Oregon Colleges and Universities

The Times (of London) Higher Education-Reuters World University Rankings 2012-2013 powered by Thomson Reuters are the only global university performance tables to judge world class universities across all of their core missions — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The top universities rankings employ 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide a comprehensive and balanced comparisons.

The University of Washington (UW) ranked 24th in the world, up one place from last year, in the Times’ formula, which takes in 13 quality measurements. In a parallel ranking based only on reputation, the UW came in a tie for 27th. In subject areas, the UW came in 34th in engineering and technology, 24th in life sciences, 14th in physical sciences and 10th on the planet in health and clinical studies. The University of Washington looks like the kind of operation that could drive a local economy. Predictably, the rankings were also notable for our neighbors to the south. Berkeley (Cal) ranked 9th in the world and UCLA 13th, with three more UC campuses included in the top 50. Viewing the Northwest broadly, lets celebrate the 30th place finish of the University of British Columbia.

The University of Oregon shows up in the undifferentiated 251-275 cluster, followed by Oregon State in the 276-300 group.

The 2014-2015 rankings will be released on October 1, 2014. 

Oregon’s 2013 legislative session did some useful things for higher education, with a rare funding increase (although at a smaller rate than overall state budget growth), a reorganization intended to increase effectiveness and the creation of institutional boards that are hoped to dramatically increase philanthropy at participating institutions.

2015 US News & World Report’s Ranking of Oregon Colleges

2015 Edition of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges   In the listing of national universities, the University of Oregon ranked 106 and Oregon State University ranked 138. No Oregon campus made the top tier of best schools overall.  The University of Washington was ranked 48 and Washington State University was 138 (tied with three other schools including Oregon State University). 

Oregon state’s campuses landed on the magazine’s specialized lists:

  • Portland State University: The school was named, for the third consecutive year, among top “Up-and-Coming Schools.” PSU made No. 8 on the list this year, tying with Clemson University, up from 10th last year.
  • The University of Oregon: The Eugene campus ranked No. 50, in a five-way tie, among the nation’s public schools. Among all universities, the UO tied at 106 with Iowa State University, Loyola University, the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma, the University of San Francisco and the University of Tennessee.
  • The UO was also included among schools with the best undergraduate business programs and among best “A-Plus Schools for B Students.” 
  • Oregon State University: The Corvallis campus came in tied at No. 70 with Washington State University among best public schools. It earned a No. 138 on the overall national list.

Liberal Arts Colleges

  • Reed College in Portland:  77
  • Willamette University in Salem:  64.
  • Lewis & Clark College in Portland: 77.
  • Linfield College in McMinnville: 124.

Regional Universities in the West 

  • Concordia University in Portland: 80.
  • George Fox University in Newberg: 30.
  • Pacific College in Forest Grove: 25.
  • Southern Oregon University in Ashland: 79.
  • University of Portland:  8.
  • Western Oregon University: 84.

Regional Colleges of the West

  • Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls:  8.
  • Warner Pacific College in Portland: 8.

Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) School of Medicine 

  • No. 3 in primary care.
  • No. 4 in family medicine.
  • No. 11 in rural medicine.
  • No. 29 in research.

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital ranks among the nation’s best children’s hospitals in 10 specialties.

Other Medical

  • OHSU School of Nursing:  No. 7 in nursing and No. 1 in nursing-midwifery.
  • OHSU Physician Assistant:  6 (latest ranking from 2011).
  • Oregon State University Pharmacy:  39.
  • Oregon State University Veterinary Medicine:  25.

Oregon University System

If you’re interested in attending one of Oregon public universities, the Oregon University System has a Web site full of solid information about each of the schools and how to go about applying at OUS Prospective Students.

Smooth Transfer Between Oregon State Colleges

Oregon college students are able to transfer more smoothly among the state’s community colleges and universities as the result of common criteria for general education courses adopted by two state education boards in early 2010. The course guidelines define what students should learn in a given subject, such as writing, and what the course should include.

The Oregon Board of Education and State Board of Higher Education also approved common course standards for an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree that will allow students to move more freely among the state’s 17 community colleges and transfer smoothly into any of the seven public universities for their final two years of studies.  In addition, the joint boards approved policies that will allow high school students to get up to a year’s credit in the state’s seven public universities by earning an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

Oregon University System Guaranteed Admission Program

Oregon high school seniors who demonstrate proficiency in certain skills and earn a 3.4 grade point average will be guaranteed automatic admission to one of the state’s seven public universities, under a policy proposed by university officials. The automatic admission policy won unanimous approval in the State Board of Higher Education’s Academic Strategies Committee in late February 2011 and probably will be approved by the full board when it meets next week, university leaders said. The policy, which would take effect in 2012.

The state will begin phasing in its new high school diploma standards next year with a requirement that students demonstrate proficiency in reading on a test in addition to earning 24 course credits. Graduates also will have to show proficiency in writing in 2013 and in math in 2014.

Under its new admission policy, the Oregon University System would automatically admit any graduate next year who earns a 3.4 GPA and demonstrates proficiency in reading, writing, math and speaking on college entrance exams or state tests. For example, students could meet the proficiency standard for reading, math and writing by earning a score of 550 or higher for each of those skills on the SAT college entrance exam.

Online Course Options

The Online Schools Web site has a directory of all college programs that students can take online apart from the more well known online schools.

College accreditation is a process by which schools are certified by an outside agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) or the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC), to provide quality academic services and student support. Accredited schools can guarantee adequate library resources, qualified faculty, solid student achievement rates and financial aid access, as well as the ability to receive a license to work in fields that require licensure for practitioners.

Oregon College Savings Plan

The Oregon College Savings Plan, part of a network of similar investment options, allows parents to save for tuition tax free. Oregon residents also get to claim a state income tax deduction  up to $4,170 a year  for money they put into an account.

The Oregon College Savings Plan is administered by the State of Oregon, acting by and through the Oregon 529 College Savings Board, and distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. OFI Private Investments Inc., a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds, Inc., is the program manager of the Plan.

In 2008, investors in the most conservative portfolio were alarmed when their savings plummeted. An investigation by The Oregonian found that state officials didn’t closely monitor the fund or act fast enough to stop the losses until most of the damage was done. The state sued the plan manager at the time, OppenheimerFunds Inc. In late 2009, the state agreed to a settlement that reimburses about 56 percent of the $36 million lost from mismanagement of the accounts.

The Oregonian estimates that for every $1,000 invested in the Conservative or 1-3 Years to College Portfolio, investors might get $125 back. Both portfolios declined 24 percent in value in 2008, and one-third of each portfolio was invested in the Core Bond fund.

Oregon Private Colleges and Universities

Oregon Public Universities

Community Colleges

Other Schools