Portland State University


Finance and Accounting Programs at Portland State University

Portland State University is also featured in our ranking of the Top 15 Online Masters in Taxation.

Located in Portland, Oregon, Portland State University offers both finance and accounting degree programs for undergrads. The university’s bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on accounting is the state’s largest accounting program. Students can join Beta Alpha Psi and get access to resources designed for honors students. The university also has a mentor program that pairs undergrads with accounting professionals who currently work in the field. It offers internships with leading accounting firms in and around Portland too. Students in the bachelor’s program can take classes that include Accounting Information Systems, Auditing Concepts and Practices, Integrated Accounting Issues and Financial Accounting and Reporting.

Designed for students above the bachelor’s level is the university’s post-bachelor accounting certificate program. Students who majored in business or accounting can enroll in the program and complete the minimum number of credits necessary to take the CPA exam in Oregon. Students take 34 credits, including Introduction to Taxation, Management Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Business Finance. They can also take advanced accounting electives that address subjects such as taxation, auditing, and reporting.

Also available is a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on finance. This program features a total of 82 credits of business classes, which will include at least 28 credits of finance courses. More than 70% of finance graduates remain in Portland and work for some of the regions top banks and financial institutions. Most majors join the university’s Financial Management Association (FMA) too. Valuation and Finance Topics and Cases are two of the required finance courses in the program. Other classes include Fundamentals of Derivative Securities, Investments, Intermediate Financial Management, and Financial Accounting and Reporting.

About Portland State University

Portland State University is one of the several schools across the country that opened in the days following World War II. The government established the GI Bill as a way to help former soldiers afford college. Founded in 1946 as the Vanport Extension Center, it held classes in the Vanport Junior High School. Students paid just $50 in tuition and could choose from a small number of classes and programs. The extension center moved to a new campus just a few years later as enrollment grew from 200 students to more than 1,400 students. It would become the Portland State Extension Center and then Portland State College. The university also uses the names Portland State and PSU today.

According to Washington Monthly, PSU is the 165th best university in the nation. Both Forbes and U.S. News and World Report also rank the university nationally at numbers 542 and 200. Times, which ranks colleges on a global scale, ranked PSU within the top 800 colleges in the world. Its location in Portland makes it easy for students to find opportunities away from the PSU campus. Many students work part-time jobs for local companies and do internships with organizations and groups. All new buildings added to the campus since 2000 are environmentally friendly, and the university has plans to make its older buildings more sustainable in the future. Enrollment at PSU today includes more than 28,000 students.

Portland State University Accreditation Details

The business programs offered by PSU have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB). This accreditation covers both the university’s finance and accounting programs also. Portland State has regional accreditation too, which is from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The university can accept credits from students after a full evaluation of their transcripts because of this accreditation, but it also lets students transfer to a different school and take their credits. Accreditation from the NWCCU comes up for renewal every decade, and PSU has maintained its accreditation every time.

Portland State University Application Requirements

The PSU Office of Admissions and Records will only accept students into the post-bachelor accounting certificate program if they have a bachelor’s degree from a university or college with regional accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Those applying also need to provide transcripts or give the university the right to get their transcripts. Their transcripts must show that they took the four prerequisites needed for the program, including Fundamentals of Financial Accounting and Principles of Economics. The university asks that students apply to PSU and then apply to both its School of Business and the certificate program.

Students applying to the university’s finance or accounting programs only need a high school grade point average of 3.0 and a diploma. PSU also asks for transcripts to make sure that students followed the Oregon curriculum for college preparation. This curriculum includes three years of social science, physical/life science and math courses, four units of English and two years of a foreign language. Most students will also need to provide a standardized test score, though the university waives this requirement for those who finished high school more than three years ago. PSU has an online system that lets students use one account to apply for admissions and view its final decision.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Portland State is the only public university in Oregon with a tuition guarantee. This guarantee promises that students can finish all four years of their degrees without seeing any tuition increases. Students pay $171 per credit hour as an Oregon resident and $570 per credit hour as a nonresident. To qualify for the resident rate, students must provide government IDs or other documents that show they lived in Oregon for at least six months before they applied. Post-bachelor certificate students will pay $280 per credit hour as a resident and $601 per credit hour as a nonresident. These are the same rates PSU charges graduate students.

Scholarships and grants are the two different types of institutional aid available from PSU. It has an application that students can complete online to apply for those programs. Some scholarships and grants automatically go to students based on the merit and need shown on the admissions application and FAFSA. Students can also use direct loans from the federal government and the Pell grant. Though the university doesn’t offer much financial aid for post-bachelor certificate students, those students can use loans and set up payment plans. Payment plans are also available for students in the other finance and accounting programs offered at Portland State University.