5 Reasons You Should get an On-Campus Job

With classes, homework and extracurriculars, it might seem like college is too busy to have a part-time job. However, most jobs on campus are built to work alongside your school schedule, and can be an amazing opportunity to build your resume, gain professional references, and of course, make a little extra money for coffee, donuts and pizza. You know, essentials.

Here’s our top five reasons you should consider getting an on-campus job.

1. A school-friendly schedule

Campus employers understand that you are a student first and an employee second. This means that they are flexible, making sure that you aren’t working during classes or on especially busy weeks like midterms or finals.

2. Opportunity for relevant experience

There are lots of opportunities for students to work on-campus in organizations that reflect their interests. Criminal Justice major? Campus Public Safety is hiring. Health Studies? The Rec Center is almost entirely staffed by students. Qualified students can even become tutors, helping their fellow students in disciplines ranging from math to music.

3. Build a competitive resume

Having a part-time job during your undergrad is a great way to boost your resume and make your job search easier after graduation, especially if you worked with a department that shared your interests.

4. Gain professional references

Both your co-workers and supervisors can be great references for internships and careers after graduation. On-campus employers want to see you succeed, and are happy to help you realize your passions in any way they can.

5. Make good money

And, of course, having a part-time job means making extra money which you can put towards school…or, alternatively, more fun things. A relaxing trip to the coast perhaps? Maybe seats at Blazers game?

If you’re ready to see what part-time (and it will always be part-time, students are limited to 20 hours per week for on-campus jobs) opportunities are available on campus, visit Advising and Career Services, where a team of trained experts can help you land that perfect position!

Remember that an on-campus job is not the same as a Work Study Award. For more information on Work Study, visit the Office of Financial Aid.


A List of College Admissions Terms You Need to Know

At times, it can seem like colleges are speaking a foreign language.

Freshman, Honors, Transfer, Liberal Arts, Matriculate — Hold on a second, let’s back up.

We know that there is a lot of language that you may be unfamiliar with in the admissions process. And while it’s probably better than speaking in emojis, we understand that we may need to elaborate on a few of the terms we use.

Allow us to teach you how to speak college and understand the meaning of these important terms.

Undergraduate (Scrabble score: 16).

Any student at PSU who is in the process of earning their bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s (Scrabble score: 16).

The degree awarded to students after completing their undergraduate coursework. With PSU’s Four-Year Degree Guarantee, you can get your Bachelor’s Degree as quick as possible.

Liberal Arts (Scrabble score: 13).

A general term for academic subjects such as literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social and physical sciences.

Freshman (Scrabble score: 16).

A first-year student at a university. Freshman at PSU often live in on-campus housing, participate in Orientation and take Freshman Inquiry courses.

Transfer (Scrabble score: 11)

Any student who is taking undergraduate courses at PSU after participating in courses at another college or university after they have graduated from High School.  Note, we understand some High School students can take college classes while still in High School. Any current High School student applying for admission to PSU will be considered a “Freshman Applicant” regardless of how many college classes they will have taken prior to graduating from High School. That student may not be considered a Freshman once they matriculate (see below for definition) based on the number of college credits they transfer in.

Honors College (Scrabble score: 19).

An academically-intense course of study at PSU focused around community. Honors College applications are filled out separately and have different requirements.

Lower Division (Scrabble score: 20).

Classes offered at the freshman or sophomore level. Generally, lower-division classes will be in the 100-200 range and are often classes that prepare you for your intended major. All community college courses are considered lower division.

Upper Division (Scrabble score: 21).

Classes offered at the junior or senior level. Generally, upper-division classes will be in the 300-400 range and are often classes that delve specifically into specific topics relating to certain major programs.

Quarter (Scrabble score: 16).

PSU divides the school year up into quarters (sometimes called “terms”), rather than semesters. Each quarter you will take new classes. Most freshman start in the fall quarter and graduation takes place at the end of the spring quarter.

Fall Quarter: September – December
Winter Quarter: January – March
Spring Quarter: March – June
Summer Quarter (optional): June – September

Registrar (Scrabble score: 10).

The registrar’s office at PSU keeps track of all student records. The registrar is also where you can change your major, order official transcripts and register for classes.

Matriculate (Scrabble score: 15).

You’re in! To matriculate means to be fully admitted and enrolled at PSU!

Whew! That’s a lot, but now you should be armed with all the knowledge you need to attack the application process. And of course, if you see something you can’t quite decipher, you can always contact us at the Office of Admissions and we can help you out.

You’re In! Come Celebrate at an Admitted Student Reception

The college admissions process is a thrilling time. You are charting a course for the rest of your life and discovering how you want to make an impact on the world. But it’s also hard work, and after all your effort we think you deserve a break.  

So come celebrate getting into PSU at an Admitted Student Reception! You, your fellow new Vikings, and their families can kick back and relax as we toast you, the next generation of innovators and difference makers.

Receptions are happening all over the country and sign up is FREE so register today!

Apart from being a ton of fun—think photo booths, tons of PSU swag, good food, music and new friends—Admitted Student Receptions are the perfect place to get answers to your burning questions about everything from housing to financial aid. Admissions staff will be on hand at every event and are excited to meet you!

“When I came to the Admitted Student reception I felt instantly comfortable,” says Rohi Gheewala, a third year biochemistry student from Hillsboro, Oregon. “It helped me learn about campus more, and I loved seeing how open-minded and diverse everything was.”

Let us welcome you into the PSU community and congratulate you on all your hard work at an Admitted Student Reception!

Sign Up Today

Multicultural Retention Services Empower PSU Students

At PSU, we understand that supporting students means helping them succeed at every opportunity. Each student is unique, and that means that they all need equally unique support.

That support can come from many different places.

Multicultural Retention Services (MRS) provides academic support, advising, referrals and advocacy to students who are first generation, low income and/or from diverse and multicultural backgrounds. MRS offers support to students through services for Latino/a, Asian, Pacific Islander, African, African American and Diversity Scholars.

Cultural, academic and social support takes many forms, and MRS has services designed to build a strong sense of community that is essential to successfully navigate PSU.

Who can benefit from these services at PSU?

Student mentors and staff help students navigate through these programs, the results of which come in the form of better grades, more financial certainty, a greater support network and a heightened graduation rate.

Learn more about MRS and see how the communities on campus are encouraging students to pursue their passions and get their degree.

What You Need to Know About Transfers Finish Free

We are committed to helping you graduate on time and with as little debt as possible. That’s why we created our new Transfers Finish Free program, which covers standard tuition and fees for Oregon residents while you work to get your degree, saving you thousands of dollars and helping you land that perfect career as soon as possible.

Here’s what you need to know about this exciting new program.


To qualify for Transfers Finish Free, you must:

  • Be a current resident of Oregon
  • Admissible to PSU as a transfer for the fall term (have at least 30 or more transferable quarter credits – 20 semester credits – earned after high school graduation)
  • Have a 2.5 cumulative unweighted GPA
  • Be eligible to receive a federal Pell grant as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Enrolled full-time at PSU with at least 12 credits

Important Deadlines

These are the dates you must add to your calendars so they don’t pass you by!

July 1st:

Submit the FAFSA (PSU FAFSA school code: 003216)
Apply to PSU

August 1st:

Deadline to submit final transcripts demonstrating a 2.5 cumulative, unweighted GPA

Steps to Apply

  1. Submit the FAFSA by July 1
              PSU FAFSA school code: 003216
    Accept all state and federal grants awarded
  2. Apply online to PSU by July 1
    Submit all required admission materials including official transcripts from all colleges attended
  3. Submit final transcripts and outstanding financial aid documents by August 1

Keeping the Award is Easy

Retaining your Transfers Finish Free award is easy, simply:

  • Complete the FAFSA each year by February 1
  • Remain eligible for the federal Pell grant
  • Enroll full-time each term (12-15 credits per term)
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher

Students who take 12 or more credits per term are considered full time. This program covers base tuition and mandatory fees for the lesser of four academic years or the completion of graduation requirements.

Covered Costs

To qualify, you must apply for federal and state grants. The program covers remaining standard tuition and mandatory fees after financial aid is applied.

Transfers Finish Free money does not cover room and board, books and supplies, transportation or personal expenses. Students are encouraged to apply for other grants and scholarships and to explore other options for paying for other expenses related to attending Portland State University.

Notification Details

Students will be notified that they are enrolled in the Transfers Finish Free program in their Financial Aid Award notification. Students who are enrolled in the program, but whose other grants and scholarships cover their Standard Tuition and Mandatory Fees may receive Transfers Finish Free money from Portland State University if their grants and scholarships do not cover the full cost of standard tuition and mandatory fees.

If you have questions about your eligibility or your financial aid award, contact askfa@pdx.edu.

For more information on this exciting new program, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page, or reach our to your PSU Admissions Counselor.



Tips for How to Choose a Major

What fuels you?

It’s a big question, and one that you don’t need to have all figured out right now. College is, above all things, an opportunity to explore your passions and discover for yourself what kind of impact you want to make on the world around you.

The first step in that journey is choosing a major. Picking a major can be  intimidating but what’s important to remember is that it’s not permanent. At Portland State you can double major, major and minor, or even change your major part way through your education.  At PSU there are more than 120 majors, minors and concentrations for you to choose from. We’ll help you find your passion.

So, how do you choose? Here’s our tips.

1.  Ask yourself: What are my interests?

For most students, choosing a major isn’t just about career options. Rather, the choice is based on what they are passionate about. Looking back on which subjects you loved in school, volunteer opportunities that influenced you, or even the jobs of your role models can help make the choice a lot easier. What’s most important is what YOU want, not what others want for you.

2.  Compare your interests with PSU’s list of degree programs.

PSU has tons of majors to choose from, and thinking about which programs will best match up with your interests is a good way to narrow down your choices.

Love comic books and graphic novels? Try our Comics Studies program, one of the few programs of its kind in the country. Into nature? Try Geology or Environmental Science. Want to help people? We have some of the most involved Social Work and Pre-Health programs in the Pacific Northwest.

3.  Get out of your comfort zone.

Because PSU offers so many different fields of study, there are thousands of unique, interesting classes to take regardless of major or degree track. Most majors on campus encourage exploring electives and courses outside of one specific degree program so that students can gain a broader range of experiences and knowledge.

4.  Don’t worry if you haven’t figured it out just yet.

Entering as an Undecided/Exploratory major is not something that will keep you from graduating in four years. It’s not uncommon for new students to be unsure of what they want to study, and we understand this. The University Studies programs provides Undecided majors the opportunity to explore classes in a wide range of majors, but never pressures students to choose a program if they are not ready.

5.  Check out Advising and Career Services.

The Office of Advising and Career Services is an on-campus resource specifically designed to help students find their passions and land careers that use the skills they learn in the classroom.

Counselors in Advising and Career Services can help put you in touch with programs on campus that share your interests, as well as help you get started on a specific degree track. They are there to help you, and meeting with them is covered by your student fees.

No need for anxiety! Picking a major doesn’t have to be a stressful decision for you. Whether you are ready to dive into your field of study and know exactly what your major is going to work towards, or if you need some more time and want to get in the rhythm of college life, Portland State is here to support you.


Explore PSU’s 120+ majors, minors and certifications!

Instant Viking: Host an Instant Admission Decision Event

Portland State admissions counselors will be conducting Instant Viking events at Oregon high schools this fall. These events are a great opportunity for eligible high school seniors to have their transcripts reviewed and get an instant admissions decision.

To request an Instant Viking event be held at your high school contact the appropriate admission counselor.

Requirements for All Students Participating in an Instant Viking Event:

  • Meet PSU’s Admissions Requirements. Students who do not meet PSU’s admissions requirements will be invited to separate application workshops run by PSU admissions representatives at their high school.
  • Complete the online PSU application prior to the event. When students reach the payment portion of the application they must select Fee Deferral and then submit their application.

High School Counselors will need to do the following prior to the event:

  • Sign up eligible students for the Instant Viking event.
  • Ensure all students have applied to PSU and have official transcripts that can be reviewed on the day of the Instant Viking event by PSU admissions representatives.

Learn more.

Tuition Equity for non-U.S. citizens and non-lawful permanent residents

At PSU, we are committing to making college available to everyone. Our goal is your success, plain and simple. That’s why we are proud to participate in Oregon’s Tuition Equity program.

In 2013, HB 2787 became law, granting eligible students ( those who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States) exemption from nonresident tuition if they meet specific criteria, meaning they will be assessed an in-state rate for tuition.

In order to qualify for the benefits provided by HB 2787, students must:

  • have studied in the United States for five years
  • have graduated from an Oregon high school (or received equivalent certification)
  • apply for federal individual taxpayer identification number or other official federal identification document
  • show intention to become a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident

Receiving in-state tuition under HB 2787 does not change a student’s residency status.

We want you to apply to PSU and start your path towards your bachelor’s degree and the career you’ve always wanted. To be considered for exemption from nonresident tuition under HB 2787, students should follow the application guidelines outlined on the PSU Admissions website.

Students who wish to be admitted under HB 2787 and want to apply for financial aid and scholarships (students admitted under HB 2787 can  apply for PSU scholarships) are encouraged to also fill out an Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA). The ORSAA functions much like its resident counterpart the FAFSA, except the ORSAA does not require the student to have a valid Social Security ID.

We believe that the opportunities college presents should be available to anyone with a passion to pursue their goals. That’s why we are happy to accept HB 2787 applicants and welcome students to campus with our Diversity and Multicultural Student Resource Centers and Retention Programs

Learn more about HB 2787 and Tuition Equity at PSU
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Resources

University Honors at PSU: Like Nothing Else

At PSU, we pride ourselves on being unique. We have a unique campus, unique students, and especially unique street food.

But more than any of that we have a unique approach to education. In no place does that stand out more than PSU’s Honors College.  

PSU’s nationally recognized Honors College has supported and inspired some of the university’s most high-achieving students for more than 40 years. Our Honors College offers the atmosphere of a small liberal arts school with the benefits of a large urban university, and is open to all majors.

Honors students learn to be both critical consumers and producers of knowledge, and gain the skills that prepare them to land rewarding opportunities after graduation. Honors students have gone on to remarkable careers in medicine, the arts and sciences, law, education and sustainability.

The academically intense curriculum of the Honors College prepares students for their senior thesis project. This project provides students the opportunity to work closely with a professor in their major to pursue an independent research project, which is publicly presented and published. You heard that right, published while still in your undergrad.

Students in the Honors program are connected early on with internships, fellowships and scholarships, allowing them to take their talents beyond the classroom and into Portland’s living laboratory and global contexts.

The Honors College is one of the most unique college experiences in one of the most vibrant cities in the country, and is waiting for you to join and flourish.

Learn more about Urban Honors and how to apply today!

Transferring to PSU is Easy

There are things in life that are hard: running a marathon, doing your taxes, building IKEA furniture…

Transferring to PSU from your community college is not one of them, though. In fact, transferring to PSU is pretty darn easy.

More than 50% of students at Portland State University enroll after taking classes at other colleges and universities, so we understand your needs and concerns as a transfer student.

PSU has expert Admissions Counselors specifically trained to help students transfer to PSU from community colleges and universities all over the country. Here are their tips tips for making the transfer process smooth and hassle-free.

1.  Take a look at our Transfer Degree Maps and meet with an Academic Advisor

In collaboration with several Oregon Community Colleges, we have created special transfer degree maps to help students navigate the transfer process. Students are encouraged to meet with their Academic Advisor to discuss their degree plan and see how their credits will transfer into their new degree. Speaking of…

2.  Check out Transferology

Make sure your community college credits transfer over to PSU by using Transferology, an interactive online tool where you can compare multiple universities to see where your earned credits will go the farthest.

3.  Meet with a Transfer Admissions Counselor

Transfer Admissions Counselors are here for one reason: to help you apply to PSU with the strongest application possible. Admissions Counselors are available year-round to answer questions and meet with students about their transfer application to PSU. Their goal is your success, period.

4.  Visit us at a Transfer Event

PSU is coming to you for Transfer Workshops! Admissions Counselors and Academic Advisors will be visiting Oregon community colleges and meeting with students. At Transfer Workshops, you can:

  • Apply to PSU and defer your $50 admission fee!
  • Speak with an academic adviser – all popular majors will be represented
  • Get your financial aid and scholarship questions answered
  • Learn how the credits you’ve already earned will transfer to PSU

Check the Transfer Workshop schedule to see when a workshop is coming to your school!

Wanna come up and see us? Transfer Open Houses are monthly on-campus events where students interested in transferring to PSU can meet with admissions and financial aid representatives, learn about PSU and tour our beautiful, 50 acre, downtown campus.

If you bring your official transcripts (from every college you’ve attended) and apply to PSU online 48 hours before you arrive, you’ll get an instant admission decision AND we’ll defer your $50 application fee! Check the Transfer Open House schedule and sign-up today.

5.  Fill out your FAFSA early on

In order to be considered for PSU scholarships and financial aid, you must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA also determines your eligibility for things like work study and federal grants. You can fill out the FAFSA at any stage in the admissions process, so it can be helpful to get it out of the way so that you can focus on other things.

The priority application deadline for the fall is February 1. Submitting your application by February 1 means that you will know as early as possible about financial aid and scholarships.

Apply to Transfer Now