About Seattle University

Rankings and Recognition

  • Awards and high rankings for academic rigor, sustainability, community service and social justice are among Seattle University’s touchstones of excellence. One of them is a Presidential Award from the White House for community service, a recognition received by only five universities. Here’s a look at many of the honors bestowed on the university.

    U.S. News & World Report:
    5th in the West

    Seattle University is one of the top 5 universities in the West, according to U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges 2015. The university ranks #5 for its full range of undergraduate, master’s and select doctoral degree programs. The university consistently has held a spot in the West’s top 10 for more than a decade. Seattle University also received high marks from U.S. News for being a best value school, ranking #7 in the West.

    Among U.S. News specialty rankings nationwide, the Albers School of Business and Economics ranks #14 for finance, the top program of its kind in the Northwest, and #18 for accounting. Albers is tied for #36 nationally among private business schools—and is the Northwest’s top private business school. U.S. News ranked SU undergraduate engineering #34 nationally.

    U.S. News & World Report
    Best Graduate Schools 2016

    Seattle University School of Law has the #1 legal writing program in the nation. The clinical program is #20 and the part-time program #23 in the U.S. Additionally, the School of Law is among the most diverse in the country.
    The Albers School of Business and Economics Leadership Executive MBA and graduate Accounting programs are #1 in the Northwest. Nationally, the Executive MBA is #18 and the graduate Accounting specialization ranks #15 among the top programs of its kind. The part-time Professional MBA program is #2 in the Northwest and #61 in the U.S.

    The Princeton Review Best Colleges 2014

    Seattle University is one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, The Best 378 Colleges. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and just three colleges outside the U.S. are profiled in the book, a leading go-to guide for prospective students and their parents.

    Bloomberg Businessweek 2014

    Albers School of Business and Economics ranks #1 in the nation in macroeconomics by Bloomberg Businessweek. Albers is #3 in the nation among the best undergraduate business schools for sustainability. Bloomberg Businessweek gave SU the high sustainability ranking based on student responses about the university’s sustainability efforts. In other 2014 Bloomberg rankings, Albers is #2 in the Northwest, #7 in the West and is in the top 35 among private business schools in the U.S. Albers faculty received an A+ rating for teaching.

    Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2015 edition

    Hip, straightforward and consulted by millions of future students and their families, this selective guide considered 2,200 four-year colleges in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain before choosing just 300 institutions—the top 14%—to be included and Seattle University is among them. The guide is compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske, a leading independent voice in college admissions.

    Colleges of Distinction

    Colleges of Distinction, a college guide that takes into account the success of graduates, the quality of teaching, graduation rates, class size and campus atmosphere, features Seattle University in its latest edition. High school college counselors nominate colleges and universities for inclusion in the national guide. Fewer than half of those considered are selected to be in the guide.

    Catholic Colleges of Distinction also showcases Seattle University among those schools that excel at four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

    College Factual: SU Liberal Arts Grads Among Highest Paid

    Seattle University graduates with liberal arts, sciences and humanities degrees step into careers with starting wages that rival those of new graduates from elite Ivy League schools.

    SU ranks among the nation's top 10 colleges with the highest paid liberal arts graduates, according to College Factual, which challenges the status quo to help prospective students make better decisions about college. "In addition to having high academic standards and outcomes for its graduates, the university is very diverse," College Factual says of SU. "The average starting salary of graduates with liberal arts degrees is $46,000 a year, with midcareer salaries of $79,000."

    Closing the Gap for Hispanic Students

    Seattle University ranked #1 among private universities nationwide for increasing graduation rates and closing gaps between Hispanic and Caucasian students. The report came from The Education Trust, which also ranked Seattle University #2 for increasing the overall graduation rate of Hispanic students by 31.7 percent during a six-year period (2004-10). Seattle University is the only private school in Washington state among the top 25 with increased Hispanic graduation rates and the only Jesuit school in the nation to make the list.

    Distinguished Scholars, Fellows & Faculty

    Rhodes Scholars

    Seattle University students have a strong track record of achieving academic honors, including two Rhodes Scholars, considered the most prestigious academic award in the world.

    Fulbright Scholars

    Seattle University shared top honors among master's institutions to produce the most 2014-15 U.S. Fulbright Scholars. The four SU faculty members to receive the prestigious scholarship represent the highest number in a single academic year in more than a decade. Additionally, SU ranked #8 for the number of 2014-15 U.S. Fulbright students from master's institutions, with awards going to four students pursuing master's degrees. The Fulbright Scholars program is the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted SU six times in the past decade as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars. In all, 24 SU faculty received Fulbright Scholarships since the 1999-2000 academic year. Thirty-six SU students earned Fulbrights since the 1994-95 academic year with 27 of those awarded within the past decade alone.

    Udall Scholars

    Seattle University has produced four Udall Scholars. Named for Stewart and Morris Udall, both known for their vast public service, Udall Scholars focus on environmental and Native American issues.

    Harry S. Truman Scholars

    Eight students in as many years received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the most prestigious academic award for undergraduates preparing for careers in public service. Seattle University is among the most elite schools in the country for the number of Truman Scholars it produces, a total of 14 to date.

    Professor of the Year

    The College of Science and Engineering’s Chemistry Professor Vicky Minderhout was named Washington’s Professor of the Year for 2011-12 by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She was the only professor in the state to receive the prestigious award.

    National Science Foundation
    Graduate Research Fellowship

    This prestigious multi-year funding program supports graduate-level researchers in the physical and social sciences. Nine Seattle University students have been selected in the past decade.

    Top Honors in Service


    In 2012, the White House honored Seattle University with the Presidential Award  for community service, the highest recognition by the federal government to a college or university for its civic engagement, service learning and volunteerism. The university was one of only five universities in the nation to receive this honor and the only university cited as a Promise Neighborhoods recipient for coordinated, wrap-around, youth-focused service that supports the educational and social needs of children. A Seattle Times editorial called out the award and noted, "Seattle University serves as a national example of the difference higher education can make on its neighbors."

    Then-again in 2013-Seattle University set a precedent by earning national recognition for the second consecutive year, making the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll  with distinction. The accolade acknowledges the university's overall commitment to service as well as its significant work to implement the Seattle University Youth Initiative , which unites the university and wider community in a long-term commitment to build a better future for young people starting with pre-kindergarten and continuing through college.

    In 2014, Seattle University once again was honored by the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll  in the following areas: Interfaith community service - one of four finalists for the top award in this category; general community service - honor roll with distinction; education - honor roll; and economic opportunity - honor roll. 


    Among master’s universities, Seattle University ranks #3 in the nation for the number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service as well as scholarships for community service, according to Washington Monthly September/October 2014 edition. Washington Monthly also included Seattle University in its top 10 based on the number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps, relative to school size.

    For the third consecutive year, Seattle University ranks among the top 10 small schools in the nation to produce Peace Corps volunteers. With 15 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps worldwide in 2014, SU tied for sixth. A total of 357 SU alumni have served since the Peace Corps began in 1961.

    Four out of five Seattle University undergraduate students serve the community through volunteer activities, internships and professional development. In all, students contribute 200,000 hours of volunteer service annually, with an economic value of nearly $4.3 million.

    Seattle University’s students, faculty and staff volunteer at more than three times the national average. A major focus of service is the Seattle University Youth Initiative, a pipeline of support for the success of young people starting in pre-kindergarten and continuing through college. The initiative’s first effort is its long-term commitment to improving the academic achievement of low-income youth in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood just south of campus.

    Recognition for Sustainability

    Seattle University won top honors in sustainability among academic and government institutions in the 2013 Green Washington Awards from Seattle Business magazine. In citing SU’s statewide leadership award in sustainability, the magazine’s November 2013 issue reported, "Seattle University's recent efforts to improve sustainability and reduce waste are myriad and miraculous," noting that the list of green achievements—such as LED lamps and onsite natural gas boilers—gets longer every year.

    Seattle University is nationally recognized as a green campus where all significant buildings in the past five years have been built to LEED Gold standards. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an international green building rating system.

    Seattle University received the Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices as well as Washington CEO Magazine’s Green Washington Award for sustainable landscape practices and pre-consumer food waste composting program.

    Seattle University is featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges and lauded as a model for sustainability, calling out SU’s eco-friendly grounds, wildlife habitat, dining services and more. This is the fifth year in a row SU has been featured in the guide, which evaluated 861 schools and included only the top 379.

    The campus has been maintained organically and without pesticides or herbicides since 1998.

    Nearly 60 percent of campus waste is recycled, reused or composted. Since 1995, Seattle University has composted pre-consumer food waste.

    In 2010, Seattle University became the first higher education institution in the state to ban the sale and distribution of plastic bottled water.

    National Award-winning Library

    Library Journal, the most widely read periodical in the library profession, recognized Seattle University's Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons with a "New Landmark Library" award in 2012 for its powerful blend of architecture, design and services.  Seattle  University's  library is 1 of just 5 in the nation to receive the honor.

  • The President's Award - Higher Education in Community Service

     2015 Best Regional Universities

    2015 Best Regional Universities Best Value

    2015 Best Engineering

    2015 Best Business  

    USNWR: Best Grad Schools 2016: Part-Time MBA

    378 Princeton Review

    2015 Fiske Guide

    Bloomberg BusinessWeek Best Undergraduate Schools

    Colleges of Distinction

    Catholic Colleges of Distinction

    Sustainble campus

    Fulbright Scholar Top Producer