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Found in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, the state of Oregon is the 27th largest state in the country based on population yet the 9th largest by land area. Oregon is home to over 100 accredited colleges and universities with a variety of schools to research. The public college system in Oregon is replete with top-tier schools of all sizes. You can find state colleges from Portland to Klamath Falls and Eugene to La Grande. Top ranked public colleges in Oregon include Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, and Portland State University.

2021 Best Public Colleges in Oregon

University of Oregon (UO), the state's first university, is located in the town of Eugene on a 295-acre campus surrounded by trees. A public research university, UO offers more than 260 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. There are more than 300 undergraduate majors to choose from, and overseas internship opportunities in more than 40 countries. UO also has  satellite campuses: Portland, which offers programs in journalism, architecture, digital arts, law, and more, and Charleston on the Oregon coast, the site of its Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB).  The UO Department of Physics also operates the Pine Mountain Observatory, a site in central Oregon that provides basic and advanced scientific research opportunities.

The UO faculty members are experts in their fields, and UO alumni include several Oregon governors, Nobel laureates, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

The UO Vice President has oversight of the university's research and graduate education programs, including identification of funding opportunities, research compliance, initiatives, research centers and institutes at the university, and more.

History

The University of Oregon was founded in 1872 as the state's first university. In 1876, the UO opened with five faculty members and 155 students enrolled. In 1878, the first five students graduated. In 1881, the university nearly closed due to overwhelming debt. In 1885, it received funding from Legislature, which helped keep the university open and thriving. In 1969, the UO became a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU).

Academics

The academic calendar for the University of Oregon has fall, winter, spring and summer "Terms." The Summer Term is broken up into 4-week or 8-week sessions. The Law School follows its own academic calendar, with fall and spring semesters.

Colleges and Schools

  • School of Architecture & Allied Arts
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Lundquist College of Business
  • College of Education
  • Graduate School
  • Robert D. Clark Honors College
  • School of Journalism & Communication
  • School of Law
  • School of Music and Dance

Student Life

The UO Outdoor Program provides opportunities for students to lead outdoor adventures throughout the year. Activities include kayaking in the nearby McKenzie and Willamette rivers, and snowboarding in the Cascade Mountains. Students may participate in many excursions to the Pacific Ocean, which is one hour's drive from campus.

There are hundreds of student clubs and organizations on the UO campus, and students can choose from a wide range of interest groups from the Ad Club to Zeta Phi Beta. Several local chapters of sororities and fraternities are active on campus, with many opportunities for joining a "sisterhood" or "brotherhood" at UO.

On campus housing is available in a range of options, along with a selection of meal plans and dining options.

Traditions

The school colors for the University of Oregon are green and yellow, with black as an accent color. The school mascot is the duck, and the UO athletic teams are nicknamed the "Oregon Ducks" or the Oregon "Fighting Ducks."

The OU Fight Song:

Oregon, our Alma Mater, we will guard thee on and on.
Fellows gather 'round and cheer her; chant her glory, Oregon.
Roar the praises of her warriors, sing the story, Oregon;
On to victory urge the heroes of our Mighty Oregon.
We will march, march, on down the field, fighting for Oregon.
Plough through the foeman's line their strength we'll defy.
We'll give a long cheer for our men.  We're out to win again.
OSU may fight to the end but we will win.

Athletics

The Oregon "Ducks" athletic teams compete in many intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field 

Women's Sports:

  • Acrobatics and Tumbling
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

In addition to its primary campus in Eugene, Oregon, the University of Oregon (UO) has three satellite campuses or learning sites:

  • Portland Campus - offering programs in journalism, architecture, digital arts, and law
  • Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) - providing hands-on marine biology courses in coastal Charleston, Oregon
  • Pine Mountain Observatory - providing scientific research opportunities in central Oregon

Community Life

Eugene, Oregon is considered to be the idyllic college town, and one of the best places to live in America. There are many trees and mountains in the area, providing a beautiful backdrop to a scenic campus, countless bike paths and a lively, cultured community.

Enrollment

22,644

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Oregon State University (OSU) is a top public research university located in the idyllic scenic town of Corvallis, Oregon. Just 90 miles south of Portland, OSU students are surrounded by 400 acres of the verdant green that Oregon is famous for, and within easy reach of the Cascades and the Pacific Coast.

OSU offers more than 200 undergraduate degree programs and 80 graduate degree programs. Twenty academic degrees are offered online. More than 3,000 faculty members serve students in 36 counties in Oregon through its many Extension offices. OSU has 12 colleges and 15 agricultural experiment stations. It also runs the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center in Newport and the OSU-Cascades center in Bend, Oregon.

OSU has many nationally recognized programs, including the highest ranking in the nation for conservation biology, and high marks for agricultural sciences, nuclear engineering, forestry, fisheries and wildlife management, community health, pharmacy and zoology. The university is very "green," using renewable energy and exercise machines in the student fitness center that are connected to the power grid.

There are many historic buildings on the OSU campus, including landmarks such as Weatherford Hall, the Memorial Union, and Benton Hall, among others.

History

Founded as Corvallis College in the 1868 as a Land Grant university, OSU also has a Sea Grant, a Space Grant and a Sun Grant. These designations are unique to OSU, which is also the only university in Oregon to hold top honors in both research and community engagement.

Academics

The academic calendar for Oregon State University follows the quarter format, with fall, winter, spring and summer quarters.

Colleges and Schools

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Forestry
  • Graduate School
  • Public Health & Human Sciences
  • Liberal Arts
  • Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Pharmacy
  • Science
  • University Honors College
  • Veterinary Medicine

Student Life

Oregon State University is known for its welcoming campus community, and there are more than 300 student clubs and organizations available for involvement. Clubs cover interests such as student government, sports, community service, socializing, environmental awareness, theater and music. Activities and events also abound, with guest lectures, concerts, festivals and other cultural programs available throughout the year. Greek life is very active at OSU, with several local chapters of fraternities and sororities on campus.

Student resources at OSU include recreational sports, student health services, disability access services, the OSU Bookstore, a Recreation Center, Craft Center, and on-campus housing and dining services.

Traditions

The official school colors for OSU are orange and black, with white as an accent color. The school mascot is "Benny Beaver," and the athletic teams are nicknamed the Oregon State "Beavers."

The traditional fight song for OSU is called "Hail to Old OSU":

OSU our hats are off to you,
Beavers, Beavers, fighters thru and thru,
We'll cheer thru-out the land,
We'll root for every stand,
That's made for old OSU.

Watch our team go tearing down the field;
Those of iron, their strength will never yield.
Hail! Hail! Hail! Hail!

Hail to old OSU.

OSU! Fight! B - E - A - V - E - R - S

The rally squad is excellent and their dance routines and cheers are a huge draw for fans at the Beavers' athletic events.

Athletics

The OSU "Beavers" athletic teams compete in several intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Wrestling

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

In addition to its primary campus in Corvallis, Oregon, OSU has 5 agricultural experiment stations throughout the state. It also runs the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center in Newport, Oregon, and the OSU-Cascades center in Bend, Oregon.

Community Life

The OSU campus is in Corvallis, a small town in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley. The town has been voted one of the nicest and safest places to live in the U.S., and the area boasts plenty of outdoor recreation. It is also within easy distance of the Oregon Coast and the busy city of Portland. Corvallis offers great dining, local wines, live music venues and a local farmers market. Students and visitors can stroll in one of the many beautiful city parks.

Enrollment

30,986

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Portland State University (PSU) is an urban public research university located in Portland, Oregon. PSU, or "Portland State," offers 99 bachelors degree programs, 89 master's degree programs, and 38 doctoral degree programs. Extended learning, distance learning and lifelong learning programs are also offered.

The 2012 edition of The Princeton Review's "Best Colleges" issue noted that Portland State offers one of the best undergraduate educations in the nation.  Many of Portland State's graduate degree programs also earn high marks in college reviews, with the most noteworthy programs being Environmental Policy and Management, City Management and Urban Policy, Rehabilitation Counseling, Social Work, and Public Affairs.

History

Portland State University was founded in 1946, just after the end of World War 11. The many war veterans returning to the area with the GI Bill at their disposal led to a high demand for higher education in Portland. The founding institution in Portland was called "Vanport Extension Center." It changed its name to "Portland State University" and moved to the South Park Blocks campus in the early 1950s. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1956. The first master's degrees were awarded in 1964, and the first doctoral degrees were awarded in 1972.

Academics

The academic calendar for Portland State University follows the quarter format, with fall, winter, spring and summer terms.

Colleges and Schools

  • School of Business Administration
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • School of Extended Studies
  • School of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • School of Social Work
  • College of Urban and Public Affairs

Student Life

Many student services are available at Portland State, including a Career Center, Child Development services, Campus Recreation, Health & Counseling, Legal Services, an Ombudsman Office, Student Affairs, a Native American Student and Community Center, and more.

Both on-campus and off-campus housing is available at Portland State, and students can contact the Housing Office for information. Many dining options are available on and around campus.

There are many student groups and organizations available as opportunities for involvement on campus, and students may also organize their own group. Additionally, many community groups wish to collaborate with student organizations through the Student Activities and Leadership office, and these collaborations offer more opportunities for service and leadership.

Traditions

Portland State's official mascot is the Viking, nicknamed "Victor E. Viking."

The school colors are green and white.

The Portland State motto is "Let knowledge serve the city."

Athletics

The Portland State "Vikings" compete in 15 intercollegiate sports in the Big Sky conference, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Community Life

Portland is a cosmopolitan city, surrounded by all the beauty of nature - mountains, rivers, oceans and woods. The perfect setting of city near mountains and water is a big draw for both students and visitors to Portland.

Students of Portland State who choose to live off campus can easily commute to school via carpool, streetcar, bus or bicycle.

Get more details here: http://pdx.edu/profile/snapshot-portland-state

Enrollment

25,711

Student to Faculty Ratio

21:1

Oregon Institute of Technology is a public institution located in Klamath Falls, OR and provides a large number of program options for students. Oregon Institute of Technology has an annual student enrollment of approximately 3,800.

Students may pick from a few areas of study, including but not limited to:

  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Psychology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Engineering
  • Computer And Information Sciences

The admissions process will begin with the submission of an application, transcripts, and standardized test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions staff. The majority of students at Oregon Institute of Technology scored within the range of 1310 to 1640 on the SAT exam. OIT has an acceptance rate of around 64% of which only 47% chose to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found at oit.edu.

The cost of tuition is different for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state residents pay close to $8,700 and nonresidents pay $24,000 per year. The cost of on-campus housing is estimated to be $5,000 for the year. Oregon Institute of Technology may help with costs by offering financial aid for students that are eligible as loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs.

The mascot for OIT is the "Hustlin' Owls", and they participate in intercollegiate athletic programs through the NAIA. Available athletic programs offered may include the following:

  • Baseball (NAIA Division II)
  • Basketball (NAIA Division II)
  • Soccer (NAIA Division II)
  • Softball (NAIA Division II)

Students should visit the school's http://www.oit.edu to view additional information.

Enrollment

5,335

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

SOU is a public institution located in Ashland, Oregon and provides a large number of program options for students. Approximately six thousand students are enrolled per year at SOU. Here is a list of some of the popular programs SOU offers:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Communications And Journalism
The admissions process will begin with the submission of an application, student records, and test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions officials. Most students admitted to SOU achieve an SAT score in a range of 890 - 1130, or an ACT score in a range of 19 - 25. Roughly 60 percent of all students that applied were accepted at Southern Oregon University, with 51 percent of those accepted choosing to enroll. More information from the admissions office can be found at sou.edu. The cost of tuition varies for in-state and nonresidents. In-state residents pay around $7,500 and out-of-state residents pay $21,000 for the year. Students enrolled at SOU may qualify for aid which is generally scholarships, grants, and loans. The SOU Raiders participate in several intercollegiate athletic programs, as part of the NAIA organization. Available sports offered:
  • Basketball (NAIA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NAIA Division II)
  • Football (NAIA Division II)
  • Soccer (NAIA Division II)
Students who wish to get more about this school can check out their website at http://www.sou.edu or simply request admissions information from this portal.  In either case, students can begin to assemble critical information about SOU as you work towards a decision-point about college.

Enrollment

6,278

Student to Faculty Ratio

26:1

Western Oregon University, a public institution, offers an assortment of educational opportunities, allowing students to choose which major is right for them. Located in Monmouth, Oregon, it offers a rural setting for students to study in. Nearly six thousand students enroll at Western Oregon University yearly.

Students may pick from several areas of study, including:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Recreation And Fitness Studies

To be considered for admissions, students may be asked to fill out an application, provide letters of recommendations, and submit test scores or other school records, which are then studied by the admissions committee. Students may take either the SAT or ACT exam scores to be considered for admissions to this school. A score in a range of 1240 to 1580 on the SAT, or 16 to 22 for the ACT is common among accepted students. 89% of those students that apply are admitted to Western Oregon State College, of which 47% choose to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found at wou.edu.

Tuition & fees at this school are different for in-state and nonresidents. In-state tuition costs close to $8,900 per year, while out-of-state tuition costing $22,000 per year. The price of on-campus housing is about $7,700 annually. Financial aid may be provided to students that meet the necessary requirements.

The Western Oregon State College Wolves participate in a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, overseen by the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered may include the following:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division II)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division II)
  • Football (NCAA Division II)

Students should visit the Western Oregon State College website to get a complete list of areas of study, programs, financial aid details, and more.

Enrollment

5,185

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

Eastern Oregon University is a public university that has a large selection of majors and degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in La Grande, Oregon, in a predominantly rural area. Approximately 4,100 students are enrolled per year at EOU.

Students may select from a few areas of study, including:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Liberal Arts And Sciences
  • Education
  • Recreation And Fitness Studies
  • Security And Protective Services

The admissions process begins with the submission of an application, transcripts, records, and standardized test scores, which are then reviewed by the admissions staff. Most students at EOU scored in a range of 860 - 1080 on the SAT. Roughly 70 percent of all students that applied were accepted at EOU, with 59 percent of those accepted choosing to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found at eou.edu.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is close to $7,800 for the year. Tuition prices may change for a variety of reasons, and therefore students should visit the school's net price calculator to identify their cost of attendance. Some students at Eastern Oregon University may qualify for financial aid, which is typically provided as grants or student loans.

Athletic programs are available at EOU through the NAIA, allowing students to compete in intercollegiate athletics. Sports available may include but not limited to:

  • Basketball (NAIA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NAIA Division II)
  • Football (NAIA Division II)

Enrollment

2,978

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Areas of Study at Oregon State Universities

The public 4-year universities found in Oregon provide students with an array of graduate and undergraduate degrees. Students looking for a strong, reputable degree inscience,technology,engineering, andmathcan find several programs to pursue. On the other hand, state universities provide students with professional degree programs such asnursing,medical school,law,pharmacy, andveterinary medicine. Hundreds of degree programs help support a diverse economy throughout the states employment base. Students seeking to make a difference in varying sectors of the economy have an opportunity to do so via formal educational paths.

Resources for College-Bound Students in Oregon

How do you find the best state university in Oregon? The answer is rooted in what is best for you instead of a general response. Take the time to outline your personal priorities, goals, and objectives to determine what direction makes the most sense for you. Assemble a list of schools that align with your priorities by using MatchCollege and gather information from those institutions. Utilize ourCollege Admissions Guideto narrow down your options and schedule a visit to the schools on your short list. The best college for you will emerge after this process and set you up for success using focus and determination.

-2

The 6 schools listed below are part of the -2 system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

New Hope Christian College - Eugene (EOU) in La Grande, OR

Visit the website for New Hope Christian College - Eugene at http://www.newhope.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $16,000 per year
Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in Portland, OR

Visit the website for Oregon Institute of Technology at http://www.oit.edu

Virtual Campus Tour of Oregon Institute of Technology

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $11,000 per year for state residents ($31,000 Nonresidents)
Pacific Northwest College of Art (UO) in Eugene, OR

Visit the website for Pacific Northwest College of Art at http://pnca.edu

Virtual Campus Tour of Pacific Northwest College of Art

Program Details

  • More Than 20,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $42,000 per year
Southwestern Oregon Community College in Ashland, OR

Visit the website for Southwestern Oregon Community College at http://www.socc.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $6,000 per year
University of Oregon in Corvallis, OR

Visit the website for University of Oregon at http://www.uoregon.edu

Program Details

  • More Than 20,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $13,000 per year for state residents ($38,000 Nonresidents)
University of Portland in Portland, OR

Visit the website for University of Portland at http://www.up.edu

Program Details

  • More Than 20,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $50,000 per year

Notes: Tuition & fee amounts are for both Oregon in-state residents and out of state students, unless noted otherwise. The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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