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.
Seattle University has maintained its spot in the top 10 in the West consistently for more than a decade. The university ranks #6 among 121 regional universities in the West that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs, according to U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges 2014.
U.S. News also highlights schools with outstanding examples of programs that education experts, including staff members of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, agree are key. Seattle University ranks as a national leader for service learning, required (or for-credit) volunteer work in the community.
Seattle University continues to rank among the top undergraduate and master’s degree engineering programs in the United States.
Seattle University School of Law has the #1 legal writing program in the nation. The part-time program is #25 in the U.S and the clinical program is #18. SU’s law school is also among the most diverse in the country.
The Albers School of Business and Economics' Professional MBA program is ranked #68 in the nation and #2 in the Northwest for graduate business programs. The accounting program ranks #14 among all the top schools in the nation, up from #19 last year.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Seattle University 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 reports. “The average starting salary of graduates with liberal arts degrees is $46,000 a year, with midcareer salaries of $79,000.”
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.
Seattle University has the fifth highest number of Fulbright Scholars in the nation among master’s institutions in 2013-14, with a total of five. In all, the university has had 33 Fulbright Scholars who are part of this international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Honor Roll with Distinction for community service. 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.
When it comes to student success, Seattle University ranks among the top schools in the nation for service learning or community volunteer work, according to U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges 2014.
Among master’s universities, Seattle University ranks #7 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 2013 edition.
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. 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. A total of 357 SU alumni have served since the Peace Corps began in 1961.
Three out of four 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.
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 second consecutive year SU received a green rating of 95 and the fourth year in a row SU has been featured in the guide, which evaluated 832 schools and included only the top 332.
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.
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.