The OSU-Cascades campus currently doesn't offer freshman and sophomore classes. Most graduates from the campus attend nearby Central Oregon Community College for their first two years of college.
Friday's decision by the Board of Higher Education means Oregon State could begin offering traditional four-year degrees at its Bend campus as early as the fall of 2015.
The university estimates the Bend campus could have as many as 5,000 students by 2025.
University leaders say the campus expansion is critical to achieving the state's higher education goals and reviving the central Oregon economy.