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.
Western Receives First-gen Forward Designation; National Honor for Commitment to First-generation Student Success
The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the
2021-22 First-gen Forward cohort and has awarded Western Washington University with the First-Gen Forward designation.
The First-Gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.
Nationally ranked for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates
Out of more than 600 institutions, Western ranks 7th nationally for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates (source: Survey of Earned Doctorates).
Third Nationally for NOAA/Hollings Scholars
Western finished third in the nation, tied with Stanford, as producers of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest J. Hollings Undergraduate Scholars in 2018.
Among the Top Producers of Fulbright Winners
Western produced five Fulbright winners in 2019, placing it tied for fifth place among public masters-granting institutions nationally.
Kiplinger's ranks WWU among its 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2019.
Peace Corps Volunteers
Western ranks second in the nation in 2017 among medium-sized universities sending its graduates to the Peace Corps.
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.
Great Place to Work
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2020 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.
US News Rankings #10 Best College for Veterans
G.I. Jobs selected Western again in 2021 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."
Best in the Northwest
Western Washington University is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report college rankings, which also named WWU as one of the best public schools in the West, a region stretching from Texas to the Pacific, for veterans.
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.