Oregon is known for its friendly environment, lovely people, and high moral values. Apart from all this, Oregon has fine colleges that provide exceptional education and encourage students to become their best selves. Schooling in Oregon gives you a more refined perspective of life, how to build networks, and the importance of research and critical thinking in today’s world. We have done all the research to find the 10 best colleges in the state. 

2024’s Best Colleges in Oregon

  1. Reed College
  2. University of Portland
  3. University of Oregon
  4. Oregon State University
  5. Corban University
  6. Linfield College
  7. Lewis & Clark College
  8. Bushnell University
  9. Southern Oregon University
  10. George Fox University

Reed College

reed college
Reed College

It is a private liberal art and sciences college in Oregon that was founded in 1908. It is one of America’s most prestigious colleges with high standards of education and expert educators. Faculty mentor students and engage them in meaningful discussions because of the small student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. Furthermore, Reed College encourages is renowned for engaged citizenship and creative thinking. Students study in a community that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity on all levels. Students are encouraged to fully participate in different activities, internships, class programs, and community work regardless of their identity. 

Reed College ranks 62nd among national liberal arts colleges, 36th in most innovative schools, and 80th in top performers on special mobility. It is easily one of the best colleges in Portland Oregon as it ranks 19th in best undergraduate teaching. 

It has a 39% acceptance rate and a 79% graduation rate. Reed College does not require first-year applicants into Fall 2022 to submit standardized test results. 

Tuition costs $62,420 while fees cost $320. Reed offers 100% financial assistance for demonstrated needs. Students received an average financial aid package of $45,456 in the 2017/2018 academic year. Reed College spent a total of $27 million in financial aid within that academic year. 

Reed offers programs that are diverse yet unique from one another. Here are some of them: 

  • Anthropology
  • Chinese 
  • Humanities 
  • Linguistics 
  • Mathematics 
  • Philosophy 
  • Sociology 
  • Theatre 

University of Portland

University of Portland
University of Portland

The University of Portland (UP) is a private institution in Portland, Oregon that is owned and run by the Catholic church. It was founded in 1901 and is the best college in Portland. The small size of the school campus fosters feelings of intimacy and enables faculty and students to build personal relationships that improve their quality of learning. 54% of the entire student body lives on campus and 94% of freshmen live on campus. Students can participate in the Campus Ministry program, fitness, intramurals, and other outdoor activities. UP athletes are a strong and impressive team that competes in the NCAA Division 1. Being a faith-based school, faith and spirituality is a core part of its values and mission. 

The University of Portland is among the best colleges in Portland and ranks 3rd in regional universities West. It ranks 31st in best value schools, 2nd in best undergraduate teaching, and 74th in top performers on social mobility. 

It has a 77% acceptance rate and an 81% graduation rate. The University of Portland has adopted a test-optional policy that will run till Fall 2023.

Undergraduate students are expected to pay tuition of $47,818 annually. The University of Portland is committed to enabling students to finance their education, and that’s why students can apply for financial aid. Students can also benefit from merit-based scholarships. 

UP offers over 1300 courses, 40 undergraduate degrees programs and minors, and postgraduate programs. Below are some undergraduate programs: 

  • Accounting 
  • Communication
  •  Economics 
  • Finance
  •  Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 
  • Mechanical engineering 
  • Nursing 
  • Theology 

University of Oregon

University of Oregon
University of Oregon

The University of Oregon (UO) is a public liberal arts university and the finest among Oregon state colleges. It is a flagship college that was founded in 1876. The reason being the University of Oregon encourages change agents, adventurers, and learners who are all about exploring and finding new solutions.

It is high up on the list of Oregon schools because of discipline and excellence. It is situated in an environment that is highly contrasting in the most beautiful way. Students can participate in a variety of extracurricular programs to improve their thinking ability, interact with other students, and relax from hard work days. They can also participate in group work that is supervised by faculty.

The University of Oregon ranks 99th among national universities, 58th in best colleges for veterans, and 42nd in top public schools. 

It has an 82% acceptance rate and a 72% graduation rate. The University of Oregon became a test-optional school for freshmen applicants starting Fall 2022. 

Oregon residents pay $14,421, while non-residents pay $40,464 for tuition and fees annually. However, the University of Oregon offers $246  million in financial aid to students every year to support students with their cost of tuition and other needs. 

 It offers a variety of degree options for all and sundry and lets students fully participate in internship and research programs. The practical aspect of learning is highly valued alongside the theoretical aspect.

Here are some programs UO:

  • Advertising 
  • Biology 
  • Communication disorders and sciences 
  • Data science 
  • French 
  • Global studies 
  • Media studies 
  • Religious studies 

Oregon State University

Oregon State University
Oregon State University

Another one of the finest universities in Oregon, it is Oregon’s best research university.  

It is one of America’s land, sea, sun, and space grant universities. Creativity and innovation are some of the driving forces behind Oregon State University’s place among the best schools in the country. It promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, researching, and experimenting with new concepts. It is the 3rd best university for climate change and encourages a sustainable lifestyle which is why it is one of the best biking universities. 

It has an 82% acceptance rate and a 63% acceptance rate. It currently has a test-optional policy. However, students with low GPAs are encouraged to submit their test scores to increase their chance of getting accepted. 

It ranks 162nd in national universities, 71st in best undergraduate teaching, and 34th in most innovative schools. It ranks 78th in top public schools and 136th in best value schools.  

Oregon residents pay $11,715, while non-residents pay $31,215 for fees and tuition annually. Students can apply for financial aid and the average amount awarded to freshmen was $11,70 in financial aid previously. 

Alumni have a median mid-career salary of $104,500 annually. 

It offers a range of programs but is internationally recognized as having the 2nd best Forestry and 3rd best Oceanography in the world. Additionally, it offers the 4th best online bachelor’s degree in the U.S.

Below are some other programs at Oregon State University: 

  • Agricultural science 
  • Biochemistry and physics 
  • Elementary education 
  • Forest engineering 
  • Interior design 
  • Public health 
  • Rangeland sciences 
  • Supply chain and logistics management 

Corban University

Corban University
Corban University

Corban University is a private Christian institution that was founded in 1935. It seeks to provide a Christ-centered education to students from all backgrounds to build their faith and train them to be excellent professionals. The Corban community supports multicultural diversity and a safe space for students from all backgrounds to study, grow and practice together. Corban equips its students to be critical thinkers and to adopt diverse perspectives of life, study, and work. Students have the chance to develop and lead missions within the US and Mexico during Spring break. 

It is one of the colleges in Oregon whose education program is NWCCU approved to train elementary and secondary school teachers for licensure. 

Corban university ranks 12th in regional universities West and 9th in top performers on social mobility. It is also among the top 10 safest colleges in the US and the safest college in Oregon. This increases its appeal among domestic and international students. 

It has a 95% acceptance rate and a 59% graduation rate. Corban does not require students to submit standardized test scores for admission or financial aid but they can submit if they wish. 

Full-time students are required to pay $33,688 for tuition annually. Students can apply for FAFSA, outside scholarships, and institutional scholarships. Eligible freshmen automatically receive merit-based scholarships to help them with the cost of tuition. 

These are some of the majors at Corban College:

  • Agribusiness 
  • Biokinetics 
  • Criminal justice 
  • Christian ministry 
  • Elementary education 
  • Health education 
  • Workshop arts 

Linfield College

Linfield College
Linfield College

Linfield College is a private liberal arts institution and one of the good colleges in Oregon. It was founded in 1858 and has since used a solid educational curriculum to build some of the finest alumni in the US. Linfield lets students be their most creative selves in an inhibited environment. New applicants can be sure that they will live and learn in a campus that promotes inclusion, access, and diversity. Asides from theory, students are fully engaged in the practical aspect of learning through internships and hands-on sessions at work. Respect, curiosity, intellectual challenge, and creativity are all part of Linfield’s mission. It inspires students and faculty alike to live by moral and spiritual principles. They are also inspired to defend freedom of conscience. 

Linfield ranks 117th in national liberal arts colleges and 67th in top performers in social mobility. 

It has an 82% acceptance rate and a 72% graduation rate. Students are not required to submit standardized test scores for admission because Linfield has always been a test-optional school.

Tuition costs $44,450 and fees cost $612 annually. 94% of freshmen receive financial aid and the average amount students receive as financial aid is $28,116. 27% of all students receive Pell grants. 

These are some major courses at Linfield College: 

  • Applied physics 
  • Creative writing 
  • Global studies 
  • Health studies 
  • Nursing 
  • Psychology 
  • Religious studies 
  • Theatre arts 
  • Wine studies 

Lewis & Clark College

Lewis Clark College
Lewis & Clark College

Lewis & Clark is a private college that was founded in 1867. It emphasizes the liberal arts and unconventional thinking. Students receive an education based on years of research, careful study, and critically analyzed sources. Spirited debates and innovative research are a key part of Lewis & Clark’s culture. Additionally, it is a place where curious minds are inspired to do more, docile students are encouraged to step up and form a network of agile young professionals. It has award-winning green buildings, libraries full of helpful books, and state-of-the-art athletic facilities. It is a multicultural and diverse campus situated in an accessible location with jaw-dropping scenery. Over 11,000 students have been involved in off-campus and overseas programs since 1962. This puts it at 60% of undergraduate students studying in the overseas education program. 

It ranks 82nd in national liberal arts colleges and 84th among best value schools. Additionally, Lewis & Clark ranks 167th in top performers on social mobility. 

Lewis & Clark has a 72% acceptance rate and a 78% graduation rate. It adopted a test-optional policy in 1991 because it believes standardized tests aren’t a true test of a student’s academic prowess. 

Students pay $55,266 for tuition and fees annually. 64% of students receive some of the financial aid. Additionally, eligible freshmen received an average amount of $38,996 in scholarships and grants. 

It is one of the top Oregon colleges and it offers 29 majors and 32 minors. These are some of them below;

  • Art (studio)
  • Biochemistry and molecular biology 
  • Computer science and mathematics 
  • Environmental studies 
  • International affairs 
  • Religious studies 
  • Theatre 
  • World languages 

Bushnell University

Bushnell University 1
Bushnell University

It is a private Christian university that was founded in 1895 and has since proven to be an educational stronghold in Oregon. It uses a faith-based approach in all aspects of learning, community, and student life. Despite being affiliated with the Disciples of Christ Church, Bushnell is an interdenominational university that allows students from various backgrounds to share ideas, improve their way of thinking, and become polished leaders. Bushnell provides students with transformational educational values and teaches respect for all humans despite religious, cultural, or political beliefs. Furthermore, students are encouraged to be active members of clubs, organizations, and other recreational activities.

Bushnell University ranks 84th in regional universities West and 62nd in top performers on social mobility. 

Bushnell has a 66% acceptance rate and a 63% graduation rate. It adopted a test-optional policy starting Fall 2020, which lets students submit test results if they wish to. 

Undergraduate students are expected to pay $31,410 for fees and tuition every year. Bushnell offers students an average financial aid package worth $31,965 for the 2021/2022 academic year. 

Here are some of the majors at Bushnell University for undergraduate students:

  • Accounting
  • Biology 
  • Exercise physiology & kinesiology 
  • International business 
  • Marketing 
  • Nursing administration 
  • Psychology 
  • Sports and recreation management 

Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University (SOU) is a state-owned institution that was founded in 1872. It has the most beautiful campus among all colleges in Oregon because of its ethereal landscape. SOU offers a comprehensive education that focuses on enlightening students on the theory and practical aspects of the major they choose. It prepares them for a fulfilling career with a sound education. Additionally, SOU has a flexible adult education program that allows students to manage multiple tasks alongside getting an education. This is perfect because about 25% of SOU students are over 25 years of age. SOU has also built formidable partnerships with local businesses and organizations to increase student’s exposure and allow them to intern at some of the finest corporations. 

SOU ranks 67th in regional universities and 32nd in top public schools. Additionally, SOU ranks 62nd in top performers on social mobility. 

It has a 78% acceptance rate and a 38% graduation rate. SOU uses a holistic admission review approach based on your academic and personal information. It considers this more valuable than standardized tests. 

Oregon residents pay $10,479 while non-residents $26,814 for fees and tuition annually spending on the number of credits they take up. Freshmen received an average financial aid package of $10,511 to help with the cost of education. Additionally, SOU is distributing more than $1.7 million to its students through the CARES Act. 

Southern Oregon University has undergraduate and graduate programs. Here are some of the undergraduate majors;

  • Art 
  • Business administration 
  • Creative writing 
  • Gender, sexuality, & women’s studies 
  • International studies 
  • Political studies 
  • Sociology & anthropology 
  • Theatre 

George Fox University

George Fox University
George Fox University

George Fox is a Christian private institution that was founded in 1891. It seeks to be renowned as the Christian university that empowers students to attain exceptional outcomes in life. It empowers them academically, spiritually, and professionally with knowledge and values to help them discover their purpose and use it for the common good. Students are trained to act with integrity, think with clarity, and serve others and their community passionately. It fosters personal growth and collaboration with faculty who will guide and direct students through the phases of studying at the institution. 

George Fox also offers adult bachelor completion programs to enable working students to get a credible degree from an equally credible institution. 

It ranks 213th in national universities and 66th in top performers on social mobility. It also ranks 62nd in best engineering programs among colleges that do not offer a doctorate program. 

It has an 82% acceptance rate and a 64% graduation rate. It is a test-optional school, so you need not fret about submitting your standardized test score results. 

Students are expected to pay $37,280 for tuition annually. George Fox University students receive an average financial aid package of $30,909. 

These are some programs at George Fox:

  • Audio production 
  • Computer science 
  • Financial planning 
  • Graphic design 
  • Journalism 
  • Kinesiology 
  • Organizational communication 
  • Politics 

Why Study in Oregon?

Oregon is renowned for clean air, a naturally beautiful landscape, and picturesque beaches. It is home to small universities and colleges that provide an intimate atmosphere and ease communication with professors. Oregon also has colleges that are large and have a buoyant community with multiple campuses. It is the second friendliest college town in the US, so you are assured the people are warm, the state is affordable, and the food is equally great. Furthermore, it is the headquarters of renowned companies which increases our opportunity of interning and possibly getting employed in one of those corporations. Recreational activities, such as hiking, windsurfing, and surfboarding, are also a major part of life in Oregon. 


Getting educated in one of these institutions is quite an achievement. These colleges are open to individuals from different backgrounds and religious or irreligious students as the case may be. Grad schools in Oregon are recognized for providing exceptional value and a great environment to grow and research. There are programs for all students, be they full-time or part-time students, making education accessible to all. 


Helen Vlasova
Helen is the co-founder of admissionsly.com, a career guidance website for students and young professionals. She has a degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.

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