Nestled between the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Portland has one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The city is also home to some of the best educational opportunities in Oregon.
Education clearly matters in Portland: 44 percent of city residents over the age of 25 have at least a bachelor's degree. (The national average is only 28 percent.) And if SAT and ACT scores among the best in the nation are any indication of success, students at the high school level in Portland are well-prepared to move into one of the Portland colleges and universities.
Among the colleges in Portland that offer two-year programs, Portland Community College offers the largest selection of courses through its four large campuses, eight learning centers, numerous independent centers and robust online learning options.
Numerous private institutions also provide opportunities to students. From creating the perfect pastry at Oregon Culinary Institute to diving into a medical field at Carrington College, students can learn to prepare for many different career paths. Artistically minded students can consider the Portland Jewelry Academy or Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Portland State University, known as Oregon's most affordable public research university, is home to over 27,000 students. Students who want a more intimate experience can look at smaller private colleges in Portland, such as Lewis and Clark. With roots dating back to 1867, it's an institution with a rich, diverse history.
The University of Portland has 40 undergraduate programs and 18 master's programs. Other well-known institutions in the area include Reed College (where Steve Jobs became perhaps its most famous college drop-out) and Oregon Health and Science University.
Those who want to further their education to the master's level and beyond have a choice among the many universities in Portland that offer graduate programs. Portland State University, Lewis and Clark and University of Portland all offer graduate programs in fields such as education, counseling, business and more. Lewis and Clark Law School is available for those seeking a juris doctor, while the Oregon Health and Science offers schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health and pharmacy.
For more information about higher education, see the list of Oregon colleges.