Welcome to PSU

Welcome to the Fall 2017 term at Portland State University. Whether you’re a new or returning student, PSU has all sorts of resources available - many of them new or changed. Here’s a guide to get you started:

Getting Around PSU

PSU Mobile App – Free, and available for Apple and Android devices as well as online at m.pdx.edu, the app has a campus directory and map, event listings, news, Viking schedules, dining options and more.

PSU Online Interactive Campus Webmap – This cool interactive tool lets you see real-time arrivals for TriMet buses, MAX and streetcars; check computer availability in labs, take self-guided tours, and much more. Look for buildings, departments, resource centers, parking and transit, computer labs -- and coffee.

Virtual campus tour - Photos, videos and information about buildings all over campus, including details about accessibility.

The New Karl Miller Center

Looking for a place to sit and study? PSU’s School of Business has a new building, the Karl Miller Center, at 615 SW Harrison Street (across 6th Avenue from the Urban Plaza). An open atrium criss-crossed by bridges has flexible study spaces, visible here in an interactive 3D view.

Financial Info

Your payment for tuition and fees, on-campus housing and other expenses is due by Friday, October 6.

The PSU Payment Plan lets you divide your account balance into three monthly installments for no extra cost. For fall, you need to sign up for the program by October 6; payments will be due on October 6, November 6 and December 6.

Financial Aid - The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can help you apply for financial aid programs. For questions about your financial aid, you can email askfa@pdx.edu, or you can schedule an appointment with a counselor.

Find a job - Advising and Career Services offers information about jobs and internships, on and off campus, plus resources and guidance on majors, grad schools and careers. PSU has a new career portal called Handshake, which will connect you to over 200,000 employers, including all the Fortune 500 companies.

Financial Wellness Center - Finances can be stressful; the Financial Wellness Center can help you learn to manage your money and make good financial decisions. The center presents free events on subjects such as financial literacy and salary negotiation.


PSU Health Insurance – PSU’s health insurance plan starts up automatically for all students taking five more more credits, unless you request a waiver. The plan will cost $875 for the whole term. If you already have health insurance and don't need this coverage, request a waiver by Sunday, October 8.

Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) – Any PSU student taking five or more credit hours is eligible for SHAC's health, counseling, and dental services at University Center Building, 1880 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 200. SHAC also has a Mind Spa, which offers biofeedback, light therapy and a massage chair.


PSU students, even commuters, can buy meal plans through PSU Eats -- but there are also many other food options available on campus.

Two new dining locations are opening this fall on the first floor of Smith Student Union: Smith’s Kitchen and Smith’s Place. Smith’s Kitchen is a renovated food court, with choices that include Portland favorites Stumptown Coffee and Cha Cha Cha. Smith’s Place will serve Smith Teamaker, Roman Candle Baking goods and sandwiches, and Salt & Straw ice cream to go.

Food Carts - Portland is famous for its food carts, and there are plenty of those in the vicinity of PSU, including on the Park Blocks, and in the large pod on 4th Avenue between College and Hall, across from the Engineering Building. ("Carts" are the individual businesses, which are clustered together in "pods.")

Portland Farmer's Market - One of Portland's largest and best year-round farmers' markets happens every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at SW Park and Montgomery.

Harvest Share - Thanks to a partnership between PSU and the Oregon Food Bank, free fresh fruits and veggies and available on the second Monday of every month at 12 noon, outside Shattuck Hall on the Park Blocks, rain or shine. First-come, first-served. (Bring your own reusable bag.) You can also volunteer to help, and get first-pick of the produce as a thank you for serving.

PSU Food Pantry - Any PSU student with a current ID can get five free items per day, regardless of need; the pantry does not require paperwork or information. Open Monday-Friday, 12:30-2:30 in SMSU 047A.

You can learn about more food resources from the Committee for Improving Student Food Security.


Portland State Campus Rec offers fitness classes, aquatics, rec clubs, and campus-wide health challenges. The first challenge this year is Walktober: Keep track of how many steps you walk every day during October to earn incentives and win prizes.

Look into PSU's famous Outdoor Program, which offers outdoor trips and rents equipment, including tents, rafts, kayaks, skis and more.


Portland is considered one of the best cycling cities in the United States, and Portland State University one of the best universities for cyclists.

The PSU Bike Hub is an on-campus DIY shop that helps students, faculty and staff commute by bike. It's a terrific resource, with repair services, parts, helmets, bags, workshops on commuting, repair and maintenance, and more.

The Bike Hub is also the place to go if you want to register your bike or buy an indoor-parking pass for it.  Bike parking passes cost $15 per term, or $45 for the entire year, and there are 10 access-controlled bike garages on campus.

Don’t have a bike? The Bike Hub can help with that, too, through its VikeBike Program. The Bike Hub refurbishes bikes abandoned on campus and makes them available to students to rent for only $45/term, including helmet, front and rear lights, lock and indoor parking. There’s also a need-based program; students who qualify can rent the bikes for free. If you have questions, contact vikebike@pdx.edu.

Biketown is Portland's bikeshare program; its bright orange bikes around are available at stations all over the city -- including four on campus at PSU. PSU students can buy an annual membership in Biketown for only $5/month.

Other Transportation

PSU Transportation & Parking Services is the place to go for all your non-bicycle transportation options, including public transit, carpooling and carsharing.

MAX/bus/streetcar - Fall Term FlexPasses (for TriMet buses, MAX light rail, Portland Streetcars, C-Tran local service buses and the OHSU aerial tram) will be on sale from now through the end of the second week of classes. They cost $180 and are valid through December 31. Purchase them in person at the Transportation & Parking Services office (1812 SW 6th Avenue). You can figure out your trips with the TriMet trip planner.

Portland Streetcars: A pass to ride only the Portland Streetcars is also available. For students, a streetcar pass costs $30 per academic term. (For the last five years, PSU ID cards have been considered valid fare on the Portland Streetcars; this is no longer the case, so if you rely on the streetcars, buy a pass.)

Zipcar has special PSU offers: faculty/staff can join for free, and students can join for $15.

Other car-sharing options include:

Parking at PSU is extremely limited, and you're encouraged to find another way to get to campus. If you do drive your own car, you will need to buy a permit.


Party in the Park is a day of free food, entertainment and information about campus activities for new and returning students. This year, it's on Thursday, September 28, from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Park Blocks.

Student organizations - If you can't make it to Party in the Park, you can also visit here to find, join or start a student organization.

Connect with PSU - Your gateway to PSU on all its social media, plus blog posts by students on PSU Chronicles.

Virtual Viking - The weekly student e-newsletter distributed to all PSU students on Sundays. The newsletter features news, events, job opportunities, etc. Make sure to check it out in your inbox.

Events Calendar - What's going on all over campus.

Portland State of Mind - Ten days of serious fun and big ideas, from October 12-21: speakers, music, movies and many more events.

Additional Info to Get You Started

The Vanguard, Portland State's student-run newspaper, has a big orientation guide with lots of in-depth information.

Have a great year!

By Stephanie Argy, a graduate assistant in the Office of University Communications.