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Portland State University is a rather large urban campus located in downtown Portland, Oregon. The campus is home to over 17,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 graduate students. Degree options span the academic gamut and include STEM fields, such as biology and computer science, but also humanities topics, such as philosophy and economics. Both graduate and undergraduate students enjoy the option to pursue degrees online or by way of a flexible course schedule.

Overview of Portland State University (PSU)

Students not only have access to some of Oregon's best academic programs, but they also pursue a well-rounded education with extra-curricular interests. The campus recreation center is a great place to get a workout, enjoy a pick-up game, or sign up for an outdoor adventure. The rec center features a climbing wall, indoor track, pool/spa, recreational clubs, and group fitness classes. Since Portland is smack in the middle of some of the most rugged and beautiful geography, students will have opportunities to take paddling trips, backpacking adventures, or to rent equipment for a trip with friends.

Since PSU is located downtown, students can also sample the local food carts, bookstores, and music venues. Every night of the year students can find an eclectic cultural offering either within walking distance of their dorm or a short drive away. For a more contemplative time, students find that the riverfront park is a perfect urban oasis.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 19:1
Graduation Rate 54%
Year Founded 1946

Student Enrollment

Total Students22,858


Undergraduate Student

Male 7,811
Female 9,942

Graduate Student

Male 2,246
Female 2,859

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PSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 2,394
Female 4,465


Male 2,346
Female 4,420

Acceptance Rate98%

Male 98%
Female 99%

Enrollment 1,748

Male 680
Female 1,061
Application Fee $60
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Recommended
Formal demonstration of competencies Recommended
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted Yes

PSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

As a public institution, Portland State University is able to provide Oregon's tax paying residents a terrific education at a considerable discount, especially relative to private institutions. Indeed, Oregonians see gross academic costs of around $11,500, which includes tuition, books, supplies, and all academic fees. Meanwhile, non-residents pay over $30,000 for their courses and materials.

Once room, board, and other costs of living as a college student in Portland are factored in, the gross price tag for in-state students exceeds $28,000 for both on and off-campus residents. Non-Oregonians pay a bit more, with their gross costs exceeding $47,000. However, out-of-state students who qualify for the Western Undergraduate Exchange program may be able to reduce their gross costs. And the financial aid office applies grants and scholarships to bring the price tag down considerably.

In fact, the average net price for a year at PSU is only $13,000, including all living costs. For households in the lowest income bracket the average net cost is only $12,000. Households with income in excess of $110,000 see their average net price rising over $20,000, a true value in higher education.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $13,015
Average Total Aid $9,424
Students Receiving Financial Aid 84%
Room & Board $$13,500

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $10,386
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $29,286
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $13,500
  • Other - $3,210


There are many reasons to attend Portland State University. Students may be drawn to the city of Portland, which is known for its excellent culture and open mindedness. However, researchers are more interested in how PSU stands up academically. To assess PSU, our research team evaluates educational statistics, such as the retention rate and the graduation rate, among other factors.

The retention rate is a measure of how many of PSU's first-time, full-time students return to campus for a second year. The higher the number, the more students are seen to value PSU's curriculum, faculty, degree opportunities, and campus resources. In fact, PSU has a very strong retention rate of 76%, well above the national average, indicating that PSU students and their families are very happy with the school. The graduation rate is 54%, which is augmented by a 23% transfer rate. Since transfer students need a strong academic background to venture forth to more competitive schools, PSU is seen as providing a strong academic foundation for all students. Researchers thus deem PSU as preparing 77% of its students for a college diploma.

Student Population Total

Student Population 22,858

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 970 Total Graduates / 21%
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 203 Graduates
Accounting 200 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 190 Graduates
Finance, General 135 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 536 Total Graduates / 11%
social Sciences, General 227 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 95 Graduates
Sociology, General 62 Graduates
Economics, General 52 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 395 Total Graduates / 8%
Psychology, General 395 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 386 Total Graduates / 8%
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 165 Graduates
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 95 Graduates
Audiology/Audiologist 48 Graduates
Health and Wellness, General 39 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 312 Total Graduates / 7%
Mechanical Engineering 117 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 81 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 70 Graduates
Computer Engineering, General 23 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 45%

Outcome & Salary

Portland State University offers a wide range of degree programs, but all students are interested in estimated earnings once they graduate. Since Portland and the nearby environs are rather tech-heavy, it's no surprise that the top-earning graduates from PSU report a median income in excess of $93,000. In the #5 spot for top-earning graduates, graduates from the finance and financial management program report pre-bonus, median salary of $58,000. Students who graduate with engineering degrees also report great success, with median earnings that range from $66,000 to $82,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $55,300
College Grads Average Salary $71,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $96,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $710,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,672,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $52,060
10 Year Projected ROI $657,940
20 Year Projected ROI $1,619,940
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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