Portland State University has approximately 28,000 students – roughly 22,500 undergraduates and 5,500 graduate students. About 62 percent of students are full time, approximately 78 percent are residents of Oregon, and 70 percent are transfer students. The University employs approximately 4,135 employees, including 1,853 research and instructional faculty, 2,399 academic professionals, managers, and staff, and 92 administrators. The faculty and most of the staff, including graduate assistants, are represented by various collective bargaining units. Collective bargaining plays a strong role in the university’s governance.
PSU employs adjunct faculty and researchers throughout its academic units who bring diversity and broad experience to their work at PSU. Adjuncts at PSU often teach the same courses as full-time faculty and teach a large share of the total credit hours.
PSU offers over 200 degree programs: 88 bachelor’s, 88 master’s, and 37 doctoral programs. Over the past 20 years, PSU has added doctoral programs and grown into the comprehensive urban research university operating today. Doctoral programs include community health, health systems policy, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science, applied psychology, engineering and technology management, mechanical engineering, and sociology.
PSU’s research funding has grown steadily from about $5M in 1990 to more than $65M in 2018-19. In addition, PSU’s Business Accelerator has fostered the growth of 38 businesses, 35 percent of which work directly with PSU’s faculty experts. Research synergies in areas such as medical devices and instrumentation, computer science, urban design and transportation, automation and artificial intelligence, and sustainability, support private-sector innovation and improve the quality of life of all Oregonians while helping attract members of the “creative class” to Portland. Social work research and evaluation have led to significant changes in national and state policy relative to child welfare, disability services, and youth service integration.
PSU drives its academic agenda in accordance with the following mission statement:
- We serve and sustain a vibrant urban region through our creativity, collective knowledge, and expertise.
- We are dedicated to collaborative learning, innovative research, sustainability, and community engagement.
- We educate a diverse community of lifelong learners.
- Our research and teaching have global impact.
Entering its 25th year, the University Studies (UNST) general education program is a nationally recognized four-year program designed to provide students a well-balanced educational foundation, which helps them become successful, thoughtful, analytical thinkers. The program provides learning environments and opportunities known to enhance learning, satisfaction, and retention for all students. PSU’s four-year general education program is required of all students, with the exception of those enrolled in Liberal Studies or the Honors Program. University Studies begins with Freshman Inquiry, a year-long course introducing students to different modes of inquiry and providing them with the tools to succeed in advanced studies and their majors. At the sophomore level, students choose three different Sophomore Inquiry courses, each of which leads into a thematically linked, interdisciplinary cluster of courses at the upper-division level. Finally, all students are required to complete a Capstone course which consists of teams of students from different majors working together to complete a project addressing a real problem in the Portland metropolitan community.