Portland State University Graduate Program Requirements

Last Updated on December 23, 2022

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Portland State University Requirements

And at Portland State University, it’s here for everybody. We stand out among graduate schools in Oregon with more than 100 master’s degrees, 48 graduate certificates, and 20 doctoral offerings. Challenge yourself to take the next step in your education and career.


  • Copies of transcripts from each college or university attended (other than Portland State)
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency


  • Personal essay or statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores, e.g., GRE (not required by all programs)
  • Resume
  • Writing samples
  • Portfolio


  • Copies of official degree certificate/diploma
  • Certified translation of transcripts
  • Financial documentation demonstrating adequate financial support for at least the first year of study

Portland State’s minimum requirements


To be admitted to PSU for a graduate certificate, masters or doctoral program, applicants must satisfy University requirements and be accepted by the academic department in which the graduate study will occur. Admission eligibility is based on receipt of a baccalaureate degree equivalent to a United States four-year bachelor’s degree from a college or university recognized as an institution of higher education by the Ministry of Education in the relevant country or be regionally accredited within the U.S. prior to matriculating into a graduate program.

Admitted students must meet the university’s minimum English language proficiency requirements in order to enroll in graduate courses.

The Graduate School reserves the right to request official or updated transcripts at any time.


To be considered for regular admission, applicants must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or the equivalent (on the U.S. 4.0 scale). Applicants who have earned 9 or more letter-graded graduate credits must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent; this graduate GPA supersedes the undergraduate GPA.


Applicants who have a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.5 and 2.74 or the equivalent are eligible for University Conditional status. After completing 9 letter-graded graduate credits with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, students with University Conditional status will automatically be given Regular status.


utline summarizes the Portland State University procedural requirements for master’s degrees. Additional information can be found in the Graduate School section of the Bulletin, on the Graduate School website, and on the applicable forms.

  1. Prior to first term of registration, meet with faculty adviser assigned by program director and plan a preliminary program of study, as well as become familiar with general regulations and procedures for the master’s degree as described in the Bulletin.
  2. If graduate courses taken while an undergraduate at PSU and not used in the bachelor’s degree are to be considered for use in the graduate program, the department must submit a DARS exception to the Graduate School in order to apply the courses to the program of study. This request should be made soon after admission to the graduate program. (Applicable only for courses completed at PSU, limited to 12 credits maximum.) Reserved credits are also subject to all pre-admission limits and requirements. 

    If graduate courses were taken while an undergraduate at PSU that are part of an approved bachelors+masters program, the department must submit a DARS exception to the Graduate School in order to apply the courses to the program of study. This request should be made soon after admission to the graduate program.
  3. If pre-admission credits taken at PSU are to be included in the program of study, the department must submit a DARS exception to the Graduate School in order to apply the courses to the program of study. This request should be made soon after admission to the graduate program. No more than one-third of the student’s degree program can be pre-admission credits. If transfer courses (courses taken at any time from another regionally accredited institution) are to be included in the program of study, the Proposed Transfer Credit form (GO-21M) must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. It is strongly suggested that this form be submitted early in the student’s program. No more than one-third of the student’s degree program can be transfer credits.
  4. If admitted with university and/or department conditions, meet all conditions. University Conditional status will be automatically removed after completion of the first 9 letter-graded graduate credits after admission with a 3.00 GPA or higher. Department conditions are removed once a department determines the appropriate requirements have been met. University and department conditions are monitored independently of each other and are typically not removed at the same time. 
  5. For an MA or MAT degree, meet the second language requirement. This requirement must be met before any final exam is taken or before the Final Oral Examination Committee form (GO-16M) or any final graduation paperwork can be approved.
  6. Submit the Application for Awarding of Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, or Graduate Certificate via Banweb no later than the first week of the term of graduation. Review the Graduate Candidate Deadlines for specific dates.
  7. After submitting the Application for Awarding of Master’s Degree, Doctoral Degree, or Graduate Certificate, consult with adviser and/or department about DARS report and plans for completing final degree requirements.
  8. The University requires that graduate students who are involved in activities requiring faculty time or the use of University facilities register every term (excluding summer), including those engaged in any phase of research, such as collecting or developing data; or when engaged in any aspects of a project, thesis, or dissertation. 

    A minimum of 1 graduate credit of registration is required in any term (including summer) when students are completing a major milestone for the degree, such as taking any comprehensive or final examination; when holding a thesis/dissertation proposal or defense; and in the term of final thesis/dissertation submission and graduation.
  9. If thesis is to be submitted:
    • Adviser submits the Appointment of Final Oral Examination Committee form (GO-16M) approximately two weeks before the end of the term preceding the term of the defense; see specific dates. The chair of the thesis committee must be regular, full-time PSU instructional faculty, tenured or tenure-track, assistant professor or higher in rank; the other committee members may include NTTF or adjunct faculty. Two of the committee members (the chair and one other member) must be from the student’s department; the third member may be from the student’s department or may be PSU faculty from another department or OHSU faculty. If it is necessary to go off campus for one additional committee member with specific expertise not available among PSU faculty, a CV for that proposed member must be presented with the GO-16M form; that member must be in addition to the required three PSU faculty members. All committee members must have master’s degrees. No defense shall be valid without a thesis committee approved by the Graduate School.
    • The thesis defense must take place at least five weeks prior to the end of the term of anticipated graduation and all members must receive a complete copy of the thesis at least two weeks prior to the defense date. For summer term graduation, deadlines apply to the regular eight-week Summer Session.
    • Student must check with thesis committee chair to assure completion of requirements prior to final defense.
    • The final thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than three weeks prior to the close of the term of application for graduation. For details about thesis formatting, submission, and specific deadlines, see the Thesis and Dissertation Information page on the Graduate School website. Required formatting revisions must be made before graduation.
    • Adviser is responsible for the completion of the Recommendation for the Degree form (GO-17M), which is due in the Graduate School after end-of-term grades are posted. IP (In-Progress) grades for required thesis credits are changed via the GO-17M form.
  10. In the case of non-thesis final oral examinations, including final project presentations, the committee shall consist of at least two members of the student’s department, including the student’s adviser. At the discretion of the department, a faculty member from another department may be added; that member would be selected by the adviser, the department chair, or the departmental graduate committee chair, according to department policy. For MAT and MST students, one member of the committee is required to be added from the College of Education or a faculty member with pedagogical expertise in the student’s discipline.
  11. Schedule and pass final master’s examinations, if required, before the end of the term.
  12. An Incomplete or In-Progress grade in any course applied toward degree requirements, excluding thesis (see last bullet under #9 above), must be removed before graduation.
  13. Outstanding grades for all courses being used in the degree program (except 503 Thesis credits) must be submitted by the instructor directly to the Office of the Registrar.

    All M (Missing) grades in graduate courses that could potentially be letter graded must be removed before graduation, even if the courses are not applied to the student’s degree program.
  14. All coursework applied to a master’s degree must be completed within seven years prior to the awarding of the degree (e.g., a course taken in fall term 2013 will be beyond the seven-year limitation at the close of fall 2020).
  15. The Graduate School verifies that all requirements for the degree have been met and awards the degree. Students will be notified by email when their degree is awarded.
  16. Diplomas are generally mailed within 2-3 weeks after the degree is awarded, except for fall term which will take 4-6 weeks due to holiday closures; additional information about diplomas is on the Office of the Registrar’s website. (Please note that Commencement is not the same as graduation.)



Applicants to any Mechanical and Materials Engineering graduate program must meet the University’s admission requirements. The MME Department does not have any additional requirements that applicants need to meet.

To be considered for admission, all applicants must:

  • Meet minimum admission requirements
  • Meet the English language proficiency requirements*
  • Provide a Statement of Purpose
  • Provide a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Provide copies of transcripts or international documents and certified translation from all institutions attended
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
  • PhD applicants must provide current GRE scores unless they have graduated with a master’s degree from PSU. There is not a minimum GRE score for PhD applicants. GRE scores are not required for students applying to the MSME or MSMSE program. Note: The GRE is waived for Fall 2021 applicants due to COVID-19. All PhD applicants who have not completed the GRE should email Crystal Snelson ([email protected]) to have the test scores waived.
  • PhD applicants must have a Master of Science degree

*The MME Department does not provide conditional admission for English language proficiency deficiencies.


The Statement of Purpose should be 1-2 pages long and contain the following information:

  • Your purpose in graduate study
  • The area of study in which you wish to specialize
  • Your intended future use of your graduate study
  • Your unique preparation and fitness for study in the field
  • Any problems or inconsistencies in your records or scores, such as a bad term/semester
  • Any special conditions that are not revealed elsewhere in the application, such as a significant (35 hour per week) workload outside of school
  • Why you wish to attend this school
  • Above all, this statement should contain information about you as a person


The MME Department admits graduate students fall, winter, and spring terms. There are two deadlines for each term, the application deadline, and the supplemental materials deadline. Supplemental materials include test scores and letters of recommendation. All applications must be fully completed by the supplemental materials deadline in order to be evaluated.

Fall 2021
ApplicationMarch 1st
Supplemental MaterialsMarch 15th
Priority Funding Deadline (Application / Supplemental Materials)January 1st / January 15th
Winter 2022
ApplicationOctober 1st
Supplemental MaterialsOctober 15th
Spring 2022
ApplicationNovember 1st
Supplemental MaterialsNovember 15th
Fall 2022
ApplicationMarch 1st
Supplemental MaterialsMarch 15th
Priority Funding Deadline (Application / Supplemental Materials)January 1st / January 15th

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Students can apply to any graduate program through Graduate Admissions.

Before applying, students should review the PSU transcript policy and the international documents and certified translation policy for graduate applicants. Failing to adhere to these policies will result in the application being listed as missing materials and can delay processing and result in denied admission.

Please note that applicants will receive emails from the Graduate School and the Department if supplemental materials are missing. Applicants should check their email regularly to make sure that supplemental materials, such as letters of recommendation, are submitted by the appropriate deadline.

Applicants can check their admission status by reviewing their application.


Applicants will receive their admission decision through the application once it has been made. The MME Department does not have a timeline or deadline for when decisions are made.

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