Portland, OR
Tuition (in-state)
$22,863 ($7,653)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 1510 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: The Greek Life at PSU is small but progressively growing. The top two sororities are more active on campus rather than the other fraternities. Unlike bigger campuses, Greek life here is more friendly and accepting. It's a small community that is very much involved with other student organizations at the school.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Because campus is in downtown, off-campus housing can get rather expensive. So make sure to do your research and figure out cost, commute, and distance.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: What It's Like to Live on Campus – The cost to live at the dorms is obnoxiously high, and the options for student dinning are very limited. On a social aspect, it's a great way for freshmen to meet people and make friends. All of the dorms are on campus so it's convenient for students to go to class or events. Living in downtown is definitely fun!

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Computer Engineering – Dr. Brano (The lead Computer Engineering Adviser) doesn't answer e-mails in a timely manner, they have professors that are retired engineers that shouldn't have a teaching certificate. They're willing to fail the entire class no matter how hard you try and how long you spend with them or the TA, Malgorzata Jeske, a professor there, is alright with having the entire class sit at a 60%, she is well aware that it's normal for her classes which are taught very poorly.

4 College Senior

Facilities: Criminology Department – The criminology department has been very helpful during my schooling at PSU. The professors, counselor, student aids and staff in the department are always very helpful and go out of their way to provide as much information as possible.

5 College Junior

Campus Dining: Many places to eat on and around campus. including several food carts.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Safe...Just Stay Close – I always felt very safe on the most campus-y part of PSU's "campus." I would often take naps on the grass outside or a comfortable chair or bench elsewhere. However, because PSU is mixed in with the downtown, it was not uncommon to have people from the city wandering in (sometimes even into the student buildings) panhandling. Never felt unsafe when I encountered someone who wasn't a student, but once I left the area around the main buildings and ventured farther into the city, some areas felt a little suspicious. It just depends. Once a friend of mine left her locker unlocked for an entire day and nothing, not even her laptop, went missing...but that was very lucky.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of Variety – Portland offers any and all kind of housing you could possibly want. If you're willing to move farther from downtown you can find large houses and apartments, sometimes with land, all close to Portland extensive public transit system. Housing close to campus is limited to apartment complexes with high prices and no parking (also some recent bedbug issues) but just a short distance away you can find homeshares, cute apartments, quirky little cottages, and more. Some of these are rented through landlords, others through families that live nearby or on site. Portland is a very safe city wiith a few exceptions, and the student culture is strong, so chances are that you'll be in an area with other young adults and young families.

1 College Sophomore

Diversity: Bad for Conservatives – PSU prides itself for diversity, but the truth is that it is only "diverse" under a liberal umbrella. If you have conservative viewpoints, you will probably feel very uncomfortable. It's a "you're okay as long as you agree with us" sort of environment, with not much true dialogue (or civility) between drastically different perspectives.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: The Max – The streetcar goes right through campus. The streetcar meets up with the train and for now much of downtown is fareless, meaning it is free. It runs largely on-time and is safe.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Food Carts – Food carts offer affordable food with a cool vibe. The food is great as well.

5 College Senior

Transportation: Every means of transportation is available on or around campus with the public transportation buses, train, and street car. Not to mention the Portland airport is at the end of one of the train lines with a stop available 15 minutes away from campus going to the airport.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: There have been a few problems with security on campus, but every time there was, a notice was put out to alert everyone of the situation, and the problem was dealt with swiftly.

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Being an urban university the line between on and off campus can be blurry. Because of this there is a wide variety of dining options with proximity to campus, including Portland's famous food carts, many ethnic and health options, traditional American favorites, and several coffee houses

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Portland State has a very diverse student body with very few true freshman. If you are enrolling straight out of high school you'll do just fine, but if you're transferring or returning to school after some time off you'll fit right in. Wide range of ages and personalities, so bound to be someone for everyone

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Tri-Met. Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them. In Portland, we have one of the best public transportation systems in the country. However, that is not saying much. You'll have many options to get around, but due to tri-met's for profit standing, ticket prices are going up and fewer busses and trains are on route. It is still much larger than your average U.S. city which makes this grade higher than what one might expect. Also, the city is very bike friendly which gives you that option to get around as well.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: It All Depends on What You're Interested in. Portland state is fantastic in academics for a lot of reasons, and terrible in other aspects. For my field, philosophy, it is fantastic because we have incredibly intelligent staff and no graduate students so they dedicate all their time to you. There are many other fields like this at PSU. We also have very large programs for education, business, and engineering. Many of them are not typical programs though, for instance we have many people graduating with focuses in non-profit management and community building. The terrible aspects is the University Studies program, while great in it's concept, it is terrible in its execution. Though there have been rumors about it being revamped, it is not in good condition, though you can make the best of the situation by picking more challenging and different topics.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Big Beer City; Clear Campus. PSU is located in the center of downtown Portland, a city where there are more microbreweries per capita than anyplace else in the U.S.A. That being said, in terms of alcoholism and drugs on campus, it's not big deal. Clean, easy to avoid. But however the drinking scene is very relaxed surrounding campus and most people have a relaxed attitude. You will get invited to go out to bars, but most people won't give a second thought if you just order a soda.

5 College Senior

Computers: All Options, and Numerous Availability – Portland State has quite a few computer labs, as well as three levels in the library filled with them. And, they have Mac's, which makes it easier on those who have a macbook.

2 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Some Places Won't Rent to Students – The closer you are to campus, the more expensive or outrageous the requests are. Some places will not rent to a student if they are going full time. Some places are restricted income housing, but the rent is $1000 a month. It takes some searching but there are diamonds in the rough.

4 College Senior

Academics: Above Average Experience – From my experience, I have always had a good relationship with my instructors. They have all been extremely helpful and available to me when I had questions or needed additional instruction. The diversity in the discussions has always been top notch, everyone has his/her thoughts and I have found everyone respects each other.

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4 College Senior

Transportation: The MAX is an awesome resource for local travel, Portland is set up nicely for bike riding, and Zip Cars are all over Portland for those days you just need a vehicle to run around.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Experience the Culture and Diversity – Portland is awake and such a wonderful culture to experience. Portland State University is right in the heart of downtown Portland. The river front is only miles away, as well as shopping, food, and the flavor of the city. Additionally, Washington State is just a short drive over the bridge. Portland is centered close to the mountains for skiing, the coast for beachcoming, and varies smaller cities if you want to get out of the big town feeling.

3 College Senior

Weather: Hope You Enjoy the Rain – The weather in the Willamette Valley is generally rainy and cold. However, classes don't get cancelled from rain. It snows here but not enough to cancel classes on a regular basis. If anything they are delayed a few hours. Just bring an umbrella.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Diversity on Campus – On campus, people can see many diverse students in sexual orientation, gender choice, ethnicity, and religious believes. Most of graduate schools have many international students and teachers. American students have a chance to understand other perspectives from different culture.


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PSU Streetcar
PSU Streetcar
PSU Streetcar PSU Streetcar Students get to school using a streetcar that runs directly through the campus.
Photo by PSU3

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