Transportation defines Portland. Portland State University, Portland’s 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. Students work on real projects with partners in our community—the organizations helping to make our transportation system work for all users.
This partnership leads to internships and rewarding careers after graduation. Wherever you see transportation innovations serving the city, you’ll find Portland State students and alumni. Welcome to our lab.
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.
Out in the world, Portland State University transportation alumni are changing the way we think about transportation as leading academics and practitioners. Our graduate degree alums work for a wide range of employers, including:
- Cities and counties: Portland, Seattle, New York, Multnomah County
- Transit agencies: TriMet, Salem-Keizer Transit, Chicago Transit Authority
- Regional agencies: Metro (Oregon), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (California), the Southern California Association of Governments
- State agencies: Oregon Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation, CalTrans, Oregon Health Authority
Private and nonprofit organizations
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.
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.
Where do you fit in? 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.
Which program is right for you?
Our professional graduate degree programs, the 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.
Our research-based programs, 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.
Our doctoral degree programs, the 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.
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.
The two disciplines also collaborate to offer a Graduate Certificate in Transportation for established professionals looking for a deeper understanding of transportation disciplines.
Undergraduate and graduate students are involved with TREC and the NITC program in a number of ways.
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.
With the help of NITC, over 50 PSU students attend the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board each January. Many of our graduate students present research at the conference.
Students attend the Transportation and Communities Summit, learning from experts who work in transportation and livable communities all over the country.
Through STEP and WTS student groups, students develop their academic and professional lives, forging relationships between transportation students and professionals in different disciplines at PSU and other universities.
Students hear from speakers from around the region and country at the Friday Transportation Seminar.
Our students join a network of alumni throughout the world, dedicated to creating healthy, vibrant and livable communities.