Portland State University


A public research institution, Portland State University is located in the heart of Portland, Oregon. Using the city itself as its campus, PSU strives to give students “unmatched access to career connections, a vibrant cultural scene and hands-on learning experiences with hundreds of community partners.”i The school boasts of having world-class faculty and a groundbreaking research and international reputation for excellence in sustainability, community engagement, and innovation, including the convenience of Portland State University Online.i

PSU offers more than 200 degree programs, is ranked as the most diverse public university in Oregon, and shows that Intel, OSHU, and Nike are top employers of its graduates.i

Why We Love Portland State University Online

Aside from its academics, the school is widely known for its sustainability and green initiatives. In addition, online instruction at PSU takes place in small learning communities, and some of its online programs partner with community colleges to help students with associate’s degrees transfer to bachelor’s degree programs.

Portland State University’s Mission and Values

PSU’s mission includes the following:i

  • We serve and sustain a vibrant urban region through our creativity, collective knowledge and expertise.
  • We are dedicated to collaborative learning, innovative research, sustainability and community engagement.
  • We educate a diverse community of lifelong learners.
  • We are dedicated to collaborative learning, innovative research, sustainability and community engagement.
  • Our research and teaching have global impact.

Its values are as follows:i

  • We promote access, inclusion and equity as pillars of excellence.
  • We commit to curiosity, collaboration, stewardship and sustainability.
  • We strive for excellence and innovation that solves problems.
  • We believe everyone should be treated with integrity and respect.

Portland State University Tuition   

During the 2016-2017 school year, in-state students at Portland State University paid an estimated $8,337 in tuition to attend their undergraduate programs full time. They paid an additional estimated $2,090 for books and supplies. Portland State University out of state tuition cost undergraduate students an estimated $24,852 that same year. Those students paid an estimated $2,090 for books and supplies just as in-state students did.ii

Graduate students paid an estimated $13,248 for in-state tuition in the 2016-2017 school year. Meanwhile, out-of-state graduate students paid an estimated $20,736 for tuition. Both sets of graduate students paid an additional estimated $1,317 for fees.ii  

Portland State University Financial Aid  

Of all undergraduate students at Portland State University, 50 percent of students, or 11,145 students, received grant or scholarship aid. Forty percent of those students, or 8,898 students, received federal Pell grants. On average, students who received grant or scholarship aid received $5,983 per year.ii

Forty-seven percent of all undergraduate students, or 10,633 students, received federal student loans. On average, students who took out federal student loans borrowed $7,563 per year.ii  

Portland State University Admissions and Enrollment

6,373 people applied to Portland State University for undergraduate admission in fall 2016. Of those applicants, PSU admitted 89 percent. Thirty-two percent of those students admitted registered for classes.ii

The Portland State University acceptance rate is 89 percent, which U.S. News lists as “selective.”iii

Undergraduate enrollment at PSU was 21,071 students as of fall 2016. Graduate enrollment was 5,556 students. In total, 26,627 students were enrolled at PSU that semester and year.

Of the undergraduate students, 67 percent attended classes full-time and 33 percent attended classes part-time. Six percent of those students were enrolled entirely in online courses and 25 percent were enrolled in at least some online courses. The majority of undergraduate students, 60 percent, were age 24 and under.ii

Of the graduate students, 48 percent attended classes full-time and 52 percent attended classes part-time. Nine percent were enrolled entirely in online courses and 8 percent were enrolled in at least some online courses.ii

Portland State University Application  

To apply to Portland State University, undergraduate applicants must submit their high school GPA and record, evidence of having completed a college preparatory program, and, if English is not their primary language, TOEFL scores. PSU also recommends that applicants submit recommendations and formal demonstration of their competencies. While PSU does consider applicants’ SAT/Act scores, applicants do not necessarily need to submit them.ii

Portland State University Majors   

Based on the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred in the 2015-2016 school year, the most popular majors at Portland State University were as follows:ii

  • Psychology (282 degrees conferred)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Humanities (243 degrees conferred)
  • Social Sciences (213 degrees conferred)
  • Criminal Justice/Safety Studies (171 degrees conferred)
  • Community Health and Preventative Medicine (164 degrees conferred)
  • Marketing/Marketing Management (162 degrees conferred)
  • Accounting (159 degrees conferred)
  • Speech Communication and Rhetoric (154 degrees conferred)
  • Biology/Biological Sciences (151 degrees conferred)

Other popular majors for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees included Business Administration and Management, Finance, Computer Science, English Language and Literature, and Public Health.ii

For students earning master’s degrees that same year, the following majors were most popular:ii

  • Education
  • Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Public Administration
  • Audiology
  • Special Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management
  • Finance
  • Business Administration and Management

For doctoral students, education was by far the most popular major, with nearly 25 percent of doctoral students earning degrees across areas of education. After education, doctoral students most commonly earned degrees in engineering, the physical sciences, and public administration/social services.ii  

Portland State University Online  

Portland State University offers accredited online programs that employ exceptional faculty and have high academic standards. It offers nearly forty online options for earning certificates, endorsements, licensures, undergraduate degrees, or graduate degrees. Some examples of online programs include:iv

  • A bachelor’s degree in Urban and Public Affairs
  • A business bachelor’s degree in Management and Leadership
  • A Healthcare MBA
  • A master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction
  • An education licensure or endorsement in Visually Impaired Learner
  • A certificate in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Portland State University online services give online learners access to libraries, tutoring, technology support, academic advising, disability resources, and more.

Portland State University Ranking  

U.S. News ranks Portland State University as #10 (tie) in Most Innovative School. The school ranked #137 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs and between numbers 231 and 300 in National Universities.v

U.S. News ranked PSU #21 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs and #65 (tie) in Best Online MBA Programs.vi

Portland State University Accreditation

Portland State University has institutional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It has additional programmatic accreditation from the following entities:ii

  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • The Council on Education for Public Health
  • The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on Accreditation
  • The National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
  • The National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation 

Explore Portland State University

If you’re interested in attending a large school in an urban setting or have interest in one of PSU’s many online programs, explore your options here.


i pdx.edu/portland-state-university-mission

ii nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=209807

iii usnews.com/best-colleges/portland-state-3216/applying

iv pdx.edu/psu-online/

v usnews.com/best-colleges/portland-state-3216/overall-rankings

vi usnews.com/education/online-education/portland-state-university-209807

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