University of Washington
#43 Overall Influence#69 Desirability Rank

University of Washington

Public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States

About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

In the 1850s, the Governor of Washington Territory and some of his Seattle-based friends and business associates, including a prominent Methodist minister, put their heads together to figure out a way to advance two causes close to their hearts: the prospect of statehood for the territory and the economic welfare of the city of Seattle.

At first, the Seattle city fathers argued in favor of moving the territorial capital from Olympia to their own city. However, a better plan was eventually decided upon: they would build a university in Seattle. The idea was that an institution of higher education would function both as evidence of Washington Territory’s readiness for statehood and as a stimulus to Seattle’s economic development.

This explains why the Territorial University of Washington, occupying a valuable plot of land in downtown Seattle, opened its doors in 1861—long before statehood was finally achieved in 1889.

After the latter date, both the new State of Washington and the City of Seattle began to grow rapidly. It was soon found that the needs of the students and faculty of the former territorial university—now called simply the University of Washington (UW)—had outgrown the school’s original downtown campus, where there was little room for expansion. Accordingly, in 1895 UW was moved to a more spacious location in the Union Bay neighborhood of what is now Northeast Seattle.

Today, UW—together with its two additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma (north and south of Seattle, respectively)—boasts some 56,000 students, and a nearly $3 billion endowment. Such numbers have enabled UW to build a faculty and offer a curriculum that are second-to-none among state university systems in the US.

Seven UW-affiliated persons have won the Nobel Prize, including:

  • Hans Georg Dehmelt & David Thouless—physics
  • Edmond Fischer, Leland Hartwell, & Linda Buck—physiology or medicine

Among other notable UW-connected folks, we may mention:

  • Pioneering photographer, Imogen Cunningham
  • Television journalist, Chet Huntley
  • Actors Jim Caviezel, Dyan Cannon & Kyle MacLachlan
  • Martial arts adept, film actor, and director, Bruce Lee
  • Painter and photographer, Chuck Close
  • Glass artist, Dale Chihuly
  • Architect, Minoru Yamasaki
  • Novelist and essayist, Marilynne Robinson

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

45,907

Acceptance

49%

Graduation Rate

84%

Median SAT Score

1340

Median ACT Score

29

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$10,127

Fees (in-state)

$1,080

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$69,600

Employed

89%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

46K

Under-Grads

34K

Graduates

12K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle WA 98195-4550

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

15k per 100k

Violent Crime

0k per 100k

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#17 World Rank #14 USA Rank
Nursing
#24 World Rank #21 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#25 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Computer Science
#27 World Rank #21 USA Rank
Political Science
#27 World Rank #18 USA Rank
Biology
#29 World Rank #20 USA Rank
Medical
#31 World Rank #26 USA Rank
Social Work
#36 World Rank #27 USA Rank
Education
#36 World Rank #21 USA Rank
Anthropology
#37 World Rank #31 USA Rank
Business
#37 World Rank #30 USA Rank
Engineering
#38 World Rank #23 USA Rank
Economics
#43 World Rank #38 USA Rank
Communications
#60 World Rank #33 USA Rank
History
#61 World Rank #33 USA Rank
Psychology
#62 World Rank #30 USA Rank
Sociology
#64 World Rank #23 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#76 World Rank #28 USA Rank
Mathematics
#77 World Rank #29 USA Rank
Chemistry
#87 World Rank #47 USA Rank
Law
#95 World Rank #35 USA Rank
Physics
#96 World Rank #47 USA Rank
Literature
#122 World Rank #55 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#157 World Rank #59 USA Rank
Philosophy

Influential People

Who are University of Washington's Most influential alumni?

University of Washington's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Nursing, Criminal Justice, and Computer Science. University of Washington’s most academically influential people include Frank Herbert, George Stigler, and Robert Mundell.

Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert

American writer

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George Stigler
George Stigler

American economist

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Robert Mundell
Robert Mundell

Canadian economist

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PZ Myers
PZ Myers

American scientist and associate professor of biology

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Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

Hong Kong-American actor, martial artist

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Robert W. McChesney
Robert W. McChesney

American journalist

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Harold Hotelling
Harold Hotelling

American economist and statistician

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Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson

American novelist and essayist

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Wael Hallaq
Wael Hallaq

Islamic scholar

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William J. Dreyer

American immunologist

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Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly

Glass sculptor

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Eric Temple Bell
Eric Temple Bell

Mathematician and science fiction author born in Scotland who lived in the United States for most of his life

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