Portland State University

Portland, OR, USA

Reviews

Portland State University

3.68 Average Rating

William from Corvallis, OR

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Small Classes are great and the professors seem over qualified which is great. Make sure to become involved in the school to get the full benefit of the learning enviroment.
Am enjoying being here
I love Portland there is always something going on and there is something for everyone. PSU is a great school with excellent professors and provides a good education.
Bang for the buck
I think the college is worth the money all though PSU doesn't offer as much financial aid as the bigger universities. Textbooks are really expensive too. Living in Portland also adds to the bill.
Tips for prospective students
Apartments in the city are expensive to plan ahead. The grocery stores are also expensive. Textbooks are expensive try to avoid the PSU Bookstore. Don't expect much school spirit at this school. Join a club or organization so that you don't fell disconnected.
Great for these types of students
Great for commuter students, non traditional, and student that aren't into the party school atmosphere.
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Christina from Gresham, OR

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
When you begin registering for classes the first thing you will notice is the unbelievably huge list of classes to choose from. There is literally something for everyone at this school. Not only that, there are multiple professors teaching the given class. That way, if you hear from your friend that Professor Man is a horribly boring lecturer but you had your heart set on taking Business Communications, have no fear, there are probably at least three other professors teaching that same class!

All in all, I have learned a lot in my first year at PSU. The professors are truly devoted to their students succeeding and it shows in their passion for their job.
Am enjoying being here
I attended a private school from kindergarden all the way through my senior year. My graduating class was 80 kids, out of our approximately 300 student high school. Basically my entire high school was the size of most graduating classes. When I started at Portland State with its 28,000 plus student body, I wasn't sure how I was going to adapt. That being said, I have fallen in love with this school. I have made so many friends and it is so easy to get involved in pretty much anything you are interested in. I transitioned smoothly from my tiny high school to Oregon's largest University and I wouldn't change a thing.
Bang for the buck
In comparison to many colleges, PSU is not terribly expensive. However, as a young college student I still feel the sting when tuition is due. That being said, the millions of opportunities offered at PSU, in my opinion, makes every cent worth it. Not only are the classes great, the events a blast, and the location unbeatable, Portland State has an unfounded number of connections to the surrounding businesses in the downtown area. This gives graduate as well as undergrads the priceless ability to move from school to career in a heartbeat.
Tips for prospective students
Truly take advantage of all that Portland State has to offer. Whether it's their multitude of advisors, classes, or activities. There are so many wonderful things this school has to give its students, I urge everyone to take full advantage of every bit of it.
Great for these types of students
Active, studious, business oriented, social, ect...like I said before, this school has something for everyone. The only people who may not like it as well are those looking for a smaller school or one located in a college-town rather than the heart of downtown Portland. Otherwise, there is undoubtedly an aspect of this school for every type of student.
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Vladimir from Portland, OR

accepted here and planning to attend soon
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
Portland State University is located right in the heart of the city. It has diverse place where people from different places can look for their studies and find their paths in life. It will provide a student with classes that he or she needs for a his or her career. It has varieties of study fields that will help a person to find his or her enjoyable path in life.
Will enjoy being here
I hope I will enjoy being here because my friends from school enjoyed it and advised me to go here. I hope to have a good time studying and enjoying myself while studying. It is going to be a great time that I will remember for the rest of my life growing academically, developing personality, and looking forward to promising future,
Tips for prospective students
Students, who really want to learn and be successful in life, need to work hard with a desire to improve in academic level and life principles. Only working hard will bring someone to a desired success. Working hard, a person has an opportunity to climb up the social level and have a good enjoyable life meeting wants as well as basic needs. It is a journey, but it worth it.
Great for these types of students
Portland State University is a great place for all students. It is very diverse. People from all over the world come there to study and pursue their interests. People that want to be in a medical field, engineering, law, all fit here and many many others. It is an opportunity for all who wants to enjoy life.
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R from Beaverton, OR

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This was not my first choice school; I went here because of the cheap tuition, and I'm very happy with my decision. I really love the school. There's always stuff to do, places to visit, food to eat (amazing food carts!), and a diverse body of people to meet.
Tips for prospective students
Most places you'll need/want to go to around campus are within walking distance, so get ready for A LOT of walking. Get some good, comfortable walking shoes! Also try to familiarize yourself with Trimet's different forms of public transit (bus, Max, streetcar). Those will certainly be useful whether you intend on living on or off campus.
Academic Rigor
As a first-year student, I can't speak about the entire college experience including the upper division classes and all that, but I can say that so far I'm being challenged by my classes, but they are not supremely difficult. Totally doable as long as you have decent time management skills. Professors are there to help, and there are tutoring services offered in the library should you ever need that extra push.
Dorm Life
(I do not live on campus; I was required to fill out this section. Sorry)
Food and Dining
Always some delicious food around every corner. Try a little bit of everything from each food cart! Not only is the food terrific, but the people working the carts are very nice and down to earth. My only complaint is that some dishes can be overpriced, but that's to be expected. I don't know about the dining services actually offered by the school itself, though. There is a cafeteria in Smith Memorial which I've never tried.
What to do for fun
There's a bowling alley in the basement of Smith Memorial. There are numerous cafes on and off campus, and I recently discovered one (Glyph Cafe) that hosts poetry slams weekly. Visit the Art Museum! Visit OMSI! Visit the zoo! Catch a Timbers game at Providence Park! Go shopping at Pioneer Place! Hang with some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings! There is a TON to do in and around campus.
Bang for the buck
I was fortunate enough to receive enough financial aid to the point where I do not need to take out loans for my first year here at PSU. (I am an Oregon resident, btw.) That said, I did have to pay a few hundred dollars out of pocket, but that's a small price to pay considering I won't have a whole lot of debt by the time I graduate, if any at all! I have to say I'm a little annoyed at the fact that I am charged a rec center fee each term, even though I never use the rec center. But oh well, there's no way around that. But I believe the amount I'm paying for my education is just right.
Great for these types of students
Self-directed learners. Shy people, outgoing people. People who love urban settings. People who love rain.
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Jourdan from Portland, OR

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
This school offers a wide range of classes and with its University Studies program it is encouraged that you take advantage of that fact. This school not only wants you to expand your knowledge but your perspective as well.
Am enjoying being here
This school is so open and is home to such a diverse group of people from all over the world. The staff are very welcoming and the students are nice and enjoy being here as much as I do, and that creates such a pleasing environment for optimal learning.
Bang for the buck
The school is so large and offers so much, yet it is quite affordable and costs less than other schools in the Oregon. This school is money well spent.
Tips for prospective students
In your first year I suggest take advantage of all the things orientation provides and definitely check out Party in the Park. There you can get acquainted with the many clubs PSU has, and I'm sure you will find something that interests you.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for open-minded students who wish to expand their knowledge, not just within their specific major but all-around.
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My-Duyen from Clackamas, OR

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Portland State University has a great campus that allows for a lot of diversity and growth. The overall experience that I've had at PSU is great because I have made a lot of new friends, gained knowledge, and pursue my future with a bright outlook. The students and faculty here are always willing to help and welcome any ideas.
Tips for prospective students
Check out the area and definitely take a campus tour as well as conduct one yourself to get the feel of the university. With PSU's location, look into your means of transportation because you may have to commute everyday.
Academic Rigor
The courses here have a variety of range when it comes to academic rigor however the classes here are hard enough to challenge you yet allows you to immerse in the subject and absorb what you need to know. Overall, classes are pretty fun and engaging.
Dorm Life
I like that the dorms are located so close to campus and that they are renovating and building newer and nicer buildings. Being in a dorm really allows you to meet new people and explore different cultures as well as gives off a sense of independence and responsibility.
Food and Dining
The food in the dorms are fairly good, however the cafeteria is mediocre. I would say try new things because they can surprise you for example the food carts around campus or one of the dining centers.
What to do for fun
When the weather is nice, there are students all over the park blocks and just enjoying the day outside. The campus offers a rec center that one can take classes for fun or join clubs that vary from dragon boating to student associations. There is also a game room with pool tables and a bowling alley at the basement of one of the buildings. A perk about being downtown is that there is many things to do. Portland State is close to the town center which holds a variety of events, concerts, and festivals all year; it is close to very large shopping center ( Pioneer Square) and many of the top restaurants in the area; being downtown means being near the waterfront where you can jog, bike, or walk the dog in a stretch of trees and grassy areas yet still getting the breeze of the Willamette river; From spring time through Summer- one of Portland's most favored thing to do is visit the Saturday market; also don't forget a local tradition of First Tuesday and Last Thursday; last but not least they have the night life near by as well for those of age.
Bang for the buck
The tuition rate at PSU is affordable and If one wants to stay close to home or the city life then this could be the right place for you. PSU offers students an option to do co-enrollment where they can take a few classes at a community college while taking at least 6-8 at PSU and have shared financial aid so its cheaper that way. Also, if you play your cards right- the campus offers a lot more jobs than meets the eye to help support students. All in all, you are getting the bang for the buck if you add it all up.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Smith building is very helpful and when you find the right adviser- your academic career might just get brighter :)
There are stories of a few haunted places but what college doesn't have them . PSU is fairly new so there is not much to worry there. Unless you only take night classes, you should be surrounded by plenty of other people and feel safe. Hmm...not quite sure of any unusual traditions or locations but there are rooftop gardens where you can chill and study.
Great for these types of students
Business Majors, Pre-med such as nursing, optometry, dentistry, pharmacy, etc. (Portland State has connections with OHSU( Oregon Health and Science Uni.) therefore, having ties and networks are great for getting in there), there is a strong student body in environmental health, architecture, art and public health as well. As far as I know, there is almost a major for any person's interest at the regular college level.
International students are always welcomed and encouraged- there are many Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and English international students.
I think PSU is great for the dedicated student that is aware that you can get the same education almost anywhere as long as you do well and put in great effort in succeeding. Therefore, a student who is studious, is working, strong ties to the environment, and wants to save money.
Clubs and Activities
There are so many clubs that I can't even list them all- however I think it is possible to check them out at PSU website. Every fall there is a party in the park blocks where all the clubs have booths to advertise and recruit new students. It is very entertaining and interesting to see what may interest you. When there, you can play games to win prizes to kick off your experience at PSU with a POW . I remember a few that stood out to me right away when I went to the Party in the Park Blocks are the Student Associations, Dental Club, Rugby, Kick boxing and Environmental Club.
Campus Safety
They seem to always be on top of things and is really attendant to making sure all students and staff are aware of the current dilemma. E-mail alerts, phone calls and text messages to keep students up to date and aware. They have an office on campus and is relatively busy keeping things safe and smooth around PSU.
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Marilynn from Winnemucca, NV

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
i love this school, especially because it's located in the heart of portland. it's a university filled with so much diversity. it's also a beautiful campus that makes you feel safe almost 100% of the time.
Tips for prospective students
it can be expensive for out-of-state students, but it's definitely a school i would recommend to anyone. just make sure you save money and apply for scholarships it'll be a huge help! it's not your typical college either, it's an urban-feel campus.
Academic Rigor
going to college is hard in itself. the classes are a bit difficult, but there is a lot of help for you as well. it's really up to you to succeed in your classes, you have to take the extra time to study, finish homework on time, and to relax!
Dorm Life
living in the dorms your first year, is highly recommended! it's a fun experience where you get to be away from home and meet many people. you are closer to campus as well, so in between classes you have your room to go back to sleep or relax instead of sitting in the lobbies of buildings where it's a bit tedious.
Food and Dining
okay, our main dining hall isn't the best, but it has it's day where it's just flat out delicious! you get tired of always having the same option, but don't worry they occasionally change it up. however, the options located around throughout campus are some of the bests, and there are many options!
What to do for fun
the things for fun here are roaming around downtown at night for a voodoo doughnut run. also, the school holds many fun events that you can attend where they give away free stuff! there is also omsi, oregon zoo, japanese gardens, and other sites that you can explore!
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Brittany from Tigard, OR

a current student here
26 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
When it comes to how much you learn I believe that it is up to you to take classes that are interesting and a little bit challenging, because the classes that are easy tend to get boring and not teach you as much.
Am enjoying being here
I love the atmosphere. Downtown Portland is such an excepting place, people of all ages and walks of life live here and fit in. My classes have multiple age groups and that creates a very unique learning experience.
Bang for the buck
College can be very expensive, but I think that with all the options Portland State has to offer that everyone can find their passion.
Tips for prospective students
Keep in mind that you actually need to take at least 15 credits to stay on track for graduation, but do not overload yourself either. Try to take one fun class every term. That way you can relax at least one class period a week, because sometimes there isn't time outside of your classes to relax.
Great for these types of students
Portland State is great for students who want to be in the middle of it all, and who want to meet many different types of people. Also for people that want to experience the campus feel but be right inside the urban society at the same time.
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Mary from Portland, OR

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Depending on how much you apply yourself you can really learn a lot. You learn from everyone and about everything, very interesting approach to teaching here.
Am enjoying being here
Campus is diverse and has something for everyone. Tons of clubs and groups to join, music in the park and is in the heart of downtown so everything is within walking distance.
Bang for the buck
While they aren't 100% streamlined in all processes, this school really tries to give you what you need, and tailor your education to your specific goals.
Tips for prospective students
If you choose this school, don't overload yourself with courses in your first term. You will want to only take about 12 credits (that is full time) to give yourself time to get used to studying AND to be free to explore the city and campus.
Great for these types of students
adventurous, dedicated, passionate, those who believe in a cause, those who want to a school that focuses on education and does not revolve around its sports teams, those who like the city and those looking for new experiences.
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Chelsea from Woodland, WA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Portland State University is a high quality education that provides both flexibility to the busy student and abundant resources for success, through their many outstanding teachers, helpful graduate students, and various other bodies. The student body is very large and always eager to help and interact through study groups and social gatherings. Last and certainly not least, PSU has a terrific administration as I feel that my financial aid and registration continually runs smoothly and questions are answered both promptly and accurately.
Tips for prospective students
While this school provides a terrific education, central location in Portland, and very flexible scheduling, tuition is a bit pricey for out of state residents. For those with a specific college budget, it may be worthwhile to look into the concurrent enrollment that Portland State University offers with Portland Community College. Students can attend both schools and take lower level courses through the community college at a fraction of the cost; guaranteeing enrollment into higher level courses, once prepared.
Academic Rigor
All upper level courses at Portland State University are fairly challenging and require a serious commitment to be successful. Teachers provide extensive practice and resources for all materials covered. While this sets a student up to be successful, it is ultimately up to the student to strive for high marks.
Dorm Life
I do not live in PSU dorms. They seem nice and are right on campus. The city of Portland offers a range of different housing to meet nearly any need. The PSU campus is downtown and conveniently located to parks and recreation, banking, groceries, some of the countries best restaurant and cafes, along with a treasure trove of other shops and galleries.
Food and Dining
Portland State University has a great food court that provides a variety of different menu options and convenience items at a fair price. Additionally, the city of Portland has terrific food and drinks for nearly any palate or food sensitivity. I prefer to eat organic and gluten-free foods and am never at a loss when finding something healthy and delicious to eat!
What to do for fun
Washington State Park is very near to the PSU campus and is an amazing and expansive park. There are always different hiking groups that set times to go through the park; including a PSU-affiliated outdoor club. If you are new to town, this is a great way to meet new, fun people. We are also near many rivers that provide great opportunities for kayaking, inner-tubing, swimming, and the like. Portland is home to many die-hard bicycle enthusiasts; which could certainly provide some local fun. Mt. Hood is only a short drive and offers terrain for mountain biking in the summer and great snowboarding and/or skiing in the winter. Further, the city hosts a ton of different bands and music venues as artists seem to love the artistic attitude of this city. Here, you are never left sitting at home on a Friday night unless you want to be.
Bang for the buck
Each class that I have taken at Portland State University has been challenging and rewarding. I have had many study partners within the school and with other local schools and I feel that the PSU curriculum is well rounded and intuitively organized. Again, for lower level courses it may help stretch student dollars to consider concurrent enrollment with Portland Community College as their courses and curriculum is compatible with PSU in many ways as the two schools work together.
Campus Safety
There are regular PSU patrol cars that survey the campus throughout the day. I formerly owned a cafe in the area and can say that while Portland is an overall safe city, there are many homeless people and disorderlies; especially in the late evening. I never see any of these issues on or near campus since security does such a great job.
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