University of Washington

The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Also known as Washington and locally as The U or UW (usually pronounced "U-Dub"), it is the largest university in the Northwestern United States and the oldest public university in Washington. The UW maintains three locations, with its flagship campus in Seattle's University District and branch campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Its operating budget for fiscal year 2005 was $3.1 billion.he university is known as a Public Ivy, an American term for state-funded institutions of higher learning that "provide[s] an Ivy League collegiate experience at a public school price."


In 1860, the Legislative Assembly of Washington Territory passed "An Act to Relocate the Territorial University" in Seattle, "provided a good and sufficient deed to ten acres of land, eligibly situated in the vicinity of Seattle, be first executed to the Territory of Washington for University purposes." Early in 1861 Arthur and Mary Denny, Charles and Mary Terry, and Edward Lander donated land on a forested 10-acre knoll overlooking Elliott Bay. The University was established there, on the site of what is now the Fairmont Olympic Hotel on University Street in downtown Seattle.

The Territorial University of Washington opened November 4, 1861. The fledgling University was little more than a backwoods school, which closed for lack of funds several times during its earliest years. The first faculty consisted of one professor who taught a curriculum that included Latin, Greek, English, history, algebra, and physiology.

Washington became a state in 1889, and by that time the University was firmly established as an institution of higher education. Growing enrollment and the lack of available land in what was becoming downtown Seattle soon made a larger campus necessary, and in 1895 classes opened in Denny Hall, the first building on the present Seattle campus.

In 1909 the University of Washington was the site of a world's fair called the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. The exposition opened a new period for the University, as national attention was focused on it and the Pacific Northwest.

Since World War II, the UW has earned an international reputation for its research and graduate programs. It is a leader in a variety of fields. Research is of great benefit to the broader community, and undergraduates benefit by learning from professors who are at the forefront of generating new knowledge. The UW's graduate programs are among the most highly rated in the nation.


The current president of the University of Washington is Dr. Mark Emmert, the former chancellor of Louisiana State University. Emmert, a 1975 graduate, took office as the University's 30th president on June 14, 2004.

The University is governed by ten regents, one of whom is a student. Its most notable current regent is likely William H. Gates, Sr., father of Bill Gates. The undergraduate student government is the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) and the graduate student government is the Graduate & Professional Student Senate (GPSS).

The University offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees through its 140 departments, themselves organized into various colleges and schools:

  • College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Michael G. Foster School of Business
  • School of Dentistry
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Forest Resources
  • The Graduate School
  • Information School Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing
  • College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences
  • School of Pharmacy
  • Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
  • School of Public Health and Community Medicine
  • School of Social Work

Quick Facts


November 4, 1861

Public research university, with campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell.

643 in north-central Seattle (Seattle campus)

218 (Seattle campus)

Ten member board of regents, appointed by the Governor

Mark Emmert
Instructional Faculty

Faculty and Staff

2005 Autumn Student Enrollment

42,974 (39,251 on Seattle campus)
Undergraduate: 25,469
Graduate and professional: 11,763
Nonmatriculated: 2,019
Extension Enrollment

2005-2006 Annual Tuition and Fees

Resident: $5,710
Nonresident: $19,908

Academics and research

In 2006, the University of Washington research budget passed the $1 billion milestone Virtually all of the funding came from peer-reviewed research proposals. UW research budget consistently ranks among the top 5 in both public and private universities in the United States. UW is also the largest recipient of federal research funding among public universities and second among all public and private universities in the country, a position that the university has held each year since 1974.The university is an elected member of the Association of American Universities.

As of the 2006-07 autumn term, the university has 40,216 students. In 2007, the average high school GPA of incoming freshmen was 3.75, and the average SAT (math and critical reading) score was 1,251. About 33% of all undergraduates are members of ethnic minority groups.

Among the faculty, there are eight Nobel laureates (another three among UW alumni), 57 members in the National Academy of Sciences, 15 members in the National Academy of Engineering, 44 members in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and 56 members in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Overall, the faculty is ranked fourth among public institutions with National Academy members and fifth in national faculty awards.[4] Additionally, the UW faculty has eleven MacArthur Fellows, 13 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, eight Gairdner Foundation International Award winners, five Lasker Award winners, 11 MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award winners, 19 PECASE (Presidential Early Career Awards in Science and Engineering), four American Philosophical Society, one Fields Medal, two National Book Award, one National Medal of Arts, five National Medal of Science, two Pulitzer Prize and one Academy of Management Hall of Fame Gold Member (another one among UW alumni) holders.

The University of Washington library system is among the largest academic libraries in the United States, with holdings of more than 6.5 million volumes and 7.5 million microforms. The Association of Research Libraries ranked the UW library system between the top fifth and fifteenth in various categories.

UW is also the host university of ResearchChannel program, the only TV channel in the United States dedicated solely for the dissemination of research from academic institutions and research organizations.Current participation of ResearchChannel includes 36 universities, 15 research organizations, two corporate research centers and many other affiliates. UW also disseminates knowledge through its proprietary UWTV channel and online.

To promote equal academic opportunity, especially for people of low income, UW launched Husky Promise in 2006. Families of income up to 65 percent of state median income or 235 percent of federal poverty level are eligible. With this, up to 30 percent of undergraduate students may be eligible. The cut-off income level that UW set is the highest in the nation, making top quality education available to more people. UW President, Mark Emmert, simply said that being "elitist is not in our DNA". "Last year, the University of Washington moved to a more comprehensive approach [to admissions], in which the admissions staff reads the entire application and looks at grades within the context of the individual high school, rather than relying on computerized cutoffs."

University of Washington, Ranked 55th in the 2007 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Washington, Ranked 59th in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Washington, Ranked 80th in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Washington, Ranked 55th in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

University of Washington, Ranked 56th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I clicked on the link for "Washington University" and instead arrived at the page for University of Washington. U-Dub is a fine public university, one of the best on the West Coast, but it is not in the same league with Wash U.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits is sweet ~ Aristotle

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.