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Portland State University

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Diverse PDX Degrees Available Online and Face-to-Face

Portland State University appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges for Art and Music.

Ranked the 32nd most innovative by the U.S. News & World Report, Portland State University is Oregon’s only public, urban RU/H institution that confers 123 bachelor’s, 117 graduate, and 33 certificate programs, including 29 fully online, at a 15:1 student-faculty ratio. For example, the BS in Health Studies offers 24/7 online access to a 180-credit, CEPH-accredited curriculum with Aging Services and Community Health Education specializations plus at least one eight-week practicum like Central City Concern. Chaired by Dr. Chris Monsere, the 180-credit BS in Civil Engineering lets undergrads pledge Chi Epsilon, enter the Best Ethics Essay Contest, conduct Institute for Sustainable Solutions projects, take the NCEES Exam, and travel with Engineers Without Borders.

Online via D2L Brightspace, the MS in Visually Impaired Learner starts its 65-credit, two-year sequence approved by the PNWCVE each Summer with a three-week campus orientation before Web-based courses like Braille and Special Education for K-12 teaching licensure. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning follows a 72-credit, PAB-accredited plan outlined by Dr. Greg Schrock with 400-hour internships like the Urban League of Portland plus a Umatilla Together workshop for 100 percent AICP certification exam success.

Other options include the BA in Criminology, BA/BS in Art History, BA in Black Studies, BS in Geology, BS in Human Resource Management, BFA in Graphic Design, MA in Theatre, MA in Book Publishing, MBA in Finance, MS in Applied Linguistics, Ph.D. in Biology, and Ph.D. in Systems Science.

About Portland State University

Portland State University originated in June 1946 when World War II veteran Stephen Edward Epler founded the Vanport Extension Center for returning military to utilize GI Bill benefits. On October 7, 1946, an inaugural class of 221 enrolled at Vanport Junior High for only $50 tuition. After the Vanport Flood of 1948, the school relocated and became the Portland Extension Center in 1951. Four years later, it was called Portland State College to mark the start of four-year bachelor’s degrees. In 1965, Portland State famously won the General Electric College Bowl championship. In 1969, the Oregon State Board granted it university status. In 1972, the first Doctor of Philosophy was formed for post-grads. In 2003, Surlamer LLC founder Fariborz Maseeh donated $8 million to build its College of Engineering & Computer Science.

Budgeting $567 million yearly, Portland State University now employs 1,947 faculty training 27,670 Vikings from 88 nations online and at the 60-building Multnomah County campus with 150+ active clubs like the Sustainability Leaders Network. In 2018, PDX received the Online Learning Consortium’s Digital Learning Innovation Award. In 2016, Portland State won the APLU Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award. Portland accepted the 2008 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Campus-Community Partnership Award too. Forbes named PDX the 194th top public school with the 216th most impactful research. On Niche, PDX boasts America’s eighth most liberal academics, 20th best location, and 174th most diversity. Campus Pride crowned Portland State University the 25th most LGBTQ-friendly school. The Center for World University Rankings also positioned Portland 247th for alumni employment.

Portland State University Accreditation Details

On February 1, 2016, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) formally notified Portland State University that the Peer-Evaluation Report was satisfactory to reaffirm Level VI accreditation through 2026 under its ninth president, Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi, who earned the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Headquartered 183 miles up Interstate 5 in Redmond, this premier seven-state, 163-college Pacific Northwest Region accreditor is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and Oregon Department of Education. The Academic Affairs Office also lists the following program accreditations:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Urban and Regional Planning Accreditation Board
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Network of Schools for Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Accreditation

Portland State University Application Requirements

Enrolling at Portland State University is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s because 6,082 of the 6,743 Fall 2017 applicants were triumphant for 90 percent acceptance. First-year Vikings must reach high school graduation with at least 15 college-prep units graded “C” or higher. Non-graduates are eligible with minimum 170 GED, 15 HiSET, or 580 TASC scores. Freshmen generally need cumulative GPAs above 3.0 in grades 9-12. The Admission Matrix allows GPAs down to 2.70 if paired with 1350 SAT and 29 ACT marks though. Transfer Finish Free cohorts must be Oregon residents with 30+ accredited credits and 2.5 college GPAs. The Graduate School seeks entrants who’ve completed relevant BA/BS degrees at GPAs above 2.75. Certain programs, such as the MA in Geography, demand GPAs greater than 3.0. If required, GRE General Test scores must exceed 297 total. The School of Business admits post-grads with a median 511 GMAT score and 22 months of experience.

Portland State University has set a priority freshman deadline of February 1st. Nonetheless, undergrads can apply until August 1st for Fall, December 7th for Winter, March 3rd for Spring, and July 5th for Summer enrollment. The Graduate School has varying program-specific entry dates though. For instance, MS in Mechanical Engineering cohorts must apply by November 1st or March 1st. The MS in Physics closes on January 15th. Ph.D. in Applied Psychology entrants are considered through December 15th only. Accordingly, complete the PDX Application online with $50 ($65 if graduate) paid by Visa or MasterCard. Forward official transcripts via Parchment or to PO Box 751 in Portland, OR 97207. Testing agencies require SAT/GRE code 4610 or ACT code 3492 for results. Supplemental items include the personal essay, 2-3 reference letters, résumé, writing sample, and financial affidavit. Inquire further by contacting (503) 725-3511 or admissions@pdx.edu.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Portland State University is charging full-time Oregon bachelor’s tuition of $9,561 annually. Non-resident undergrads pay $28,413 each year. The Western Undergraduate Exchange lowers pricing to $13,569 yearly in adjacent states. Freshmen cover a non-refundable $200 deposit. Residing at the “City of Roses” campus’ dorms like Blumel Hall adds $13,611 for room and board. PDX budgets $1,362 for transportation, $1,263 for books, and $1,500 for personal needs. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals $26,937 in-state, $31,305 WUE, or $46,149 out-of-state. The Graduate School generally bills Oregonians $12,660 and non-residents $18,492 each year. However, online programs are priced $356 to $719 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid in Western Hemlock Unit 25 connects 49 percent of full-time PDX Vikings to tuition assistance averaging $6,317 apiece or $66.95 million combined. Institutional funds include the Marjorie Albertson Scholarship, Anne Myers History Scholarship, Barbara Coit Yeager Scholarship, Bauers Family Scholarship, Charles White Scholarship, Count Monterone Opera Scholarship, David Weisenberg Memorial Scholarship, Gayle Thieman Teaching Scholarship, Helen Farrens Library/Media Scholarship, Joseph Blumel Economics Scholarship, and Meadows Family Scholarship. The Nancy Ryles Scholarship gifts $8,000 each year for adult women returning to college. The Diversity Enrichment Scholarship has an April 1st deadline for first-generation students with minimum 2.5 GPAs. Federal aid applications coded 003216 determine need for the Pell Grant, Opportunity Grant, Work-Study Award, and Stafford Loan. The Oregon Student Assistance Commission also offers programs like the Elda Washer Scholarship, Kevin MacMillan Memorial Scholarship, and Ruth Henderson Scholarship.

Explore 200+ flexible programs in eight accredited colleges placed among Times Higher Education’s top 600 on the Portland State University website.