frequently asked questions about an underground grad school

What is PUGS all about?

PUGS is based on the idea that you can't stop learning at any point of your life. Our goal is to create a lifelong learning community that works for everyone's real lives. That means education that fits in work schedules and are priced to be accessible to all. We are here to provide Portlanders with grad-school level education that everyone can afford. 

Local experts with real-life experience in their field are your teachers. We believe that knowledge isn't locked up in the ivory tower; it's everywhere and in everyone. We provide a platform for local experts to share their knowledge and insight with others without the high cost or bureaucracy of the university system.  We are fundamentally about lifelong education for social justice, personal empowerment, and Portland civics. 

Who's the audience?

PUGGERS are come from all income levels and experiences. They are of all ages. They are introverts and extroverts. Generally, we've noticed that PUGGERS as a bunch are self-aware, motivated, and care about justice and fairness in society. We attract people who want a place to get into deep conversations with people of diverse perspectives and experiences. 

Is there homework?

Yep. It's school! Reading and writing at home prepares us to be more engaged with the material and with our fellow students. Instructors usually assign 30 to 45 minutes of reading per week.

How are courses structured?

Courses typically meet once a week for 4 weeks, and classes are between 90 and 120 minutes long. Class size is around 15 students. We offer one-day workshops, too! 

I haven't been in a classroom for years. What's the vibe?

The feeling we most hear from students is "deep satisfaction." Some people come because they want to become better at something. They want to grow, they're eager to move forward and education is the way to do it. Other people come because they love exploring and discovering ideas with others.  

Our courses are in-person, dialogue-based, and interactive. That way everyone benefits from the experiences and perspectives of everyone else in the classroom. After their first and last sessions of each course, classes usually go out to socialize and get to know each other socially. PUGS hosts free monthly happy hours so the whole community can meet and connect.

You say that PUGS is affordable to all. How does your pricing work?

We offer scholarships to those who need them + ask those who can afford it to pay a little more. This way, people from all income levels can participate. But the basic idea is that no one should ever have to go into debt to learn. Take a look at our radical pricing policy for more info.

What is your refund and cancellation policy?

We do not offer full or partial refunds or discounts due to missed or dropped classes.

Interested in finding out more?

Come visit a class session and see what lifelong education is all about! Email coordinator<at>pugspdx.com to arrange your visit.