Deciding where to go to college is one of the biggest decisions a student will make. With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which school is the right fit. If Seattle University is on your list, you likely want to know – is Seattle University a good school?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, Seattle University is considered a good, reputable university with strengths in undergraduate teaching and small class sizes. It has a beautiful campus location and vibrant student life.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take an in-depth look at Seattle University’s academics, student life, admissions, rankings, and more to help you determine if it’s a good option for your college search.

Overview and Reputation of Seattle University

Seattle University, founded in 1891, is a private Jesuit university located in the heart of Seattle, Washington. It has a rich history and has established itself as a reputable institution in the region.

With its commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and service to the community, Seattle University offers a unique educational experience for its students.

Brief history and founding

Seattle University was founded by the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits. The university’s establishment was driven by the need to provide quality education to the growing population of Seattle during the late 19th century.

The Jesuits, known for their focus on intellectual growth and social justice, played a significant role in shaping the university’s mission and values.

Type of school and student demographics

Seattle University is classified as a private, nonprofit, four-year university. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines, including business, liberal arts, sciences, education, and law.

The student body at Seattle University is diverse, with students coming from all 50 states and over 80 countries. This diverse community fosters a rich cultural and intellectual environment on campus.

Overall reputation and rankings

Seattle University has gained a strong reputation for its academic programs and commitment to social justice. It is consistently ranked among the top universities in the country by various publications and organizations. According to U.S.

News & World Report, Seattle University is ranked #7 in the West Regional Universities category. The university’s business school, law school, and nursing program have also received recognition for their excellence.

Seattle University’s reputation extends beyond its academic programs. The university is known for its strong emphasis on community service and engagement. It has been recognized as a leader in service-learning and has partnerships with numerous organizations in the Seattle area.

The university’s commitment to social justice and community involvement is highly regarded by both students and the local community.

Academic Programs and Student Success

Seattle University offers a wide range of academic programs and opportunities for students to excel in their chosen fields. Whether pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies, students at Seattle University can find a program that aligns with their interests and career goals.

Undergraduate majors and academics

Seattle University offers a diverse selection of undergraduate majors, allowing students to explore various disciplines and find their passion. From business and engineering to social sciences and fine arts, the university provides a comprehensive education that prepares students for success in the professional world.

The faculty members are experienced professionals who are dedicated to providing students with a high-quality education.

Graduate programs

In addition to its undergraduate offerings, Seattle University also offers a range of graduate programs across different fields. These programs are designed to provide advanced education and specialized knowledge to individuals looking to further their careers.

Whether pursuing a master’s degree or a professional certification, students can expect to receive a rigorous education that equips them with the skills needed to excel in their chosen field.

Retention and graduation rates

Seattle University boasts impressive retention and graduation rates, indicating a strong commitment to student success. The university’s retention rate, which measures the percentage of students who continue their studies from one year to the next, is consistently high.

This demonstrates that students feel supported and engaged in their academic journey. Additionally, the graduation rate at Seattle University exceeds the national average, further highlighting the institution’s dedication to helping students achieve their educational goals.

Student-to-faculty ratio

One of the key factors contributing to student success is the student-to-faculty ratio. At Seattle University, the ratio is relatively low, allowing for more personalized attention and interaction between students and faculty members.

This fosters a collaborative and supportive learning environment, where students can engage in meaningful discussions and receive individualized guidance from their professors.

Research opportunities

Seattle University provides ample research opportunities for its students, allowing them to delve deeper into their fields of study and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. Through research projects and partnerships with faculty members, students have the chance to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations and gain practical skills that are highly valued in today’s job market.

Campus Life at Seattle University

When it comes to campus life, Seattle University offers a vibrant and engaging environment for students. From its prime location and top-notch facilities to its diverse range of clubs and events, there is always something happening on campus to enrich the student experience.

Location and campus facilities

Seattle University is located in the heart of Seattle, Washington, providing students with easy access to the city’s thriving arts, music, and tech scenes. The campus itself is known for its beautiful architecture and well-maintained grounds, creating a welcoming and inspiring atmosphere for students to learn and grow.

The university boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including modern classrooms, well-equipped laboratories, and a comprehensive library with an extensive collection of resources. Additionally, students have access to various recreational facilities, such as fitness centers and sports fields, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

Housing and dining options

Seattle University offers a range of housing options to cater to different student preferences. From traditional dormitories to apartment-style living, students can choose the option that best suits their needs.

The university also provides on-campus dining options, including a variety of cuisines to accommodate different dietary preferences.

The university’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its efforts to provide eco-friendly housing and dining options. Initiatives such as composting and locally sourced ingredients help promote environmental consciousness among students and contribute to a greener campus.

Clubs, activities, and events

Seattle University boasts a thriving campus life with a wide range of clubs, activities, and events to cater to diverse interests. Whether students are looking to join a club related to their academic field, participate in community service projects, or explore their hobbies, there is something for everyone.

From academic clubs like the Biology Club and the Economics Society to cultural organizations like the Asian Student Association and the Black Student Union, students have ample opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and explore their passions outside of the classroom.

Furthermore, the university organizes various events throughout the year, including concerts, guest lectures, and performances, which add to the vibrant campus atmosphere. These events not only provide entertainment but also serve as platforms for intellectual and cultural enrichment.

Greek life and athletics

While Seattle University does not have traditional Greek life, it offers a range of student organizations that foster a sense of community and camaraderie. These organizations provide opportunities for leadership development, social engagement, and philanthropy, creating a vibrant social scene on campus.

Athletics also play a significant role in campus life at Seattle University. The university is a member of the NCAA Division I and offers a variety of sports for students to participate in or support as fans.

Whether it’s basketball, soccer, or volleyball, attending games and cheering on the Redhawks is a popular pastime for many students.

Admissions Information

Acceptance rate

One important factor to consider when evaluating the quality of a school is its acceptance rate. Seattle University has a highly competitive admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 70%. While this may seem high compared to some other prestigious universities, it’s important to note that Seattle University receives a large number of applications each year.

ACT/SAT scores

Seattle University takes ACT and SAT scores into consideration during the admissions process. The average ACT score for admitted students is typically between 24 and 29, while the average SAT score falls within the range of 1150 to 1320.

However, it’s important to remember that these scores are just one component of the overall application, and the admissions committee also considers other factors such as GPA, extracurricular activities, and personal statements.

Application requirements

When applying to Seattle University, prospective students are required to submit a completed application form, official transcripts from all previously attended institutions, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Additionally, some programs may have specific additional requirements, such as portfolios or auditions for arts-related programs. It’s important for applicants to thoroughly review the application requirements for their desired program to ensure that all necessary materials are submitted.

Tuition and financial aid

Seattle University, like many other private universities, has tuition costs that can be a significant factor in a student’s decision-making process. The current tuition for undergraduate students is approximately $45,000 per year.

However, it’s important to note that Seattle University offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, and work-study programs, to help offset the cost of tuition. Students are encouraged to explore these opportunities and apply for financial aid to make their education more affordable.

Pros and Cons of Attending Seattle University


  • Academic Excellence: Seattle University is known for its strong academic programs and has been consistently ranked among the top universities in the country. The faculty members are highly qualified and dedicated to providing a quality education.
  • Location: Situated in the vibrant city of Seattle, attending Seattle University offers students a unique opportunity to be part of a thriving cultural and tech hub. The city offers a wide range of career opportunities and internships for students.
  • Diversity and Inclusivity: Seattle University prides itself on creating an inclusive and diverse community. The university actively promotes diversity through its programs and initiatives, fostering an environment that celebrates different perspectives and backgrounds.
  • Strong Alumni Network: Seattle University has a strong and supportive alumni network. Graduates from the university have gone on to successful careers in various fields and are often willing to mentor and assist current students.
  • Community Engagement: The university places a strong emphasis on community engagement and social justice. Students have numerous opportunities to get involved in community service projects and make a positive impact in the local community.


  • Tuition Costs: Seattle University is a private institution, which means that tuition costs can be higher compared to public universities. However, the university offers financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help alleviate the financial burden for students.
  • Weather: Seattle is known for its rainy weather, which can be a challenge for some students. However, the city’s natural beauty and the abundance of indoor activities make up for the occasional gloomy days.
  • Competition: Being a prestigious university, Seattle University attracts high-achieving students from all over the country. This can create a competitive environment, but it also provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and grow academically.
  • Limited Campus Space: Due to its urban location, Seattle University has limited space for expansion. As a result, the campus can feel crowded at times. However, the university maximizes the available space and provides modern facilities for students.
  • Transportation: Seattle University is located in a bustling city, which means that transportation options can sometimes be challenging. However, the university is well-connected to public transportation systems, making it relatively easy for students to get around.


In summary, Seattle University offers many benefits like small class sizes, an urban campus setting, and strong undergraduate teaching. However, graduate programs are limited and it may not be the best choice for research opportunities.

By weighing the pros and cons, you can determine if Seattle University is the right fit for your educational goals and preferences.

We hope this detailed guide provided the information you need to make an informed decision about applying to and attending Seattle University. Best of luck with your college search!

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