Student Life


An extraordinary place for extraordinary people

Student Life

The OHSU Portland campuses enjoy an urban setting in natural surroundings. Beginning on the shores of the Willamette River with the modern architecture of South Waterfront and expanding to the forested perch of Marquam Hill, home to the OHSU hospital, this unique environment is ideal for learning and exploring.

Stroll along the river, hike the 4T trail, go bouldering with the BMES Student Chapter, get involved with AVDS, have lunch at the OHSU farmers market or take a short streetcar ride to downtown – the Portland campuses of OHSU offer something for everyone.

BMES Student Chapter

Founded in 2018, the students of the Biomedical Engineering graduate program formed the first ever BMES Student Chapter at OHSU. The mission of the chapter is to facilitate community and innovation among graduate students in fields related to Biomedical Engineering, and to provide them with opportunities for professional development and mentorship.

For questions and membership, contact them directly at

Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science

The Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science (AVDS) is a student interest group open to participation by students, postdocs, faculty, and staff. Their mission is to increase racial and ethnic equity within the research programs at OHSU. The group promotes improvements to university practices related to recruiting, retaining and supporting graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, staff, and faculty members from underrepresented backgrounds.

AVDS engages the OHSU community in a continuous dialog around race and ethnicity at the University. Be part of the conversation by attending an AVDS happy hour, joining the AVDS book club, listening to an invited speaker, or any of their other events

To get involved and contact them directly at

Student Interest Groups

At OHSU, student interest groups provide extracurricular activities for students to participate in and build meaningful networks with others who have similar interests. These extracurricular activities are educational, intellectual, interdisciplinary, cultural and social in nature and help students develop leadership and work place skills, collaborative relationships with others, and a sense of one's personal identity.

Find a group that fits your interests.

All-Hill Student Council

The OHSU All-Hill Student Council is made of up of elected student representatives from the College of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Public Health and the Graduate Student Organization. They meet to discuss new business within the schools and across the university, consider funding requests, plan and share events and receive departmental updates pertaining to all students at OHSU.

OHSU Graduate Student Organization

The OHSU Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a student lead organization that represents the graduate students at the School of Medicine, advocates for graduate students individually and on a whole and promotes communication amongst students and faculty. All students from PhD and Masters programs are GSO members and are welcome and encouraged to be involved.

Find out more about the GSO.

student center gymnasium

Student Center

Located on Marquam Hill, the Student Center is a place for students, residents, fellows and their significant others, as well as employees and guests of OHSU to gather, relax, decompress or get some exercise. The Student Center offers a variety of social and cultural activities, and the staff is dedicated to working closely with the OHSU community and guests to conduct innovative and engaging programs.

The amenities of the Student Center include:

  • Swimming pool and hot tub
  • Gymnasium
  • Wellness room
  • Media room
  • Nucleus Lounge
  • Computer and study room
  • Campus Store

Find out more about the amenities of the Student Center.

March Wellness

March Wellness is a fitness and wellness center housed at the base of the tram on the 2nd floor of the Center for Health and Healing building. March Wellness offers science-based health and fitness programs, cardio and strength training facilities, a group class space and pools. Membership is free to graduate students.

Learn more about the amenities of March Wellness.

Where to eat on campus

Whether it's a a coffee beverage, a burrito bowl or a build-your-own salad, the OHSU Food and Nutrition Department has got you covered. Their wayfinding map will help navigate you to the cafes, cafeterias and coffee shops on campus.

Don't forget to visit the OHSU farmers market, open June from October and located in the courtyard in front of MacKenzie Hall. 

Find housing

Admittedly, finding affordable housing in Portland is not always easy. Below are housing resources to explore.

Chuckslist - OHSU classified ads (access required)
Marquam Hill Coop
Craigslist - Portland

New Student Orientation

On the first day of each term, incoming students from different schools and programs come together to learn about the basic student resources available on the Marquam Hill and South Waterfront campuses.

Welcome to Campus BBQ and Information Fair

This September event is open to the entire campus community to kick off the new academic year. Hosted in collaboration with the Graduate Student Organization, the All-Hill Student Council, and the School of Medicine Alumni Association, attendees can enjoy dinner, drinks, raffle prizes, and music.  There are approximately 40 information tables that students can visit to learn about student life, academic services, student interest groups, parking and transportation options, etc.  Also, the Student Health & Wellness Center will be on site providing flu vaccines for all current OHSU students. Whether you're a new or returning student, the event is open to all!

Halloween Party

Celebrate Halloween with your classmates and friends! Costume contest, DJ, prizes, and food and drink.

Sunriver Ski Trip

Each January, OHSU students spend some well needed rest and relaxation shredding the slopes at Mt.Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. This is a widely popular event that attracts students from all schools. The event offers discounted lift tickets and room accommodations as well as a dance with food, beverages and fun.

Student Health and Wellness

The health and wellness of its students, is one of the highest priorities of OHSU. We invite you explore the resources below to find out about the services available.

Academic Accommodations for Disabilities

OHSU is committed to providing equal access to qualified students who experience a disability in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended in 2008 (ADAAA).

As defined by the ADA and ADAAA, a person with a disability has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Some examples of major life activities include: performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A qualified student is a person who meets the academic and technical standards for admission and participation in a particular program of study, with or without reasonable accommodations. 

The Office for Student Access makes determinations and collaborates with academic programs to implement academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and/or program modifications, also known as reasonable accommodations.

Request a confidential consultation regarding disability accommodations

Students who have questions about the accommodation process but do not want to share information with their academic program yet should first schedule a consultation with the Office of Student Access by calling 503-494-0082 or emailing Information shared will be kept as confidential as possible except when disclosure is required by law. Students who want a confidential consultation regarding accommodations should wait to submit the OSA application and/or documentation. Please review the OSA Student Handbook for more information regarding confidentiality. 

Requesting academic accommodations

Students are advised to contact the Office for Student Access as soon as possible to discuss accommodations, which may take time to implement and cannot be applied retroactively. All disability information is kept in accordance with state and federal law.

To request academic accommodations, please complete the steps below:

Review the OSA Student Handbook
Submit the OSA Application for Accommodations (OHSU Network ID Required) and Disability Documentation

Complete an Initial Appointment (Appointments can be completed in person or over the phone. To schedule an appointment, call 503-494-0082 or email Please indicate your availability to meet in your email or voicemail.)

Graduate Researchers United (GRU)

OHSU Graduate Researchers United is the union representing OHSU PhD students who receive stipends.  GRU was officially recognized by OHSU management in December 2018.

Learn more about GRU