About the UW

The University of Washington: Celebrating 150 Years

Founded in 1861 by a private gift of 10 acres in what is now the heart of downtown Seattle, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast.  The UW (pronounced "U Dub")  is deeply committed to upholding the responsibility that comes with that legacy. And being public has always meant being accessible.

Anyone can enjoy and be enriched by all the UW has to offer, including world-class libraries, art, music, drama, sports and the highest quality medical care in Washington state. Being public also means being engaged with our communities, and through knowledge and discovery we are elevating the quality of lives of others.

A Wishlist for the Planet. And a Plan.

Expanding World Views: UW students gain an understanding of community needs as well as issues around the globe — becoming respectful and educated citizens of the world.

Environmental Leadership: As one of the greenest regions in the country, the University of Washington also leads in environmental solutions. See how the UW is making way for a greener future.

Advancing Our World: By educating the next generation of thinkers and doers and leveraging faculty and researcher expertise, the University of Washington drives new ideas and innovations that make the world a better place.

Creating Healthier Lives: The University of Washington is committed to new discoveries in human health and improving the lives and well-being of people here and around the world.

UW at a Glance

  • The UW is a multi-campus university in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, as well as a world-class academic medical center.
  • The UW has 16 colleges and schools and offer 1,800 undergraduate courses each quarter.
  • Each year the UW confers more than 12,000 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees annually.

UW students include:

  • 136 Fulbright Scholars
  • 35 Rhodes Scholars
  • 7 Marshall Scholars
  • 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars
  • — and counting.

Fostering Citizenship: Here and Abroad

  • For the fourth year in a row, the UW ranks No. 1 in providing U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, with more than 100 alumni serving worldwide.  Dave Miller, Chair of the Department of Architecture, served in the Peace Corps after completing his degree before returning to practice.
  • More than 2,000 undergraduate students participate in study abroad programs each year. The UW ranked No. 9 in the U.S. among all institutions in this category.

Student Factbook
Looking for a student headcount? Enrollment demographics? Get that info and more in our UW Factbook.

UW Visitor's Center
Have more questions? Find answers here.

Discover UW
History, more about the University of Washington, look here.

Sustainability at the University of Washington
As of August 2011, The University of Washington was ranked by Sierra Magazine as the "coolest" school in the US. Check out the article here!