Transfer to PSU
Steps to Transfer
The best time to apply to PSU is different for everyone, and whether or not you're ready to apply, we recommend that you attend a transfer event or make an appointment with a transfer admissions counselor, see below for event and appointment details. Students who have completed less than 30 transferable quarter credits (20 semester credits) at the point of application will be reviewed as freshman applicants.
1. Prepare to Transfer
Portland State offers a number of tools for incoming students to use to plan their transfer. We do recommend connecting with an admissions counselor at PSU. These tools are here for you to introduce you to our transfer resources and help you come up with questions to ask PSU staff once you’re ready to connect.
How Credits Transfer
There are a couple of different ways to figure out how credits will transfer to PSU. These tools can be helpful to students just starting out at a community college or those who are returning to finish a four year degree after a long break. Take a look at our Transfer Rules before you dive into credit transfers. Remember, if you have questions contact an admissions counselor.
- Transfer Guides by Major: In collaboration with local community colleges, Portland State University created transfer guides to help you navigate the transfer process. These can help you plan which courses to take at the community college and which courses to take at PSU. We have transfer guides for many majors. If you do not see your major view Transferology or connect with an admissions counselor.
- Transferology: Transferology is a web-based advising system intended to assist prospective transfer students in reviewing course transferability to Portland State University. Create a free account to view course equivalencies from colleges in Oregon and Washington. Information obtained through this system is unofficial. An official Transfer Evaluation Report is provided upon admission to Portland State University.
- Student Appointment: You can meet with a transfer admissions counselor at a transfer event or make an appointment to meet one-on-one.
How the PSU Core Curriculum Works
- General Education: The university's general education curriculum is designed to assure that its graduates have a breadth of coursework from across the university's curricula. At PSU University Studies and Urban Honors are the two options for general education.
- Degree Requirements: Most students will complete either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS), each of which has specific requirements associated with the degree type. The BA requires courses in arts & letters, science and/or social science and two years of college-level language. The BS requires courses in science, arts & letters and mathematics or statistics. Students pursuing majors in creative writing, music, or art should talk to an advisor about their degree options.
- University Studies: 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, take a boat up a remote river in Borneo to learn about climate change, or study sustainable food systems while learning to farm.
- Second Language Admission Requirement: Students who graduated from an Oregon high school in 1997 or later must meet the second language admission requirement.
- University Writing Requirement: Students must complete 2 college-level composition courses or their approved equivalents for their baccalaureate degree requirements.
2. Connect with Us
While we hope our self-advising tools are useful to you, you should still come meet with PSU staff. We offer events and one-on-one appointments at area community college campuses and phone appointments in addition to our campus events and tours.
Come to Campus
- Transfer Open House: Monthly events for students interested in transferring to PSU. This event is a great opportunity to 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’ll get an instant admission decision AND we’ll defer your $50 application fee.
- Sign Up for a Campus Tour: We highly recommend coming to campus at some point and going on a tour, even if you’ve been here before. Your tour is led by a PSU student, and you’ll get an overview of our admissions processes during the information session led by an admissions counselor. You can also participate in specialty tours that include time with a specific department/college to learn more about their programs.
- Meet with an Advising Counselor
PSU Visits to Area Community Colleges
- Transfer Workshops: Transferring to Portland State University is pretty easy, especially if you attend one of our Transfer Workshops offered at local community colleges in the fall and spring terms. But there’s more to think about than the how-to nuts and bolts. Research shows a bachelor’s degree has become all but essential for high-level jobs. College graduates earn about twice as much on average as high school graduates.
- Make an Appointment: Our admissions counselors visit area community college frequently, and they block out time to meet with folks one-on-one. We do our best to meet your where you’re at, literally, so if you’re on a community college campus, we will meet you there.
- Connect with a Transfer & Returning Student Advisor for support connecting to resources and getting to know PSU's general education information, as well as transfer planning and unofficial course review. Advisors meet with students on community college campuses as well as remotely via phone and Zoom.
3. Estimate the Cost of College
While you’re planning your transfer, figure out how much it will cost and how you’ll cover it. This is the best place to go to get an overview of costs and different opportunities to help you pay, like Transfer Finish Free.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid works the same at PSU as it does at your current school. Submit the FAFSA as soon as it’s available (October 1 each year) and add PSU as one of your schools. If you have questions, contact PSU’s Financial Aid Office. You submit the FAFSA to apply for federal and state loans and grants. We also recommend applying for scholarships through PSU’s Scholarship Application (the deadline is February 1 each year). Be sure to peruse our Scholarship Database, there are hundreds of scholarships in there and you never know what you could qualify for.
Other Ways to Pay
Campus jobs and work study jobs are great ways to earn money while you’re in school. Check out Handshake, our job and internship portal, to search for and apply to campus and local jobs. Most campus departments rely on student employees and are willing to be flexible around your class schedule. Many departments prefer students who have been awarded federal work-study as part of their financial aid, but "regular wage" positions are also available for those who have not. Submit the FAFSA to find if you're eligible.
Important PSU financial aid processes:
- PSU’s financial aid year starts in fall term
- Consult with an admissions counselor before selecting your start term. Certain financial aid programs are only available to students who start in fall term.
4. When to Apply
Submit your admission and financial aid materials by these deadlines. We encourage you to apply to PSU as early as possible.
Benefits of applying early:
- You’ll get a transfer evaluation which will show you exactly which of your credits transfer to PSU. This will help you figure out what you should take prior to transferring and help you estimate your cost of attendance at PSU.
- You’ll get to attend an admitted student event. These events are crucial for learning about how Portland State works, meeting faculty, staff and students and getting the opportunity to ask questions about anything and everything related to PSU and living in Portland.
- The deadlines for grants and scholarships are February 1, it’s in your best interest to apply to PSU by then for your best chance at receiving financial aid and grants.