Gap Year and Deferrals

Below you will find eligibility and application information for Gap Year deferrals. For any other types of term changes, you must submit a change start term request.

Gap Year

PSU defines a gap year as a one-year break from formal education between completion of high school and entry to college. A gap year may be taken for a variety of reasons such as work, travel, or volunteering. suggests that gap years can positively impact success in college. Therefore, to support students interested in a gap year, PSU will consider a one-year deferral of admission for first year students admitted for Fall term.

There is no specific requirement for activities during a gap year, but approvals are based on the belief that this time is intended to provide you with opportunities for personal growth that will benefit your future college experience. If you are interested in organized gap year programs, we suggest exploring those accredited by the .


Gap Year Deferrals are only for first year students deferring admission from an initial fall term to the next fall term.

How to Request a Gap Year

You must request consideration by completing the following steps:

  1. Apply to PSU and be admitted as a first year student for Fall term.
  2. Confirm your enrollment at PSU by September 1.
  3. Meet the eligibility requirements for a gap year: Admitted to PSU as a first year student for Fall term. Students who earned college credit while in high school are considered first year students for admission purposes, and, therefore, still qualify.*
  4. Review the requirements for Gap Year Deferral below.
  5. Submit the by September 1. This will require you to explain your gap year plans and agree to the deferral terms. It will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and you will receive a response within 2-3 weeks. Requests received after September 1 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  6. Submit your final high school transcript to PSU by August 1. Approval of Gap Year Deferrals are contingent upon fulfilling all first year admission requirements through high school graduation.
  7. Request deferral of admission to any additional departments or programs at PSU. Examples: Honors, Music, Athletics, TRiO, etc. You are responsible for contacting these departments.
  8. If your Gap Year Deferral is approved, follow up with your Admissions Counselor to ensure you have a plan for next steps such as submitting the FAFSA, applying for housing, and signing up for New Student Orientation.


  • If you are granted the opportunity to pursue a gap year, you may not earn college credit during that year. If you wish to earn credit, you will be required to reapply for admission and submit relevant transcripts. Audited or non-credit courses, as well as participation in gap year programs that result in PSU college credit ( or ), may be considered on an individual basis during requests for the gap year deferral.
  • Any PSU merit scholarships (non-need-based aid) you have earned will be deferred. Any need-based aid is awarded annually using FAFSA or information.
  • Deferral of admission or participation in other PSU programs (Honors, Music, athletics, etc.) and Housing is not guaranteed. You are responsible for contacting these departments to notify them of your plans and request any next steps.

Correspondence from PSU will be sent by email to your @pdx.edu email address unless otherwise noted in your Gap Year Deferral Request. If you will not have regular access to this account during your gap year, set up email forwarding to an account that you or your family can check.

If your plans to attend PSU change during your gap year, notify us as soon as you can. Tuition deposits are non-refundable, even if you choose not to attend PSU after your gap year.