Education that Matters
Your success at Portland State starts in University Studies, a powerful learning experience that emboldens you to create a more meaningful future for yourself and others.
In University Studies, you won’t do busy work in a big lecture hall to check off your general education requirements. Instead, you'll empower girls at a rock & roll camp, restore beaver habitat to learn about environmental justice, or study sustainable food systems while learning to farm.
You’ll choose a real-world issue that interests you — such as design, pop culture or the environment — and examine it from multiple angles. You’ll still learn important core subjects like science, history and writing, but in a way that lifts you up and makes you feel like you're part of a movement.
Because every time your success inspires others, you change the world.
From your first day on campus, you will connect your classes to your community. You will ask big questions and work with your classmates to find answers. You will learn to think critically, communicate clearly, adapt to new situations, and work with people unlike yourself — skills employers value. Our small class sizes, responsive faculty and trained peer mentors will ensure you always have someone to go to for help.
Make a difference
It all leads up to your Senior Capstone, a project that combines your passion and your education to help solve a real community problem. You will feel inspired, supported and challenged to grow as a student. You will learn about yourself and be a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s a powerful learning experience that will stay with you long after you graduate. This is one of the reasons PSU is recognized as a College of Distinction.
University Studies 4-year pathway
Find your community
Form tight bonds with your classmates and peer mentor in a small, year-long class on a provocative theme.
(Freshman Inquiry) 15 credits
Sophomore Inquiry & Junior Cluster
Explore your interests
Choose three topics and study them from all angles. Ask big questions and work together to find answers.
Solve a real-world problem
Apply all you’ve learned in a Senior Capstone project that addresses a community challenge.
(Senior Capstone) 6 credits
High School Inquiry
Get a Jump Start on College
Senior Inquiry brings PSU’s University Studies and its award-winning nationally-recognized interdisciplinary pedagogy to area high schools.