Why Choose Marylhurst

Why Choose Marylhurst for your Educational Needs

An Academic and Cultural Hub of the NW

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 professional 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?

Accreditation icon


Marylhurst University is regionally accredited by Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Flexible programs


The majority of Marylhurst classes are offered online, in the evenings or on the weekends so you can be a student while continuing to work.

Scholarship Opportunities


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

Career Opprtunities


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.

Industry Connected Programs

Marylhurst Graduate Programs

From our nationally ranked Art Therapy Counseling program to our popular MBA, Marylhurst is known for programs that not only lead to professions but focus on service, social responsibility and helping people.

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Marylhurst Degree Completion Programs

Do you have some college credit but no degree or did you complete an associate’s degree and are now looking toward a bachelor’s program? At the undergraduate level, Maryhurst is 100% focused on degree completion. Straight degree pathways, comprehensive and extensive transfer credit options, and robust partnerships with area community colleges.

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Marylhurst Career and Student Services

Beyond exceptional courses, Marylhurst offers you extensive career and student services that support you as you move forward in your program. But it doesn’t stop there, our services are available to you even after you graduate and you’ll be part of a well-connected, engaged alumni network.

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Thousands of Amazing Alumni

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

Travis Douville, Class of 2015, Marylhurst UniversityCareer 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
Overcoming obstacles to degree completion

Audrey Fisher, Class of 2016, Marylhurst UniversityAudrey 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
Why he picked Marylhurst for his M.A. in Teaching

Adam RosAdam Ross, Class of 2015, Marylhurst Universitys 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.

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Professionally Focused Programs

As a leader in higher education and in our community, we actively engage in sustainability. We work to set an example of service, social responsibility and stewardship in the natural world through academic programs, our Sustainability Advisory Council, and campus-based sustainability initiatives.

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Marylhurst Award Winning 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.

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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.

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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.

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.

A Cultural Hub

Marylhurst University Events

From an international recognized choral program to engaging speaker series, Marylhurst offers premier art, music and cultural events available to the NW community.

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Marylhurst University Art Gym

Located right on the Marylhurst campus is one of the NW’s leading art galleries in contemporary art. With year-round exhibitions featuring rising artists of the NW, the Art Gym is a true art destination.

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Marylhurst University Event Venues

Looking for an incredible venue to host your next event? Marylhurst University is an ideal destination for conferences, meetings, private events and retreats. With diverse spaces, our campus can accommodate events of various group sizes.

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Marylhurst University
Marylhurst University Historic Campus

Inspiring Change Since 1893

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.


The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary found 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 establishes the Prior Learning Assessment program, which provides adult students with the opportunity to earn credit for college-level learning gained through life and work experience


Marylhurst College becomes Marylhurst University, Clackamas County’s first university

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.

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A Top-Ranked Institution

Transfer Honor Roll 2018, Marylhurst University

Exemplary pathways to support transfer students

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 Schools 2018-2019

Military Friendly® Schools 2018
(ninth consecutive year)

Ranked #4 in 2016 as best affordable online college

#4 in the Nation

Ranked #11 in the nation as best online college to earn a Bachelors in English

#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

#9 in the Nation
(MBA in Sustainable Business)

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