University of Oregon

College of Design

Areas of Study in Portland

Department of Architecture

The Department of Architecture in Portland focuses on the influence of urban design and planning on building design. The program builds on more than thirty years of teaching in the city, using Portland as a living laboratory for urban architecture. Students learn to design buildings as an integral part of the constructed and natural environmental systems that shape cities.

The Portland program is primarily a graduate program that is also available to advanced undergraduate students. Our courses address architectural and urban design theory and history, building technology and sustainable design, digital design communication, and professional practice. We give our students the tools, approaches, and connections to build successful careers.  Students in the UO Department of Architecture in Portland actively engage with the city. Their creative design practice and research takes advantage of and contributes to Portland’s reputation as a unique urban center, a leader in green building, and a nexus of interdisciplinary creativity. We foster a supportive, yet rigorous, intellectual community, maintaining our student–centered program through a noncompetitive, individualized approach to learning.

To apply, visit the Department of Architecture website. Prospective students are invited to participate in the Department of Architecture Open House events in Eugene and Portland to learn more about programs available at each site.  Prospective students are also welcome to visit Portland throughout the year, by scheduling an academic interest appointment.  Newly admitted graduate students are invited to attend Grad Day in Portland.

Portland Design Studio Gallery


Historic Preservation Program

The Historic Preservation Program offers a Master of Science graduate degree at the award-winning White Stag Block at the University of Oregon in Portland. The Historic Preservation Program at the University of Oregon has a long history of being one of the premier hands-on preservation programs in the country specializing in the documentation, analysis, and stabilization of vernacular resources. Our program focuses on research in the field of preservation theory and practice, concentrating on the cultural, historical, technological, and environmental factors that shape our world. The city of Portland's long standing commitment to sustainability, adaptive reuse and preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and districts makes this an exciting opportunity for students to live and work in this active preservation community.

In addition to our classroom learning opportunities we sponsor two summer field schools each year—one in Croatia and the other in the Pacific Northwest.

To apply, visit the Historic Preservation Program application page.  


Department of Product Design

Furniture Design 439Product designers are the people who create the tools, transportation, computers, clothes, sofas, and sports equipment to fit the needs of people. These designers make products more energy–efficient, more ergonomically appropriate, more cost–effective, and more socially responsible.

The Department of Product Design provides a thorough grounding in the use, invention, and production of consumer products. It integrates the theories and applied practices of the art, architecture, and the design disciplines.

The bachelor of fine arts program in Portland is a fifth year of concentrated study for students wanting to continue past the BA/BS level or transfer students wanting to expand on their design–related degree. The BFA program provides advanced undergraduate students with a full-time, one-year academic program.

Students learn to develop products from a personal, local, and global perspective by addressing the needs of individuals, communities, and industry. They gain in–depth knowledge about materials, idea generation, prototyping, and manufacturing. Faculty members focus equally on high– and low–tech working methods, stressing hand skills alongside 3–D rendering and printing. Our students come away from the program with the confidence and skills to work for a large company or to start their own business.

To apply, visit the Product Design admission page. Applications to the Portland BFA program are due January 15.


Department of Product Design: Sports Product Design Program

The master of science in sports product design will prepare designers to be key members and leaders of multidisciplinary development teams within the more than 700 sports product companies located in Oregon and beyond. The degree focuses on innovation methods, design for the athlete, product sustainability, and sports product marketing and branding.

Entering designers equipped with conceptual problem-solving abilities, knowledge of materials and production, strategies for emotional product resonance and relevance, and entrepreneurial skills will have their designer’s toolboxes enhanced with a deep, specific study of sports product techniques, tools and platforms, and human physiology, biomechanics, and sports psychology.

Students who graduate from this program will be capable of making strong contributions to the sports design culture of Oregon and the world at large.

If you are interested in applying, visit the Sports Product Design page for more information.