Portland State University Reviews

  • 127 Reviews
  • Portland (OR)
  • Annual Tuition: $29,706
86% of 127 students said this degree improved their career prospects
91% of 127 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 8/6/2020
  • Degree: Social Work - Campus
"I graduated during the pandemic, which really impacted my last quarter in the program. I'm not going to focus as much on that, just because I don't think it's a normal circumstance and may not be reflective of the program. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend the MSW program to anyone and would recommend exploring other options. I was consistently disappointed every quarter with the class options, and a lot lacked a focus in social justice within the curriculum (which I think is a key part of doing social work). As someone that took time off to work before returning to get my MSW, most of the classes felt repetitive and didn't offer much new information besides a focus on theory. As for the practicum and internship options, I felt like the options I had were limited and left me in a position I wasn't interested in. Even in the Children, Youth, and Families concentration I felt there was a large focus on therapy (which is fine) but that my practicum and the options I'd been provided were not clinical or therapy based. This led to a disconnect between my internship experience and what I was learning from class, and also left me confused about what I wanted to do because I had never been interested in going into therapy or clinical services. I felt like the clinical/therapy route was pushed throughout the program and left me feeling lost upon graduation because I then was lacking therapy experience but being told that was what I 'should be' pursuing. Maybe if you wanted to do therapy, that would be a better focus, but I didn't feel like my concentration allowed for a broad exploration of the many roles you can have with children, youth, and families. Overall, I have left this program feeling disappointed and unprepared for employment. Paired with the pandemic, I've never felt so unsure about even continuing in social work, and unfortunately a lot of that came from my program experience and where it has left me. Please consider what you really want to be doing and explore other options, the price is better than other places, but I was hoping for experience vs paying for a piece of paper regardless of skill. Good luck."
  • Reviewed: 1/17/2020
  • Degree: Social Sciences
"PSU is a mess. Right as I came to graduatate, they applied my final course as a general elective - it should have applied towards what they call Clusters. In the degree audit, the course specifically is listed as applying. Despite their own audit stating the credit applied, they delayed my graduation and made me petition to have the course apply. I am still dealing with this. I know of 6 other people in my circle of peers that had this exact experience as well. I do not recommend this school. Beyond this issue, the professors in most departments are subpar and it’s very clear the professors from several departments are doing the bare minimum that they have to per course because despite tuition continuing to skyrocket, the university pays many of the professors less than what I make in my entry level tech job."
Arika Sandbach
  • Reviewed: 12/19/2019
  • Degree: Biology
"Portland State University has a large variety of degrees that people can work towards earning. They offer a large number of classes online and their staff is friendly and willing to help. I have a degree in biology from Portland State University and I have some professors that really stood out to me while I was there. Most of my professors were very knowledge and ready to help when students needed them. It is a great University to attend if you are looking to work and go to school as well."
Jessica Tyner-Mehta
  • Reviewed: 8/27/2019
  • Degree: English
"It has been almost 15 years since receiving my undergraduate degree, and I'm sure a lot has changed since then. However, PSU was your typical big state school with a commuter campus. There are endless opportunities for those who wish to seek them out, but it's also easy to get "lost" here, especially for first-generation students or those who might otherwise struggle coming from a background that did not prep them for higher ed."
Courtney Allen
  • Reviewed: 8/9/2019
  • Degree: Performing Arts
"Portland States theater program is small and intimate. It has amazing mentors that will get to know your person and help you obtain your visions both educational and personal, for they are interrelated. You will have small class sizes and be able to learn and move and create in an environment that is equitable and non judge mental. The ego here is basically non existent. It was also a wonderful experience to have colleagues that were a variety of ages from 18 to 55 in my classes. This allowed a beautiful peer to peer mentorship. The building is newly renovated and amazing, you have 4 theaters surrounding you in less than 1 mile radius. You are in the heart of the creative hub in Portland. It makes you able to see yourself succeeding and finding work even while you are in school. It is a program that feels more independent as it is an inner city school, campus is gorgeous with the park blocks around you and lots of culture, but it inst a traditional college experience. Its for the driven, the creative and the ones who are open to connect with their city and college. Its wonderful as there isnt much culture shock, you can picture your life flowing from university to your own very easily and this is extremely healthy and a plus to be able to successfully transition your life from school to your vision and passion in the field."
Kyler Zimick
  • Reviewed: 7/21/2019
  • Degree: Public Health
"My time at Portland State University was amazing. I began taking classes on campus, as I had a job that allowed me to work during the day, and take classes in the afternoon and evening. All of the resources available on campus made for my time there very enjoyable. The atmosphere on campus is very relaxing, and allows students to learn in an environment that is comfortable and supportive. The staff at PSU was phenomenal. Any and every questions or concerns I may have had were answered in a timely manner, and gave me a sense of relief. The online campus was even more amazing. As a husband and father, the last year of my degree I had to complete online, because of my hectic schedule. The online portal was so easy to navigate and use. I definitely wouldnt have been able to finish my degree without the online program. It allowed for me to work, and provide for my family, while being able to complete my degree without any extra burdens. I highly recommend anyone to attend Portland State, as all of my experiences were top notch. I am very fortunate to have chosen to pursue my degree at Portland State, and wish anyone the best of luck in their pursuits of a higher education there."
Iris Teeuwen
  • Reviewed: 3/31/2019
  • Degree: Anthropology
"I loved my time at Portland State University. The location of the school sits in northern Portland on the park blocks. The campus has a great combination of academic and city life. I spent most of my time in the library studying, which is a tall building with a fantastic view and plenty of quiet places to work. I really enjoyed the quality of instructors in the departments I was a part of. They were well rounded instructors with insightful career histories that were inspirational to model after. I majored in Anthropology and minored in philosophy. Both departments offered support in all areas of my education. It should be noted that I was a transfer student and same in after studying at community college for two years. Portland State University made the transfer very easy, there was sperate orientation days for transfer students to give us only the information a transfer student would need. The school would find a way to make sure most, if not all, of my credits transferred in. there were plenty of additional resources for students that may need it. There was a career center, writing center, women resource center, etc. the ones listed are more of the ones I utilized, but there were lots more. There were plenty of nonacademic activities that are fun to participate in, sports, parties, clubs, etc. I had chosen this school because it was close by to where Iived and it was easy to commute to. I am happy with the time I spent there and look back on my memories with fondness."
  • Reviewed: 3/29/2019
  • Degree: Anthropology
"The anthropology program at PSU worked out well for me, as I found a professor doing the kind of work that I wanted to do. While there is no linguistic anthropology here, the social/cultural, physical/biological, and archaeology focuses are fully represented. They also have applied anthropology, which is my interest and focus, which many anthropology programs do not have."
Griffin Nielson-Smith
  • Reviewed: 3/16/2019
  • Degree: Office Management
"Receiving my bachelors of science at Portland State University was a pleasure and I was lucky to be able to do so. The university requires you to take University studies courses throughout your four years at the university, which I found helpful as a means of increasing your knowledge around different subjects that were't related to your major, but did not make financial sense when you had to pay for courses that weren't required for your major. Overall, PSU was a great school and I'd encourage out of state students to gain residency or taking core classes at Portland Community College to avoid the detrimental costs associated with out of state tuition at the university."
Vicki DAlessandro
  • Reviewed: 12/30/2018
  • Degree: Social Work
"Instructors are very approachable and care about the future of social Work. The advisors were always willing to provide support and guidance. The time I spent in this program was very useful and rewarding. I learned so much and implemented the knowledge I gained. I highly recommend this program!"
Mayah Nyblom
  • Reviewed: 8/9/2018
  • Degree: Sociology
"Portland State University has some of the most amazing instructors and faculty that were an intrinsic part of my decision to pursue a master's degree. Their online format was easy to navigate and the feedback from instructors was on-point. The schools community of students and staff are very inclusive and appreciate diversity."
Sarah S.
  • Reviewed: 12/30/2017
  • Degree: Speech Pathology
"Although there are not many funding options for graduate students, there are many opportunities available at PSU on campus and in the community through clinic placements and externships. I am so excited to travel to Ecuador this summer for the SPHR study abroad program."
Gavin Zmuda
  • Reviewed: 11/7/2017
  • Degree: Marketing
"I am currently a freshman attending PSU and it had been quite a big change of pace. I moved from a town of about 1,200 people into downtown Portland to attend here and I was a bit overwhelmed at first. But after living in the city for over a month it really grows on you and you find yourself navigating with ease. The schooling is great with most classes being of a small size, maximizing student/teacher interaction. Overall I have enjoyed my time at PSU but I would only recommend PSU to those serious about their degrees and who enjoy city life."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Social Work
"The advanced standing program was immensely helpful. I appreciate the school's desire to continue to grow and change. They have a lot of practicum options but it takes student being a strong advocate to get the best fit."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: History
"Diverse student body, major university in state of Oregon, quality degree programs"
Heather Rafia
  • Reviewed: 7/1/2017
  • Degree: Healthcare Management
"Portland State University has a really great Master's in Public Health program. I feel like, because I was a graduate research assistant, I was used more to help my instructor/boss and not placed in a situation where my future employment was the first consideration. Looking back on my experience now I would have been more insistent on having work experience while in my time of study rather than waiting until I graduated and struggling to make connections. Overall the school offers a wide variety of degrees and the professors are generally interested in what they teach. The campus is in the middle of downtown Portland and is very spread out which leaves it feeling less like a college community and more like just another part of the city. It is not very easy to connect with other students and the student population is usually either adults returning to school or resent high school graduates that live off of campus."
Jaime Crist
  • Reviewed: 6/23/2017
  • Degree: MBA
"My experience with the faculty and the program I was enrolled in was mostly positive. My main issue with the university is the incredibly high differential tuition rates. Receiving my graduate degree has cost twice as much as I initially thought it would, mostly due to misinformation I received from the Financial Aid office. Dealing with this office has resulted in some of the worst customer service I've ever experienced. The wait time to speak with someone is always 30+ min. When you do reach a representative, they're often rude and rushing to get you off the phone. The information I've received on multiple occasions has turned out to be blatantly false and inaccurate, resulting in many instances of financial hardship when funds I was relying on didn't come through. Every time I get a question "answered" by one of their FA reps, I later find out the information was wrong. When I call to dispute charges to my account of missing refunds, I'm basically told "sorry, can't help you." They have absolutely no regard for students who rely on these services to get by. If you plan on relying on financial aid while you receive your education, then I beg you, go somewhere other than PSU."
  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Architecture
"The program is good if you are looking to learn the more artistic side of architecture. If wanting to learn more about the details and how things are built, might want to look elsewhere."
Marta Szabatin
  • Reviewed: 4/19/2017
  • Degree: Environmental Science
"I have received my Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Sciences Program in 2016 Spring. The institution is well-equipped, and there is a strong focus on research. The ESM Program that I completed is very well developed, it contains many practical classes, labs, and real-life projects that well prepares you for your future career."
Darryl D.
  • Reviewed: 3/31/2017
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"The Spanish Section of the World Languages and Literatures Department at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon offers an intellectually-stimulating graduate program. All of the professors hold PhD's in their respective fields and cover an array of areas of specializations within Spanish literature. One of most valuable aspects of this particular program is the unequivocal support and guidance the faculty provides to its students."