Washington’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Washington offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Washington’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Washington

Of the 40 public options, the University of Washington in Seattle is the largest. Roughly 40,000 students attend classes in fields like nursing, education, biology, and computer science. This public research institution is also affordable, charging about $11,000 for tuition. In fact, none of the public schools in Washington exceed $12,000 in price. This includes community colleges, technical colleges, and four-year universities, making Washington a uniquely affordable place to earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Washington also has 24 private institutions. Of those, nine are religious. The most widely known of these, Catholic university Gonzaga enrolls roughly 7,000 students, at a cost of $40,000, in areas such as religious studies, engineering, and law. Central Washington University (CWU) is a smaller public school, serving just over 12,000 students, and has a tuition of $8,000. With 15% of its population being Hispanic, CWU is now recognized as an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution. Washington health professions also have the opportunity to receive funding for loan repayment through Washington’s Health Professional Loan Repayment Program.

Set in the Pacific Northwest, Washington offers ocean beaches and lush forests. In fact, over half the state is covered in forests, earning Washington its nickname as The Evergreen State. Viewers atop the Space Needle in Seattle can take in the sights of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and both the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. In addition, prospective students can choose from over 60 higher education institutions in the state.

Check out the top higher education programs and find an affordable degree in Washington.

More see more Less see less

What are Washington’s Colleges & Universities?

Washington’s Best Overall

Washington's Best Grad Schools 2021 badge
Download Badge

There are 8 doctorate-granting universities in Washington, 6 of which satisfy our criteria. The best graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 50%.

How do we determine Washington's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

More see more Less see less

Best Graduate Schools in Washington

  1. #1

    University of Washington

    #27 institution's historical influence
    #69 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    Seattle, WA

    View profile

    What is University of Washington known for?

    University of Washington’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Washington State University

    #284 institution's historical influence
    #844 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Pullman, WA

    View profile

    What is Washington State University known for?

    Washington State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Seattle University

    #617 institution's historical influence
    #307 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/27

    Seattle, WA

    View profile

    What is Seattle University known for?

    Seattle University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Seattle Pacific University

    #1359 institution's historical influence
    #432 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/22

    Seattle, WA

    View profile

    What is Seattle Pacific University known for?

    Seattle Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Gonzaga University

    #1069 institution's historical influence
    #1258 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/27

    Spokane, WA

    View profile

    What is Gonzaga University known for?

    Gonzaga University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Business
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Northwest University

    #8165 institution's historical influence
    #1358 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    Kirkland, WA

    View profile

    What is Northwest University known for?

    Northwest University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

Washington’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Photo By: Punctured Bicycle - Own work, Public Domain