Portland State University Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

19%

Very Good

41%

Average

30%

Poor

5%

Terrible

5%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

43%

Average

29%

Poor

17%

Terrible

11%

Campus Food
Excellent

28%

Very Good

30%

Average

23%

Poor

10%

Terrible

8%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

39%

Very Good

36%

Average

19%

Poor

5%

Terrible

1%

Class Size
Excellent

30%

Very Good

40%

Average

24%

Poor

2%

Terrible

4%

Activities
Excellent

39%

Very Good

31%

Average

20%

Poor

6%

Terrible

4%

Local Services
Excellent

69%

Very Good

23%

Average

6%

Poor

1%

Terrible

2%

Academics
Excellent

34%

Very Good

37%

Average

17%

Poor

5%

Terrible

7%

Overall Review for Portland State University

Excellent

32%

Very Good

52%

Average

13%

Poor

2%

Terrible

0%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Zyler

Portland State University is my dream college. It has everything I want in a college, it's in a big city, it's liberal, it offers both a bachelors and masters degree in Architecture and it just has an overall positive environment and culture. The housing options are in the middle of both campus and the city. They are the perfect walking distance from all classes, shopping and even the river. The dining is right in the housing and Portland offers plenty of cheap eating options. Overall I have found very few things wrong with Portland State and hope to attend it in the fall. It is definitely the environment I want to be in.

Justine

Portland State University is an amazing school with a beautiful campus. The urban setting makes college feel less like college and more of a life experience. I love having the ability to be right in the heart of downtown and have access to all of what the city has to offer. One of the reasons I decide to attend PSU is the many different cultures that inhabit it. There is a mix of every race, people with different beliefs, and all around great people.

Gabrijel

I find Portland State University amazing in more than one way, all professors are amazing, not only we gain knowledge but classes are fun and easy to follow. PSU is downtown, so there are a lot of opportunities for amazing cultural events, great food, fun and during summer a lot of festivals. I would recommend PSU to everyone, it offers a lot academically and as life experience.

Chelsea

I moved here about 3 weeks ago, and I love it. It's a bit tough to make friends but everyone is very friendly and always looking to help you out around in town. Campus is beautiful and really easy to get to everything. The dorms are either very social or not social at all, so you have to go out and find people.

Krista

I am from a small town so I can say being in the middle of a city it a big change. However I have fallen in love with Portland and I'm not sure I will ever leave. I love this school it is full of people who share the same political views as me and the same views of the world as me. it's a great place to be.

narges

Portland State is a very diverse school. If you are bohemian/ a hipster, Portland State is definitely the school for you. Theres a wide range of clubs at Portland State so it is easy for everyone to find their crowd of people. Sports aren't as big of a deal compared to other Oregon Universities. Additionally, there is no greek life and there are not to many parties on campus.

Matthew

It is a good school for returning students and traditional students who are independent. It is a good fit for our eclectic city! The urban setting allows for opportunities not usually available at schools in smaller towns. That said, the school is still small enough to navigate!

Adriana

Portland State University is exactly what I was looking for in a University. It's diverse, culturally aware and have great teacher reviews. It's close proximity from my house and it has a great Social Worker program that I'm excited to be apart of.

Italia

I love the atmosphere and the ability to have nature incorporated into my daily walks around campus, specially the ability to take public transportation around even if it is not included in tuition. Parking however is hellish and permits are ridiculously expensive. There are a variety of food carts from all over the world. As well as clubs for anything you want practically.

Heather Anne

My overall opinion of the school is great! The school in the middle of a city, so we don't have to go way out of Portland to get what we need. The community is very out-going and gives off good vibes. I can't wait to join Portland State University this upcoming fall term.

Jennica

It's a commuter college where people are going to finish their degrees and join the work force. People take their education pretty seriously and you'll find lots of support educationally. I personally see very little party behavior or drugs, and many students are activists for groups they support and ideas they believe in.

Ricardo

Not your typical college. A very independent approach to university. I personally like that, but others may not. The university lacks the feel of most state colleges such as UO and OSU who thrive off of sports and college towns. PSU is incorporated into Portland providing for new experiences, if taken.

Gabriela

It's a great school that offers a lot of opportunities. You can get involved with people very easy through signing up for any type of activities. The teachers are mostly all great teachers, although some of the class sizes may get a little too large, however, they make up for that by having smaller classes that cap out at 12 people.

Kelsie

The education I got was great, but it feels like students can fall through the cracks with the administration. Despite going to see a counselor every term to make sure I was on track to graduate on time I ended up needing to take an extra year of classes because of a mistake they made.

Cindy

Portland State is an amazing college for students who want to pursue an education after high school. It is not a "party school", we are not extremely focused on sports teams. It is the perfect school for those who find community college too easy, and those who value connection, communication and education.

Mendestria

PSU is a great low cost school both for in state and out of state residents. The city of Portland gives students an alternative feel for city life that also coexists inside of the beautiful greenery of Oregon. There's more freedom to explore outside of the University and explore what it means to connect with the people you meet and the land you live in. That's what I love about PSU.

Naimo

Portland State University is a great school and I love it!! I enjoy being on campus. I stay late at the campus because I go to the library to do my work and I feel very safe on campus. I like the class sizes and also the professors. They are nice and they try to stay available for students.

Jhoselyn

They promote diversity, but they are not a really diverse campus. They also hire a lot of adjuncts so they do not have to pay a professor a full salary. Adjuncts are great professors, but because they are not there it is kind of hard to find them and meet with them because time is very limited.

Lynette

The university is a bunch of outlets with few signs and directions so a map is handy. The housing is fantastic for the space to chat, watch television and read is nice with the old and modern buildings. The only complaint is the bathrooms and closet space. In the buildings with classes, there are a lot of stairs and few drinking fountains so bring extra bottles and small backpacks. I don't much about the curriculum but the class size is suitable for the amount of students each day. Some things like trying to find the dentist, chiropractor, main events, financial aid and what each building specializes in needs improvement because most information is online and not word of mouth. Food is found in various places like for financial aid and Ondine and food carts so no reserve there. Mopeds, exercise apparel and one building contains the entire gym of the university and it is awesome. Don't overlook knowing that admittance is sequential and you need to be prepared from the beginning to enroll. Don't delay on financial aid and payment. For folks, living in another town, get some transportation if you have to work. There are opportunities on and off campus for employment so meet with an advisor on the best path. Don't overlook fun activities and clubs for it will take stress away. With studying, these classes will be harder than classes at a junior college so make a routine you are comfortable with and review several times before a test. Make use of the technology because there are several apps for class schedules, study time and event calendars. It was a brief visit but I shall enjoy PSU when I can, for if it changes me, I will grow too as I am challenged to give out my best and I will not fail.

Esli

It’s a good school overall, but could improve in more than one of ways. I don’t hate it, and I love the fact that it has a city type feel to it. I have only gone there for one trimester, but already I feel like I fit in quite well and feel safe most of the time.

safia

Overall, the school has some great programs and there are professors who are dedicated to their fields. I was just accepted to the Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and recently had my first meeting with my program's academic advisor and I really felt like I was able to get all of my questions about the program answered and have all of my anxieties addressed. I haven't actually taken any on campus classes since I was accepted into Portland State University because I was duel-enrolled at Portland Community College and taking classes on campus there, but from the times I have been on campus and I have enjoyed spending time in the park blocks as well as some of the facilities that are specifically offered to the the social work students such as a roof top green space that is available for a break during the day or a quiet study session. However, there things that I think make it less than ideal for a traditional university experience. Portland State is in the middle of downtown Portland, meaning that it is a very urban campus that doesn't offer much of the traditional university experience. I have visited several other schools' campuses in the area such as Lewis and Clark University, University of Portland, University of Oregon, etc. These campuses give you the feeling of a more traditional campus that is more self-contained and less integrated into the actually city it is a part of. While Portland State being an urban campus does offer its own set of benefits, you are in close proximity to many restaurants, off campus housing, the city's beautiful parks and hiking spots, you do lose out on some of that "college campus" feeling.

Jeneveve

Portland State University is not the right school for everyone. It's the kind of place that is bursting with energy, full of a lively hustle. It's fast moving, not as lazy and laid back as other universities. It's the place for adventurous spirits, food or coffee lovers, urban dwellers and those who have always dreamt of being urban dwellers. It's a place for people who want to speak up, who want to challenge what they think they know. It's a place for people who want to grow. So it's not the right university for everyone, but for some of us, it's perfect.

Hector

Portland State University is an exceptional institution. Despite smaller student relations due to the larger student commuter community, students at PSU are encouraged and properly exercise the ethics and respect to the community and anyone connected to the environment it is surrounded with. PSU is a great demonstration of sustainability, eco-friendly and ethics from both students, professors and other members related to the community.

kamaran

Portland State University is a great school to pursue a business degree. It locates in the heart of Downtown Portland which surrounded with many local businesses. School of Business Administration also full of many experienced mentors and professors that will help students to define their next step and set themselves apart as a strong candidate. Was this review helpful?

Brandon

I'm a psychology/pre-med student. I've attended 2 other universities and I have really enjoyed PSU. I have had excellent professors consistently. The science departments are great. There is easy access to a multitude of resources to help you succeed. The administration can be a bit frustrating (financial aid office, etc.) but that seems to be normal in the university realm.

Gavin

I am currently a freshman attending Portland State University and I can honestly say it's not what I expected, but not necessarily in a bad way. Being in downtown Portland the campus is much different from the average 4-year universities' and is always busy. The students are quite diverse and the faculty has been excellent. It is a great place to come learn and start or better your life. Overall I have been enjoying my time at PSU and can only hope for the best in the future!

Mackenzie

Portland State University has been great to me! I’m currently only attending one class here, but I can tell you it is so much better than a community college. The class size is decent, 50 people maybe. The professor is generous and always willing to talk one on one when needed. The students are friendly, which makes for a great enviroment!

Jessica

I have attended Portland State University for both my undergraduate and graduate programs. It's an interesting campus in an urban setting, making it truly unique. I love the bike culture on campus and there are numerous spaces to safely park your bike whether you live on or off campus. I wish that there were better options for food, as the current options get somewhat old.

Feeyee

I am a freshmen at PSU and from my personal experience the students and staff are very welcoming and helpful. They assisted me during the college application process and answered my questions about scholarships and programs. I'm looking forward to starting classes at PSU.

Piper

PSU is a great place to discover yourself -- Portland is at your fingertips. There are so many things to do and things to see, on and off campus, whether you're a party person or the quieter type. You get out of it what you put in -- if you come ready to be a self-starter and a motivated student, you'll find that the school gives back the effort you exert.

Alejandra

I enjoy studying at Portland State University (PSU). It sits on the heart of Portland, in the downtown area. This means that there is always something fun and exciting happening on and off campus. Everyone is really open-minded and accepting, which made moving into Portland much easier for me. PSU offers a wide variety of majors and classes, making it more accessible for all types of people. There are a lot of resource centers on campus for anyone and everyone who may need or want some extra help with anything in their personal or academic lives. Overall, I am happy so far with my experience at PSU.

Jess

As a young adult returning to higher Academia, Portland State is the perfect University for me. The campus is spread over beautiful downtown Portland, creating a more urban and independent feel for students. The university does not conform to typical universities with sports and greek life playing a central role- but instead values the unique traits and interests people have to offer. I do not feel surrounded by kids fresh out of high school, and am continuously stimulated intellectually by my peers. The university is very inclusive to all walks of life, making this queer woman feel welcome and appreciated!

Kate

There were only two professors that I felt really made the experience, and the money, worth it. Most of the content was far from thrilling and, once out in the field, I was able to recognize that hardly anything I had learned could be applied in real time. The facilities that we have access to are great as well as the opportunities for students no mater their focus. With it being an urban university, there are an overwhelming about of organizations that utilize the student body for internships and fellowships, which makes it a lot easier for students seeking such opportunities to get ahead. Outside of that, cost continues to rise with very little to show for outside of administrator's annual salary. Additionally, the school participates in hypocrisy with voicing they are with the progressive ideals of the student body while not listening or acting upon the communities concerns.

Brandie

This University has a lot of diversity with its students. There is a large population of student parents and childcare on campus. I was able to have my son on campus while I took courses. This was very convenient. Since PSU is entwined with the city there are great transportation options. The train, bus, scooters, and taxis. Parking is not great and traffic is heavy but overall it was a fin experience.

Jobe

Portland State is the only college I would ever want to call home. In the middle of it all, right down-town, PSU offers all the facilities you could dream of, an incredible staff (professors, student teachers, counselors, and Residential Assistants), gorgeous housing -usually with private baths and sometimes kitchens- with an incredible roommate matching process (though a bit costly, as it it downtown Portland; but it couldn't be more convenient), and a politically & positively charged atmosphere amongst peers. If you are looking for a place to experience life, love, expression, culture, and friendship in the fullest, Portland State University is one of the best options you have. Hope to see you there!

Marian

Portland State is an overall great school if you like the vibes of downtown and less of a campus feel. There's plenty of places to go out and eat if you're into trying new food. Also, the class sizes are nice because they're a small ratio to professor and makes learning easier.

ruben

The school is great over all the diversity in the school is great and i'm happy that i'm attending PortLand State university. The weather is a bit cold so do take your jackets I also fell in love with how the school is laid out everything about is good from the food to the dorms to the rec to your classes.

Hannah

Portland State University is not just a school but rather an experience that I have had the pleasure to partake in. The innovative and creative learning methods at PSU have taught me to be a more critical thinker. I have been taught to analyze situations with a humanitarian heart but logical mind. My school has changed my thought process on how I perceive the world around me.

Katie

For my particular major it was an amazing school with a lot of opportunities for growth in academia, such as conferences, guest lecturers, fellowship and scholarship offerings, etc. There were many ways to be active in student activity groups, study groups, student-organized events, and a lot more. I was a member of several student-run organizations and was employed part-time for the university to help with tuition payment. I had the opportunity to do a study abroad program overseas for multiple summers and one full academic year. There are many foreign languages you can study, with a lot of exposure to tutors and fellow students who are willing to help. The professors are usually available and happy to help. The one downside I encountered was that the politics of the school can get in the way of the student's studies. I found myself very discouraged at times after getting stuck in political games between professors and different departments. This was unfortunate, as it stressed me out so much that it took a lot of courage to finally continue to get my graduate degree. Overall great school for people who just want to get a degree and move on. It's not an amazing school if you see yourself staying in academia, and need to build long term relationships with professors.

Zach

Portland State University is a progressive liberal arts school that I love attending. My classes are close to my apartment which is very important to me. My housing is affordable and I love my roommates. The only thing I would change about PSU is the lack of campus security. We have Portland Police patrolling our campus but we need more full-time security personnel.

Yesenia

The best thing about Portland State University is the city itself. Portland is a well planned and beautiful place to be. everything a college student would need is within walking distance. PSU is in the conference Big Sky, which isn't the most popular and most active but our athletics are still amazing and we are only just improving each year. PSU is just the right size, you can almost always get to any of your classes within 5-7 minutes from where you are standing. PSU is a sustainability school, so the school is super active in recycling and being environmental. I spend most of my time in the dorms with friends or at Victor's dining hall when I'm on campus. When I tell people I attend Portland State University, they respond with a "Really, that's awesome, how big is your school?" Portland State University is the biggest university in Oregon. Most students complaints is the food at the dining hall because the choices hardly ever change.

Sarah

For my degree (Anthropology), I think the professors were amazing and the department provided a lot of opportunities for students to get involved in the community and meet professionals. Most of the professors really cared about their students learning the material and being prepared for life after college.

Mariana

I believe that my school is a multiracial school that is equal to everyone and we all treat each other with respect and love and support one another. On every classroom you meet new people that make good impact in your life. It can either be the teacher or a classmate.

Alex

Most individual teachers are invested and personable. Teachers in their area of expertise often exceed the level you would expect at PSU. However, some admin lack in capability and dedication to the students. They are difficult to contact and often have poor relationships with students. Homelessness and drug use in the bathrooms is a huge problem.

Ernesto

At first I wasn't fond of the idea of the college being located in downtown Portland. The idea of all the busyness, the cars, the noise, the smells really turned me off at first, I only went because I lived close, which made housing expenses cheaper. Once I started going, I began to actually enjoy the atmosphere of it all. It wasn't as busy as I had originally thought, actually quite quiet at times. The proximity to many businesses and restaurants is also a big plus. There are many food carts on campus, that all serve great food. There are many activities to be found, like the Portland Art Museum being only a few blocks away. Easy transportation by light rail to other parts of Portland, and many things to do right on campus, billiards, bowling, a prayer and meditation room, gardens, galleries, and much more. Overall, its quite a nice school, with an intelligent and friendly student body that cares. My only complaint is the fact that I got my degree in physics, and the physics department is not the most well-funded program at the school, which made the education in this particular field less than ideal, but still good.

Karthik

I like how Portland state University has been placed in downtown and can easily get to places for opportunities to network in the city. And it is a large enough campus where you can make an effort to do what you want while still having that feeling to keep going for opportunities. It is also really affordable for a university. And there are a lot of really good certificate programs.

Kristie

It’s a good school, I enjoy going there, my professors and peers are respectful and intelligent and there are a variety of classes offered. The downtown environment offers a good picture of the culture of the Pacific Northwest. There are many options for involvement in and off campus.

Whitney

If you care greatly about having your voice heard, or you desire to belong because you feel you aren't accepted anywhere else, I'd wholeheartedly welcome you to Portland State University. We have thousands of students from many different countries, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and ages. We like food trucks, supporting marginalized students, and protesting loud and often. We also have strong opinions about everything. Since we're located in downtown Portland, we students have access to the street car and bike-friendly roads (yay for saving the planet). If you can't help but commute, be ready to dish a few hundred bucks per term. Being downtown means sacrificing the quiet green pastures of a regular college campus, but it also means you don't have to walk very far to hit the town. All in all there's a lot to say about Portland State University. Perhaps for me, it's a great school for pursuing almost any degree, yet in their overwhelming push to make everyone feel included, it's hard not to feel some isolation. Maybe it's the "big city", or the sheer amount of students and thus lack of a snug college community. Whatever it is, I suggest making your best effort to get involved. If you choose Portland State as your college destination, be prepared for #KeepPortlandWeird. It's a weird place.

Ali

I did Summer school at Portland State in 2017 and it was a great experience. Although Portland isn’t my favorite city, it was a better city than Salem. PSU has many different students from all over the world from many different backgrounds at PSU. I met people from Mali

Carolyn

It is a great school for getting the job done. It is a good price and everyone is dedicated to graduating. It has a lot of returning students, single parents, and people working full time or multiple part time jobs. This means that people don't hang around after class, but leave to get things done so the on campus life is minimal. Additionally, most students commute to campus do to the expensiveness of the area it's in. The school worked great for my needs, but was not a place to go if you want a vibrant campus life.

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