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Seattle University

Seattle University Rating: 4.0/5 (9 votes)

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Seattle University is a non-profit Jesuit catholic university located on 50 acres in Seattle, Washington’s First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Founded in 1891, SU has been ranked among the top 10 universities in the western U.S. by US News & World Report. Enrollment at SU in the fall of 2010 was 7,900 students, with 56 percent of them undergraduates. SU employs 1,381 faculty and staff.

Of the student population, 94 percent of SU’s undergrads attend school there full time, and about 49 percent of freshmen are students who live in Washington state. The student population is relatively diverse, with students hailing from all 50 U.S. states and 77 other nations.


Seattle University is home to eight different colleges and schools, offering 61 undergraduate programs and 33 graduate programs. The average class size at SU is 20 students, and the faculty to student ratio is 13 to one.

Schools and colleges include the Albers School of Business and Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Nursing, College of Science and Engineering, Matteo Ricci College, School of Law and School of Theology and Ministry.

The Albers School of Business and Economics offers nine majors and eight minors including economics, accounting, business economics, e-commerce and information systems, finance, international business management and marketing. Degrees at Albers include bachelor of arts, bachelor of arts in economics, bachelor of arts in business administration. Degrees offered by the popular College of Arts and Sciences include the bachelor of arts, bachelor of criminal justice, bachelor of science, bachelor of public affairs, and bachelor of fine arts. Majors include psychology, photography, music, sociology, communication studies, Asian studies, art history, criminal justice, liberal studies, theology and religious studies, environmental studies, English/creative writing, French, theater, journalism and more.

The Matteo Ricci College, where classes are taught seminar style, offers three degrees in the humanities: the bachelor of arts in humanities for leadership, the BA in humanities for teaching, and the BA in humanities, an accelerated three-year program offered only to students from Seattle-based Catholic high schools.

Like many Jesuit schools, SU requires its students to complete a core curriculum of 15 courses over four years. Courses range from astronomy to theology, and are designed to develop critical academic and intellectual skills, help student to reflect on their responsibilities as members of society, and discover ways to act as “leaders for a just and humane world.”

Study Abroad

More than 500 students study abroad in 45 countries each year at SU, while earning credit toward their degrees, most on programs directly sponsored by Seattle University. SU-sponsored semester and year-long programs take students to 11 different countries: Austria, Belize, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Ghana, France, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Sweden.

Students interested in social justice can also participate in SU’s International Development Internship Program, a 17 credit academic program that challenges students to explore the causes and consequences of situations that undermine the well-being of people living in the developing world. Students are placed in Asia, Africa and Latin America. as part of the program.

Academic support provided by SU includes evening classes, an honors program, study skills assistance, tutoring, and a writing center.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Seattle University requires its freshman applicants to submit a completed common application, a supplemental application, official high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, teacher or counselor recommendations, and an essay or personal statement. Admissions are rolling.

SU admissions is considered moderately difficult, with 66 percent of applicants admitted. The most recent available admissions information shows that 5,578 students applied to Seattle University, and 3,692 students were admitted. Of those, 733 students enrolled at SU. The average SU high school grade point average among incoming freshmen was 3.59, and the university sets a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Primary consideration is given to a student’s course selection and performance during high school, and SU looks for students who have completed at least four units of English, three units each of math and social studies, and two units each of a lab science and a foreign language.

Students who pursue direct admission to the College of Science and Engineering must complete four units of college preparatory math for admission to any of its specific majors. Applicants to the College of Nursing must complete three years of college preparatory mathematics to be viable candidates.

Financial Aid

Financial aid offered by Seattle University includes loans, grants and a number of scholarships. More than 86 percent of SU’s undergraduates receive some financial assistance, and the average aid award to recipients is $24,000.

Grants include the federal Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, along with the Washington State Need Grant awarded to Washington students, and SU grants. SU administers loans including the federal Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, Nursing Loan, Direct PLUS loan for parents and graduate students, and the Alaska Loan. SU’s work-study programs team up students with Seattle-area employers.

Seattle University’s scholarships include Merit Awards for Freshmen: the Trustee Scholarship of $16,000 per year, the Campion Scholarship of $12,000 per year, the Bellarmine Scholarship of $9,000 per year, and the Arrupe Scholarship of $7,000 per year.

The Sullivan Leadership Award is a full, four-year scholarship awarded to nine incoming freshmen whose records reflect their commitment to service, leadership, global awareness, community, academic rigor and spirituality. The Sullivan Award covers tuition and room and board for all four years.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2880th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Washington.


Seattle University prides itself on its diversity and international draw. Of its more than 4,000 undergraduate students, 5 percent are African American, 19 percent are Asian American, 7 percent are Hispanic American, and 1 percent are Native Americans. About 10 percent of the university population consists of international students.

Students are required to live in on-campus housing through sophomore year, and the campus features four residence halls and the Archbishop Murphy Apartments. About 39 percent of all undergraduates live on campus. There are also themed floors in the residence halls, so that students with similar interests or in the same academic programs can live together. Themed living include the Xavier Global House and the Eco-Awareness community.

The four traditional residence halls are Bellarmine Hall, which houses about 400 students; Campion Hall, a 12-story structure that houses 650 students; Chardin Hall, which houses about 140 sophomores in suite-style rooms; and Xavier Global House, which houses 180 students.

Upperclass students also have the choice of living in one of three apartment buildings, including the Murphy apartments, Logan Court Townhomes, which are located about one block from campus, and The Douglas, a new on-campus building with one- to five-bedroom suites available to 259 upperclass students. Each apartment at Douglas has a living room and full kitchen.

Bon Appétit, the SU campus food service provider, operates six different food locations on campus. The Cherry Street Market on the second floor of the Student Center is the largest dining room on campus. It offers pasta dishes, Latin cuisine, grill items, Asian dishes, comfort food, deli sandwiches and a salad bar. Also at the Student Center, the Hawk’s Nest Bistro serves up personal pizzas, quesadillas, and hot sandwiches from an open-hearth oven.

The Bottom Line in the Pigott Atrium provides hot sandwiches, soups, salads, baked goods, fountain and bottled beverages and espresso. The Byte located in the Lemieux library serves specialty teas and tea drinks, local coffee and espresso drinks, and assorted beverages. The Cave, in the basement of Campion Hall, provides hot entrées, sandwiches, soups and convenience foods and sundries. In the Sullivan Law Center, the Sidebar offers grilled sandwiches, soups, salads, beverages, and pastries.

The university sponsors more than 120 clubs and organizations, including those that focus on community service, honor societies, cultural heritage groups, professional groups, and recreational groups. There is a student-run newspaper on campus, a radio station, a popular student government, a theater group and choral groups.

All of SU’s classrooms have wireless Internet access, and there is a campus-wide Internet network.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Seattle University Redhawks are members of the NCAA Division 1. Intercollegiate men’s and women’s teams include basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, and track and field. There also is a men’s baseball team, women’s softball team, and women’s volleyball team.

The popular intramural sports program fields teams in basketball, field hockey, football, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and ultimate Frisbee. Club teams include archery, baseball, cheerleading, crew., golf, riflery, downhill skiing, and water polo.

SU’s Connolly Athletic Center is the major facility for varsity and intramural athletics and recreation. Connolly features two swimming pools, two gymnasiums, and saunas. An outdoor six-acre complex provides fields for the university’s outdoor sports.


  • “Seattle University.” Test Prep: GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, SAT, ACT, and More. The Princeton Review. Web. 18 May 2011.
  • “Seattle University | Best College | US News.” US News & World Report | News & Rankings | Best Colleges, Best Hospitals, and More. US News & World Report. Web. 18 May 2011.
  • Seattle University. Seattle University. Web. 18 May 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 4th in Washington and 127th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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University Campus :: Seattle University University Building :: Seattle University

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 3 0.04
Robbery 2 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 3 0.04
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 6 0.08
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 2,126 0.34
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 20 0.00
Forcible Rape 100 0.02
Robbery 1,418 0.23
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 6,807 1.10
Larceny 21,585 3.49
Vehicle theft 3,400 0.55

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Seattle, WA 98122-4340
Surrounding communityLarge city (inside urban area, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population28,790 (28,790 urban / N/A rural)
Households13,820 (1.88 people per house)
Median Household Income$32,085
Families4,199 (2.87 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduateSingle doctoral (education)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentMajority undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemQuarter
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationRoman Catholic
Congressional District5309

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 201st for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $35,865 $35,865 $35,865
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $600 $600 $600
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $797 $797 $797
FT Graduate Tuition $18,846 $18,846 $18,846
FT Graduate Required Fees $600 $600 $600
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $698 $698 $698
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $52,605 $52,605 $52,605
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $37,950 $37,950 $37,950
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $37,950 $37,950 $37,950

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Law Degree — Tuition $40,410 $40,410
Law Degree — Required Fees $138 $138

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $32,700 $34,800 $32,700 $34,800 $32,700 $34,800
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,440 $1,485
On-Campus – Room & Board $9,855 $10,296
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,858 $4,029
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$55
Graduate Application Fee$55
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 7,160 (2,687 male / 4,473 female)
Admitted 5,243 (1,957 male / 3,286 female)
Admission rate 73%
First-time Enrollment 976 (589 male / 382 female)
FT Enrollment 971 (587 male / 379 female)
PT Enrollment 5 (2 male / 3 female)
Total Enrollment7,422

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Basketball Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Western Athletic Conference

ACT Test Admission

168th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 39%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 23 / 29
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 23 / 29
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 24 / 29

SAT Test Admission

254th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 81%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 520 / 640
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 530 / 630
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1050 / 1270

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity2,145
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$6,555
Board Fee$3,990

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 608th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $82,912 ($87,787 male / $74,531 female)
Number of FT Faculty 506 (255 male / 251 female)
Number of PT Faculty 731
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $17,773,178

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Seattle, WA 98122-4340
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