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Top-Ranked University

Written by Dean Forbes

September 11, 2018

Seattle U Homecoming parade

Image credit: Yosef Kalinko

U.S. News and Princeton Review name Seattle University Top 10 in in the West for 18th year in a row and among the best colleges for 16th consecutive year.

Seattle University will greet the new academic year later this month with important recent high rankings for academics and sustainability from U.S. News, The Princeton Review and Sierra magazine.

The university continued its long run of Top 10 rankings among the West’s best regional universities, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings. The university, tied for the #8 spot, has been in the top 10 among western regional universities in the magazine’s rankings for 18 consecutive years. U.S. News assessed 127 western regional universities and colleges that offer a full range of undergraduate, masters and select doctoral degree programs.

For the 16th year running, The Princeton Review has recognized Seattle University as one of the best colleges in the nation for undergraduate education, according to its latest edition of the Best 384 Colleges 2019. The university also was called out in the guide’s categories for “Best Western” and “Green Colleges,” as well as in its subcategory of “Political Awareness” of its students.  Seattle U’s detailed profile for prospective students is available here in the online version of the guide.

And, Seattle U is a Top 10 school when it comes to being green, according to the 2018 “Cool Schools” rankingspublished this week in Sierra, the magazine of the Sierra Club. Seattle U was ranked #8 this year, up from #48 in 2017. Seattle U was the only university in Washington to make the magazine’s top 20.

“Achieving these rankings as we prepare for the start of classes is a testament to the high-quality Jesuit education Seattle University provides it students,” says Provost Shane Martin. “This is embodied in the teaching and scholarship of our accomplished faculty and the personalized, transformative experience our students receive.”

Here’s more about the rankings:

U.S. News

In addition to its Top 10 western regional ranking, U.S. News also noted these Seattle U academic and specialty lists and rankings:

- Nationally, the undergraduate engineering program ranks #26, climbing three spots from last year and a total of six spots since 2017. It is #2 ranked engineering program in the Northwest.

- The undergraduate business program in the Albers School of Business and Economics was ranked in the top 25 percent nationally and #4 in the Northwest. The accounting and finance programs are ranked in the top 25 nationally for the ninth year in a row.

- In the West, Seattle U was ranked #16 for “best value” schools and #4 in best colleges for veterans. It also is tied for the #8 spot for a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

- The university was also included in a list of western regional schools recognized as being the most innovative, for having the largest proportions of international undergraduate students (10 percent) and for being among top regional universities as “A+ schools for B students.”

The complete U.S. News “Best Colleges” rankings can be found on its website.  The methodology it uses is detailed here.

Princeton Review

In addition to making the best colleges list, Seattle U also was called out in the guide’s categories for “Best Western” and “Green Colleges,” as well as in its subcategory of “Political Awareness” of its students. Seattle U’s detailed profile for prospective students is available here in the online version of the guide.  

The Princeton Review compiles its information from surveys of 138,000 students (an average of 359 students per campus) attending the colleges featured in the guidebook during the 2017-18 academic year and/or the previous two academic years. The survey asks respondents 84 questions covering a range of topics including campus life, academics, administration and the student body. More about the rankings can be found here.


Sierra received submissions from a record 269 college and universities in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Canada for consideration in its 12th annual “Cool Schools” rankings. The schools were ranked based largely on their existing STARS (Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System) scores, which is a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The rankings highlight schools that displayed a deep and thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues and encouraging environmental responsibility, according to Sierra. Using a customized scoring system, the magazine’s researchers ranked schools based on their commitment to upholding high environmental standards.

Curriculum and grounds were especially high-scoring categories for the university. A story about the Sierra rankings can be found here.

Additional recognition for sustainability

AASHE also recently released its 2018 Sustainable Campus Index and ranked Seattle U’s sustainability curriculum and related academic offerings #3 in the country. The report can be found here.