Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Portland

November 24, 2020 • 3 Min Read

Portland is a place keen on higher education and learning. Spanning just over 145 square miles, this West Coast city offers students career training as well as two-year, four-year and graduate study options. Portland features traditional onsite learning, along with offsite studies through online degree programs. Enrollment at one local institution approaches six digits, counting full-time and part-time students, while smaller, specialized schools may serve under 200 degree-seekers in addition to community programs. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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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:

Concordia University – PortlandNot-for-profit – Private
Lewis and Clark CollegeNot-for-profit – Private
University of Western StatesNot-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.Find Online Programs Now »

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 University41,896$6,156Public
University of Portland4,532$33,640Not For Profit (Private)
Lewis & Clark College4,361$38,140Not For Profit (Private)
Oregon Health & Science University3,141$10,512Public
Concordia University-Portland2,945$24,900Not For Profit (Private)
Warner Pacific College2,196$17,660Not For Profit (Private)
Reed College1,536$42,540Not For Profit (Private)
Multnomah University1,116$19,990Not For Profit (Private)
Western Seminary871N/ANot For Profit (Private)
Pacific Northwest College of Art683$28,440Not For Profit (Private)
University of Western States639$8,710Not For Profit (Private)
National College of Natural Medicine574N/ANot For Profit (Private)

Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Portland

Portland Community College53,172$2,844Public

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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