Online schools in Oregon

Oregon isn't the only state where university roots go back to a time before the state itself existed, but it speaks volumes about the value of education in Oregon that multiple pre-statehood institutions are still admitting and graduating classes. Scores of other traditional and online schools in Oregon have emerged in the decades since, continuing to work to bring higher education to as many residents as possible.

Whether you're considering a campus-based education or think that one of the online colleges in Oregon might be more your speed, it can be helpful to establish a home base that gives you access to libraries, tutoring centers and other touchstones of student culture. The four Oregon cities with student populations above 10,000 in 2015, according to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), are, in order: Portland, Eugene, Corvallis and Salem.

There are also several smaller Oregon cities where the number of students was considerable but didn't quite reach the 10,000 threshold. NCES data shows that Monmouth, Albany, Ashland, Gresham, Oregon City and Klamath Falls were all home to 5,000 students or more in 2015.

To find out more about the state, its educational options and potential careers, explore the different sections of this guide, including:

Online education in Oregon
Major industries & in-demand degrees
Oregon colleges

Online colleges in Oregon

Oregon is home to some of the top colleges in the West, and prospective students who choose to attend online schools in Oregon can often take courses from the same departments and professors as their campus-based counterparts. In fact, one of the five best online bachelor's programs in the country can be found at Oregon State University in Corvallis, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Hybrid degrees in Oregon — wherein students take a portion of their coursework online and a portion of it on campus — may be particularly advantageous for students who live far enough away from a main campus location to prohibit daily travel but close enough to make the trip once or twice a week for a particularly exciting course or hands-on training session. These degrees can be a great compromise between the comfort of the traditional classroom model and the generally reduced course fees of online learning.

If you're interested, start exploring what online degrees might be offered near you by checking out this map, which shows the location of all colleges in Oregon, based on 2013 data from the NCES. (Mobile users will need to visit the full Schools.com site to use the map.)

Management and executive training at online schools in Oregon

Data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that business and financial activities occupations constituted the fastest-growing sector of the Oregon economy in 2014-15, and there are degrees available at online colleges in Oregon that can help aspiring businesspeople get their career underway. If you can't commit to the schedule of campus-based coursework required for a traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, Portland State University offers a fully online option that's ranked among the 50 best in the country by U.S. News.

Accelerated MBA programs may also be available for students who have a year or so in which to focus completely on their business education. Portland's Marylhurst University offers an accelerated online program that typically takes about 18 months to complete, and the faith-based George Fox University in Newberg offers an accelerated campus-based option that can be completed in just 11 months.

Reaching out to find the best degree for you

If you don't find what you're looking for at one of the online colleges in Oregon, never fear. One of the primary advantages of online education is that students need not be limited by location in their choice of institution. Students living in Oregon may also take individual courses or apply to earn full degrees at any of the prestigious business schools that offer online degrees to out-of-state students.

MBA programs from top-ranked schools such as the University of Florida and Temple University in Philadelphia can be completed entirely online, with multiple available specializations. Those who want to pursue an advanced business degree with a less administrative focus can check out programs at Arizona State University, the University of Connecticut and other universities with nationally renowned non-MBA graduate business programs.

By all statistical accounts, employment in the Beaver State is strong — data from the BLS shows that the Oregon unemployment rate dropped nearly a full point in just the first three months of 2015, falling to 5.4 percent in March.

Best degrees to get in Oregon

By all statistical accounts, employment in the Beaver State is strong. Data from the BLS shows that the state unemployment rate dropped nearly a full point in just the first three months of 2015, falling to 5.4 percent in March, and employment projections from the Oregon Employment Department (OED) indicate an expected increase of 15.4 percent to overall employment statewide between 2012 and 2022.

The OED also indicates that some occupations are expected to be in higher demand than others in the coming years, and applying your academic energy in the right ways when pursuing your degree can prepare you to compete for one of these high-demand positions after graduation.

  • A degree in engineering has long been go-to for students looking to turn their academic investment into workforce success, and the Oregon career market bears this tradition out. Aerospace, chemical and biomedical engineering are particularly hot disciplines in Oregon, with respective 2014 mean annual salaries of $90,580, $94,430 and $86,000 reported by the BLS and expected statewide employment growth near 25 percent across the board between 2012 and 2022.
  • Although it's a field that scarcely existed as recently as 20 years ago, a degree in digital arts may have a better chance of leading to employment in Oregon than in many other states. Job opportunities for multimedia artists and animators are expected to shoot up 34 percent by 2022 — nearly six times the nationwide average expected growth in the field. Employment of art directors, who are just as important on digital creative projects as they are in traditional media, is also projected to see roughly 25 percent growth between 2012 and 2022.
  • Jobs in health care are booming across all academic levels, and physical therapy degrees are one pathway to a rewarding career. The projected 28-percent employment growth for physical therapists in Oregon is expected to create nearly 700 jobs by 2022, and the statewide mean annual wage for the position came to $79,390 in 2014. Jobs for physical therapist assistants are growing, also, with a 32 percent increase forecast by the OED, which can offer opportunities for physical therapy students to get work experience in the field while earning their degree.

Job opportunities for multimedia artists and animators in Oregon are expected to shoot up 34 percent by 2022 — nearly six times the nationwide average expected growth in the field.

  • For students looking to break into the business world, finance degrees sit on the more versatile side of the spectrum. In Oregon, jobs for personal financial advisors, cost estimators and financial analysts are all projected to grow 26 percent or more, with a whopping 35 percent growth expected for personal advisory positions. The mean annual salary across all business and financial positions in Oregon was $65,170, with the BLS reporting 2014 salaries of $96,590 and $85,940 for financial analysts and personal financial advisors, respectively.
  • Several of the fastest-growing jobs in Oregon at the associate degree level require training in one discipline or another of the health sciences, which encompasses most technical and technological fields in the health care and medical industries. Employment growth figures for medical equipment repairers, cardiovascular technologists and clinical laboratory technicians all came in above 25 percent for 2012-22, and diagnostic sonography positions are expected to grow to the tune of 38 percent during the same period.

Some seemingly academic degrees made the fastest-growing occupations list as well: anthropology, history, archaeology and geography professions are each pegged for 25 percent growth or more by 2022. While there's no particular degree that can guarantee you a job once you hit the workforce, focusing on particular knowledge areas and learning how to maneuver in their associated professions can bring a certain measure of sanity to your job search.

Oregon colleges

Naturally, there are certain subject areas in which certain online schools in Oregon excel. Here are some of the top degree programs at six traditional and online colleges in Oregon, according to U.S. News and World Report:

Institution name

Online degrees?

Top programs

Notable rankings

Oregon State University


Public health, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, math, statistics, geosciences, agricultural sciences, biological science, computer science, engineering, education

Best national universities (No. 138); Top public schools (No. 70); Best national colleges for veterans (No. 38); Best online bachelor's programs (No. 5)

University of Oregon


Law, graduate business, psychology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, political science, earth science, public affairs, sociology

Best national universities (No. 106); Top public schools (No. 50)

Lewis & Clark College


Environmental law, graduate education, legal writing, part-time law

Best national liberal arts colleges (No. 77); Best national liberal arts colleges for veterans (No. 2)

Pacific University


Clinical psychology, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assisting

Best regional universities - West (No. 25)

Portland State University


Graduate business (online), MBA (online), city management, public affairs, health care management, social work, rehabilitation counseling, psychology, fine arts

Up-and-coming schools (No. 8)

Willamette University


Business, law, public affairs, part-time MBA

Best national liberal arts colleges (No. 64)

1. Fastest-Growing Occupations, Career InfoNet, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.careerinfonet.org/select_educ_rd.asp?next=oview1&optstatus=&id=1&nodeid=3&soccode=&stfips=41&jobfam=&ShowAll=
2. One-Year Full-Time MBA, George Fox University, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.georgefox.edu/business/full-time-mba/
3. Accelerated Online MBA, Marylhurst University, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.marylhurst.edu/academics/schools-colleges-departments/school-business/departments/mba-department/programs/accelerated-online-mba.html
4. College Navigator - Oregon, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed April 29, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=OR&ic=1+2&en=500&of=1&od=0&pg=1]
5. Oregon Story of Statehood, Oregon Historical Society, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.ohs.org/visit-ohs/upload/statehood-story.pdf
6. Bachelor of Health Science Online, Pacific University, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.pacificu.edu/future-undergraduates/academics/areas-study/bachelor-health-science-online
7. "The List: Guess which Oregon university is the oldest," Portland Business Journal, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2013/03/which-oregon-university-the-oldest.html
8. Economy at a Glance - Oregon, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, April 29, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.or.htm
9. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Oregon, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_or.htm
10. Multimedia Artists and Animators, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-2015 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm
11-16. Overall Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 29, 2015: Oregon State University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/oregon-state-university-209542/overall-rankings; University of Oregon, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-oregon-209551/overall-rankings; Portland State University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/portland-state-university-209807/overall-rankings; Lewis & Clark College, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/lewis-clark-college-209056/overall-rankings; Pacific University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/pacific-university-209612/overall-rankings; Willamette University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/willamette-university-210401/overall-rankings
17. Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA), U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/business-rankings
18. Best Online MBA Programs, U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
19. Online Extended MAT Program, Willamette University, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.willamette.edu/gse/programs/mat/online/index.html

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