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Portland State University

United States


Portland State University is more than Portland, Oregon's public research university. The university's innovative approach combines education with creative problem-solving and collaboration for maximum impact.

PSU is home to more than 26,000 students, with 35 percent from diverse backgrounds. With more than 200 degree programs to choose from, PSU is Oregon's most diverse, innovative, and affordable research university. Students benefit from a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1 and an average class size of 30 students.

Portland State University is located in Portland, Oregon, in the northwestern United States. PSU ranks as one of the nation's most innovative universities (U.S. News & World Report). Other awards include:

  • Most affordable research university in Oregon (Best Value Schools)
  • One of the nation's most diverse universities (Niche)
  • Top 10 most LGBTQ-friendly campuses (Campus Pride Index)
  • Number one for social mobility in Oregon (U.S. News & World Report)
  • One of the nation's top 50 green colleges (The Princeton Review)
  • Top ten colleges for somewhere to make a difference in the climate crisis (

The university ranks #5 in the U.S. for service learning (U.S. News & World Report). In order to graduate, 100% of students complete a community-based project or internship.

Student life

Campus facilities include the student health and counselling center, 11 cultural and resource centers, and financial services. The campus has food carts, tree-lined park blocks, live music events, 200 student groups and is located in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon.

From PSU's 50-acre campus, students can walk to internships, bike along the Willamette River, and catch a city streetcar for free. Portland is full of coffee shops, bicycle paths, microbreweries, parks, galleries, markets, and performance venues. Students can easily reach the Columbia River Gorge, the Pacific Ocean, Mount Hood, and Willamette Valley too.

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What's new

What's new

PSU researchers among the best in the world

35 researchers from PSU have been named as some of the world's most-cited researchers in their fields (PLOS Biology Journal). The study looked at over six million researchers from across 22 disciplines.

New direct-admission law program

A new program that offers students and alumni streamlined access to law education has been launched in partnership with Willamette University. PSU students who are interested in progressing to law school can receive guidance and financial support in the form of an annual USD 10,000 scholarship. The scholarship is renewable for three years.

Top online business programs

As the global pandemic has resulted in high rates of remote learning, PSU adapted its online provisions and was consequently recognized for its efforts. According to the U.S. News & World Report's best online programs ranking for 2021, three of PSU's online programs stand out nationally:

  • Number 11 – bachelor's in business
  • Number 27 – master of education
  • Number 72 – master's business programs (non-MBA)

Engineering and Computer Science

PSU graduates go on to invent for Intel, explore with NASA, and launch their own innovative companies. And, they earn an average salary of $65,000 one year after graduation. More than 183,000 PSU alumni live all over the world, turning ideas into action.

Engineering and Computer Science majors earn the highest salaries one year after graduation of any major from Portland State University. One year after graduation, PSU Computer Science majors earn salaries in the top 15-20 percent of all public university graduates in the United States.

PSU - OHSU School of Public Health

PSU produces graduates who deeply understand public health. Graduates of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health are able to recognize the uneven sources of health risk in society, promote approaches and strategies that increase health opportunities for all people, and mobilize resources for social change.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Portland State University aims to equip students with the tools they need to make a difference in society. It uses its position as an urban public research university to strive toward social change. Classes are opportunities for collaboration, where students get to produce creative work with their peers and professors.

Tailored Education

Resources are adjusted to match the needs of each student. Learners are closely supported by their academic advisors, who help them map out their career paths. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, students receive close support from dedicated and inspiring professors.

PSU offers students many opportunities for academic support through tutoring, University Success, the Learning Center, and the Writing Center to provide online and after-hours support.

Top national programs

According to U.S. News & World Report, PSU teaches some of the best programs in the nation. These include business, pre-health, graphic design, social work, and urban planning programs.

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Department structure

Department structure

More than 216 degree and certificate programs are available, spanning more than 100 majors and minors, 20 doctoral programs and 100 master's degrees. Colleges include:


More than 125 faculty teach programs in art, architecture, design, music, film, and theatre. Students learn through experiences with top creative organizations.


PSU is home to Oregon's most comprehensive education school, where more than 40 programs show students how to teach and guide others.

Liberal arts and sciences

The university's largest college teaches more than 100 exciting programs. Programs are enhanced by world-class faculty and expert community partners. They inspire students to explore some of the most critical issues of our world.

Urban and public affairs

Students transform into successful leaders and problem solvers through the many academic and professional programs on offer, from urban planning to international studies.

Other colleges and schools include:

  • Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science: Launch a career in engineering and computer science in collaboration with world-class professors working on real-world problems. The university's ties to industry give students professional skills through internships and research.
  • School of Social Work: Prepare for a career in social services or early childhood education and address problems and issues such as homelessness, addiction, mental illness, poverty and child abuse.

  • School of Business: Shaping the future of business through inclusive, transformative learning and meaningful research. With world-class faculty and deep connections with regional industry partners, students will join an expansive network of innovators.

  • University Honors College: Students are challenged with an academically intense curriculum in a tight community of highly motivated peers and engaged professors in a small liberal arts college atmosphere. They will take on the city's most pressing issues and find solutions together.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

New international freshmen students will need:

  • To have completed secondary school or high school
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • To meet the English language proficiency requirements.

Those who can't meet the language criteria may join the Intensive English Language Pathway before beginning their academic studies.

Undergraduate and Postbaccalaureate

Students on non-immigrant visas will need one of the following minimum test scores:

  • TOEFL iBT – overall 71 with at least 15 in reading and writing
  • IELTS Academic – overall 6.0 with at least 6.0 in reading and writing
  • PTE Academic – overall 53
  • SAT – at least 560 in evidence-based reading and writing
  • Duolingo English Test – overall 110


Applicants to graduate programs will need the following minimum test scores:

  • TOEFL iBT – overall 80 with at least 18 in reading and writing
  • IELTS Academic – overall 6.5 with at least 6.5 in reading and writing
  • PTE Academic – overall 60
  • Duolingo English test – overall 120

There are several other ways to demonstrate English language proficiency.

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Scholarship & funding

Scholarship & funding

Several scholarships are available to support international students with the financial costs of studying overseas.

International Achievement Scholarship

New undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence may be eligible for a financial award from the Office of International Admissions.

International Cultural Service Program

USD 3,250 per term as a tuition fee remission is available to students who give cultural presentations in the local area.

International Student Retention Scholarship

USD 1,500 as a tuition fee remission is available for six terms for international students who need financial support and can demonstrate academic excellence.

Other awards on offer to international students include:

  • Keith Morden Memorial Scholarship
  • PSU general scholarships
  • Graduate and doctoral scholarships

Students are encouraged to check what's available, along with the eligibility requirements.

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Students can join some of the 200-plus student organizations available on campus. There's also plenty for sports enthusiasts. PSU has 15 NCAA Division I teams and numerous intramural teams. Sports facilities include a 3,000-seat pavilion that hosts athletics, academics and community and arts events.


Students can live on campus, which is proven to make them more likely to perform better than those living off-campus. The First-Year Experience program helps students settle into the urban campus. It's easy to meet friends and receive academic and personal support.

All first-year students can live in dedicated residences, where they can choose from living/learning communities that reflect their academic interests. Units come with a bed, dresser, desk, chair and private bathroom. Meal plans can be included as part of the residential contract, where there are options for dining halls or vouchers for food vendors around campus.

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International students

Average cost of living in United States

View full cost of living
801st  / 1250

THE World ranking

At Portland State University
At Portland State University
At Portland State University
At Portland State University
At Portland State University
At Portland State University

Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
  • $677
  • $98
    Daily life
  • $176
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