Northwest College Guide: University of Oregon

by Heather Larson & Nancy Mueller | Photo © University of Oregon

University of Oregon – Eugene, OR, uoregon.edu
Number of Students: 20,000-22,500
Top Programs: Business/Commerce, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Physiology
Tuition and Fees: $9,918 (resident), $30,888 (nonresident)

The University of Oregon at Eugene promotes scientific, inquiry-based learning, interdisciplinary research and a classical liberal arts education. One of only two members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) from the Pacific Northwest, the public research institution received $110.3 million from external funding sources in 2013/2014. Academic options cover more than 270 majors, minors and preparatory programs in the arts and sciences, and the university is home to the first four-year honors college in the U.S., the Robert D. Clark Honors College.

Eugene ranks high for livability as a green-friendly city located in the lush natural beauty of the Willamette Valley, with the Willamette River running through the city. Nicknamed “Track Town USA,” the city offers an idyllic setting for outdoor recreation and running enthusiasts: miles of running, walking and biking trails; historic Hayward Field; and easy, one-hour access to the Oregon Coast and Cascade Mountains with plenty of options for year-round sports activities.

For lodging, Inn at the 5th offers luxury ideally situated at the 5th Ave Market, only one mile from campus, and Valley River Inn occupies park-like grounds on the banks of the Willamette River, only four miles from campus. If B&Bs are more your style, check out The Secret Garden (secretgardenbbinn.com) or The Campbell House (campbellhouse.com), both a short distance to campus. For more information on visiting Eugene, go to eugenecascadescoast.org.

Visiting Parents

Lodging: Hilton Eugene, Courtyard Eugene Springfield, Best Western New Oregon Hotel, Eugene La Quinta Inns & Suites, Valley River Inn, Inn at the 5th, Campbell House, The Secret Garden

Attractions: on-campus – Autzen Stadium, Hayward Field, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Museum of Natural and Cultural History; off-campus – Spencer Butte, Owen Rose Garden, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Cuthbert Amphitheater, 5th Street Public Market

Dining: Beppe & Gianni’s Trattoria, Agate Alley Bistro, Excelsior Inn Ristorante
Shopping: Valley River Mall, Oakway Shopping Center, Coberg Antique Market, Brenner’s Furniture, Broadway & Pearl Associates, Smith Family Bookstore

Eugene, Oregon ranks high for livability as a green-friendly city located in the lush natural beauty of the Willamette Valley. Nike launched its global franchise here where track star Steve Prefontaine became a local legend. Nicknamed “Track Town USA,” the city offers an idyllic setting for outdoor recreation and running enthusiasts: miles of running, walking and biking trails; historic Hayward Field; and easy, one-hour access to the Oregon Coast and Cascade Mountains with plenty of options for year-round sports activities.

In addition to its affinity for sports and the great outdoors, Oregon’s second largest city of more than 156,000 residents boasts a thriving arts community with its own symphony and opera company. Rolling Stone includes Eugene in its list of “America’s Top 10 Campus Music Scenes that Rock.”

On campus events include the Oregon Bach Festival celebrating Bach’s music and legacy and the Cinema Pacific Film Festival featuring live screenings, art exhibitions and multimedia performances. Off campus, the community highlights the collaboration between artisans and the area’s acclaimed wine production in “Art and the Vineyard” over the Fourth of July weekend, together with a host of other festivals throughout the year.

For a unique campus overview and quintessential Eugene experience, register for a running tour led by a UO student ambassador. Start at the Ford Alumni Center information desk, store your personal items which will be brought to you at Hayward Field following the tour, and begin your comfortable run past campus landmarks. Not to worry if you would rather take a more leisurely tour. Guided ninety-minute walking tours are also available.

For a tour of downtown Eugene, download a map created by city merchants (http://eugene-or.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1746) to help you find favorite retail shops, restaurants, breweries, sports bars and entertainment venues. If time permits, sip and savor your way through the Willamette Valley wine country, less than thirty minutes from Eugene. Add a fun adventure to the dramatic Oregon Coast where you can dip your toes in the surf, walk sandy beaches and explore historic treasures like Old Town Florence and Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Student Life

Medical Services: University Health Center provides general medical care, including pharmacy, physical therapy/sports medicine, dental clinic

Student Hangouts: Erb Memorial Union (EMU)

Cheap Eats: Burrito Boy Taqueria, Track Town Pizza, Uly’s Tacos, The Dough Co., Caspian Mediterranean Cafe

With so many ways to get involved at the University of Oregon, it’s easy to connect with others in the campus community. From forming friendships in the residence halls to joining an intramural sports team to participating in one of more than 250 student organizations, the U of O has something for everyone. Head to the campus hub, Erb Memorial Union (EMU), to check out the full range of student activities, groups and services offered. Need a snack or a sit-down meal to carry you through a day of classes? You’ll find that here, too.

Walking across the beautiful 295-acre U of O campus takes less than fifteen minutes, but U of O students love their bikes. You can rent one for short- or long-term use or borrow and return one at any of four designated stations through the university’s innovative bike-share initiative. An interactive, on-line campus map helps you navigate construction zones and accessible bike routes.
Stay on top of current happenings through several resources: the U of O’s independent student newspaper, The Oregon Daily Emerald; the campus events calendar; orgsync for up-to-date information on student organizations; and KWVA 88.1 FM, the student-run campus radio station.

For co-ed competitive fitness, the university offers PE and Club Sports at the Student Recreation Center. The Oregon Ducks rule on and off the field and U of O students show fierce fan loyalty in school colors of green and yellow when it comes to supporting their favorite intercollegiate teams.