College of Urban and Public Affairs

Graduate student downtown

At the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA), we create informed citizens who go on to create a better world. Each of our programs encourages students to raise their voices, call out injustice, and work toward making the world a better place.

We are located in a city that likes to tackle problems head-on and share what we find with the rest of the world. Portland routinely has visitors from all over the world who want to learn from our creative solutions to complex problems. Our city encourages innovative policy reform, people-focused planning, and civic-mindedness, and CUPA has played an active role in the city’s evolution. 

We are: 

  • Visionaries
    Civic leaders and School namesakes, Mark O. Hatfield and Nohad A. Toulan dedicated their careers and their lives to public service.
  • Leaders
    CUPA graduate students travel to Japan to learn lessons from the aftermath of the country’s earthquake and how Oregon can prepare.
  • Community Partners
    Our National Policy Consensus Center is in charge of addressing gaps along the Oregon Coast Trail, traversing public and private lands.



  • Change Agents
    MPA alumna Mandy Elder founded a nonprofit organization to improve gender equality in rural areas of the US and Mexico.
  • Scholars
    Urban Planning faculty member Lisa Bates was awarded a $100k Creative Capital Grant for her project The Black Life Experiential Group.

Donate to the College of Urban and Public Affairs

CUPA graduates go on to become the next generation of leaders, makers, dreamers and doers. Your contribution supports our students by providing scholarships, hardship funds, and other resources that help them proceed toward the ultimate goal of graduation. Your gift to CUPA will help shape the future of our students—and your community.

Upcoming events

Toward Resilient Futures Speaker Series: Floods and Water

"Toward Resilient Futures" is a monthly virtual speaker series that…
Add to my Calendar 2021-09-30 12:00:00 2021-09-30 13:00:00 Toward Resilient Futures Speaker Series: Floods and Water "Toward Resilient Futures" is a monthly virtual speaker series that presents cutting-edge research and approaches on the resilience of urban and rural communities and systems to hazards and disasters. The speakers represent the core faculty of Portland State University's new transdisciplinary Emergency Management and Community Resilience graduate program. The talks will critically focus on local and global issues and share pragmatic solutions. This month's speakers: Alida Cantor, assistant professor of geography "Resilient Water Governance" Heejun Chang, professor of geography "Flood Resilience in the Anthropocene" REGISTER FOR WEBINAR Remote America/Los_Angeles public