Academic Communities

Academic communities offer residents the opportunity to live and learn with students who share similar academic interests while also fulfilling their Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) class requirement. Our faculty make an extra effort to engage with students outside of class and each FRINQ is paired with a Learning Community Assistant who attends class and serves as in-hall academic support. Sharing a FRINQ class makes it easy for students to form study groups within the residence halls, collaborate on assignments, and build strong connections.  For more information about Freshman Inquiry, visit University Studies.

many hands

Race & Social Justice

Location: Ondine 
FRINQ Class: Race & Social Justice - UNST 102

Explore what it means to be a well-rounded, informed citizen of a global community through social and cultural awareness and understanding while engaging in meaningful social and cultural dialogue.

Lightbulb Head

Design & Society

Location: Ondine
FRINQ Class: Design & Society - UNST 122

​Design(s) shape our daily lives. This yearlong course looks closer at the connection between design, people and change. Students use human-centered design and/or community-centered design to explore how creative inquiry can be a way to rethink society from cities to social systems to technology. Over the course of the year, students will step into hands-on projects as a way to learn how empathy, critical thinking and collaboration are vital to living in our society.

Yoga Lady

Health, Happiness, & Human Rights

Location: Ondine 
FRINQ Class: Healthy, Happiness, & Human Rights - UNST 145

​In Health, Happiness, & Human Rights, you will come to understand the health and well-being of individuals and populations in relation to their various environments. Specific emphasis will be given to social determinants of health and the intersections between health, communities, and human rights.  



Location: Ondine 
FRINQ Class: Portland - UNST 108

​In the Portland-themed FRINQ, we will explore the connections between people and the places in which they live, and consider how those places, in turn, play a role in people's social, cultural, economic, and political life. We will also consider how the history of a place shapes what we experience today. We'll explore Portland as an urban area of diverse communities, and a place within the natural, material, and social environment of the Pacific Northwest.

Art Supplies

Work of Art

Location: Broadway
FRINQ Class: Work of Art - UNST 132

​“The Work of Art” FRINQ examines how art shapes, disguises, enables, and complicates our personal, social and cultural identities. By engaging in interdisciplinary texts and explorations—philosophical, political, literary, scientific, visual and historical—we will explore how art reflects, constructs and contests our understandings of imaginary, political, and social landscapes. Throughout the year, we will consider the relationship between the “work” and the “art”–both what they are, and what they do.

Themed Communities

Themed communities are designed to bring together residents with similar interests. There is no Freshman Inquiry course associated with these communities, though most freshmen will be taking a Freshman Inquiry course.

Science Illustration


Location: Broadway

The STEM community gives residents the opportunity to build a community focused on fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Viking Helmet


Location: Broadway and Ondine 

Viking floors are located in Broadway and Ondine and are for first year students who have a variety of interests and want to experience the breadth of what PSU and Portland have to offer.

Honors Community

The Honors Living Learning Community provides students admitted to the Honors College with the opportunity to live in a close-knit, dynamic community with other high achieving and highly motivated students. 

Honor Ribbon


Location: Stephen Epler

Students admitted to the Honors program have the opportunity to live in a dynamic community with other high achieving and highly motivated students. As part of the Honors community, students can participate in the life of the city and also experience the benefits of a small learning community. For more information about the academic program, please visit Honors