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.

Liberal Education

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.