Colleges in Portland

Higher education is important to Portland. Among those over 25 years old, more than 34 percent of the population have some form of college or have attained a two-year degree. In that same age bracket, over 33 percent have gone further to complete four-year degrees or higher.

Two-year degree and certification seekers have 15 community colleges and training centers to choose from. Portland Community College (PCC), the largest postsecondary institution in Oregon, extends across three campuses and seven centers, with a total student count of over 90,000. PCC provides close to 60 career field programs, along with options to transfer to Portland universities. Programs range from computer information systems to paralegal studies.

For those seeking four-year and graduate degrees, Portland offers more than 20 universities and private institutions. Portland State University (PSU), with over 29,000 students enrolled, is the largest and most diverse public university in Portland. Among other options for four-year degrees and above are Oregon College of Art and Craft and Warner Pacific College. Schools with religious affiliations include University of Portland, a Catholic institution, as well as Multnomah University.

The University of Oregon, although based in Eugene, has a presence in the Portland metro community through its law school and other programs in fields such as architecture, art, journalism, business and design. True to Portland's unique culture, the U of O facilities blend the new and the old, with a green-tech LEED-certified building and research centers in historic Old Town Chinatown.

Below is a listing of some of the independent universities available in Portland:

School Type
Concordia University – Portland Not-for-profit – Private
Lewis and Clark College Not-for-profit – Private
University of Western States Not-for-profit – Private

Online Colleges in Portland, Oregon

For the diverse needs of Portland students, there are different options available for online learning. PCC’s Distance Learning, for instance, offers students degree and certificate-based programs. Although some programs require on-campus time, students can use this option in courses such as computer information systems e-commerce or fire protection. Along with Internet-based study, students also have options to participate via TV and Interactive Video Classroom.

Online learning doesn’t just happen at the associate level — for those seeking flexibility in four-year studies, PSU also offers online options. These programs range from criminology and criminal justice to a master’s degree in social work.

The University of Oregon instituted distance learning in 1996 and has a number of academic programs, such as a master's degree in applied information management. Fully online undergraduate degree programs are not currently available. Individuals not admitted to the school can take online classes through Community Education. Academic Extension opportunities encompass online courses, professional development workshops and programs for the community.

Leading Industries, Careers and Employers

Known for its scenic views and food carts, Portland's economy is similarly diverse. Industries that play heavily include:

  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities
  • Educational and Health Services
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional and Business Services

Graduates of Portland’s higher education institutions can explore career opportunities in these and other industries, including high tech firms in the so-called Silicon Forest. The city's top employers include the following:

  • Intel Corp.
  • Providence Health Systems
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Nike Inc.
  • Legacy Health System

For those looking to move forward in the Portland workforce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows top occupations such as these:

  • Construction
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Leisure and Hospitality

Graduates seeking employment in the Portland area can take advantage of the following resources:

Colleges & Universities in Portland

Colleges & Universities in Portland

Portland State University 41,896 $6,156 Public
University of Portland 4,532 $33,640 Not For Profit (Private)
Lewis & Clark College 4,361 $38,140 Not For Profit (Private)
Oregon Health & Science University 3,141 $10,512 Public
Concordia University-Portland 2,945 $24,900 Not For Profit (Private)
Warner Pacific College 2,196 $17,660 Not For Profit (Private)
Reed College 1,536 $42,540 Not For Profit (Private)
Multnomah University 1,116 $19,990 Not For Profit (Private)
Western Seminary 871 N/A Not For Profit (Private)
Pacific Northwest College of Art 683 $28,440 Not For Profit (Private)
University of Western States 639 $8,710 Not For Profit (Private)
National College of Natural Medicine 574 N/A Not For Profit (Private)

Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Portland

Portland Community College 53,172 $2,844 Public

Online Colleges in Portland