As the state’s only polytechnic university, Oregon Tech focuses on training students in applied sciences, engineering, technical subjects and healthcare.

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A key part of Oregon Tech education is hands-on experience — or as the college calls it, “career-ready curriculum.” Engineering students can participate in a co-op program, where they break up their academic coursework with two paid, six-month internships before graduating. The university also requires all students to complete senior capstone projects, which are often designed by local industry partners that provide mentors for students.

Learning in a real-life workplace pays off: Median earnings 10 years after enrolling are nearly $70,400, according to the federal College Scorecard — higher than other colleges where students study a similar mix of majors.

Outside of studying, students can join clubs focused on beekeeping, billiards or blacksmithing, to name but a few. The Owl’s also field 13 intercollegiate sports teams. The main residential campus is in Klamath Falls, an area known for year-round outdoor recreation. (Campus is about a 45-minute drive from Crater Lake National Park.) There’s also a metro campus four hours north, just outside of Portland.