Belmont USA student sits against a large Red wood tree with her arms out and head looking up to the sky

Belmont USA: Oregon

Belmont USA

Belmont USA in Oregon

Belmont USA in Oregon, offered in partnership with the Oregon Extension Program, is a study away, 17-credit fall semester program in the mountains of southern Oregon. Students live in cabins heated by wood stoves, read a lot of good books, and explore big ideas in small group discussions. They visit some of the wonders of the West—desert, coast, alpine regions—and get involved in raising chickens, milking goats, making cheese, fermenting foods, and bread making. Study and practice sustainability and a more deliberate life in the Wild West. Learn more about Oregon Extension here.

Belmont Oregon studnets ride on man made log boat on clear lake Log cabin in woods

In the program, you will take one course at a time. The sixteen week semester is divided into four segments, and each segment is directed by a question. Students receive 3-4 credit hours in each segment based on independent research projects conducted in the discipline of their choice. View an overview from Oregon Extension here.

The Oregon Extension is deep in a forest and there is a small farm. Students learn how to milk goats, care for chickens and turkeys, garden, and are then taught what to do with the milk, eggs, meat, fruit and vegetables you’ve cultivated. Since your cabins are heated with wood stoves, you work side by side with professors retrieving trees from the forest, splitting firewood, and building and tending fires. In one course, students can elect to mill lumber from trees and build furniture in the carpenter shop, or to go out in the forest with saws and drip torches to learn about fuels reduction and prescribed fires.

Living together in cabins and cooking together gives students a sustained experience in how to budget, how to stock a kitchen, how to make a list of food items that will last a week, how to share with cabin mates and create social events around meals. Students learn basic skills of hospitality. You’ll organize your own potlucks, talent shows, and adventures in the woods. You’ll develop into your own community.

An important part of the OE semester is detaching from the irresistible omnipresence of the internet and mobile phones. Except for two online computers that are available to students all the time (to stay in touch with family and friends) the wireless and personal phones are packed away Monday through Friday. The intent is to try out life that is more focused on ones’ immediate surroundings—the forest, books, people, weather, animals—all experienced in analog time.

During the semester we also go on excursions to spend time in some of the iconic spots of the west coast. We go on a week-long backpacking trip in the Sierras or Cascades, hike in the Redwoods and camp out at the Oregon coast, and take a four-day trip to San Francisco. On weekends students use our campus as a base from which to canoe, mountain bike, climb a peak, and cross-country ski. Our nearest town, Ashland, is the home to one of the world’s most renowned Shakespeare Festivals, and we attend at least one play in the outdoor Elizabethan theater.


Students participating in the Oregon Extension live in a cabin or bunkhouse. Each dwelling sleeps four or five people in two or three bedrooms and has its own kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Every unit sports a cedar porch for warm days and a wood stove for cold ones.

Students buy and prepare their own meals, often choosing to make this a communal effort in their own dwelling or with a larger group of students.


Car Reminder: We understand that for the sake of cost, some students choose to drive to the Oregon Extension, but remember that during the semester, in the spirit of “being present,” you will not have use of your vehicle.

Are You Eligible to Apply?

In order to be eligible for study in Belmont USA, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be of sophomore, junior, or senior status by the start of the program.
    • Please note that you cannot study away at Oregon for your final semester at Belmont.
  • Carry a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative institutional grade point average at time of application and start of the program.
  • Be in good academic and financial standing from the time of application through completion of the program.
  • Students on academic probation cannot participate in Belmont USA, even if the probation occurs after acceptance to the program.
  • Show significant progression towards Well Core completion as follows. If applying for the:
    • First semester of your junior year, you must have no more than 30 Well Core credits remaining by the application deadline.
    • Second semester of your junior year, you must have no more than 20 Well Core credits remaining by the application deadline.
    • First semester of your senior year, you must have no more than 10 Well Core credits remaining by the application deadline.
    • Well Core credits will be checked by the Belmont USA coordinator on or around the application deadline. If the Well Core requirements aren’t met, the application will be incomplete and therefore will not be moved forward for review.

Note: Students who become ineligible after acceptance for any of the above reasons MUST pay the program fee balance.

Selection Process

    • Academic performance, professional experience, maturity and overall preparedness for the program are considered in the selection process.
    • Students not meeting minimum qualifications and/or with prior academic or non-academic infractions may be eliminated from the application pool.
    • Please note that you must also apply and be accepted through Oregon Extension.


Application Open Date
Application Deadline
Decision Date
Fall 2025 January 2, 2025 March 1, 2025 Rolling Admissions

Belmont USA in Oregon: Oregon Extension Program Staff

Belmont USA in Oregon is administered by staff in both Nashville and Oregon. In Nashville, the Belmont USA Program Coordinator manages the application and pre-departure processes and communicates with all students prior to their arrival in Oregon.

Belmont USA

Siobhan Harren (Nashville)

Assistant Director, Belmont USA
View Bio
Belmont USA

Will Lake

Oregon Extension Program Contact