Location
Portland, OR
Undergrads
23,397
Tuition (in-state)
$22,863 ($7,653)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 1510 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Senior

Overall Experience: Good Experience – The school and atmosphere are easy to get use to. I transferred from the community college and the only big difference that I notice is the amount that teachers get involved with their students. It seems like many teachers are very busy outside of class. Its not a totally bad experience though. I really like the location of the campus and how easy it is to get involved in the community.

3 College Senior

Parking: Its honestly not as bad as people think. I always find a place to park even during peak hours. It is not absolutly necessary to drive since people can easily bike, ride the max, or take the bus. The costs are kind of high but that is normal for downtown parking. Its cheaper to park through PSU than parking in a car lot.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: The night life is pretty good around here. The PSU marketing department has events from time to time like homecoming dance, midnight breakfast and the beer garden. If you friend PSU on facebook you can get the most up to date information on events. Other than that there is all sorts of things to do around PSU. Free transportation on the MAX around town to anywhere you want to go. Places that are fun include live venues, bars, clubs, dining, and athletic and traditional events.

1 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Football Is No Go – The football team here is, to put it nicely, uninspiring. With a dismal season record since I've attended the school, I have been turned off of the sports scene.

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Athletic Centers – Portland State University just opened up the new REC center for students in January of 2010. It is an amazing facility that has vastly improved the overall appeal of the school.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: University Studies – Portland State University puts students through their University Studies Program (FRINQ, SINQ, Clusters and Senior Capstone) instead of requiring pre-reqs. While, at times, I have found the support from the FRINQ and SINQ wonderful, I feel that the program does prevent me from taking classes that apply to my major.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Public transportation is really good around Portland. There's a fairly large Free-Rail zone around campus for free transportation. If you want to stray away from the campus limits, fare is very cheap and reasonable!

4 College Senior

Facilities: Sustainability and Green Campus Pride – My school incorporates sustainability through collaborative efforts from the students, community, faculty and staff. Strong encouragement to recycle, reuse, compost and keep our campus clean has provided a very comfortable, beautiful and lush campus in the heart of downtown Portland. Sustainability has become a huge success here as a programs are offered to learn more on how to live a more sustainable life as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the world and individually.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Laid Back – Portland State University has a very laid back atmosphere, and it is a very safe city. On campus security is efficient but extreme in their measures to enforce every little infraction that occurs. As far as drinking legally or illegally, it appears that most students are old enough to head off campus where their leisure is spent without the need for security to constantly be around.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Debate of Legalization of Marijuana and the Appeal of Microbrews! Portland is considered a very liberal and earth friendly city, and Portland State University has a student body that embodies the same laid back attitude in which the city is known for. Marijuana is accepted as a substance that is used casually among most students and going to local bars or microbrew restaurants is a relaxed affair. Although it does get energetic at some dancing establishments, for the most part, Portland natives as well as non-natives enjoy a nice pint of local brews and of course the whiskey is quite popular among many people of all ages.

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.

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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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