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Portland State University


Portland State University, or PSU, is a public, nonprofit, research university located in downtown Portland, Oregon. The school was founded in 1946 to serve the educational needs of World War II veterans and evolved into a four-year college. It was granted university status in 1969 and remains the only public university in a metropolitan area in the state of Oregon.

PSU is the state’s most affordable public research university and boasts a student body of more than 27,000 students from all over the world. They focus on teaching their students to solve problems in innovative and sustainable ways both in their community and globally.

The university consists of seven colleges that offer undergraduate degrees in 123 fields and graduate degrees in 117 fields. The seven schools are: the School of Business Administration, the Graduate School of Education, the College of Urban and Public Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Work, the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, and the College of the Arts.
With a faculty to student ratio of 17:1, PSU focuses on small classes that emphasize interactive learning and communication. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 most innovative universities in the nation, Portland State University receives regular accolades on both their academics and their culture.

The university focuses on preparing students to succeed in their careers of choice as well as become leaders in their communities and industries of focus. Students who graduate from PSU receive, on average, a $42,800 per year salary in their chosen professions.

Portland State University Accreditation Details

Portland State University is accredited to bestow undergraduate and graduate degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Portland State University Application Requirements

Incoming freshman who wish to attend Portland State University must be high school graduates with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. They must also submit ACT or SAT and complete 15 units of College Preparatory Coursework with a minimum grade of C –. College prep areas include three units of Social Studies, three units of math, reaching at least Algebra II level, four units of English, three units of Science, and two units of the same second language.

Those applying to PSU graduate programs must submit official transcripts from any post-secondary schools attended as well as proof of English language proficiency. Additional requirements vary depending on program and may include letters of recommendation, a resume, writing samples, standardized test scores, a portfolio, and a personal essay.

Tuition and Financial Aid

In-state tuition for Portland State University is $23,010 per year and out-of-state tuition is $39,525 per year. In the 2015-2016 school year, 70.7% of PSU students received some form of financial aid with an average amount of $11,820. Half of this amount came from loans, while the rest was made up of grants, scholarships, and work programs.

PSU offers federal loan and grant programs that can be applied for directly and are based on financial need. In addition, PSU offers merit-based and other types of scholarships to help students afford their education. To date, the PSU Foundation has awarded over $2.4 million in student scholarships.

Student Experience

Located in the heart of Portland, PSU offers a dynamic urban setting for its students that is unmatched by any other university. The school strives to provide access to career connections and cultural activities for all students to enrich their education and their experience at PSU.

As an urban university, PSU is home to the most established urban studies program in the country. This program focuses on sustainability and social justice and includes interdisciplinary training, four research centers, and connections to government and local organizations.

Portland State University also features the Center for Women’s Leadership, a training and mentorship program that was launched in 2004 by PSU professor Melody Rose. The program brings in women working in the professional field or in politics to share their experiences and knowledge with students and help prepare them for a life of leadership.

Examples of programs of study among PSU’s 120 majors, minors, and concentrations are:

• B.A., B.S. or Minor in Philosophy. This program provides students the opportunity to study fundamental issues concerning value, knowledge, and reality and includes the fields of ethics, morality, metaphysics and epistemology. This program is ideal for students who plan to pursue a career in medicine or the law.

• B.A. in Social Work. The university’s School of Social Work is the top social work program in the state of Oregon. The program serves over 1,000 students per year and generates $10 million in research funding for the college each year. The social work program prepares students to work with adults or children who are at risk or are part of a government assistance program.

• B.S. in Business Administration: Accounting. PSU offers Oregon’s largest accounting degree program and prepares graduates to succeed in all types of accounting jobs including governmental, corporate, public and with the non-profit sector. PSU is one of only 173 business schools in the world to hold accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in both general Business and Accounting.

• B.S. in Mechanical & Materials Engineering. Aspiring engineers can enter the Mechanical & Materials Engineering program. PSU offers a bachelor’s degree as well as two master’s degrees and a doctorate degree for those students who want to further their education in the field. The program prepares students with an education experience in topics such as microfluidics, semiconductor materials, biomaterials, and metallurgy.

• B.A. or B.S. in Art History. This program prepares students to think critically communicate effectively about diverse works of sculpture, architecture, painting, and other art forms. It offers a Critical Analysis track, an Art Practices track, and a Graphic Design track. Students can also apply to the Art History Honors Program which offers an alternative track for motivated students.

With 11 residence halls, 45 food trucks on campus, and 40% diversity in the student body, life on PSU campus is full of dynamic elements to increase the student experience. Portland State University is an excellent education choice for students who enjoy a culturally diverse setting.