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Experience University of Oregon

Lillis Complex (University of Oregon). Image courtesy Visitor7 via <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lillis_Complex_(University_of_Oregon).jpg" title="via Wikimedia Commons" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>. Edited by O's List under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0" target="_blank">CC BY-SA</a>
Lillis Complex (University of Oregon). Image courtesy Visitor7 via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by O's List under CC BY-SA

Situated in Eugene, OR close to interstate I-5. University of Oregon (UO) is the flagship public university of Oregon. UO is reasonably easy to get to: Visitors can choose to fly into Eugene or drive 2 hours south from Portland on I-5. Eugene is a medium sized city in southern Oregon and is located at the southern end of the Willamette valley. The Willamette river flows through Eugene and McKenzie river borders the northern and eastern edge of Eugene. Students at UO can enjoy both an urban life in Eugene and at the same time partake of the outdoorsy life and sports around Eugene.

UO is a big university well known for its sports and academics. The Oregon Ducks are especially well known for their football, basketball and track and field programs, though The Ducks are competitive in all their 18 varsity sports programs! Eugene really comes alive on game days.

UO is well regarded in almost all its academic programs, with business, psychology and physiology being the most popular programs. A special mention must be made of its visual and performing arts program which offers degrees in specialized arts such as printmaking, metal and jewelry making and sculpture amongst other programs.

UO has been expanding its footprint with a lot of new construction. Slated to open in 2020 for interdisciplinary studies in entrepreneurship, research in biology and practical training is the Knight Center. Their track field has undergone new construction as have their residence halls and classrooms and counseling centers.

Campus Life

Over 84% of the campus comprises of undergraduates, with nearly 19,101 undergraduates enrolled on campus. It is a very large campus and it feels like it too. The 3,500 graduate students include both full time and part time students pursuing their Masters and Ph.D degrees, as well as other professional degrees. Nearly one third of the graduate students assist as teaching assistants. However, with the undergraduate enrollment numbers being over five times as many as the graduate student numbers, UO feels like a big undergraduate school.

Almost all the incoming freshman live on campus. Students are recommended to choose their housing based on Academic Residential Communities, where students interested in similar studies or activities can live and build their own community. The Academic Residential Communities (ARC) are grouped into: Art+Design, Business, Environmental Leaders, Carnegie Global Oregon, Global Engagement, Health Sciences, Media and Social Action, Thrive, LGBTQIA+Scholars, Honors College. Latinx Scholars, Native American and Indigenous Studies and Performing Arts Collective. However, students can also decide to join non programmatic residence communities of Creative Practice Community, Gender Equity Community, Multicultural Community, Quiet Community, Umoja Black Scholars and Wellness Community. The students while a part of the ARC or the residential communities will live in one of the 10 residence halls. Students seem to like the dining options at UO which is why it deserves a mention here.

By sophomore year, most students choose to stay off campus. Off campus housing is expensive in Eugene but can come out to be more cost effective for returning students, as many roommates share the accommodations. Students can bike or drive to campus. The campus housing is also available for returning students if students prefer to live on campus.


UO has 7 undergraduate colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, Lundquist College of Business, College of Design and College of Education, Clark Honors College, School of Journalism and Communication, School of Music and Dance. There 2 graduate schools: School of Law and Graduate College.

UO follows the quarter system can be quite fast paced. Students find that professors are available for office hours. There is a fair bit of support available to students through on-site academic advising at the ARC, and a big student health and wellness center. There are over 300 degree and certificate programs available for study. UO mentions that nearly 25%of the incoming freshman are undecided about their major and take some time to explore the academic opportunities at UO before deciding on a major.

Students are required to take core courses in English, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. There is an additional requirement that to obtain a B.S degree students need to take(have) a one year of college level math or a computer science course. Similarly, a B.A aspirant will need to take (have) two years of college level proficiency in a foreign language.

The teaching is performed by mostly full time and some part time faculty, almost all of whom hold a doctoral degree in their areas of expertise. The class or group discussion teaching assistants are graduate students in the discipline. Some class sizes have students less than 20 students, though there are quite a few classes with over 200 students in the class. The most popular majors at UO are biological sciences, social sciences, business and psychology.

The sports business concentration at UO’s the Lundquist College of Business is a unique program where students get a degree in business administration and yet take courses in sports marketing, sports finances, etc, all of which position the student for a job in the sports marketing industry. Most of their business administration undergraduates can choose to concentrate in diverse areas such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations research and the afore mentioned sports business.

The College of Design brings together many disciplines such as public policy and planning, architecture, art and design under its aegis. They offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees across campuses located in Eugene and Portland. The College of Design offers students many research opportunities in sustainable cities and environment, policy research, urbanism etc.

College of Arts and Sciences is one of UO’s biggest colleges that hosts over 48 undergraduate majors across humanities, social sciences and sciences. Some of their most popular majors are social sciences, biological sciences, economics and psychology. Almost all the general education credits are taught at the college of letters and science. The College of Arts and Sciences also has a large research footprint conducted across its departments and 25 affiliated institutes and labs.

College of Arts and Sciences is one of UO’s biggest colleges that hosts over 48 undergraduate majors across humanities, social sciences and sciences. Some of their most popular majors are social sciences, biological sciences, economics and psychology. Almost all the general education credits are taught at the college of letters and science. The College of Arts and Sciences also has a large research footprint conducted across its departments and 25 affiliated institutes and labs.

Students interested in teaching careers can take a look at UO’s College of Education. Interested in advertising or journalism? Then it is worth checking out the UO’s School of Journalism and Communication. UO also prides itself on its career placement after graduating with a degree from its School of Journalism and Communication. Students interested in music and dance can apply to the its School of Music and Dance.

One of UO’s crown jewels is the Clark Honors College. While there are no minimum requirements for the honors college, Clark Honor’s College reports that a median high school GPA of 3.91 and a SAT test score of 1360. The honors college provides a classic liberal arts education to its students who span over 65 different majors. From Fall 2020, students will equally take courses in their major, university electives and courses at the honors college. Interested students should take a look at their curricula.

Career Placement

UO is well placed with respect to all the West Coast companies. Of course, the close proximity to Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle is a great asset when it comes to getting jobs. UO graduates have found employment with Nike, Amazon, Intel, Google, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce…the list is extensive.

Extra-Curricular Activities

UO also offers participation in Pep Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Drama and Theatre, Literary Magazines and Newspapers, Dance, Musical Theatre, Musical Ensemble, Orchestra, Campus Ministries, Opera, Choral Groups, TV Station, Film Society and Radio and Student Government.

UO offers Army ROTC and in cooperation with Oregon State University, Air Force ROTC.

Party Scene

Students say that UO is a fun and alive campus, very much centered around sports. Additionally, there are many activities, clubs and organizations where students also spend a lot of their non-academic times.


UO Ducks is a huge D1 sports school and the games are super well attended. The game days are big, with the attendant big game spirit. The UO Auzten stadium is ranked as one of the top stadiums to watch college football.

Cost and Finances

UO charges in state and out of state tuition. They offer both need-based aid and merit scholarships. 67% of their enrolled students were offered some form of need based aid and the reported average aid amount is $11,921. A better determination of any student’s financial aid can be assessed through the net price calculator rather than relying on the average aid amount. An average merit aid of $6,300 was offered to nearly 21% of the enrolled freshmen. The Clarks Honors college reports that 92% of their students receive merit and/or need based scholarships.

39% of the enrolled students were also offered loans towards their net cost of attendance. The median debt ranges from $15,000-25,070. These graduates can look forward to a salary of $19,700-$57,000 based on their major and employment.

This is just a bird’s eye view of University of Oregon. Check out the virtual tours of UO on Youtube, and UO360 app , look at the Google photos of UO, and check out their sports. Most students have a very positive view of UO, often describing it as a welcoming, diverse and an inclusive campus. An ending fun fact: Eugene is also known as the Track Town of USA.