CORVALLIS, Ore. - Prospective business students now have more options after the Oregon State Board of Higher Education approved four new bachelor degrees for the College of Business at Oregon State University at its recent meeting.

The new degrees are in business information systems, management, finance and marketing.

Starting this fall term, students at OSU will be able to choose and declare any one of five available majors - and multiple majors are possible. With these four new degrees, and the existing degree in accountancy, the OSU College of Business now offers more business undergraduate majors than any other college of business in the Oregon University System.

OSU also offers entrepreneurship and international business as secondary options, available in combination with other disciplines. The OSU-Cascades campus also offers general business.

Until now, with the exception of accounting, specializations in different business disciplines were only available to students as "options" that were not diploma-visible. The college's alumni and business partners have repeatedly indicated that a business administration degree tells an employer little about the expected strengths of a job candidate.

The conversion from options to majors will better prepare graduates, improve their employment opportunities, promote a greater awareness of professionalism within the academic discipline, and increase the sense of pride business students have in their college and university, say officials from OSU's College of Business. Majors add as many as 12 credits to course requirements in each discipline.

"By offering our students a deeper and broader business curriculum through these majors we demonstrate our commitment to graduating profession-ready individuals and provide employers with flexible, knowledgeable business leaders," said Ilene Kleinsorge, dean of OSU's College of Business.

"Having six distinctive majors, combined with the college's professional school model, creates a rigorous learning environment for business students, who are able to tailor their curricular program to fit the demands of specific career paths."

The change to five discipline-specific majors is the final step in the transformation set forth in the college's five-year plan.

In the first phase, completed in 2006, the college adopted a professional school model in order to better align resources to student needs. In phase two, the college realigned its business core curriculum, adding a freshman-level course to overview the field of business, requiring an entrepreneurship course for all business majors, and placing an increased emphasis on communicative skills.

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Ilene Kleinsorge, 541-737-6024