Willamette is the first institution of higher education founded west of the Mississippi River. Deep historic roots in the region mean that Willamette was literally at the center of economic and political development as the Pacific Northwest grew up around campus. Willamette is the only institution of higher education in the United States that sits directly across the street from a state capitol building, providing unmatched access for students interested in policy, politics, law, and ethics.
Willamette’s motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born” is taught to new students on the first day of orientation and resides at the heart of everything Willamette does. The motto reminds students that they are connected to others, and they have a responsibility to use their education to lead and serve others. Time spent both in and out of the classroom at Willamette is intended to help students practice service and leadership in a way that will inspire them to lead lives of meaning and purpose.
Get to know Willamette University
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Literary magazine
- Model UN
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Student-run film society
- Symphony orchestra
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Faculty Mentors
- Academic Tutors
- Student Success Initiative
- Peer Mentors
Willamette’s rich curriculum and collaborative learning environment allow students to explore a wide variety of subjects that are critical to helping them navigate the world. Students research side-by-side with professors, intern at companies and nonprofits worldwide, and improve their communities through service.
Mentored undergraduate research is extremely common across the college, particularly in the natural sciences; and it is required for several majors.
WU offers more than 75 competitive undergraduate research grants annually in all subject areas, from the arts to the natural sciences to the humanities. In addition, professors often invite students to collaborate on scholarly projects — thus helping them develop valuable critical thinking, writing and analytical skills.
Students often present their research at conferences, and some funding is available to help enable them to do so.
Willamette students are always looking for new ways to make their mark on the world. They frequently launch new endeavors both on campus and in the community, learning valuable skills of teamwork and productivity. The Bistro coffee shop on campus, the Wulapalooza art and music festival, and Zena Farm are just a few student-created initiatives.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 97 | 10-19: 193 | 20-29: 77
30-39: 11 | 40-49: 1 | 50-99: 0 | 100+: 0
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 1%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 2%
White, non-Hispanic: 62%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 6%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 8%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 5%
Willamette professors contribute a wide range of expertise to create a dynamic and collaborative learning environment for their students. They not only engage in scholarly research and publication, but they also commit to teaching and serving as mentors and advisors.
SMALL CLASSES. GREAT RELATIONSHIPS.
With an average class size of 14 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, Willamette provides a personal classroom experience in which professors get to know their students well, making it easy to find individualized help or ask questions. Professors frequently involve their students in research outside of class as well, both for independent and collaborative projects.
Orientation Groups: Students are assigned to be a member of a 16-person orientation group led by two returning student leaders. Leaders facilitate conversations, present educational programs, coordinate social events, engage in community building, and provide mentorship. Orientation runs the week before classes begin, assisting new students with the transition to Willamette.
Orientation Traditions: Convocation mirrors graduation with a faculty procession and speakers that welcome students to the academic community. Matriculation is a ceremony organized by student leaders that welcomes new students to the community, introduces the school motto, the student body president, and WU traditions.
First Year Commons: First year students are required to live on campus and live in the same living unit with members of their College Colloquium class and orientation group.
College Colloquium (CC): A one-semester seminar required for all entering first-year students. These classes are taught by tenure-line faculty from every department, and introduce students to the advanced critical thinking and communication skills needed for college through a range of topics such as “The Great American Road Trip” or “Imagining Indigenous futures.” The Colloquium professor serves as the advisor for every student in the class, and is assisted by an upper-level student, a Colloquium Associate, who serves as an academic mentor.
CHASE (Community-building, Health, Academic Success Experience): All first year students participate in this common weekly hour course focusing on core realms of academic self management, wellness, and community. Each Colloquium class works with its Colloquium Associate and assigned staff Community Partner to explore these facets of life on campus.
In the summer before matriculation, students are advised by a dean, college advisor, or other member of the Student Success Hub academic staff. Upon being assigned to a College Colloquium section, students have their Colloquium professor as their pre-major advisor; this ensures close and regular contact. When students declare a major, they choose or are assigned an advisor in their major field; many, though, also keep their pre-major advisors in addition.
In addition to undergraduate academic programs, Willamette students may also choose a joint degree program, pairing their liberal arts education with a master’s degree so that they may stand out from the competition and get a jump-start on their career. Willamette offers three joint degrees: a bachelor of arts/master of business administration (BA/MBA), a BA/master of arts in teaching (BA/MAT) and a BA/juris doctor (BA/JD).
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Exchange student program (domestic)
The life of the Willamette student is active, thought-provoking, and focused on community both in and out of the classroom. More than 100 student organizations help students develop their character in addition to their intellect.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Whether students want to sing or play a musical instrument, learn about foreign cultures, explore the outdoors, compete athletically, debate policy initiatives, or volunteer in the community, they will find a student organization at Willamette that supports their passion. Willamette offers over 80 clubs and organizations in 10 different categories. Most popular student organizations include Willamette Dance Company, Outdoor Program, Hawaii Club, WU’s three acapella groups, Jewish Student Union, and Willamette Events Board.
Many courses at Willamette have a service component and a variety of student clubs and organizations engage in service activities. Spring break trips that have involved service have been organized by student leaders, and on-going after school volunteer programs are organized by the Office of Community Service Learning. More information can be found here: Service Learning at Willamette.
Willamette is home to two national sororities (Alpha Phi and Alpha Chi Omega) and four national fraternities (Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, & Sigma Chi). There are opportunities to serve, lead, and connect with students on campus and across the nation. Our fraternities and sororities have been sources of strength and inspiration for generations of students.
LIFE IN THE NORTHWEST
Willamette enjoys all the benefits of the Pacific Northwest: beautiful landscapes and the ocean nearby, environmental consciousness, and a relaxed, creative, and civic-minded culture. The school is located in Salem, Oregon’s capital, the epicenter of state government, law, and business. Downtown Salem, next to campus, offers numerous restaurants, coffeehouses, concerts, and other activities.
Willamette competes in NCAA at Division III as members of the Northwest Conference. Sports include, football, soccer, women’s volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, tennis, cross country, track and field,swimming, and women’s triathlon. More information can be found on the Athletic Website.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 86%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
AN EXPERIENCE THAT OPENS DOORS
Willamette alumni have gone on to a wide variety of successful careers in numerous fields, and many are also active in their communities. Recent employers of Willamette graduates include Intel, Nike, Boeing, Microsoft, Oakley, McKinsey & Company, the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Vice President’s Office, the Environmental Protection Agency, and National Public Radio.
Willamette’s rigorous, interdisciplinary liberal arts environment prepares students to enter top-notch graduate programs including Yale University, Harvard University, Stanford University and the London School of Economics. Graduates frequently win prestigious national fellowships like the Fulbright Grant, which provides scholarship money for research and study abroad opportunities.
Career Development at Willamette University has established a Career Communities model that is considered a best practice in the field. This allows our students to partner with Career Advisors who are experts in the fields they are most likely to be interested in learning more about. Our team provides a certain amount of support to all students driving engagement early in student’s undergraduate studies and then partners with faculty and employers/alumni to provide more customized and unique support to students as they declare majors and look to build expertise in the industries and fields they are interested in exploring.
Career Development also has strong partnerships with Alumni and Donor Relations and Advancement to fund Internships for undergraduates during the summer.
Roughly 67% of students are completing at least one internship or mentored research experience during their undergraduate studies; 26% of those students earn academic credit for internships through Career Development or through academic departments.
Rigor of secondary school record | Class rank | Academic GPA
Standardized test scores | Application Essay
Recommendation(s) | Interview
Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability | Character/personal qualities
First generation | Alumni/ae relation | Geographical residence | Racial/ethnic status
25th Percentile: 1120 | 75th Percentile: 1340
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 570 | 75th Percentile: 690
25th Percentile: 560 | 75th Percentile: 670
25th Percentile: 24 | 75th Percentile: 31
Tuition & Cost