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About Portland

About Portland

Portland is a city of nearly 600,000 people that features a vibrant music scene, endless outdoor recreation opportunities, trendy restaurants, and cultural amenities. Portland is a young and growing city close to Mount Hood—home of America's longest sea season. The surrounding area, including the Willamette River and the Columbia River Gorge is popular with bicyclists, wind surfers, snow boarders, skiers, ice climbers, and hikers.

This is a city where art, music, fashion, film and food are just as hip as the lifestyles of the creative individuals that make their home here.

Major employers include Daimler Trucks, Vestas Wind Systems, Keen, and Hi-Tec Sports. The area has become popular with athletic and footwear manufacturers, attracting Adidas, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and Li Ning to the region.

In addition to its green reputation, the city has a thriving cultural scene that includes the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic.


The mission of The Art Institute of Portland is to prepare students for creative careers by providing a quality academic experience shaped by evolving technologies, the liberal arts and sciences, and the needs of the global marketplace. As a learning-centered institution, we focus on providing academic and administrative support for student success while maintaining a strong relationship with the professional communities we serve.

The Art Institute of Portland-About

What Makes Portland Special?

In 2014, Forbes ranked Portland as the 5th best place in the country to start a business.

History of Portland

The Art Institute of Portland is located in the heart of Portland's creative Pearl District. The school opened in 1963 as Bassist College, later joining The Art Institute system of schools. Today it offers creative educations in design, media arts, culinary, and fashion.

Educate and prepare students for creative careers

The school is home to industry-related equipment and software that provides students with real-world experience. These include:

  • Audio studio with voice over booth and fully automated 5.1 mixing capability.
  • Video studio with speed rail lighting grid, cyc wall, paper sweeps, and wireless strobe lighting
  • Resource room for Interior Design
  • Industrial Design workshop with 3D printer and CnC mill machine.
  • Learning Resource Center with sample collections and extensive industry periodical subscriptions
  • Fashion Open Lab where Apparel Design students can work with specialty machines and have tables, dress forms, and plenty of room to build their pieces
  • Large equipment cage with equipment supporting all programs including tablets, cameras, lights, sewing machines, gaming systems, and light tables
  • Large Open Space for guest speakers, events, and club meetings
  • Old charm culinary building with professional kitchens and restaurant space.
  • Mac and PC computer labs

Many students choose to live in school-sponsored housing located within walking distance or a short shuttle ride to The Art Institute of Portland. The furnished apartments at Goose Hollow were created for college students in the Portland area—so your neighbors could be fellow creative students or anyone studying at a Portland school. The complex includes a designated study space, card operated laundry facilities, a weight room, an exercise room with treadmills and elliptical machines, and a parking garage. Students who live in school-sponsored housing are also invited to socials throughout the year.

To build relationships and gain experience in their areas of study, many students participate in special events and workshops, join student groups, and work in internships within the Portland area. The Art Institute of Portland offers the following services to help students during their time at the school:

  • Special events/workshops on health or wellness related areas
  • Information on human services in the local area
  • Assistance with study habits, time management, stress management, communication, problem solving, and the transition to school
  • Coordination of disability services for students who qualify in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Referral to short term counseling provided by the Student Assistance Program for students in need of emotional support or guidance

Student groups include:

  • Animation Guild
  • Brashcreative
  • Interior Design Club
  • IDSA Student Chapter
  • Jam Out
  • Student AIGA
The Art Institute of Portland-History

Academic Calendar

The Art Institute of Portland

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