In Fall 1990, Oregon State University adopted a new Baccalaureate Core Curriculum. A key innovation is the requirement that all students take two upper-division courses synthesizing their previous coursework as partial preparation for becoming an informed citizen.

The traditional curriculum can be compared to the branches of a tree, starting with an introductory sequence (the trunk) and radiating out to more specialized courses (the branches). The OSU Baccalaureate Core is this, too, but the synthesis part is like the roots of a tree, in which the student integrates the various specialties and survey courses (roots) into a well rounded view...

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