University of Washington

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University of Washington
City: Seattle, Washington
Type: Public
Sports: baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball[1]
Colors: yellow, purple
Mascot: Huskies

The University of Washington is a public research university with its main campus located in Seattle, Washington, with satellite campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the West Coast and is one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The Seattle campus enrolls approximately 28,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate students. It is often referred to by students as "U-dub" (UW), and the school mascot is the Husky.


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."[2] 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. During its earliest years the University was little more than a backwoods school, and was forced to close on several different occasions for lack of funds. The first faculty consisted of one professor who taught a curriculum that included Latin, Greek, English, history, algebra, and physiology.

Washington State

Washington became a state in 1889, and by that time the University was firmly established as an institution of higher education. As downtown Seattle began to grow, and as enrollment increased for the University, the lack of available land made it apparent that a larger campus was necessary; thus, in 1895 classes opened in Denny Hall, the first building on the present Seattle campus.

In 1909 the University of Washington became the site of a world's fair called the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. This exposition provided national attention for the University, as much of the nation was focused on it and the Pacific Northwest during this time in history.


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.[3] The UW's graduate programs are among the most highly rated in the nation. UW Libraries hold over 7.14 million volumes and over 61,000 serial subscriptions.

The University has 86 faculty members who are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, or the National Academy of Engineering. This is the 4th highest total of academy members among public Universities, and the 12th highest total of academy members among all Universities in the nation. Six UW faculty members have won Nobel Prizes, and 10 UW faculty members have won "genius grants" from the MacArthur Foundation.

Academic Program

The UW employs over 4,100 full-time equivalent faculty members, and offers over 250 degrees within 150 departments programs across 18 colleges and schools. In 2008, according the US News & World Report, the University ranked 41 out of 130 Tier 1 National Universities; it also has 20 graduate programs ranked in the top 20 (out of 34 ranked programs), and 15 programs in the top 10.[4] For 2010, the U.S. News & World Report ranks the University at 42 out of 130 Tier 1 National Universities.[5]

The University operates and manages two major medical centers: UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center.

Federal funding

In the 2006-07 academic year, the University received $1.02 Billion in Grants and Contracts funding, 78 percent of which came from the federal government. These awards support over 6,800 full-time equivalent employees at the University. The University receives more federal research funding than any other public university in the country, and the 2nd most federal research funding of all universities in the country.


  2. History, The University of Washington.
  4. University of Washington: About
  5. Best Colleges 2010,, November 20, 2009.

External links