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Seattle University
Personalized learning inspires independent thinkers. Seattle University drives student potential with exceptional teaching in...

Seattle University

Seattle, Washington

Seattle University consistently ranks among the top universities in the West with a full range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded in 1891, this is Seattle’s university. Seattle U has more than 7,400 students on its 55-acre, carbon-neutral campus, set in the heart of a city of commerce, community, global engagement, and forward-thinking industries. The university has long-standing partnerships with many of the world’s most innovative businesses, medical centers and nonprofits such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boeing, Microsoft, Costco, Amazon, Starbucks, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and PATH.   

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
4,602 undergraduate students
96% of undergrad students are full time
40% male — 60% female
63% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
537 full-time faculty
246 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, and Seattle University offers eight residence halls and apartment building options. 92% of first-year students reside on campus, and 47% of all undergrads live on campus.

School Location

Cultures, corporate headquarters, and cutting-edge technology co-mingle in the Emerald City. Seattle’s central location affords rich learning experiences outside the classroom. Many important lessons in life are learned in Seattle’s dozens of coffeehouses. Or while scoping out the Cascade or Olympic Mountains from a ferry, the city skyline from atop the Space Needle or the Puget Sound waterfront from a giant Ferris wheel. When a break from the books is in order, check out a Seattle Mariners or Seahawks game or cheer on major-league soccer the Sounders FC. And the city that spawned grunge, garage bands and Macklemore flourishes with eclectic offerings at numerous live music venues. Seattle University is only a short walk or a quick bus ride from downtown. The campus is eco-friendly, pesticide-free and continues to win awards for its commitment to environmental leadership, energy conservation, recycling and composting.

Retention Fall 2015

84% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

79% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 11%
Hispanic/Latino 9%
Black or African American 3%
White 45%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 17%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 1%
Two or more races 7%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 9%


Seattle University sponsors 20 intercollegiate sports at the NCAA Division I level: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s indoor track and field, women’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, women’s outdoor track and field, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming, women’s swimming, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and volleyball. All sports except for women’s rowing, which competes as a Division I independent, are members of the Western Athletic Conference. Go Redhawks!

Other Information

Seattle University is a four-year Jesuit Catholic university, founded in 1891.

Academic Programs

Albers School of Business and Economics
Accounting, Business Administration, Business Economics, Business and Law, Economics, Finance, International Business, Management, Marketing, Pre-Business

College of Arts and Sciences
Art History; Asian Studies, Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Criminal Justice, Cultural Anthropology, Digital Design, English, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, French, History, International Studies, Journalism, Liberal Studies. Music, Philosophy, Photography, Political Science, Premajor (undeclared), Psychology, Public Affairs, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Sport and Exercise Science, Strategic Communication, String Performance, Studio Art, Theatre, Theology and Religious Studies, Women and Gender Studies

College of Nursing
Diagnostic Ultrasound, Nursing (BSN and DNP)

College of Science and Engineering
Biochemistry, Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental Science, Marine and Conservation Biology, Biology, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Health, Pre-Science

Matteo Ricci College
Humanities, Humanities for Leadership Studies, Humanities for Teaching

More Distinctions

  • Seattle University is lauded as a model for sustainability. The university has been recognized with more than 20 awards for its commitment to environmentally conscious efforts.

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted the university six times in the past decade as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, with students and alumni serving throughout the world.

  • Seattle University is the first Fair Trade University in the Pacific Northwest, one of only 26 schools in the nation to earn that designation from Fair Trade Colleges and Universities USA. It’s a movement that supports and advances economic systems to help international farmers, artisans and other workers lift themselves out of poverty while protecting the environment—very much in line with Seattle U’s mission.

Office of Fellowships

Seattle University has an impressively strong record of supporting SU students and alumni in their applications to nationally competitive scholarship and fellowship programs. The Office of Fellowships strives to support students in their search for prestigious awards and opportunities to enrich their education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. SU is among the most elite schools in the country for the number of Truman and Fulbright Scholars it produces. To find out more about the Office of Fellowships, visit

Education Abroad

At Seattle University, students understand the best way to learn about another country or culture is to be immersed in it. With more than 50 countries just a plane trip away, approximately 550 students each year are able to travel, learn and make a positive impact through internship, academic programs and service in places far and wide. In Seattle University’s distinctive International Development Internship Program (IDIP), participants are able to work with NGOs in the developing world while also gaining invaluable professional formation. Past placements include Tanzania, Bolivia, Senegal, India, Guatemala, Cambodia, Morocco and many more. For a comprehensive list of global opportunities, visit

Personal Education

Located in the heart of one of the most advanced cities in the nation, Seattle University attracts faculty at the top of their fields. Students at Seattle U experience a deep intellectual life, working on research projects alongside these accomplished faculty members. With an average class size of 19 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, Seattle U offers an interactive classroom experience where every student’s voice is heard. It’s transformative learning. Faculty members often say they come to a university of this size because undergraduates are the focus. Partnering with students in groundbreaking research and mentoring them as they grow from novices into experts is as important as their own scholarship.

Core Curriculum

At the center of Seattle University’s Jesuit academic experience is the Core Curriculum. With an emphasis on rigorous, engaging courses, the Core develops students into critical thinkers and global-minded citizens able to tackle any challenge they encounter. Through their Core classes, students develop confidence and communication skills as they grow into the leaders of tomorrow, empowered to be agents of change in their careers and their communities. Classes are typically comprised of no more than 20 students, and faculty are engaged and accessible. Some Core classes students take include: What does “America” Mean Now?; Rhetoric of Sustainable Food; God, Money and Politics; The Genetics of Disease; Literary Bad Boys; and more. Learn more about the Core Curriculum at

Areas of Study

With more than 60 undergraduate degree offerings, incoming students are sure to find their niche. New programs develop each year, such as the Bachelor of Business Administration in Business and Law, which allows students to begin Seattle University School of Law courses as an undergraduate, effectively saving on a year of undergraduate tuition. A Bachelor of Science in Marine and Conservation Biology allows students to study marine environments while researching successful conservation efforts. And those who haven’t quite decided on a major can start in the Premajor Studies program, where a Premajor Advisor will tailor an academic plan that helps students discern their academic calling.

For a complete list of majors and programs, visit

Get Involved!

At Seattle University, an emphasis on educating the whole person means fostering student growth both inside and outside the classroom. From the day students arrive on campus to their parting days as graduates, they immerse themselves in everything the university offers. The university offers a slew of enriching extra-curricular opportunities for students. Here are a few of the programs:

  • REDZONE: This student-led organization leads the rallying at Division I athletic events and other gatherings where stirring up Redhawk pride is paramount. Since 2012, REDZONE has cheered the Redhawks on to 31 team and individual Western Athletic Conference titles, including seven combined postseason appearances. Expect to see them yelling the loudest and proudest for the home team.
  • SEAC: Student Events and Activities Council (SEAC) is the main programming board for Seattle U and is entirely student-run. The organization plans more than 65 events a year for the campus community that range from films and concerts to speakers and outdoor activities. One of the largest events they help organize is the annual Quadstock, a day-long outdoor music and arts festival that takes place in Seattle U’s Quad near the end of the academic year.
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA): OMA showcases a campus community that appreciates, encourages and celebrates diversity in many forms. OMA serves one of the most diverse student bodies among independent universities on the West Coast and offers student-interest groups as well as meaningful annual events.
  • Dance Marathon: Dance Marathon is an annual fundraising event where hundreds of students stay on their feet for a nearly round-the clock dance-a-thon to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Uncompensated Care program.
  • De-Stress with Dogs: Each quarter during finals week, students gather at the Student Center to hang out with dogs and get their minds off the books. The university wants to keep students healthy and happy. Sometimes that means bringing energetic canine companions to campus to play Frisbee.

Preparation for Success

Whether graduates of Seattle University stay close to their collegiate home—and 40,000 alumni do—or venture off and explore different corners of the world, they walk away with much more than a degree. Seattle U seeks to educate students in mind, body and spirit while cultivating citizens of the world. Empowering leaders through professional formation is at the heart of what this university does. Undergraduate studies are designed to send graduates into the world with specific strengths that include the following:

  • Prepared to encounter the world–Graduates thoughtfully engage complex questions about human existence and the natural world by rigorously applying appropriate methods of inquiry and by drawing upon a broad foundation of relevant knowledge and experience.
  • Adept in their discipline–Through pursuing their academic and scholarly passions, Seattle U graduates possess in-depth knowledge and skills in their major and are able to apply them effectively.
  • Empowered to make a difference–Graduates are competent and creative writers, speakers and critical thinkers who are able to thrive in leadership, team and advocacy roles; who contribute to the common good; and who possess the tools to meet life’s challenges.
  • Self-reflective in their pursuit of meaning and purpose–Graduates are prepared and inspired to lead reflective lives of meaning and value and discern their vocational and life paths.
  • Committed to justice and ethical action–They are engaged and ethical members of their global and local communities, act with compassion and integrity and strive for social and environmental justice.


Admissions Fall 2015

7,806 Total Applicants 
5,700 Total Admissions 
1,002 Total Freshman Enrollment

73.02% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 530 650
SAT Math 530 630
SAT Writing 530 630
ACT Composite 25 29
ACT Math 24 28
ACT English 24 32
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $38,970
Fees $720
Total $39,690
Room and Board (on campus) $11,326
Room Only $7,092
Board Only $4,234
Estimated Total On Campus $51,016


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

93% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
55% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$19,407 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,396 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

The Sullivan Leadership Program

All students who complete an application to Seattle University will be considered for merit-based scholarships, which range from $11,000 – $22,000 per year. Families are also recommended to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered for additional need-based aid.  Students who have shown a commitment to their communities through service and leadership should consider applying for the Sullivan Leadership Award, a scholarship equivalent to four years of tuition, room and board. The Sullivan Leadership Award is given to nine incoming freshmen each year. While competitive, the award process allows applicants the opportunity to glimpse the dynamic leadership opportunities offered to all SU students. Interested students may learn more at