Oregon’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Oregon. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Oregon’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Oregon

Oregon is home to over 40 higher education institutions, including Oregon State University, the largest in the state. More than 30,000 students are enrolled at this public research institution in Corvallis, and with a tuition of $11,000, the school comes in slightly above the national average. Students attending the next largest, the University of Oregon, will join in on a friendly intrastate rivalry against Oregon State. Though the tuition is higher at $12,000, the school boasts a student–faculty ratio of 16:1.

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Of the 21 private institutions, 10 are religiously based. Concordia University has the largest student population at just under 5,000 and a tuition of $31,000. Students who attend this private Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod university can study fields such as chemistry, psychology, and history. Oregon’s community colleges range in tuition from $4,000 to $6,000. The least expensive four-year institution in the state, Portland State University (PSU), comes in at $8,000. Students attending PSU can study a range of fields, including environmental engineering, film, and international business, right in the heart of the city.

Gaze at the Pacific Ocean from the Oregon Coast Highway, which travels along the entire coastal edge of the state. Taste Pacific Northwest wines from the Willamette Valley, or take a bike ride through the streets of Portland. Students looking to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in The Beaver State can enjoy a great higher education experience set against a stunning natural backdrop.

Discover what Oregon has to offer, and find a college that fits your career interests as well as your budget.

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What are Oregon’s Colleges & Universities?

Oregon’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Oregon's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in Oregon for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 18 colleges and universities in Oregon, 14 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best schools in the state focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a graduation rate above 40%.

Best Colleges & Universities in Oregon

  1. #1

    Reed College

    #174 institution's historical influence
    #79 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

    Portland, OR

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    What is Reed College known for?

    Reed College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

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  2. #2

    Lewis & Clark College

    #910 institution's historical influence
    #446 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1310/29

    Portland, OR

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    What is Lewis & Clark College known for?

    Lewis & Clark College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Economics
    • History
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    University of Oregon

    #127 institution's historical influence
    #547 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    22K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1205/25

    Eugene, OR

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    What is University of Oregon known for?

    University of Oregon’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Education
    • Law
    • Communications
    • History
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Willamette University

    #736 institution's historical influence
    #918 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    2K

    Salem, OR

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    What is Willamette University known for?

    Willamette University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Oregon State University

    #248 institution's historical influence
    #1025 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/24

    Corvallis, OR

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    What is Oregon State University known for?

    Oregon State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Pacific University

    #1391 institution's historical influence
    #305 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    Forest Grove, OR

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    What is Pacific University known for?

    Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Linfield University

    #2217 institution's historical influence
    #461 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    McMinnville, OR

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    What is Linfield University known for?

    Linfield University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • History
    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    University of Portland

    #1062 institution's historical influence
    #292 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/26

    Portland, OR

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    What is University of Portland known for?

    University of Portland’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    Portland State University

    #522 institution's historical influence
    #448 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/21

    Portland, OR

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    What is Portland State University known for?

    Portland State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Oregon Institute of Technology

    #3780 institution's historical influence
    #1368 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/23

    Klamath Falls, OR

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    What is Oregon Institute of Technology known for?

    Oregon Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • Communications
  11. #11

    George Fox University

    #2529 institution's historical influence
    #976 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Newberg, OR

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    What is George Fox University known for?

    George Fox University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Biology
  12. #12

    Warner Pacific University

    #8540 institution's historical influence
    #598 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Portland, OR

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    What is Warner Pacific University known for?

    Warner Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  13. #13

    Corban University

    #6872 institution's historical influence
    #192 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    Salem, OR

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    What is Corban University known for?

    Corban University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Bushnell University

    #12115 institution's historical influence
    #1331 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1081/19

    Eugene, OR

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    What is Bushnell University known for?

    Bushnell University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • History
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

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Photo By: Kkmd at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0