Portland State University (which is commonly referred to as Portland State or simply as PSU) is a public, coeducational research university located in Portland, Oregon. Portland State was originally founded in 1946 as a post-secondary educational institution with the purpose of educating returning World War II veterans. Over the following two decades after the school’s founding, PSU evolved into a four-year college and, in the year of 1969, was granted university status. Portland State is comprised of seven different constituent colleges. Across these seven colleges, PSU offers undergraduate degree-granting programs in one hundred twenty-three disciplines and postgraduate degree-granting programs in one hundred seventeen disciplines.
Portland State University is well-known for its unique University Studies curriculum, which culminates in a community-based senior capstone project (also known as a final year project or dissertation) of which all undergraduates are required to complete for graduation. This capstone course fully integrates class work with community-based work and are completed with the assistance of local community organizations. The capstone project covers a wide-range of issues, such as social justice, sustainability, youth education and much more. The project is designed to blend a student’s education with a sense of responsibility to the community and themselves.
Portland State has numerous student-run organizations, including the Greek Life organizations Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Kappa Psi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Sigma, Omega Delta Phi and Phi Delta Theta and other agencies such as a Women’s Resources Center, a Disability Resources Center, a Resource Center for Students with Children and a Queer Resource Center for the school’s identifying LGBT+ students. Many other organizations and groups are available, ensuring that there is a little something for everyone at Portland State University.
Local Flavor: Portland, Oregon
In addition to the student organizations and groups available, the surrounding area of Portland, Oregon also has numerous activities and sights to see, including:
Portland Art Museum: Portland Art Museum is the oldest museum of art on the West Coast–and the seventh oldest in the United States–and houses more than 42,000 permanent pieces of art and art exhibits and various rotating art exhibits yearly. Many styles and eras of art are represented throughout the Museum, such as Modern and Post-World War II exhibits.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park: Opened in 1978, Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a park located in Portland that is most commonly utilized for jogging, walking, biking, skateboarding, fountain playing, luncheoning, basketball, fireworks viewing, Segwaying and boat watching and various other typical park activities.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry: The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry contains three auditoriums which include a large-screen theater, a planetarium and various exhibition halls with a large variety of permanent hands-on exhibits focused on natural sciences, industry, and technology. Exhibits include the USS Blueback, the submarine that was featured in the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October and the Science Playground, an educational area designed for small children.
Portland Opera: Portland Opera is the local opera house. Portland Opera was one of the very first opera companies to introduce subtitles into its productions and has presented several world and US premieres.
Portland has an active nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and late-night shopping.
There’s also many highly-rated restaurants, boutiques, breweries, art galleries, parks and countless other things to keep the students of Portland State University (and the residents of Portland, Oregon) busy day-to-day.
Online Degrees and Programs at Portland State University
Portland State University has an excellent selection of undergraduate, graduate and professional certification programs available to students in a fully online and asynchronous format. The academic programs that are available online are:
What Makes Portland State University Unique: Tuition Costs
Portland State University has very appealing and affordable tuition costs, ranging from $156 per credit hour to $368 per credit hour. The school also offers numerous scholarship and grant opportunities, along with a very helpful and dedicated Financial Services team and payment option plans to assist with covering the costs of attending.
Because of the relatively low-cost of attendance, students will be able to get a bigger Return on Investment (ROI) for their time, which is always a plus. The ROI is further increased when a student obtains a scholarship or grant from the school, and the school’s payment plan will allow them to carry better their education debt than others might be able to.
The school’s cost of attendance, Financial Services team, payment plans, scholarships and grants that are available and the graduating student’s ROI that they receive from attending are all things that make Portland State University a relatively unique specimen in the educational world.
Other School Facts
Notable Portland State University Alumni include:
Barbara Roberts; the 34th Governor of the state of Oregon
Anna J. Brown; a well-respected United States Federal Judge
Betty Roberts; the first woman to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court
D. Scott Davis; the current United States Postal Service CEO
Mike Richardson; publisher and founder of Dark Horse Comics, a highly popular comic book producer
Freeman Williams; holder of the second-highest NCAA score in NBA history, among many others.