Portland State University

724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR

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Campus image of Portland State University

Portland State University (PSU) is an urban public research university located in Portland, Oregon. PSU, or "Portland State," offers 99 bachelors degree programs, 89 master's degree programs, and 38 doctoral degree programs. Extended learning, distance learning and lifelong learning programs are also offered.

The 2012 edition of The Princeton Review's "Best Colleges" issue noted that Portland State offers one of the best undergraduate educations in the nation.  Many of Portland State's graduate degree programs also earn high marks in college reviews, with the most noteworthy programs being Environmental Policy and Management, City Management and Urban Policy, Rehabilitation Counseling, Social Work, and Public Affairs.


Portland State University was founded in 1946, just after the end of World War 11. The many war veterans returning to the area with the GI Bill at their disposal led to a high demand for higher education in Portland. The founding institution in Portland was called "Vanport Extension Center." It changed its name to "Portland State University" and moved to the South Park Blocks campus in the early 1950s. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1956. The first master's degrees were awarded in 1964, and the first doctoral degrees were awarded in 1972.


The academic calendar for Portland State University follows the quarter format, with fall, winter, spring and summer terms.

Colleges and Schools

  • School of Business Administration
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • School of Extended Studies
  • School of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • School of Social Work
  • College of Urban and Public Affairs

Student Life

Many student services are available at Portland State, including a Career Center, Child Development services, Campus Recreation, Health & Counseling, Legal Services, an Ombudsman Office, Student Affairs, a Native American Student and Community Center, and more.

Both on-campus and off-campus housing is available at Portland State, and students can contact the Housing Office for information. Many dining options are available on and around campus.

There are many student groups and organizations available as opportunities for involvement on campus, and students may also organize their own group. Additionally, many community groups wish to collaborate with student organizations through the Student Activities and Leadership office, and these collaborations offer more opportunities for service and leadership.


Portland State's official mascot is the Viking, nicknamed "Victor E. Viking."

The school colors are green and white.

The Portland State motto is "Let knowledge serve the city."


The Portland State "Vikings" compete in 15 intercollegiate sports in the Big Sky conference, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Community Life

Portland is a cosmopolitan city, surrounded by all the beauty of nature - mountains, rivers, oceans and woods. The perfect setting of city near mountains and water is a big draw for both students and visitors to Portland.

Students of Portland State who choose to live off campus can easily commute to school via carpool, streetcar, bus or bicycle.

Get more details here: http://pdx.edu/profile/snapshot-portland-state

Admission Requirements & Details

The information regarding admissions below may give an overview of the applicants Portland State University accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, as well as any AP or college credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • Dual Credits
  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at Portland State University is around 27,000 students. The student body is made up of 80% undergraduate students and 7% graduate students.


Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $13,500. To calculate a more personalized cost visit the net price calculator. There is also a $50 application fee for students applying to the school. The figures listed below are for informational purposes only and do not represent current or future tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Tuition estimates per year:
    • In-State: $6,800-$8,100
    • Out-of-State: $23,000-$27,270
  • Charges per unit:
    • State Residents: $150-$180 per credit unit
    • Nonresidents: $510-$610 per credit unit

Financial Aid Details

The financial aid table below details the types of financial aid, along with the percent of students receiving aid, and on average the amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid82%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships74%$7,004
Receiving Student Loans50%$6,323

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To support students and graduates, Portland State University may provide services to students like:

  • Online course work available
  • Remedial instructional courses
  • Counseling assistance
  • Work study style employment
  • Employment search assistance
  • Day care

Graduation Rates

The overall graduation rate of Portland State University is around 42%.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years18%
Graduating in 5 Years15%
Graduating in 6 Years9%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Health Services Administration Program
  • Music Program (more info)
  • Graduate Level Public Health (Outside School of Public Health) Program (more info)
  • Speech-Language Pathology Program
  • Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Education Program
  • Theatre Program

Intercollegiate Athletics

Portland State University is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division I-AA classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Basketball (Big Sky Conference)
  • Track and Field (Big Sky Conference)
  • Football (Big Sky Conference)
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by Portland State University by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)


Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



Engineering Technology

English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Family and Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Natural Resources and Conservation

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Public Administration and Social Services

Security and Protective Services

Social Sciences

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Public Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Portland State University.

Also, check out our college lists below, which can help students compare schools to one another:

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Contact Information

General Contact

Admissions Office

Financial Aid Office

School Reviews

Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Based on 4 Reviews for Portland State University

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