Find Out the Washington State Colleges and Universities

More than half of Washington’s population lives in the Seattle metropolitan region, home of the state’s premier schools and universities. Washington is home to large research universities, medium colleges, tiny liberal arts colleges, and a few art schools. Washington has many publicly financed colleges and universities, some of which are in Spokane, Tacoma, Bellevue, and Olympia, the state capital. The Western Undergraduate Exchange allows Washington residents to attend elite schools and universities in 14 states, including Oregon, California, and Idaho while paying no more than 150% of in-state tuition. More than half of Washington’s population lives in the Seattle metropolitan region, which is home to the state’s premier schools and universities.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange allows Washington residents to attend elite schools and universities in 14 states, including Oregon, California, and Idaho while paying no more than 150% of in-state tuition.

1. University of Washington

Location: Seattle, WA

Founded in 1861, Washington is one of the oldest universities as the Territorial University of Washington on the West Coast in Seattle, a decade after the city’s founding.

  • The university’s main campus has a 703-acre located in the city’s University District, with campuses in Tacoma and Bothell.
  • The University of Washington is a highly-rated public university in Seattle, Washington with an enrollment of 29,350 undergraduate students.
  • Admissions are fairly competitive and its acceptance rate is 56%. Popular majors have Research and Experimental Psychology, Communications, and Computer Science. At the University of Washington, 82% of Graduating students earn a starting salary of $44,900.

2. Gonzaga University

Location: 414 N. MERIDIAN ST #6089



Gonzaga University is a private institution founded in 1887 when Father Joseph Cataldo purchased land for the campus with 936 silver coins 1887.

  • It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,986 in 2021, its location is the city, and the campus size is 152 acres. It uses a semester-based academic calendar. Gonzaga University’s rank in 2022-2023 of Best Colleges is #83 National Universities.
  • One of the best colleges in Washington, Gonzaga University is also one of the most prestigious Jesuit colleges in the USA. Although the college is Catholic-affiliated, 27 different faiths find on campus. Gonzaga is famous nationally because of its men’s basketball team.

3. Whitman College

Location: Walla Walla, Washington

The college, formerly known as Whitman Seminary was established in 1859, has long since abandoned its religious ties and now takes pleasure in its sectarian and political freedom.

  • Engineering, forestry and environmental management, and oceanography 3-2 programs at Whitman are well-known. Participants in these programs can complete two complementing degrees in five years thanks to a partnership between the institution and another university.
  • Whitman’s 3-2 programs, which generate well-rounded graduates in high demand by companies, contribute to the college’s stellar post-graduation results.
  1. 64% start careers
  2. 20% register in graduate school
  3. 6% acquire a prestigious fellowship
  4. 5% follow other interests

4. Seattle University

Location: Seattle, WA

Seattle University is a private institution that was founded in 1891. It is a Jesuit school found in the First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods of the city and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,301 in 2021, its location is urban, and its size is 50 acres. It uses a quarter-based academic calendar. Seattle University’s ranking in the 2022-2023 edition is #137 Best Colleges in National Universities.

Undergraduate students, who must spend their first two years living in residence halls, have access to more than 60 majors. Seattle provides more than 30 graduate degrees in addition to The Albers School of Business & Economics and the School of Law, which are highly respected in legal writing. With the Children’s Literacy Project, which provides tutors in Seattle public schools, one-third of children volunteer their time. Also, students can participate in intramural sports, intercollegiate athletics, and clubs. The NCAA Division I Seattle Redhawks boast more than 15 teams that compete in different conferences. Jim Whittaker, the first American to stand atop Mount Everest, is one notable alum.

Two of the 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the US, Gonzaga and the University of Seattle, are located in Washington State. The Jesuit tradition, which emphasizes helping students develop personally, spiritually, and academically while developing a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community, is the cornerstone of a Seattle education. Each year, faculty, staff, and students put in about 200,000 hours of service. The university is also listed as one of the “Cool Schools” by the Sierra Club, a list of the most environmentally friendly colleges and universities.

5. Washington State University | WSU

Location: Pullman, WA

A public institution, Washington State University was founded in 1890. The main campus is in Pullman, though there are also regional locations throughout the state in Spokane and the Tri-Cities in Vancouver. The school has a sizeable Greek society that recruits around 20 percent of the pupil population. Its’ total undergraduate enrollment in 2021 is 24,278. Its location is rural, and its size is 1,742 acres. It uses a semester-based academic calendar. Washington State University’s ranking of Best Colleges is #212 National Universities in the 2022-2023 edition.

Almost 300 other student clubs and organizations occur in addition to fraternities and sororities. The NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference, the school’s sports teams, notably the football team participates from Washington State University. A freshman must live on campus unless they are married or older than 20. You can apply to live in university-owned residences if you have kids or are a graduate student.

The college is committed to research, and there are chances for undergraduates to participate in initiatives. A comprehensive range of graduate school options is also available through Washington State, including degree programs offered by the colleges of business, engineering, and education. Both broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and “Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson are notable Washington State University alums.

Washington State University, the first land-grant institution in the state, was established in 1890. WSU now has 101 majors, 79 master’s degrees, and 65 doctoral degrees available through its 11 colleges:

  • Human, Agricultural, & Natural Resource Sciences
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Honors
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine

6. Whitworth University

Location: Spokane, WA

Whitworth University, a private liberal arts university connected to the Presbyterian Church, was established in 1890. WSU is well-known for its diverse campus because it enrolls students from 98 different nations and all 50 states. WSU also receives high praise from the LGBTQ community thanks to its five-star ranking on the Campus Pride Index, a statistic that measures an institution’s dedication to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, programs, and practices. With an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a requirement that first-year students live on campus for their first two years, Whitworth is renowned for its friendly campus community. The university enrolls a varied range of students; 31% of domestic undergraduates are from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color backgrounds. Less than 5% of undergraduates are overseas students. There are students on campus from 33 states and 40 different countries.

There are 2,307 undergraduate students enrolled in 2021, the campus is 200 acres in size, and the location is suburban. It makes use of a 4-1-4 academic schedule. Regional Universities West places Whitworth University third in the 2022–2023 edition of Best Colleges.

7. University of Washington - Bothell

Location: 18115 CAMPUS WAY NE


The University of Washington-Bothell Campus has a history of producing graduates who succeed in their careers. In 1,978 institutions, Payscale rates the school 143rd for out-of-state students and 81st for in-state students in its list of the best-value colleges.

One of the three campuses in the Washington state university system is the University of Washington-Bothell with its five colleges, the University of Washington-Bothell Campus offers approximately 55 majors, ranging from physics to American & ethnic studies:

  • School of Business
  • School of Educational Studies
  • School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
  • School of Nursing & Health Studies
  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

It is a small university with 4,911 undergraduate students enrolled. The admittance rate at UW Bothell is 88%. Business, computer science, and nursing are popular majors. Alumni from UW Bothell earn an average starting income of $49,900 and graduate 65% of their class.

8. Pacific Lutheran University PLU

Location: 12180 PARK AVE SOUTH

TACOMA, WA 98447

Pacific Lutheran University was established in 1890 by Scandinavian immigrants and has remained affiliated with the Lutheran Church ever since. PLU has produced 106 Fulbright Scholars since 1975 and prides itself on offering a challenging liberal arts curriculum. PLU is renowned for its 4-1-4 academic calendar, which consists of two 15-week semesters (four classes each) and a four-week January term (also known as the “J Term”) sandwiched between them. This calendar gives PLU students the chance to specialize in one subject or field and gives them time for in-depth exploration.

At PLU, a small, private institution, providing comfort is more than just being polite and considerate; it means making a courageous commitment to advancing justice, opportunity, and well-being. Because they want to leave the world a better place than they found it, our students aren’t hesitant to try new things.

We are a group of explorers, innovators, inventors, and reformers who understand that working together will allow us to achieve more than working separately. Your goal can develop into a purpose, your talents can become useful tools, and your compassion can become a powerful force for change thanks to your PLU experience.

9. Walla Walla University

Location: College Place, WA

Walla Walla University was established in 1892 and is affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Walla Walla University combines academics and faith like other Christian universities do. Students from all backgrounds are accepted at Walla Walla University, but they must abide by the Seventh-Day Adventist values outlined in the school’s code of conduct, which prohibits, among other things, the following:

  • Accessing or possessing pornographic material
  • Gambling
  • Premarital sex
  • Use of alcohol
  • Use of tobacco

10. University of Puget Sound

Location: Tacoma, WA

Private university The University of Puget Sound was established in 1888 by the Methodist clergy. Although the University of Puget Sound still belongs to the Methodist Church, it promotes inclusivity. More than 25% of undergraduates identify as students of color, and the school achieved four stars on the Campus Pride Index. All faiths and ethnicities of students are welcome. 75% of University of Puget Sound undergraduate students participate in community service, making it a significant part of their stay there.

It is found in a city, with a total undergraduate enrolment of 1,866 in 2021, and has a 97-acre campus. It uses a semester-based system academic calendar. University of Puget Sound’s ranking edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #85 in 2022-2023.


So, now you are aware of the benefits of studying at colleges in Washington. Which option would be right, though, given the abundance of choices? Let us help you choose a little bit more easily. The top 10 colleges in Washington state are listed above.