Best Research Universities in Washington 2024

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Interested in attending a STEM school in Washington? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Best Research Universities in Washington 2024

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  1. University of Washington
  2. Washington State University
  3. Seattle University
  4. Gonzaga University
  5. Seattle Pacific University
  1. University of Washington
  2. Washington State University
  3. Seattle University
  4. Gonzaga University
  5. Seattle Pacific University
  1. Seattle Pacific University 92%
  2. Washington State University 86%
  3. Seattle University 82%
  4. Gonzaga University 76%
  5. University of Washington 53%
  1. University of Washington 20 to 1
  2. Washington State University 16 to 1
  3. Seattle Pacific University 13 to 1
  4. Gonzaga University 11 to 1
  5. Seattle University 10 to 1
  1. Seattle University $49,335
  2. Gonzaga University $48,470
  3. Seattle Pacific University $35,646
  4. University of Washington $10,927
  5. Washington State University $10,457
  1. Seattle Pacific University $24,273
  2. University of Washington $16,605
  3. Gonzaga University $14,499
  4. Seattle University $13,770
  5. Washington State University $12,076
  1. Seattle Pacific University
  2. Gonzaga University
  3. Seattle University
  4. Washington State University
  5. University of Washington
  1. Seattle Pacific University
  2. Gonzaga University
  3. Seattle University
  4. Washington State University
  5. University of Washington
  1. University of Washington 53%
  2. Gonzaga University 76%
  3. Seattle University 82%
  4. Washington State University 86%
  5. Seattle Pacific University 92%
  1. Seattle University 10 to 1
  2. Gonzaga University 11 to 1
  3. Seattle Pacific University 13 to 1
  4. Washington State University 16 to 1
  5. University of Washington 20 to 1
  1. Washington State University $10,457
  2. University of Washington $10,927
  3. Seattle Pacific University $35,646
  4. Gonzaga University $48,470
  5. Seattle University $49,335
  1. Washington State University $12,076
  2. Seattle University $13,770
  3. Gonzaga University $14,499
  4. University of Washington $16,605
  5. Seattle Pacific University $24,273

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.


What are Washington’s Colleges & Universities?

Washington’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Washington's Best Research Universities Badge
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A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. We’ve identified 5 research universities in Washington. To be included in our ranking, schools must be a fully accredited universities and must must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

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Best Research Universities in Washington 2023

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1326/30

    Career Outlook for degree at University of Washington

    Cost of Degree: $12,242
    Expenses: $19,848
    Starting Salary: $61,244
    Salary after 4 years: $80,966
    Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  2. #3

    Seattle University

    Seattle , WA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/27

    Career Outlook for degree at Seattle University

    Cost of Degree: $51,324
    Expenses: $18,474
    Starting Salary: $59,582
    Salary after 4 years: $69,259
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  3. #4

    Gonzaga University

    Spokane , WA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Career Outlook for degree at Gonzaga University

    Cost of Degree: $50,735
    Expenses: $18,972
    Starting Salary: $54,277
    Salary after 4 years: $69,476
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/23

    Career Outlook for degree at Seattle Pacific University

    Cost of Degree: $37,158
    Expenses: $18,579
    Starting Salary: $51,239
    Salary after 4 years: $71,818
    Cost Recoup Time: 14 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
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Find the Best Research Universities in Washington for Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Washington
  2. Seattle University
  3. Washington State University
  4. Seattle Pacific University
  5. Gonzaga University

Check out our directory of research universities throughout the U.S. for a look at the top research institutions in every state.

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