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The Elemental Story

The UO College of Arts and Sciences promises to deliver a foundational liberal arts education in an extraordinary setting: a top-tier research university.

And not just any top-tier research university. The UO is just the right size for students to study directly with research faculty while building on their elemental arts and sciences education.

It’s the best of both worlds, where students are encouraged to be courageous, open-minded, dedicated and passionate — to be active participants in the exceptionally welcoming UO community.

ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS. What does it mean to be a Duck? It means having a unique educational experience that begins with the College of Arts and Sciences academic core.

All Ducks start out with foundational courses in the 42 departments and programs in the College. No matter where they go next—physics, philosophy, business, journalism, economics, architecture, folklore, biology or any other field—they acquire the elemental skills of an arts and sciences education, the ability to

• question critically    • think logically    • communicate clearly    • act creatively   • live ethically

WHAT’S ELEMENTAL? INTELLECTUAL ENGAGEMENT. Compared to larger universities that share the UO’s elite research status, our campus is “human scale”—creating abundant opportunities for students to receive personalized attention while also having access to extraordinary resources. In the College of Arts and Sciences, they enter a world where discovery-oriented teaching is the norm, where they are invited to explore the elemental value of engagement. Inspired faculty help students prepare for maximum flexibility, resourcefulness, insightfulness and career- and life-readiness—so that they’ll be ready for anything.

THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE. We live in a world of unprecedented change. Tomorrow’s career paths may not even exist today. Our students and alumni constantly delight us with the paths they have pursued, shaped and even invented — paths that start with elemental courses in sciences, humanities and social sciences, and end up in amazing, unexpected places we could never have predicted. We collectively thrive on the element of surprise.



Physicist Jim Brau is named to the international group developing the next generation of particle ...
Humanities dean and English professor Karen Ford is honored with an MLK Award for her work in ...
One geography student heads to Ecuador while another travels to Nepal to study natural resources.
UO neuroscientists studying vision in mice are learning more about how we make decisions.