Study spot mainstays

Studying at home or in the library can get a little dull at times, so here are some study spots to break up the monotony.

Studying at home or in the library can get a little dull at times, so here are some study spots to break up the monotony.

Smith Memorial Student Union

Smith is always a good place to hang out, and it can be a good place to study if you do not want to be somewhere that is too quiet. There are lounges on each floor and most have areas where electronics can be plugged in. If you want to stay in Smith but are looking for a spot with lower traffic, try the second-floor mezzanine lounge.

Neuberger Hall

If you follow the signs toward the mezzanine area on the third floor of Neuberger, you will find a nice spot for group studying, complete with tables, chairs, and chalkboards lining the walls that are available for student use.

Native American Student and Community Center

A unique building from the outside, the NASCC also offers a quiet and welcoming atmosphere after you walk through the doors. There are alcoves with window seats in the larger main room, and toward the main office, another study area offers comfortable chairs, tables near outlets and a fireplace that is usually turned on in winter.

Science Research and Teaching Center

The SRTC is located near the west end of campus. From the outside it looks like any old building, but the inside has recently undergone a complete remodel. It’s been outfitted with new furniture, and both the first and second floors offer calm, quiet places to study. The real draw, however, has to be the number of animal skeletons, including a whale hanging from the ceiling.

Academic and Student Rec Center rooftop terrace

It may come as a surprise to those visiting the Rec Center that, aside from a state-of-the-art gym and pool, the facility is also home to one of the most beautiful study spots on campus. The fifth floor of the building offers access to a rooftop terrace with a stunning view of campus and the rest of the city and has plenty of places to sit with a group or on your own.

Department lounges

Don’t forget when you are looking for a place to study that the department lounge pertaining to your major is a great place to start. The spaces can be small, but they usually have areas to sit. Other plusses: There are always people around to consult about your work if it is at all related to the department, whether they are other students or the professors whose offices are located there.


Weather permitting, anywhere outside on campus can be great for studying. The best suggestion that can be offered here is to explore the campus and find a place where you feel comfortable. If you are looking for a place to start, the Park Blocks are a popular spot. You can also find a place to sit at the picnic tables near Blumel Field or by the fountain in front of Hoffman Hall. Exploration is the key to finding the perfect outside study spot on campus.

Restaurants and cafes

Advice not much different from that for finding a study spot outside: You have to find a place that is comfortable for you. Some suggestions to look into include Food for Thought Cafe in the basement of Smith, Seattle’s Best in Urban Plaza or McMenamins Market Street Pub. Most of these places have Wi-Fi available, and how busy they are depends on the place and the time that you visit.

Off campus

Studying off campus is always an option. PSU is an urban campus in the heart of the city of Portland, and it’s easy to wander off campus to find a place to get your work done. You can take public transit, or take a walk and get to know the city. If you chose to study off campus, Powell’s City of Books is a good place to start, though it can be crowded at just about any hour. Tom McCall Waterfront Park is another place off campus with plenty of space for studying, though you will most likely have to bring a blanket to sit on unless you can get comfortable in the grass. Once again, looking around for a study spot that fits your needs is the best approach when it comes to off-campus study spots.