Portland, OR
Tuition (in-state)
$22,863 ($7,653)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 1500 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Senior

Weather: Bring a Rain Coat, but BEAUTIFUL Summers – Portland is quite rainy, so it is necessary to have a hoodie, raincoat, umbrella, or all three! But people get used to it and don't let it get them down usually. We rarely get much snow in the Winter so not a lot of school cancellations for that. On the other hand, Portland isn't well-equipped for snow so sometimes things get canceled for only a few inches. The summers in Portland are perfect - sunny and doesn't get too hot.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: There are several off-campus housing options in the Portland area. It all depends on what you are looking for. I have seen studios and one bedrooms listed from $400 to $1100, all depending on the building, area, and amenities. While there are several affordable housing options directly near campus, you might not get the nicest apartment in town.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Amazing Options Off Campus – There are several options for dining off campus. Located just a block away from the Freshman dorms are a group of Portland's famous food carts. This includes authentic Mexican, Indian, Asian, and other ethnic foods for meals under $10. There are also several vegan/vegetarian options such as the Vegan Barbecue cart. There are other areas with food carts located conveniently around downtown Portland.
Right below the Broadway dorms is a Chipotle, an affordable sushi restaurant, and Starbucks. Across the street there is a sandwich shop, Hot Lips Pizza, a cafe, numerous coffee shops, and a Thai restaurant. All of theses are within walking distance of Portland State University, and are affordable for students. Most meals in this area cost anywhere from $3 to $10.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Always Something to Do in Portland! Portland State University is located in the heart of Downtown Portland. Pioneer Square Mall is located just blocks away from campus, and there is a large variety of shopping options located all over as well. Also, there are several cultural events hosted right in the center of Pioneer Square on a weekly basis.
From the Portland State University Student Rec Center, you can get a beautiful, clear view of Mount Hood, located just over an hour away from the school. Mount Hood offers such winter activities as skiing and snowboarding.
There are several nightlife options for those who are underage, such as Barracuda nightclub and The Escape. Of course, with Portland being one of the biggest cities involved in micro-breweries, there are plenty of bars and clubs for those who are of legal drinking age.
Portland also takes pride in being a very green-oriented city, supporting local businesses and farms. There is a Farmer's Market hosted every Saturday right in the PSU campus. Also on Saturdays is Portland's famous Saturday market. You can find anything from great food, awesome artwork, and creative knick-knacks and necessities at the Saturday Market.

The Portland State University campus is in direct vicinity of some of Portland's best attractions. All of these things listed are accessible by walking, riding the MAX cars, or taking the bus.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: I've never been surrounded by a more diverse population than I have here at PSU. There are so many different people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, and even political and religious beliefs.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Dorms Offer Positive Social Environment – The freshman dorms at Portland State University offer students a very comfortable, cozy living space. The Resident Assistants offer many fun, friendly games and activities to allow students to incorporate themselves in the school, and get to know a variety of different people. The rooms themselves are way over-priced, but worth it for the positive social experience.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Portland State University has several dining options for its students. However, quantity does not override quality. The food at the dining hall, Victor's, is extremely mediocre. The options just repeat themselves throughout the week, and it seems as if the food gets worse and worse throughout the year. The alternative choice for students is the Viking Court food court, which accepts students' "Dining Dollars." It resembles mall food, both by appearance and taste. It does allow for students have several more options to eat, but for a higher cost. There are few other food places located in the campus buildings, such as the Food for Thought Cafe. Food for Thought has tasty, cheap food, but often runs out of necessities such as bread by noon.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Portland State University has a very divers campus and surrounding community. i have met/seen people of all types of ethnicity, creed and sexual preference. very liberal and accepting place to be!

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Dont Worry... About a Thing... Cuz Everythin at School, Is Gonna Be Alright! You know that feeling that your being watched. or u just aren't safe at night , in the city, in your apartment, or on your way home from work? Well you can forget about that here at Portland State University. Portland has one of the lowest crime rates in the USA for big cities. you have to have a special card to get into the dorm buildings and being downtown there is always a police presence.

4 College Freshman

Computers: All You Really Need Is Here – I have my own personal computer so there is already constant computer availability for me in that department but with having my own computer I don't have my own printer or wireless router/connection. Fortunately, as a Portland State University student, all of these things are provided. If i didn't have a computer I would only have to use the computer lab which in my room mates experience has been great. Other than that, there is also a 500 page per term allowance for printing. To make things even better, PSU provides wireless internet all around campus to PSU students. So you have a reliable connection wherever you are. I like it and definitely cant complain.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: People are pretty casual and mostly not caring that much about what they wear

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Diverse Culture – Portland State is right downtown, so there is always something to do or someone to watch. It is a diverse campus, full of students from different backgrounds and countries, and of different ages and races. It is a place to go if you value diversity on an unconventional campus.

3 College Senior

Facilities: Not Bad for What It Is – Portland is a super green city so PSU definitely takes on that culture. We have an organic and sustainable student run cafe, we have a cob structure and LEED certified buildings. Bike culture is big and we even have a life size replica of the front of a bus to practice putting your bike on the rack. Still, the school is defined by its commuter culture. Although you will find some typical dorm-living frat-going freshman, they feel like minority next to the city-living hipsters and hippies, the older returning students, who often have families, and the many people who go straight there out of a Portland highschool and still live with mom and dad to save money. But don't get the idea that because PSU is pretty easy to get into that you'll only find sub-par intellect there. I meet a lot of smart people who transferred from great schools but were just looking for a cheaper option or a change of scenery.

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2 College Senior

Parking: It's Easy Not Being a Driver – I don't drive. Portland is one of those towns where it is not unusual to meet a twenty-something who doesn't own a car or maybe even doesn't have a license. We have an award winning transit system (though due to budget cuts it's not as good as it used to be) and PSU is in the heart of the city so you can bus hear from just about anywhere. Biking is also super popular. We have a cycle track on a major street on our campus. I do hear the bike parking (as well as car parking) is a nightmare though.

3 College Senior

Computers: Computer Labs Are Generally Reliable – The compute labs are decent. You usually have to wait in line, but only for a few minutes. Even during finals I can usually get a computer without too much hassle. Probably because it is a commuter campus so a lot of people do work at home. You don't have to have a personal computer at PSU. I mostly give them a B for being in the basement in a hot room with no windows. I never feel encouraged to do my work there just on account of the atmosphere. Handy for printing stuff out though.

5 College Sophomore

Weather: Summer Time – Oh man, the summer weather in Portland is absolutely breath-taking. Compared to the treacherous heat in Texas, Portland weather is definitely a breath of fresh air. The hottest it ever got this summer was 89 degrees, and walking around was definitely tolerable. Regardless--you are going to break a sweat considering that Portland is made of hills, but nothing is compared to the sweet, cool wind that blows in your face and the smell of fresh air as you walk outside.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I definitely experienced the summer parties during this Summer.
A lot of my friends in Portland know how to keep it real when it comes to partying and if any thing goes wrong they know how to keep it down. The parties at my house were almost an every night given. We always had people over no matter what day of the week it was and we always knew how to keep things fresh, fun and entertaining. Whether it be we all go on our 17 mile bike ride to and from downtown, bar hoping all along foster on the weekends, seeing a show at the amazing mcmenimens venues, taking a road trip to seattle, going to skateparks and hanging out, taking road trips to the coast, taking road trips to California, or just keeping things chill over at our house and having all our friends come over for sleep overs. I guess you could say I got lucky with the group of people that I have met and now call them my friends because they all know how to have an amazing time and know all about what Portland has to offer. Not just Portland, but Oregon itself. This state is absolutely amazing for those who love to party, for those who love the city, and definitely for those who LOVE nature.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: General Campus Aesthetic – I have not yet started school at Portland State University, but plan to in the near future. This summer my friend and I walked around the campus during dusk and might I say that my eyes were eyed open the entire time. This school is surrounded by shade and vastness of many beautiful trees and gardening. One who has never been to a University usually is overwhelemed with the largeness of a campus, yet for myself even though this campus is huge I was not overwhelemed because I had a sense of security with the humbleness the school exerted from it's modern and sophisticated exterior. As I walked around the campus I truly got a feel for what life would be like as a college student here. I would be able to read and study my book near the grassy knowles outside of a classroom, or if I needed to go home I could easily catch the max because the school is in the heart of Downtown Portland. I had the feel of both worlds, nature and city, which I love so much. Portland State University, even though I have only experienced the exterior, is an amazing campus with beautiful architecture and gardening for one to gaze upon.

4 College Junior

Academics: Great Geography Opportunity – I'm excited about the prospects of participating an urban forest research project as part of my graduate studies. It presents a unique opportunity to work with students and professors from a variety of disciplines and develop skills which will be valuable to future employers.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Buses and Street Cars Are Available – I use the bus to commute from West Linn to Portland State. The drivers are usually very helpful and friendly. The cost can be a little more reasonable, but if you are downtown less than 3 hours, return trip is free. You can catch a streetcar for free from downtown to another section of Portland. I enjoy using the bus instead of trying to find a parking space and worrying about fines.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: I have not been around that long, but Greek life does not seem to be a visual issue.

3 College Student

Campus Housing: The Dorms – the dorms are nice at Portland State but there not exellent. The newer ones are a lot nicer but the older ones could use some fixing.

4 College Student

Health & Safety: Portland State is a very nice and safe. It has a beautiful campus with lots of trees that provide shade. Also its in downtown Portland wich makes it not the safest place to be but its safe enough to enjoy your time there. The campus security is always on top of things.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: You Will Be Surprised at Different Types of Personalities You See – there are different types of guys there many hot guys, cool guys, you name it they are there. and there are nice looking girls too. and there are students who have worked for the CIA or FBI in ther school asnd the age varies from 16 (mostly international students) to 70s,80s years of age

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: A Few Rough Patches – I'm a little biased in this case as I was more or less forced to switch schools due to medical reasons. I was at Nevada, Reno and I absolutely loved it there, so to go to another school where I was completely alone (and dropped in during the middle of the last semester) was difficult. You make your friends at the beginning of the year, so socially this was a little awkward for me.

PSU, in comparison to a lot of public universities, is good about academics. There's a large selection of classes, and I have not found myself bored in any of the ones I have taken.

Downside for some folks, there's no greek system.


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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.
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