National Recognition

Western is recognized nationally for its successes, from its leadership as one of the most sustainable, “green” campuses in the nation by the Sierra Club to being named the top master’s granting institution in the Pacific Northwest by U. S. News and World Report. Western’s goal is to build a stronger Washington by being an international leader in active learning, critical thinking, and societal problem solving, and these awards and honors illustrate those successes.

Recent Awards

Among the Top Producers of Fulbright Winners

Western produced three Fulbright winners in 2016, placing it tied for third place among public masters-granting institutions nationally.


Best Colleges Ranking by US News and World Report

Best in the Northwest

Western Washington University is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

U.S. News and World Report also ranked Western as the top public university of its type in the West on its list of highly ranked universities that operate most efficiently.

In addition, Washington Monthly Magazine listed Western as the top public master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, as does Money Magazine in its 2016 rankings.

Western is one of five national recipients of the 2015 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award, which recognizes the university as one of the healthiest schools in the country.

Great Value

Kiplinger's ranks WWU among its 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2017-18.


Peace Corps ranks Western first in nation

Peace Corps Volunteers

Western ranks second in the nation in 2017 among medium-sized universities sending its graduates to the Peace Corps.

Community Engagement

Western Washington University has been selected for the national 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award, which recognizes higher education institutions across the country that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

Western was given the Community Engagement classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its efforts to operate community-outreach programs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning and to enhance overall community well-being.

Western is a 2014 Great College to Work For

Great Place to Work

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Academic Workplace report names Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories: teaching environment, and tenure clarity and process.

Forbes Magazine ranks Western among the 2017 list of Nation's Best Value Colleges.

G.I. Jobs selected Western again in 2017 as a "Military Friendly School", placing Western in the top 20 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide.

Western also recently was ranked No. 7 in a list of '50 Best Colleges by the Sea' and third in a Money Magazine ranking of "Colleges and Universities for People Who Love the Great Outdoors."