Top 10 Colleges and Universities in Oregon [2023 Guide]
Located on the west coast of America, south of Washington State and north of California, the state of Oregon is known for its rugged coastline, rolling mountains and verdant forests.
The ninth-largest state in the US, Oregon is home to more than fifty colleges and universities, including seven public universities. They are spread throughout the state, which includes the following notable areas and towns/cities:
- Portland; the biggest city, and an alternative and creative hub which is widely regarded as one of the coolest and most liberal cities in America.
- Salem; the state capital, which still maintains a small-town feel.
- Eugene; a lively, college community that embraces the Great Outdoors.
- Willamette Valley; the fertile heart of Oregon’s social, political and cultural life.
- Central Oregon; based around the popular recreation hub of Bend.
- Ashland; a liberal hamlet which is known for its annual Shakespeare Festival.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the top higher education institutions in the ‘beaver’ state, and the kinds of programs and majors that they offer.
Table of Contents
1.University of Oregon
Image source: University of Oregon
- The University of Oregon is a public institution that was founded in 1876. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,602 (fall 2021).
- Nestled in the lush Willamette Valley between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the University of Oregon, is located in Eugene, a town that is known for its strengths in the arts and outdoor activities.
- The UO’s nine schools and colleges offer experiential learning opportunities and more than 300 undergraduate programs. Popular undergraduate majors include business and social sciences, and students can also major in areas such as data science, neuroscience and physics.
- The university’s main campus is located across 81 buildings and set in 295 leafy acres of land, where most undergraduates live during their first year.
Tuition and Fees
In-state tuition and fees are $14,516; out-of-state tuition and fees are $41,700 (2022-23).
- #105 in National Universities (tie)
- #67 in Best Colleges for Veterans (tie)
- #206 in Best Value Schools
- #263 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
- #48 in Top Public Schools (tie)
2. Oregon State University
Image source: Oregon State University
- Oregon State University is a public institution that was founded in 1868. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 27,562 (fall 2021), and the campus size is 422 acres.
- Oregon State University is located in Corvallis, about 90 minutes south of Portland and an hour drive from the Pacific coast.
- Oregon State, often called OSU, is the state's largest public research university, which specializes in studies of marine sciences, forestry, sustainable food systems and more.
- At Oregon State students can explore more than 200 academic programs, and graduate students can choose from more than 100 master's programs, including those in the schools of business, engineering and education.
Tuition and fees
In-state tuition and fees are $12,799; out-of-state tuition and fees are $34,339 (2022-23).
- 151 in National Universities (tie)
- #150 in Best Value Schools
- #59 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
- #72 in Top Public Schools (tie)
- #68 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
3. George Fox University
Image source: George Fox University
- George Fox University is a private institution that was founded in 1891. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,564 (fall 2021), its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 108 acres.
- George Fox University is Oregon’s nationally recognized christian college, committed to providing students with personal attention, global opportunities to learn and serve, and a supportive community that encourages academic rigor and spiritual growth.
- George Fox offers more than 60 undergraduate programs and 14 master’s and doctoral degrees on the university’s campus in Newberg, Oregon, and at teaching sites in Portland and Redmond, Oregon.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are $39,540 (2022-23).
- #263 in National Universities (tie)
- #123 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
- #59 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
Image source: Reed College
- Founded in 1908 in southeast Portland, Oregon, Reed College is a coeducational, independent liberal arts and science university.
- Reed is known for its high standards of scholarly practice, creative thinking, and engaged citizenship.
- Reed students pursue the bachelor of arts degree in 40 majors and programs. The curriculum includes a yearlong humanities course, broad distribution requirements, and a senior thesis.
- A 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small conference-style classes allow faculty members to truly mentor students and engage with them in individual discussions.
- Downtown Portland is about 5 miles away from campus, and students have excellent access to the Great Outdoors, with the ocean and the ski slopes both in easy reach. Skiers and snowboarders can even take advantage of the Reed ski cabin, a lodge in Mount Hood where students, alumni and faculty can stay.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are $62,730 (2021-22).
- #72 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)
- #16 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
- #13 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
- #53 in Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects (tie)
5. Portland State University
Image source: Portland State University
- Portland State University is a public institution that was founded in 1946. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 17,753 (fall 2021). Its setting is urban, and the campus size is 50 acres.
- Portland State University, or PSU, is located in downtown Portland. The university offers a variety of housing options to students, and there are more than 100 student clubs and organizations on campus.
- Portland State University grants graduate degrees through a variety of academic departments, including the School of Business Administration, the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Graduate School of Education.
Tuition and fees
In-state tuition and fees are $9,006; out-of-state tuition and fees are $24,126 (2022-23).
- #285 in National Universities (tie)
- #41 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
- #63 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
- #146 in Top Public Schools (tie)
- #165 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie) At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
6. Pacific University
Image source: Pacific University
- Pacific University is a private institution that was founded in 1849. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,741 (fall 2021).
- It is the number 1 private research institute in the Pacific Northwest (according to figures collected and reported by the National Science Foundation).
- With four campuses in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Pacific benefits from the intimate learning environment of a small liberal arts college but the rigorous scholarship of a premier institution.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are $52,072.
- #194 in National Universities (tie)
- #134 in Best Value Schools
- #186 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
Forest Grove, Oregon
7. Southern Oregon University
Image source: Southern Oregon University
- Our partner, Southern Oregon University is a contemporary, public liberal arts university which offers a varied range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.Students at SOU can study more than 30 majors and about 100 academic programs in the College of Arts and Science, as well as in the schools of business and education.
- SOU has a reputation as a forward-thinking institution that values creativity, critical-thinking and practical skills.
- It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,389 (fall 2021), and the campus size is 175 acres.
- The Ashland region is surrounded by mountains, rivers, forests and beautiful lakes.
- Ashland is known as a Cultural Hub within Oregon and is home to the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Tuition and fees
In state tuition and fees are $11,142 (2021-22).
- #64 in Regional Universities West (tie)
- #76 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
- #32 in Top Public Schools (tie)
Image source: Willamette University
- Willamette University is a private institution that was founded in 1842. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,237 (fall 2021), and the campus size is 61 acres.
- Located in Oregon’s state capital, Salem, Willamette University is known for being the oldest university in the Western United States. The 69-acre campus is located directly across from the Oregon State Capitol and is less than an hour from Portland.
- Along with being the oldest university in the West, the Willamette University College of Law is the oldest law school in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, Willamette's Atkinson Graduate School of Management is one of only two MBA programs in the world accredited for both business administration and public administration.
- Willamette University's sustainability efforts are also renowned. The National Wildlife Federation has recognized the university as first in the US (among over 1,050 schools) for practicing the most sustainability activities, many of which are student-initiated efforts.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are $45,428 (2022-23).
- #76 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)
- #88 in Best Value Schools
9. Lewis & Clark College
Image source: Lewis & Clark College
- Lewis and Clark College is a private institution that enjoys a beautiful natural setting in 137 wooded acres in Portland’s southwest hills.
- It offers well-stocked libraries, award-winning green buildings, and outstanding athletic facilities.
- It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,126 (fall 2021).
- Students and faculty throughout all three of Lewis & Clark’s schools—the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and the School of Law—pursue new ways of knowing by combining classic liberal learning with pioneering collaboration.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are $57,404 (2022-23).
- #94 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)
- #55 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
- #70 in Best Value Schools
- #40 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
10. University of Portland
Image source: University of Portland
- The University of Portland, also known as UP, is a Catholic school in northwest Oregon that was founded in 1901.
- It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,587 (fall 2021), and the campus size is 108 acres.
- Undergraduates can choose from about 40 majors for their bachelor’s degree, and UP offers nearly 15 graduate programs, including those in the Pamplin School of Business and the School of Nursing.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are $51,812 (2022-23).
- #1 in Regional Universities West
- #3 in Best Undergraduate Teaching
- #8 in Best Value Schools
- #35 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
- #93 in Nursing (tie)
Other Universities in Oregon
Other Oregon colleges include:
- Warner Pacific University (Portland)
- Bushnell University (Eugene)
- Linfield University (McMinnville)
- Corban University (Salem)
- Western Oregon University (Monmouth)
- Oregon Institute of Technology (Klamath Falls)
- Multnomah University (Portland)
- Eastern Oregon University (La Grande)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is the number one college in Oregon?
The highest ranked university in Oregon (within the US News and World Report’s ‘National Universities’ category) is the University of Oregon. As detailed above though, each university or college has its specific strengths and character, so which university you deem ‘best’ for you really depends on the type of institute and major you are considering.
Q2. What is the newest university in Oregon?
The University of Oregon’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health will be moving to the former Concordia University campus in northeast Portland this autumn. It will be the newest university campus in the state.
Q3. What are the top majors at University of Oregon?
The most popular majors at University of Oregon include: Business/Commerce, General; Advertising; Social Sciences, General; Psychology, General; Economics, General; Physiology, General; Public Relations/Image Management; Political Science and Government, General; Biological and Physical Sciences; and Journalism.
Q4. Which school is better: University of Oregon or Oregon State?
In terms of rankings, the University of Oregon is more highly ranked than Oregon State University (according to U.S. News & World Report), but ultimately, which you consider ‘better’ depends on what you are looking for in a university.
The University of Oregon is bigger and has a larger student body, whereas OSU boasts a very pretty (albeit smaller) campus. OSU is only a long hour’s drive from Portland, which makes it appealing to some.
The University of Oregon is the flagship public research university, and has more liberal arts majors in addition to STEM related majors. OSU is known for its marine science, agriculture, engineering and geoscience programs, among others, and has some great facilities, including a laboratory for wave research and a center for genome research and biocomputing.
One Step Closer to Studying in Oregon
At Kings, we have designed our GO (Guaranteed Outcome) programs specifically to offer streamlined paths to the very best universities in the USA.
Students begin their university life at one of our partner schools, then with on-the-ground guidance and support from experts, apply as a transfer student in their second or third year to a Top 50 or Top 100 school. It’s from one of these gold-standard institutions that they graduate.
Our GO:Oregon program enables students to graduate from the nationally ranked University of Oregon.
- Students complete the first two years of their undergraduate degree program at Southern Oregon University. They’ll have a Conditional Letter of Acceptance from the University of Oregon before they arrive.
- They take degree classes with American students from day one. There’s no 'Year 0'.
- We’ll help develop their student profile to become an 'Oregon-ready' student.
- Kings expert University Advisors on campus will support them all the way. They make the transfer process straightforward.
- They’ll transfer after 2 years to the University of Oregon (upon meeting requirements on the CLA.), from where they will graduate.
If you would like to receive more detailed information about our programs and locations, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.