Founded in 1861, Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding. The university has a 703 acre main campus located in the city’s University District, as well as campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, UW encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, art centers, museums, laboratories, lecture halls, and stadiums. The university offers degrees through 140 departments, and functions on a quarter system.
UW is the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state and one of the highest ranked universities in the world. It is known for its medical, engineering, and scientific research. Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities. According to the National Science Foundation, UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars, as well as members of other distinguished institutions.
Additionally, Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft.
The UW’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions