Contemplative Studies – Online Minor

Explore meaning, well-being and life’s big questions

The pursuit of knowledge is always a worthwhile journey. When you pursue an undergraduate minor in contemplative studies online with Oregon State University, you’ll benefit from more than the opportunity to gain new information — you’ll cultivate insight and experience a whole-person education with personal and professional benefits. 

This unique, 27-credit minor examines contemplative practices and philosophies — such as yoga, Buddhism, meditation, qigong, prayer and more — in the context of religious studies, psychology, history, health and other disciplines. Through a variety of experiential learning opportunities, you’ll practice and reflect on contemplative techniques, adding a transformative complement to theory-based learning. 

A holistic education with holistic benefits

Being a student in Oregon State’s contemplative studies minor will expose you to the further development of the whole person: mind, body, heart and world. Research indicates that contemplative practice has a variety of benefits such as improved focus, increased compassion, better physical and mental health, stress reduction and resiliency in the face of challenges. 

Students in this minor often share that they are pleasantly surprised, uplifted and inspired by course materials as well as the opportunity to develop authentic connections with their instructors and classmates. The skills and insights you glean in this program not only will nurture your own life, but they also can be readily applied to professional efforts and are intended to enrich the communities you serve.


The interdisciplinary online courses in this program offer a range of practices to study, both philosophically and culturally. You’ll also explore some of life's most profound questions and mysteries, trace contemporary practices back to their historical roots, and reflect on personal and professional applications of contemplative philosophies.

Curriculum details and minor requirements are available on Oregon State’s academic catalog

Sample course topics

  • Psychology of meditation
  • History of Buddhist philosophy
  • Yoga
  • Relaxation
  • Tai chi
  • Philosophy of happiness
  • Death and dying

Benefits of learning online with Oregon State

  • All classes are developed by OSU's world-class faculty, who are renowned for their research, expertise and innovation.
  • Oregon State is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • OSU Ecampus is consistently ranked among the nation’s 10 best providers of online education according to U.S. News & World Report.