Portland State University Admission Requirements

U.S. Citizens and Immigrants (Domestic Undergraduate Applicants)


Domestic students must submit the following information to the Office of Admissions.

1. Application form and nonrefundable fee.  Students should apply at www.pdx.edu/admissions/. To ensure consideration for admission, students should submit their application by the established deadline for their intended start term and submit the nonrefundable $50 application fee (fees subject to change without notice) when applicable. The application and nonrefundable $50 fee are valid for one calendar year.

2. Admission validation.  To validate admission, the student must register for classes during their intended term of admission as demonstrated in their application.

If the student does not register for this term, the application may be updated to one of the next three consecutive terms without repaying the application fee. After this time period the student must submit a new application along with another $50 application fee.

3. Official transcripts.  Transcripts must be submitted directly from each high school or college attended. Transfer students who have earned fewer than 30 quarter credits of transferable college coursework are also required to submit official high school transcripts.

To be considered “official,” transcripts must be received by PSU in the sealed original envelope or through approved electronic means from the issuing school.

Since all official transcripts submitted become the property of PSU and cannot be copied, returned to the student, or shared with other institutions, students are encouraged to obtain unofficial copies of their transcripts from prior institutions for advising or personal purposes.

4. SAT or ACT scores (Optional). Students who satisfy Portland State’s minimum curriculum and GPA requirements are not required to submit test scores.ACT and SAT scores submitted by students who are admissible based on GPA and high school curriculum will only be considered value added in the admission process.

Students who attended homeschool, or a non-accredited, non-standard high school are required to submit test scores. In order for scores to be considered “official,” they must be sent directly from their respective testing agencies to Portland State University. 

SAT School Code is 4610

ACT School Code is 3492
Notice: Altered transcripts and falsified applications.  Students who knowingly submit altered transcripts or falsified applications jeopardize their admission status and may have their admission rescinded and/or their registration canceled.

All records submitted, filed, and accumulated in the Office of Admissions become the property of the University. The number of students admitted for any term is subject to the availability of space. When space is limited, selection may be based on grade point average, date of application, intended major, test scores, etc.

Admission Requirements—Entering Freshmen

To be admitted as freshmen, students need to fulfill each of the requirements (or alternatives to each) as specified in items 1-4 below.

1. High school graduation requirement.  Must have graduated from a standard or accredited high school. Students who have not graduated from high school or from a standard or accredited high school may meet entry requirements through alternative testing. Alternative testing includes successful completion of one of the following:

• Test of General Education Development (GED):

• If you took the GED after January 1, 2014: earn an overall average score of 170 and a minimum score of 150 on each subject test

• If you took the GED between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2013: earn a minimum overall average score of 580 and a minimum score of 410 on each subject test

• If you took the GED prior to January 1, 2002: earn an overall average score of 46 and a minimum score of 40 on each subject test

• HiSET®

• Minimum score of 15 on each subject test area and a 4/6 on the essay component of the Language Arts-Writing subject test


• Minimum score of 580 on Language Arts-Reading, 560 on Mathematics, 560 on Language Arts-Writing, and at least 6/8 on the Language Arts-Writing essay. 

Non-accredited or non-standard high school graduates:

Students from non-accredited or non-standard high schools, or home-school students, may meet the high school graduation requirement with a minimum score of 1120 or higher on the combined  evidence-based reading and writing, and math portions of the SAT, or with a composite score of 22 on the ACT®.

In addition to successfully meeting the criteria outlined for the SAT or the ACT®, students must also earn a minimum score of 470 or above (1410 total) on two College Board SAT Subject Tests (Math Level I or IIc, and one additional subject test of the student’s choice).

An examination in a second language is strongly recommended to qualify the applicant for admission by meeting the language proficiency requirements. Students who do not take an SAT Subject test in a second language must prove language proficiency through another approved process.

2. Subject requirements.  Resident applicants must satisfactorily (grade of C- or above) complete at least 15 units (one year equal to one unit) of college preparatory work in the following areas, while non-resident applicants must satisfactorily (grade of C- or above) complete at least 13 units (one year equal to one unit):

 a. English  (4 units). Must include the study of the English language, literature, speaking and listening, and writing, with emphasis on and frequent practice in writing expository prose during all four years. 

• b. Mathematics   (3 units).  Must include first-year algebra and should include two additional years of college preparatory mathematics (with the final year equivalent to or greater than the level of Algebra II) selected from geometry (deductive or descriptive); advanced topics in algebra (through Algebra II), trigonometry, analytical geometry, finite mathematics, advanced applications, calculus, and probability and statistics, or courses that integrate topics from two or more of these areas. One unit is strongly recommended in the senior year. (Algebra and geometry taken prior to ninth grade will be accepted if posted on HS transcript.)

• c. Science   (3 units).  Must include at least a year in fields of inquiry based college preparatory science such as biology, chemistry, physics, or earth and physical science. Science courses that are “inquiry based” provide students the opportunity to apply scientific reasoning and critical thinking to support conclusions or explanations with evidence from their investigations. It is strongly recommended that one year be taken as a laboratory science and that a total of three years of science be taken.

• d. Social   Studies (3   units).  Must include analysis of societal issues and events. It is strongly recommended that study includes knowledge and use of geographic information, patterns of United States history, patterns of human history, structures and systems of the US Government, and analysis of economic systems.

• e. Second Language   (2 units).  Must include demonstrated proficiency equivalent to two years of the same high school-level second language. This requirement applies to anyone who graduated  from an Oregon high school in 1997 or any year after. Students may demonstrate proficiency by meeting one of the following options: 

High School and College Options

• Pass with a C- or better, two years of the same high school-level second language

• Pass with a C- or better, the third year of a high school-level second language

• Pass with a D- or better two quarters or two semesters of college-level second language

Second Language Proficiency-based Assessment Options

• Score of 2 or higher on an Advanced Placement Foreign Language Test

• Score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level Foreign Language Exam

• Score of 40 or higher on a CLEP Foreign Language Exam

• Score of 500 or higher on an SAT Foreign Language Subject Test

• Education satisfactorily completed through 7th grade in a school or country where English was not the language of instruction

• Satisfactory performance (P) on a Brigham Young Foreign Language Assessment (BYU FLATS)

• Score of novice-high or higher on the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP)

 • Score of 226 or higher on a Proctored WebCAPE (only offered in Spanish for the Second Language Admission requirement)

• Score of novice-high or higher on the ACTFL scale in American Sign Language (ASL)

• Score of novice-high or higher on a ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview

• Credit for Prior Learning

**American Sign Language qualifies as a second language.

Students failing to meet the Second Language Proficiency requirement at the time of admission may be admitted, but will not be able to earn an undergraduate degree at Portland State University until the second language requirement has been completed. Students must provide official high school or college transcripts to demonstrate the Second Language Proficiency Requirement has been met.