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Renewable Materials Program Now Available at OSU

CORVALLIS, OR – To meet the growing demand for greater knowledge about the manufacture, marketing and use of sustainable, natural resources-derived materials such as wood, bamboo, straw and other plant-based goods, Oregon State University now offers a new Bachelor of Science degree program in renewable materials.

“In many sustainable industries today there are more jobs than graduates to fill them, even during the recession,” notes Thomas McLain, renewable materials professor and department head at OSU.

“Companies in green, natural materials-based businesses are demanding a different type of candidate for employment today,” adds McLain. “Our new curriculum is designed to train the next generation of sustainability professionals.”

The new degree will emphasize not only core science and technology, but also business and communications, officials said, and graduates will be able to expand the use of green, renewable materials and products to enhance local, regional and global sustainability.

Students can choose from two different options. One will be a management and marketing focus, to manage organizations and/or devise new marketing strategies to compete in this industry. Students on this track also earn a business and entrepreneurship minor. The other option will be a science and engineering focus, with coursework tailored to specific interests, problem solving, and other skills.

According to McLain, jobs in renewable materials fields are diverse in both workplace and locale, with most entry-level positions on the West Coast. Some jobs might involve international travel, and nearly all renewable materials and products careers will command higher-than-average salaries and potential for advancement. A diverse student body is being sought for the program, and majors are eligible for a large number of scholarships.

“Organizations in this industry are located in places as urban as San Francisco and as rural as Dillard, Oregon,” says McLain. “There will be positions in offices, manufacturing plants and the corporate boardroom, around the globe.”

About Oregon State University (OSU)
OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university designated in the Carnegie Foundation’s top tier for research institutions, garnering more than 60 percent of the total federal and private research funding in the Oregon University System. Its enrollment of nearly 22,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and their faculty teaches and conducts research on issues of national and global importance. Visit to learn more.