funding for research than all other colleges in the state combined. Students here are encouraged to work with professors on research projects as undergraduates; those who do receive a special notation on their transcript. A recent $12 million grant received by the Oceanography Department will provide a new research vessel where freshmen will live and learn aboard for a semester.
Oregon State has strong programs in Forestry, Biology, Engineering (15 major options, including nuclear engineering – OSU has a small scale nuclear reactor on campus!! – and a minor in Humanitarian Engineering), and Agricultural and Ecological Sciences. The Agriculture school is home to the only veterinary program in the state.
The main campus is in Corvallis, a small-ish town of about 55,000 people about an hour south of Portland. Beavers proudly call it the safest, smartest, greenest, cleanest town in America. Residents engage with the university making the OSU community very intergenerational. Super cheap rentals (ex. $2 skis for a day) and transportation available through the campus Recreation Center facilitate student’s taking advantage of the great outdoor environment in and surrounding Corvallis. OSU is constantly refreshing and building new educational facilities. In 2013, Oregon State University opened a multi-million dollar business academic headquarters, and OSU has hired 180 new faculty members within the last several years.
Academics at Oregon State University
Oregon State’s 8000+ engineering students enjoy very strong and hands-on work with professors and benefit from MECOP, an industry driven partnership. Students may apply for the program as early as sophomore year. Most engineering students take time off to do an internship – more like a full-time job – during their schooling – and many of them make up to 75% of what they would make at a real job, sometimes up to $20,000 for a six-month position. OSU has a full-time staff member dedicated to assisting women and minorities in engineering. All first-year engineers are supported by a first year advisor and complete an exploratory program before declaring their major. Most engineering lectures have fewer than 100 students, and smaller groups meet with graduate-level TAs to ensure that students understand the material – but professors are always accessible! Budding engineers can choose to participate in over 50 engineering clubs, professional clubs, conferences and competitions. Fun Fact: Rainwater stored in the basement of the Kelley Engineering building is used to flush toilets and water plants on campus.
OSU is the proud home of Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling’s archives. Pauling earned his undergraduate degree at OSU, met his wife there, and taught for several years before moving on to Cal Tech for his graduate degree. He is the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes – one for Chemistry (1954) and the Peace Prize (1963). His efforts to stop nuclear proliferation, including getting other scientists to express their opposition, won him the Peace Prize and caused a rift between him and the conservative administration at Cal Tech; this is part of why he left his collected work to OSU.
Admission to the Honors College requires an additional essay and a minimum 3.75 unweighted GPA or a 1300 SAT or 27 ACT composite score. Honors College students have an average GPA of 3.96, unweighted, and enjoy smaller classes, special housing options and priority class registration. Honors students all write a senior thesis and pay small additional fee each year. The Honors College emphasizes experiential learning for its approximately one thousand students.
Campus Life at Oregon State
On campus students participate in over 40 intramural sports and some unique competitions like Water Battleship. The Human Experience Center houses a craft center where students can spin pottery, make jewelry, make a longboard, or create stained glass art. Over 20% of co-eds join fraternities and sororities. Late night transportation services provide free rides anywhere on campus or in Corvallis.
Students looking for a smaller liberal arts college experience will find it on the OSU – Cascades campus in Bend, OR. Students choose from 24 majors. The Hospitality Management major available only at the Cascades campus provides students with the knowledge necessary to become leaders, executives and owners in the hospitality industry. The 1300 undergraduate students at Cascades enjoy at “outdoor lifestyle meets urban town” vibe in Bend.
Oregon State University is a great option for students who want to stay on the west coast and want the large college experience – as of 2021, OSU participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange.
Magellan’s counseling team visited in March, 2022. You can see all of our photos of Oregon State University in the slideshow below.