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Western Washington University Institutional Profile 2010-2011

At a Glance

• One of Washington’s six state-funded, four-year institutions of higher education.

• The state’s third-largest higher education institution.

• Operates on the quarter system.

• Seven academic divisions: College of Business and Economics, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Fine and Performing Arts, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Huxley College of the Environment, College of Sciences and Technology, Woodring College of Education, and Graduate School.


• Perched on a hillside in Bellingham, between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., walking distance to Bellingham Bay and a short drive to Mount Baker.

• A third of WWU students live on the wooded, 215-acre campus, which includes the 180-acre Sehome Arboretum.

• Campus also includes the Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes, and a recreational complex at Lake Whatcom.

• Offers classes in Bremerton, Everett, Port Angeles and Seattle.

• Work is under way to include WWU in Bellingham’s waterfront redevelopment.


• Gov. John H. McGraw signed legislation in 1893 creating New Whatcom Normal School.

• First 88 students enrolled in September, 1899.

• 1937: becomes Western Washington College of Education; in 1961, Western Washington State College; in 1977, Western Washington University.

• Dr. Bruce Shepard is WWU’s 13th president.


• Resident undergraduate tuition and fees are $6,859 for three quarters.

• State operating budget in 2010-11 is $121.7 million, including state appropriations and tuition revenue.

• State appropriation funds about 45 percent of the operating budget. Tuition is about 55 percent.

Academic Excellence

• Consistently ranks as the top master’s-granting public university in the Pacific Northwest by U.S. News & World Report.

• Among the most selective public schools in Pacific Northwest: 11,600 applications for 3,571 spots.

• Faculty in fall 2010: 806.

• Full-time faculty: 504, 86 percent with terminal degrees.

• Student-faculty ratio: 20.6 to 1.


• Fall 2010 enrollment: 14,979 full- and part-time students.

• Students of color: 19.3 percent.

• First-year students: 2,748 freshmen and 924 transfers.

• Percent of 2009 freshmen returning: 85.1.

• Six-year graduation rate: 69 percent.

• In-state students: 92.4 percent, with top counties King, Snohomish, Whatcom and Pierce. View a PDF map of where our students come from.

• And from 47 other states, topped by Alaska, Oregon, California and Colorado. International students come from 34 nations, including Japan, Canada, Vietnam and China.


• More than 100,000 graduates live in Washington and throughout the world. View a PDF map of where our alumni live.

• Top employers of alumni include Boeing, Microsoft, school districts and small and large businesses throughout the state.

• Graduates include leaders in business, public service, education, the sciences and arts, and academia.


• Ranked sixth in Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings of 310 NCAA Division II schools.

• Great Northwest Athletic Conference champions six of the past nine years.

• NCAA’s leader in national women’s rowing titles: six Division II championships in a row.

• Current Division II national champion in the pole vault.

• 300 students compete in intercollegiate athletics.


• Purchases 100 percent of its electrical energy from green sources via renewable energy credits.

• Ranks 12th on the EPA’s national list of top 20 purchasers of green energy in higher education.

• The first university in the country to implement a student fee to offset green energy purchases.



The Institutional Profile is updated once per year online and in PDF format.

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