- University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public institution that was founded in 1861.
Tuition fees in Washington university are $35,000 (Aprox.).
Located in the University District neighborhood (known as the U District) just north of downtown Seattle, the University of Washington is a cutting-edge research university with a long-standing history as one of the oldest public institutions on the West Coast. Students can join one of the school’s 500-plus student organizations, including about 50 sororities and fraternities, or can start a brand new club with at least four other students. University of Washington is known as a commuter school, and freshmen are not required to live on campus. Housing is not guaranteed for any student. For those that do reside in the residence halls, the university stresses “living green” through energy conservation and recycling. On the sports fields, the school’s varsity athletes are competitive in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference. The football team, in particular, is a traditional league stand-out. The teams are represented by two mascots: one, a costumed student known as Harry the Husky Dawg, and the other, Dubs, a live Alaskan husky. The university gym is free for students seeking a workout.
The University of Washington receives a hefty amount of federal funding each year to further its mission as a public research institution. True to its roots in research, the school hosts an Undergraduate Research Symposium every year for students to present their work to the community. The school has a highly ranked School of Medicine, College of Engineering and Michael G. Foster School of Business. Nearly three fourths of University of Washington graduates remain in the state. Notable alumni include Thomas Foley, former U.S. Speaker of the House; Chris DeWolfe, co-creator of MySpace; and Irv Robbins, co-founder and namesake of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
College of Art & Science
The College of Arts & Sciences provides a cutting-edge liberal arts education with rich opportunities to explore our cultural and natural worlds. We prepare our students to become leaders in an increasingly diverse society.
College of Built Environments
At the College of Built Environments, we focus on planning, design, construction and management of our built environments. We prepare graduates to create innovative urban infrastructure for future generations.
Foster School of Business
The Michael G. Foster School of Business is a collaborative learning community of faculty, staff, students, alumni and business leaders dedicated to the creation, application and sharing of management knowledge.
School of Dentistry
A global leader in oral health research, the School of Dentistry prepares students to be true 21st-century dentists with evidence-based training grounded in the latest advances of biological and materials science.
College of Education
An effective public education system for a diverse citizenry is the cornerstone of democracy. At the College of Education, we’re dedicated to making an excellent education a daily reality for every student in every community.
College of Engineering
We are a diverse community of innovators working to dramatically improve the quality of life in our state, our nation and the world. We do it by leading in engineering discovery, innovation, education and engagement.
College of the Environment
Spanning the forests to the seas, from the depths of the earth to the edges of the solar system, the College of the Environment is an unrivaled constellation of environmental research, education and application.
The Graduate School
The UW offers more than 370 graduate programs across all three campuses and online, from master’s to doctoral programs for people who are launching or continuing academic, research or professional careers.
The Information School
The Information School explores the relationship between information, technology and people. Graduates investigate the uses and users of information, as well as information technologies, and apply their expertise for the advancement of science, business, education and culture.
School of Law
The School of Law is one of the nation’s top public law schools and one of the world’s most respected centers for interdisciplinary legal scholarship and study. We prepare our students to succeed in the evolving legal profession and to go on to be leaders for the global common good.
School of Medicine
The UW School of Medicine is recognized as one of the nation’s top providers of medical education. The school is a leader in training of primary-care physicians and advancing medical knowledge through scientific research.
School of Nursing
For more than 27 years, the UW School of Nursing has been a top-rated nursing school. Our mission is to advance nursing science and practice through generating knowledge and preparing future leaders in health fields.
School of Pharmacy
Nationally and globally ranked, the School of Pharmacy educates the next generation of pharmacy and research leaders and trains students for a career that combines a love of science and patient-centered health care.
Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
Over the past 50 years, the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance has built a reputation as one of the best public policy schools in the nation. It is defined by a tradition of rigorous study, innovative research and a commitment to public service.
School of Public Health
The School of Public Health is dedicated to fostering healthy people in sustainable communities –
locally, nationally and globally. Our more than 10,000 graduates have gone on to create transformative change to improve people’s lives.
School of Social Work
The School of Social Work is a nationally recognized leader in solving the most demanding social issues of our day through rigorous research, academic innovation and public service.
The city of Seattle was one of several settlements in the mid to late 19th century vying for primacy in the newly formed Washington Territory. In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in Washington. Several prominent Seattle-area residents, chief among them Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw the siting of this University as a chance to add to the city’s prestige. They were able to convince early founder of Seattle and member of the territorial legislature Arthur A. Denny of the importance of Seattle winning the school. The legislature initially chartered two universities, one in Seattle and one in Lewis County, but later repealed its decision in favor of a single university in Lewis County, provided locally donated land could be found. When no site emerged, the legislature, encouraged by Denny, relocated the university to Seattle in 1858.
In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as the campus for a new university. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, and fellow pioneers Edward Lander and Charlie and Mary Terry donated two acres to the university at a site on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. This tract was bounded by 4th and 6th Avenues on the west and east and Union and Seneca Streets on the north and south.
UW opened officially on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The following year, the legislature passed articles formally incorporating the University and establishing a Board of Regents. The school struggled initially, closing three times: in 1863 for lack of students, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to shortage of funds. However, Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt became the first graduate of UW in 1876 when she graduated from UW with a bachelor’s degree in science. By the time Washington entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. Enrollment had increased from an initial 30 students to nearly 300, and the relative isolation of the campus had given way to encroaching development. A special legislative committee headed by UW graduate Edmond Meany was created for the purpose of finding a new campus better able to serve the growing student population. The committee selected a site on Union Bay northeast of downtown, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and subsequent construction.
The university relocated from downtown to the new campus in 1895, moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, and eventually settled on leasing the area. The University still owns what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. In the heart of the city, it is among the most valuable pieces of real estate in Seattle and generates millions of US$ in revenue annually.
The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908 and its former site currently houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The sole surviving remnants of UW’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany—one of the University’s first graduates and the former head of the history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed each of the columns “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith” and “Efficiency,” or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.
Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with the Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition. In exchange, the University would be able to take advantage of the development of the campus for the fair after its conclusion. This included a detailed site plan and several buildings. The plan for the A-Y-P Exposition prepared by John Charles Olmsted was later incorporated into the overall campus master plan and permanently affected the layout of the campus.
Both World Wars brought the military to the campus, with certain facilities temporarily loaned to the federal government. The subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw significant expansion on the upper campus. Construction of the liberal arts quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued in stages until 1939. The first two wings of Suzzallo Library, considered the architectural centerpiece of the University, were built in 1926 and 1935, respectively. Further growth came with the end of World War II and passage of the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the medical school in 1946. It would eventually grow into the University of Washington Medical Center, now ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top ten hospitals in the United States. It was during this era in University of Washington history in which many Japanese Americans were sent away from the university to internment camps along the west coast of the United States as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. As a result, many Japanese American “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to receive their diplomas and be recognized for their accomplishment at the university until the University of Washington’s commemoration ceremony for the Japanese Americans entitled The Long Journey Home held on May 18, 2008 at the main campus.
In the late 1960s, the University of Washington Police Department evolved from the University Safety and Security Division in response to anti-Vietnam War protests. It currently has jurisdiction over the University of Washington campus and University-owned housing, except for the Radford Court apartments in Sand Point. The 1960s and 1970s are known as the “golden age” of the university due to the tremendous growth in students, facilities, operating budget and prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard from 1958 to 1973. Enrollment at UW more than doubled—from around 16,000 to 34,000—as the baby boom generation came of age. As was the case at many American universities, this era was marked by high levels of student activism, with much of the unrest focused around civil rightsand opposition to the Vietnam War. Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars” and convinced the state of Washington legislatures to increase their investments towards the university. Additionally, Washington senators, Henry M. Jackson andWarren G. Magnuson used their political clout to funnel federal research monies to the University of Washington and to this day, UW is among the top recipients of federal research funds in the United States. The results included an operating budget increase of $37 million in 1958, to over $400 million in 1973, and 35 new buildings that doubled the floor space of the university.
The University opened campuses in Bothell and Tacoma in 1990. Initially, these campuses offered curricula for students seeking bachelor’s degrees who have already completed two years of higher education, but both schools have transitioned to four-year universities, accepting the first freshman class in the fall of 2006. Both campuses offer master’s degree programs as well. In 2009 the University opened an office in the Spanish city of León in collaboration with the local university.
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