National Recognition

Western Washington University offers more than 200 academic programs on its main campus located in Bellingham, and at additional sites in Anacortes, Bremerton, Everett, Port Angeles and Poulsbo.

Western is recognized nationally for its successes, such as being named the top public master’s-granting institution in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report, which also named WWU #2 in the West, #6 for veterans, and a Best Value School.

Western is also known for being a top producer of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, and Peace Corps volunteers, and nationally ranked for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates.  The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Academic Workplace report named Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories:  Faculty Experience and Shared Governance.

Recent Awards

Top Public Schools

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#2 Best in the West

For the 23rd year in a row, Western Washington University is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2023 U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

Military Friendly

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#6 in Best Colleges for Veterans

US News and World Report Rankings awards Western Washington University #6 Best College for Veterans

Top Ranked Master’s Granting Institution

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#16 in the Nation

Washington Monthly identifies colleges that are successful at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating significant proportions of economically disadvantaged students 

Commitment to Student Success

NOAA/Hollings Scholars

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#3 Nationally Ranked

Western finished tied with Stanford University for third nationally as producers of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholars for 2018.

#18 in the USA - Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management Program

Western Washington University is the #18 Ranked Program for Supply Chains in 2022. Curricula have mostly standardized, putting other criteria such as experiential learning and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in focus. The ranking includes 100% online programs, in addition to hybrid and on-campus programs.

Learn more about Western's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Management program.

Doctoral Graduates

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#7 Nationally Ranked

Out of more than 600 institutions, Western ranks 7th nationally for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates.

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Western signs Okanagan Charter to join United States Health Promoting Campuses Network

As part of a comprehensive plan to improve student and employee health and wellbeing, Western Washington University has adopted the Okanagan Charter and joined the United States Health Promoting Campuses Network, an initial cohort of eight U.S. universities committed to becoming health-promoting institutions.  

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Western Ranks 16th among 603 master’s-granting universities

Washington Monthly ranks four-year schools (national universities, liberal arts colleges, baccalaureate colleges, and master’s universities) based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and providing opportunities for public service.

Commitment to Equity and Justice

First-Gen Forward Designation

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2021-22 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. 

Best Value

US News and World Report again placed WWU in its list of Best Value Colleges and Universities in 2022-23, a testament to the consistent value the university offers.

Peace Corps Volunteers

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Western ranked fifth in the nation in 2019 among medium-sized universities sending its graduates to the Peace Corps.

Best for Vets

US News and World Report ranks Western #6 in the West - a region stretching from Texas to the Pacific - in its rankings of Best Schools for Veterans.

Community Engagement

Carnegie Community Engaged University

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.

Sense of Place

WWU is a Great Place to Work

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The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2022 Academic Workplace report names Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories: Faculty Experience and Shared Governance

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Silver Bicycle Friendly University

Western Washington University was recently named a Silver Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. The League of American Bicyclists, the premier grassroots advocacy organization encouraging better bicycling and protecting the rights of people who bike, has honored Western Washington University with a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly University award in recognition of Western’s achievements in promoting and enabling safe, accessible bicycling on campus. 

#3 Best Colleges For People Who Love The Outdoors

MONEY magazine ranks Western as third on its list of 10 Best Colleges for People Who Love the Great Outdoors.

#7 Best Colleges by the Sea

Western ranked No. 7 in a list of '50 Best Colleges by the Sea' by

Bee Campus USA Affiliate

Western joins many other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.