Frequently Asked Questions

How will I track my progress?

Oregon State University uses an online degree audit system to help you track your progress toward your degree. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the tools and information provided by this system. The MyDegrees system will automatically apply your OSU courses to your degree audit. It's helpful if you can let your advisor know which requirement you would like the class applied to as some courses may apply to more than one requirement.  If you ever see something missing or in a place you didn't expect contact your advisor directly for assistance.


What are Academic Regulations?

The Academic Regulations found in the OSU General Catalog are the policies you must follow as an OSU student. You should familiarize yourself with these regulations and understand the consequences of withdrawing from a class, academic warning or probation, etc..


What is the deadline to drop a class?

Consult the Academic Calendar  for each term's important academic dates and deadlines. Bookmark this page and make sure you know the deadlines for adding and dropping courses, changing the grading basis of a class or withdrawing from a class. These deadline are strictly enforced and can seriously impact your degree progress and financial aid.


How many classes can I have a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis?

  • A maximum of two total courses in the Natural Resources major or Specialization Option may be taken on an S/U basis.
  • In the Baccalaureate Core you may have up to 36 credits on an S/U basis.


Is there a minimum GPA that I must acheive?
Student must maintain a cummulative minimum 2.0 grade point average in order to graduate from OSU. In addition students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.25 in their Specialization Option.


Can I design my own area of specialization?

Students may design a customized area of specialization that is called an "Individualized Specialty Option" (ISO). Students will work with their advisor to determine appropriate coursework. They will write a proposal that will include the proposed program of study (courses), the rationale for their course selection, career goals and applicabiltiy of the chosen coursework to those goals. The proposal is submitted to the Natural Resources Program Director for approval.

  • Must contain at least 20 credits of upper division courses
  • Must consist of a minimum of 40 credits
  • Must have coursework that reflects the supports the stated area of specialization
  • To prevent delays in graduation the proposal should be submitted about 6 terms before the term you expect to graduate.


How does "Double Counting" Courses work?

A class used in the Baccalaureate Core (Bacc Core) may also be used to fulfill one requirement in the NR major requirements or area of specialization. Courses may also double count with a minor or double degree program depending on the chosen major/minor.  Please check with your advisor if you are unsure about a course double-counting in your program. No courses can be double counted within the NR major requirements and specialization.


GEOG 300 can be used:

  • for the Bacc Core - Contemporary Global Issues (CGI) requirement OR
  • for the Bacc Core - Science, Technology, and Society (STS) requirement


  • for the Political Issues OR
  • for the Specialty Option

    GEOG 300 cannot be used for both of the Bacc Core requirements or both of the NR requirements.


Do I have to meet the prerequisites for a course?

Students are responsible for taking prerequisite classes or obtaining the consent of the instructor to bypass the prerequisite. Prerequisites provide the necessary background for specific courses but not all prerequisites are enforced. Students are encouraged to carefully review course requirements in the General Catalog and Schedule of Classes and plan ahead in order to meet class prerequisites and class standing or major restrictions. If you feel you have met the course prerequisites through other coursework or professional work you can contact the instructor to request an override. Let the instructor know the course, institution, grade and term that the prerequisite was met along with a completed Registration Override Permission Form.


Are internships required?

Internships are not required in the Natural Resources Program. However, NR students will benefit from the abundance of summer employment and internship opportunities advertised through the College of Forestry Stduent Employment Opportunities and available through their own communities. While work experience/internships are not mandatory, NR students are strongly encouraged to supplement their academic portfolio with valuable work experience and professional references.

Students may use 6 credits in an area of specialization option by completing "Project Credits" under the supervision of a OSU faculty member. Contact your Academic Advisor for more information on how to write a project proposal and receiving credits for a faculty supervised project.

How do I get my PIN number for registration?

Your advisor will provide a registration PIN number for Fall, Winter and Spring terms. No PIN is require for the summer term. You are required to meet with your advisor each term in order to receive your term registration PIN number. Corvallis Campus students will make an office appointment. Ecampus students may contact their advisor via email, phone or webex conference. All students should come prepared with a plan for the term as well as some alternative courses. Once the Advisor approves your plan the PIN# will be released. It is your responsibility to contact your advisor well in advance of the start of registration. Make an appointment with your advisor through the online appointment system each term.

How do I declare my area of specialization?

Contact your advisor to discuss your choice of specialization options and the process for submitting the Change of Academic Program form. These options are currently available for Natural Resources students:

Conservation Law Enforcement
Ecological Restoration

Fish and Wildlife Conservation  
Forest Ecosystems
Human Dimensions in Natural Resources  
Individualized Specialty (student-designed)
Integrated Conservation Analysis
Landscape Analysis
Natural Resource Education
Policy and Management  
Urban Forest Landscapes
Wildland Fire Ecology


What's the difference between a minor and a specialization option?

A Specialization Option is a required part of the degree which every student must complete in addition to the major requirements. The 40 credit option provided disciplinary depth and focused study in a particular field of interest within Natural Resources.

A minor is not required. Generally a minor is earned in a separate but complementary field to Natural Resources in addition to the specialization option. It expands the breadth of the degree. Minors are often earned in world languages, sociology, sciences, business and entrepreneurship, etc.. Credits used in the Natural Resources major can be double counted with minors if allowed by the minor program.

In addition to a minor, there are several certificate programs and double degree programs that pair nicely with the Natural Resources major.

Undergraduate Geographic Information Science Certificate
Sustainability Double Degree
Education Double Degree


Will I have an opportunity do study abroad?

Yes! Both On-Campus and Ecampus students can participate in international study abroad opportunities. Visit the COF International Programs website for more information.