Architecture Schools in Portland, OR with Degree Information

Jan 15, 2019

There are a few schools in the Portland, Oregon, area that offer architecture programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info for two schools within 10 miles of downtown and find out which is the right one for you.

Portland-Area Architecture School Options

Only a few schools in the Portland area offer architecture degree programs. This article looks at two schools that are no more than 20 minutes from the city center and their degree programs. Information that prospective students need to know, such as school enrollment, tuition and graduation rates, are featured in the following table later as well. At the end of the article, there are some facts about one more Oregon school that offers architecture instruction.

  • Portland State University (PSU) is located directly in the city's downtown area. It offers several bachelor's degree programs in architecture and architectural project management as well as a master's program.
  • Portland Community College (PCC) offers two associate's degree programs in architectural design at its Sylvania campus, which about eight miles from downtown Portland.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals looking for a school at which to study architecture need to be aware of what each institution has to offer. This table showcases important information and presents it in a format that makes it easy to compare the two schools.

Portland State University Portland Community College
School Type 4-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 26,693* 28,005*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $8,783 in-state; $26,130 out-of-state* $4,088 in-state; $8,840 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 79%* 70%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 92%* N/A Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 72% for full-time students; 43% for part-time students* 67% for full-time students; 47% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 49% (Students began in Fall 2011)* 15% (Students began in Fall 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Portland State University

Portland State University is a public, 4-year school located in the heart of Portland, Oregon. The School of Fine and Performing Arts at Portland State offers multiple bachelor's degree programs in architecture that include concentration options as well as a master's degree program.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Undergraduate architecture students at Portland State University may enroll in the pre-professional Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree program. Architectural theory, methods and design, including environmental design, are explored in the undergraduate program. Undergraduate architecture students also take building tectonics courses, exploring the technologies and material used in building practices.

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture degree program offers a 2- and 3-year track. The 2-year track consists of 74 credits, including a 6-credit design thesis. Graduates are eligible to become licensed architects. Coursework within the master's program includes architectural theory and technology, architectural design development, design studio, professional practice, and electives based on areas of interest. The 3-year track contains 134 credits and offers a series of courses in architectural history and theory as well as architectural technology. Classes in architectural graphics and architectural structures are also taken. A 4-part design studio must also be completed.

Portland Community College

Portland Community College (PCC) is a public, 2-year school conveniently located within a short commute of about eight miles from downtown Portland. PCC offers two A.A.S. degree programs in architectural design and drafting as well as a certificate in sustainable design. Though these programs cannot prepare students to become licensed architects, they can offer the training needed for aspiring architectural drafters.

Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Design and Drafting

The A.A.S. program at Portland Community College consists of 99 credits completed over seven terms of study. Coursework includes AutoCAD, site planning, commercial building codes, structural systems, building systems, and more.

Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Design and Drafting: Residential

This program shares similar coursework within the regular A.A.S. degree program but has more courses focusing on residential services. Studies include residential print reading, residential building codes, intro to residential design, and the history of American residential architecture. This program requires the completion of 99 credits that are completed over seven terms of study.

Sustainable Design Certificate

The certificate program in sustainable design consists of 16 credits completed in less than one year. Classes include energy conservation code, sustainable materials for residential interiors, green residential studio, and sustainable building strategies. Available electives include alternative building design, environmental sociology and eco-innovation.

Other School Options

The University of Oregon in Eugene, which is just over 100 miles from Portland, offers an additional option for prospective students to explore through a hands-on program. This is an extension program for students who have either completed a pre-professional architecture degree or the foundation courses of the B.Arch program at the university's main campus in Eugene. The program is administered at the White Stag Block campus location, which is less than a mile from downtown Portland.

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