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Transportation defines Portland. Portland State University (PSU), our urban university, shapes the transportation professionals who, in turn, shape their city and cities across the world. 

Our students conduct cutting-edge research under the guidance of the world’s foremost transportation research faculty at PSU - from both the (CUPA) Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning as well as the department of (MCECS) Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Students work on real projects with partners in our community—the organizations helping to make our transportation system work for all users. These partnerships lead to internships and rewarding careers after graduation. Wherever you see transportation innovations in urban centers, you’ll find PSU students and alumni. 

Transportation Students at Portland State University

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GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Each year, 15–30 graduate students from engineering, urban studies & planning, and other fields work as graduate research assistants for faculty. These students are often co-authors on project final reports and journal articles. TREC hires undergraduate student workers as well, who may work at processing data or similar tasks.

Learn more about the assistantships at College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA): Graduate Student Financial Resources.

SCHOLARSHIPS

Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) ($2,500)
Application not yet open; due February 1, 2018
IBPI awards a scholarship and paid internship to a student who is highly motivated to focus their studies at Portland State University on bicycling and walking as mainstream forms of transportation.

Portland State University (varies)
Applications due February 1, 2018
Currently accepting applications: 2018-2019 PSU Continuing/Transfer Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship Applications

Bill Kloos Scholarship ($2,500)
Applications due January 28, 2018

This scholarship is offered by the Oregon Section of ITE and the Bill Kloos Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to students pursuing degrees in transportation engineering or other related fields. It is named after William C. Kloos, who was the Signals and Street Light Manager at the City of Portland for 25 years. This scholarship was developed in order to promote the innovative thinking and communication skills of the future transportation professionals.

WTS Portland Chapter Scholarships (varies, $1,500 - $7,000)
Applications for 2017 are closed
WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) fosters the development of women in the transportation field by encouraging bright new professionals to undertake careers in the area of transportation. One way it does this is by awarding scholarships to women pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in transportation or a related field.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & NETWORKING

On-Campus
Through the on-campus Students in Transportation Engineering & Planning (ITE-STEP), students can take on leadership roles in cultivating community and education around the transportation issues important to them.

Off-Campus
Through local chapters of professional development organizations like WTS Portland and Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT), students can develop their academic and professional lives through forging relationships between transportation students and professionals.

EVENTS

Transportation & Communities Summit (TCS)
Students attend the annual TCS, learning from experts who work in transportation and livable communities all over the country. Students from any U.S. accredited university are eligible to enter the Open Call for Poster Sessions at TCS.

Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB)
With the help of NITC, over 50 PSU students attend the annual meeting of TRB each January. Many of our graduate students present research at the conference.

Friday Transportation Seminar
Weekly, throughout the school year, students hear from PSU Transportation faculty as well as speakers from around the region and country at the Friday Transportation Seminar

Student Alumni from Transportation Programs

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Out in the world, PSU transportation alumni are changing the way we think about transportation as leading academics and practitioners. A sample of some of the organizations our alumni are currently working at:

PUBLIC AGENCIES

PRIVATE + NONPROFIT

Alta Planning + Design, SERA Architects, CH2M, Kittelson & Associates, Inc., Lancaster Engineering, Nelson\Nygaard, Oregon Public Health Institute, DKS Associates, Resource Systems Group, Inc., Fregonese Associates and ICLEI.

RESEARCH + EDUCATION

Our doctoral alums are working as researchers, consultants and faculty members in places such as: University of Arizona, University of British Columbia, McGill University and the University of Sydney.

Research Faculty at PSU

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Transportation problems don’t stay between the lines. As a transportation student at Portland State University, you’ll work with experts in every field that contributes to our knowledge of transportation, including engineering and planning but also fields such as environmental science, psychology, geography and computer science. Our core transportation faculty, including Jennifer Dill, Christopher Monsere, Kelly Clifton, Miguel Figliozzi, Jenny Liu, Aaron Golub, Avi Unnikrishnan and Liming Wang, are regarded as national and international experts in their fields. 

Portland State boasts the U.S. Department of Transportation’s national center for livable communities. NITC, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, funds millions of dollars of transportation research and education, with vital contributions from student researchers working alongside faculty members. This research finds its way into the hands of transportation professionals at all levels, establishing the authority of our students before they even complete a degree. NITC also supports the student group, Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning, which bridges gaps between disciplines with educational and  entertaining events, speakers and trips.

Degree Programs at PSU

Portland State offers several graduate degrees in transportation fields and one graduate certificate program. We also offer undergraduate programs in civil engineering, supply and logistics management, and community development, which lay the foundation for our transportation graduate programs. 


Graduate Degree Programs (Professional)
Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering, put you on track for careers shaping the future of transportation with local governments, consulting firms and other organizations.

Graduate Degree Programs (Research)
The Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Master of Urban Studies, are suited for those seeking careers in a broad range of transportation professions or in academia.

Graduate Dual Degree Program in Transportation
For those seeking a degree rooted in both transportation planning and engineering, we offer a Dual Master’s Degree Program in Transportation, allowing students to obtain a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Science in Civil Engineering at the same time. 

Graduate Certificate in Transportation
The two disciplines also collaborate to offer a Graduate Certificate in Transportation for established professionals looking for a deeper understanding of transportation disciplines.

Doctoral Degree Programs
Our Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Ph.D. in Urban Studies, help shape researchers into the top experts in their fields. Portland State students publish as lead authors at a greater rate than most universities and are disproportionately represented at forums including the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Transportation Courses at PSU

Below is an overview of transportation-focused courses provided by Portland State University.

Graduate Courses offered by (MCECS) Civil & Environmental Engineering

  • CE 507 Transportation Research Communication Seminar (1)
  • CE 510 Computer Applications in CEE (4)
  • CE 510 Transportation Network Analysis (4)
  • CE 510 Transportation and Health (4)
  • CE 514 Transportation Seminar (1)
  • CE 550 Transportation Safety Analysis (4)
  • CE 553 Freight Transportation and Logistics (4)
  • CE 554 Introduction to Multimodal Transportation Engineering Data Analysis (4)
  • CE 555 Intelligent Transportation Systems (4)
  • CE 556 Traffic Engineering (4)
  • CE 558 Public Transportation Systems (4)
  • CE 559 Transportation Operations (4)
  • CE 562 Traffic Engineering Applications and Signal Timing (4)
  • CE 563 Transportation and Logistics Optimization and Modeling (4)
  • CE 593 Design and Operation of Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure (4)
  • CE 595 Sustainable Transportation in the Netherlands (4)
  • CE 596 Theories and Methods of Travel Behavior (4)
  • CE 598 Travel Survey and Data Analysis (4)

Graduate Courses offered by (CUPA) Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning

  • USP 510 Public Transportation Planning and Policy (3)
  • USP 511 Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning Lab (2)
  • USP 514 Transportation Seminar (1)
  • USP 537 Economics of Urban Transportation (3) [Odd years - Winter]
  • USP 543 Geographic Applications in Planning (3)
  • USP 544 Urban Transportation Planning (3)
  • USP 556 Urban Transportation: Problems and Policies (3)
  • USP 565 Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning (3)
  • USP 570 Transportation and Land Use (3)
  • USP 578 Impact Assessment (3)
  • USP 579 State and Local Public Finance (3)
  • USP 582 Sustainable Transportation (3)
  • USP 583 Transportation Finance (3) [Even years - Winter]
  • USP 587 Travel Demand Modeling (3)
  • USP 591 Geographic Information Systems I (4)
  • USP 592 Geographic Information Systems II (4)
  • USP 654 Data Analysis II (4)
  • USP 655 Advanced Data Analysis: Structural Equation Modeling (3)
  • USP 656 Advanced Data Analysis: Multilevel Regression (3)
  • USP 657 Advanced Data Analysis: Discrete Choice Modeling (3)

K-12 Outreach and Education

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Transportation workforce development doesn't always take place at the university level. Students' interest in transportation can start much earlier than that, which is why TREC is always looking for ways to engage elementary and high school students in transportation.

In recent years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education efforts at the K-12 level have increased significantly and many organizations are seeking to expand the capacity and diversity of the STEM workforce. NITC supports curriculum development projects and initiatives that introduce middle- and high-school students to transportation concepts and careers. Our goal is to increase the number of women and students of color in transportation-focused degree programs, and expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce.

We pursue this goal by offering:

  • Presentations for students interested in learning about careers in transportation
  • Events and workshops that are designed for specific age groups and deep-dive into aspects of the transportation industry
  • Library of Innovative Curriculum found in our extensive collection of Education Projects focused on transportation and livable communities

Transportation Career Presentations

Have a group of students curious about careers in transportation? Contact us at asktrec@pdx.edu and our staff can introduce your students to the industry, the variety of careers, and its importance as a fundamental aspect of human society.

Events and Workshops in 2018

GIS "Crash Course" with ChickTech
WHEN: Saturday, March 10, 2018 (Get updates when registration opens)
WHERE: Portland, OR
COST: Free!
The spatial mapping of events has been evolving as a major method of analysis for centuries. Join us at this one-day workshop for high school girls to become familiar with these concepts, by working with vehicle crash data from the City of Portland. The workshop, held in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) lab of PSU’s Engineering Building, consists of a morning instruction session and an afternoon applied activity. The day also includes a lunchtime walking tour of active transportation infrastructure around the Portland State University campus. By the end of the day you will have a working understanding of spatial mapping and new ideas for how you can apply them to your city! (Read more about the 2017 Workshop.)

National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI)
WHEN: Two-week day camp in Summer 2018 (July or August, to be determined)
WHERE: Portland, OR
COST: Free!
NSTI is a  free two-week day camp offers high school girls a foundation in the transportation industry and a chance to strengthen their STEM skills. Students will be introduced to a strong network of women working in transportation in the Portland metropolitan region, helping them to build their leadership skills, strengthen their college applications and envision a possible future for themselves working in transportation. The first Summer Transportation Institute at Portland State took place in the summer of 2016, and the program was offered again in 2017. (Learn more about the program)

Transportation Workshop at Chicas Summer Camp
WHEN: One-day Workshop in Summer 2018 (date be determined)
WHERE: Portland, OR
COST: Free!
Chicas Youth Development Program (Chicas) is a year round program; every summer, Chicas provides three scholastic camps. These camps engage Latina youth in workshops and group discussions. Chicas is hosting a transportation-focused summer camp for elementary, middle school and high school students in summer 2017. These camps provide a space for youth to explore and discover different forms of education to further their goals and motivation of higher education in the summer. The Scholastic Camps highlight three main topics and their importance and relevance to a youth’s development. Each week is dedicated to a topic; the topics are the following: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Healthy Lifestyles and Express Yourself: Art, Culture and Dance. For three weeks, students have the opportunity to experience and participate in physical and intellectual challenging activities. These camps introduce them to new and rewarding experiences while providing them with supportive and caring relationships.

Library of Curriculum

Investigations in Transportation
In 2015, 5th grade classes at Beaverton’s Chehalem Elementary and 5th and 6th graders at Tobias Elementary in Aloha took part in a NITC education project, Investigations in Transportation, co-sponsored by Portland State University, the Portland Metro STEM Partnership and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The students' work yielded functional changes which will likely be made to the parking lots at both schools, resulting in better traffic flow and increased capacity. The unit was designed to teach students real-world applications of core concepts in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). After exploring several potential engineering challenges at their schools, both groups of students chose to work on the “Parking Lot Dilemma.” (LEARN MORE)