Why Choose Marylhurst

Why Choose Marylhurst for your Educational Needs

Welcome to Marylhurst University

Picking the right university for your educational goals is definitely a major decision, and there are a lot of options available. So why choose Marylhurst? We’ve compiled key points about our university that make us unique and highlight how we help men and women of all faiths and backgrounds achieve their personal, academic and career aspirations.

If you’d like to discuss your options or learn a little more about how Marylhurst can help you, please contact our admissions counselors at admissions@marylhurst.edu or 503.699.6268.

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Katie Brooks - English Literature, 2016

“If you want something bad enough, you can overcome anything to get it. Marylhurst is just the university to help do that. Had I not had professors that inspired me, or a cohort that uplifted and encouraged each other, I may not have made it through the program to graduate with honors.”

~ Katie Brooks, B.A. in English Literature and Writing, ’16

What Makes Marylhurst University …. Well, Marylhurst?


Marylhurst University is regionally accredited by NWCCU. Plus, our business management program is IACBE accredited and our interior design program holds CIDA accreditation.

Flexible programsCONVENIENT

The majority of Marylhurst classes are offered online or online with a mix of campus classes, which most are held in the evenings or on the weekends.

Scholarship OpportunitiesSCHOLARSHIPS 

We offer scholarships focused on transfer students, high achievers, as well as graduate students; and you’re automatically considered for scholarships when you apply.


With a nationally recognized credit for prior learning program, Marylhurst helps you earn college credit for outside-the-classroom learning, like work or military experience, making a bachelor’s degree more affordable.


We’re a small university so we can focus on you and your professional goals. Academic and career services are here for you. Think of us as your educational partner for life. We’ll be there for you even after you graduate.

Professionally Focused Programs

Marylhurst University - Degree Completion

Degree Completion Programs

100% of our undergraduate programs are focused on helping you complete a bachelor’s degree with clear degree pathways, academic advising and convenient schedules.

Bachelor’s Degrees
Marylhurst University - Graduates

Quality Master’s Degrees

We offer well-recognized, respected graduate programs – like our popular M.B.A, our well-connected M.A. in Teaching program or our nationally recognized Art Therapy Counseling program.

Master’s Degrees
Marylhurst University

Certificates and Endorsements

Advance your career with a certificate and complete focused content that immediately applies to your profession. If you’re a teacher, we offer exceptional endorsement programs to enhance your teaching abilities.

Certificates & Endorsements

Degree Completion – Helping Students Cross the Graduation Finish Line

Our entire university is focused on degree completion – especially at the bachelor’s degree level. Whether you started your bachelor’s degree 10+ years ago or are at a community college now, we’re structured to help you cross that graduation finish line. Here’s how:

  A wide range of transfer credits accepted

  Strong partnerships with community colleges

  Clear degree pathways to take the guess work out of scheduling

  A top-notch credit for prior learning program

  • Jenny Chu - alumni
  • Tejara Brown - Alumni
  • Tim Briscoe - Alumni

Professionally-focused Liberal Arts and Business Programs

From rigorous, relevant bachelor’s degrees to in-depth, exceptional master’s degree programs, Marylhurst stands apart in one key way: we’re a premier professionally-focused liberal arts and business university.

We combine liberal arts content together with professional skills into every course. So whether you choose to be a professional artist, a writer, a business manager, entrepreneur, science teacher or psychologist, you will have the content knowledge and the people skills to thrive in a global and interconnected world.

Why liberal arts matter?

Studying and developing your liberal arts knowledge means you are growing skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and ethical, cultural competency. At Marylhurst, we don’t just want you to be an exceptional graduate, we want you to be an exceptional, employed graduate.

Small, discussion-style classes

Marylhurst’s student population is just around 800 students and our current average class size is 10 students. In other words, we’re a small institution that offers a caring, supportive learning environment to each and every student. Our renowned faculty give you personalized attention and develop courses that encourage collaboration, networking and engaging discussions.

Greg Crosby - Marylhurst Faculty
Jay Ponteri - Marylhurst Faculty
Tonda Liggett - Marylhurst Faculty

Internationally recognized faculty

At the foundation of Marylhurst’s excellence is our dedicated team of faculty devoted to academic quality. Our faculty members are thought leaders and experts in a variety of disciplines, like art and music therapy, education, food policy and systems, and English literature and writing.

Learn more about Marylhurst faculty recognized for their professional excellence.

Inspiring Change Since 1893

Marylhurst University Campus

Marylhurst University has a legacy of inspiring change both locally and globally grounded in vision, courage and faith.  Our foundresses – the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary – crossed a continent in 1859 to establish St. Mary’s Academy and later, Marylhurst University, providing access to an exceptional education in our region. In the 1920s, the Sisters fought the KKK in Oregon and won. They built a beautiful university campus that opened in 1930, a year into the Great Depression. They advocated for passing Oregon’s minimum wage law, one of the first in the nation, and succeeded.  This took vision, courage and faith.

Today, this legacy carries forward in our values at Marylhurst. Our faculty and staff are committed to academic excellence rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition, providing exceptional graduate programs and degree completion programs to men and women of all faiths and backgrounds. Our students are savvy and self-motivated; they have the courage to go back to school, the faith in each other and themselves to succeed, and the vision to move their careers forward and inspire change in their communities and beyond.


The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary open St. Mary’s Academy and College in downtown Portland, Oregon as the first liberal arts college to serve the educational needs of Northwest women.


St. Mary’s College is renamed Marylhurst College and moves to its present location.


Marylhurst becomes a co-educational institution and the first liberal arts college in the country designated as a college for lifelong learning.

Marylhurst today

The values of academic excellence, educating the whole person, ethical leadership, social justice, and service carry forward in each Marylhurstian. Read more about them and how they are inspiring change both locally and globally.

Read Inspiring Stories

A beautiful, historic campus

Marylhurst University is located just 10 miles south of downtown Portland and just minutes from the beautiful Willamette River. More than 60 tranquil acres make up our campus with historic buildings built in the 1930s. Come take a tour. Parking is free.

View Our Campus

Scholarships and Financial Aid – Funding Your Education

One of the biggest benefits of Marylhurst University is our community of supportive alumni and donors. For more than 123 years, Marylhurst graduates have been making an impact on the northwest community and beyond. They don’t forget their Marylhurst experience and often give back to support the next generation at MU.

Academic Scholarships

These generous donations turn into scholarships for our students. We offer one of the most extensive scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members (community college honors society) recognizing their academic success. Many of our graduate programs – like the M.B.A. – offer scholarships to help our graduate students fund their education. In addition, we offer a military scholarship for active and veteran military members. Every student who applies to Marylhurst is automatically considered for scholarship opportunities. Learn more about our scholarships.

Thousands of Amazing Alumni

Travis Douville - M.B.A. in Sustainability - Marylhurst University

Travis Douville
Why pursuing his Marylhurst M.B.A. fully online was the right fit for him

Career shifts, life changes, busy schedules all added up to Travis Douville needing a master’s program that could handle his hectic world. He picked Marylhurst’s M.B.A. in Sustainable Business because it was a quality program but also because it was 100% online.

Audrey Fisher - English Literature and Writing graduate - Marylhurst

Audrey Fisher
Overcoming obstacles to degree completion

Audrey Fisher’s road to a degree was not easy. She overcame a number of obstacles, but stayed strong,  and through the supportive community at Marylhurst, completed her degree in English Literature and Writing. Learn why Audrey picked Marylhurst University to complete her bachelor’s degree.

Adam Ross - M.A. in Teaching - Feature - Marylhurst University

Adam Ross
Why he picked Marylhurst for his M.A. in Teaching

Adam Ross made a significant career change. He decided to stop being a correctional officer and instead become a teacher, and he picked Marylhurst University to earn his teaching credential.  Learn what motivated Adam to take a step into K-12 education and why Marylhurst was the right choice for him.

View More Amazing Stories

Online, Evenings and Weekends – Classes That Fit Your Busy Schedule

Convenient Class Schedules
We understand that for most people, taking a class between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. is challenging – especially if you have a full-time job or parenting responsibilities. We’ve designed our course schedule with this in mind. Most of our classes are offered in the evenings, on the weekends or online. In addition, most of our courses include a combination of on-campus meetings with online coursework so our students average about one campus meeting per week per class.

Accessible Student Services
It’s one thing to make classes convenient and available, but we take it a step further and have full support services available to you when you need them. This means extended office hours for financial aid, student accounts and advising. In other words, we make everything easy but the classes.

Top Colleges Adult Learners, Marylhurst University, Washington Monthly

#9 in the Nation

Best Sustainable and Renewable Energy Colleges

#6 in the Nation

MBA Nonprofit Management, Top Ranked, Marylhurst University

#3 in the Nation

Military Friendly School

Military Friendly® Schools 2017
(eighth consecutive year)

Best Online Colleges - Marylhurst University - Ranking

#4 in the Nation

Best Online Colleges - English - Marylhurst - Ranking

#11 in the Nation
(English Degree Program)

Top Online MBA Program - Ranking - Marylhurst

#6 in the Nation
(MBA – Online Program)

Best Counseling Degrees Top Masters Programs, Marylhurst University

Art Therapy Counseling ranked #4 in the Nation

#10 in the Nation
(MBA in Sustainable Business)

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