A Visit to Seattle University

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Red and black Seattle U logo

By Isaac Eng

Seattle University, founded in 1891, is a Jesuit Catholic University located smack dab in the heart of Seattle’s bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood. Nestled between cutting-edge hospitals up the street on First Hill and the lively night life scene on Broadway Ave and 12th Street in Cap Hill proper, Seattle U is correctly described by its admissions officers to be an “oasis” in the city. Seattle attracts all sorts—skiers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, techies, grunge rockers, and lovers of all things mountains and rain. Everyone seems to have a place on the dynamic Seattle U campus.

Isaac smiling in from of red brick freshman dorm on Seattle U campus
Me in front of one of the freshman dorms!


The university proudly owns its Jesuit heritage at every turn. Their mission is twofold: they aim to educate the whole student by aiding in their professional development and empowering them to be leaders pushing for a more just and humane world. The way the university tries to accomplish these lofty goals is through an emphasis on building community—between students, faculty, and business partners across Seattle.

Boasting an average class size of 18 students and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, Seattle U gives undergrads the opportunity to connect with their professors in a meaningful way. Pair this with a project-based, hands-on educational model, and direct access to internships at numerous Seattle-based non-profits, hospitals, and corporations like Boeing, Microsoft, Adobe, and Google, it’s easy to see that Seattle U offers an education that prepares students for successful careers in competitive fields.

But Seattle U isn’t just about collaborative education and career readiness, it also wants students to give back. The Jesuit tradition of community service is alive and well at Seattle U. One of the most popular campus events is the 24-hour dance-a-thon that happens once a year at the Space Needle to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital. Outside of this event, Seattle U students regularly participate in some way in the greater Seattle community. My tour guide Seth, a 3rd year nursing student from Hawaii, said that “pretty much everyone he knows” does some sort of community outreach like this.

Campus Life

In their free time outside of class, internships, and community service, Seattle U students take part in a bustling social scene. There is no Greek life on campus, but since most students stay on campus all four years, there are always opportunities for students to connect with classmates in the dorms or on several of the beautiful quads across the tight-knit campus. Students also avidly follow (division 1) Seattle U sports, especially the soccer and basketball teams, participate in over 150 student clubs, and enjoy a campus-wide concert in the spring called “Quad Stock.” If you’re in the market for a party school, you’re barking up the wrong tree, but many other kinds of community are readily available for Seattle U students, and everyone can find their niche.

Students walking by abstract fountain in sunny quad with two academic buildings in background.
The fountain in the academic quad. The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing in the background.

Fast Facts

  • There are 4,764 undergraduate students, and 7,291 total students
  • Seattle U is ranked #139 among all U.S. universities according to U.S. News and World
  • Seattle U has a law school on campus
  • The most popular programs on campus are nursing, business, computer science, and environmental science
  • In 2021, Microsoft, Amazon, and a number of private investors gave funding to build the Sinegal Center for Science and Innovation, a cutting edge STEM facility featuring computer, chemistry, and biology labs, “maker” rooms, cafes, and study spaces in abundance
  • The majority of students choose to study abroad during their four years at Seattle U


  • Acceptance rate is 82%
  • Sullivan Leadership Award (full ride) available to applicants who demonstrate significant leadership experience and who complete an additional application
  • 92% of students receive financial aid
  • $8,000-$25,000 merit scholarships are available for students in addition to financial aid
  • Test optional
  • Students may apply direct entry into their major program and start fulfilling requirements on the first day – OR – students can apply for the per-major studies program and declare their major by the end of their sophomore year
  • Robust core curriculum must be completed by all students prior to graduation

Final Impressions

The students that would be most happy here are those who are independently motivated and enjoy working in community. Seth, my tour guide, said “Seattle U students are always skeptical, but for good reason. They enjoy asking questions and actively seeking answers. And above all, the enjoy being involved in the Seattle community and take initiative on issues they care about.”

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