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Top Oregon Colleges

9 of the Top Colleges in Oregon

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Top Ranked U.S. Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective | More Top Picks

For lovers of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon has some excellent choices for higher education. My top picks for the state range in size from 1,500 students to well over 20,000. The list includes public and private institutions as well as several with religious affiliations. My criteria for selecting Oregon's top colleges include retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value, student engagement, and notable curricular strengths. I have listed the schools alphabetically rather than forcing them into any kind of artificial ranking; the differences between a large public university and a small liberal arts college are too great to make meaningful distinctions in rank.

Compare Top Oregon Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

George Fox University

George Fox University
M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Newberg, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 3,538 (2,120 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Christian university (Friends)
  • Distinctions: one of the country's top Christian colleges; 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 20; commitment to personal attention; good grant aid; NCAA Division III athletics
  • Explore the Campus: George Fox University Photo Tour
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the George Fox University profile

Lewis & Clark College

Lewis and Clark College
Chris Phan / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 3,523 (1,977 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 19; chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society for strong liberal arts and sciences; strong social science majors; excellent efforts related to community service; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Lewis & Clark College profile

Linfield College

Linfield College
crazlei / Flickr
  • Location: McMinnville, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 1,729 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college affiliated with the Baptist Church
  • Distinctions: founded in 1858 and one of the oldest colleges in the Pacific Northwest; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; separate nursing school in Portland; high level of participation in athletics; NCAA Division III athletic program
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Linfield College profile

Oregon State University

Oregon State University
saml123 / Flickr
  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 21,950 (18,067 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: land-, sea-, space, and sun-grant institution; highly regarded forestry program; university manages over 10,000 acres of forest; popular business and engineering programs; NCAA Division I athletics compete in the Pacific 12 Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Oregon State University profile

Pacific University

Pacific University
thekirbster / Flickr
  • Location: Forest Grove, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 3,363 (1,640 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private university (liberal arts focus)
  • Distinctions: founded in 1849; 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 19; strong education and health programs; easy access to hiking, skiing, kayaking and other outdoor recreation; over 60 clubs and organizatins; 21 Division III athletic teams
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Pacific University profile

Reed College

Reed College
dmcdevit / flickr
  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 1,481 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; one of the country's best liberal arts colleges; 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 15; high number of students go on to earn PhDs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Reed College profile

University of Oregon

University of Oregon
drcorneilus / Flickr
  • Location: Eugene, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 22,335 (18,509 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: member of the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; flagship campus of Oregon's state university system; excellent creative writing program; member of the NCAA Division I Pacific 12 Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Oregon profile

University of Portland

University of Portland
Svyatoslav / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 3,706 (3,106 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic university
  • Distinctions: 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; one of the country's top Catholic universities; strong engineering programs; member of the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Portland profile

Willamette University

A Rainbow at Willamette University
ghindo / Flickr
  • Location: Salem, Oregon
  • Enrollment: 2,838 (1,997 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private university (liberal arts focus)
  • Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; high percentage of students study abroad and devote time to service; students from 43 states and 27 countries; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Willamette University profile

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