Best Small Colleges in Oregon 2022

Best Small Colleges in Oregon 2022

Small colleges in Oregon are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

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.


What are Oregon’s Colleges & Universities?

Oregon’s Best Overall

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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Oregon is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 14 small colleges in Oregon. The list below of the best small colleges in Oregon. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

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

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Small Colleges in Oregon 2022

  1. #1

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

    What is Reed College known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Willamette University

    Salem , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Willamette University known for?

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

    • Economics
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Lewis & Clark College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1310/29

    What is Lewis & Clark College known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Law
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Southern Oregon University

    Ashland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/21

    What is Southern Oregon University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Anthropology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Western Oregon University

    Monmouth , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1060/20

    What is Western Oregon University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #7

    Pacific University

    Forest Grove , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    What is Pacific University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #8

    Eastern Oregon University

    La Grande , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1037/20

    What is Eastern Oregon University known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Oregon Institute of Technology

    Klamath Falls , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/23

    What is Oregon Institute of Technology known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Linfield University

    McMinnville , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    What is Linfield University known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    George Fox University

    Newberg , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    What is George Fox University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    Corban University

    Salem , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    What is Corban University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #13

    Bushnell University

    Eugene , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1081/19

    What is Bushnell University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    Warner Pacific University

    Portland , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Warner Pacific University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • History
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

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Oregon’s Best Small College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Reed College
  2. Lewis & Clark College
  3. Willamette University
  4. Pacific University
  5. Linfield University
  6. University of Portland
  7. Southern Oregon University
  8. Eastern Oregon University
  9. Oregon Institute of Technology
  10. George Fox University
  11. Warner Pacific University
  12. Corban University
  13. Western Oregon University
  14. Bushnell University

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