Pacific Northwest Graduate Schools with Degree Program Overviews

There are roughly 70 graduate schools in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. See how some of the graduate schools in the region stack up against each other, and find out if one is a good fit for you.

Aspiring graduate students in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington state) can choose from many public and private non-profit schools, along with a few for-profit colleges and universities. You can find the best school for you by comparing them according to a range of factors. The figures for size, net price and graduation rates are based on information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Highly Ranked Schools in the Pacific Northwest

Each year, the U.S. News and World Report publishes both national and regional rankings for universities and colleges in the country. The list for western universities and colleges includes schools located in the Pacific Northwest. These rankings can be an indication of the overall quality of a school. In 2016, Corban University in Salem, OR and Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, OR are tied for #5 on the Best Colleges West list. Other highly ranked schools with graduate programs in the Pacific Northwest include:

  • Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR (#10 on Best Colleges West)
  • Northwest University in Kirkland, WA (#17 on Best Colleges West)
  • Northwest Christian University in Eugene, OR (#22 on Best Colleges West)
  • Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, WA (#25 on Best Colleges West)
  • University of Washington in Seattle, WA (#52 on Best National Universities)

Largest Schools in the Pacific Northwest

The largest university offering graduate programs, by far, in the Pacific Northwest is the University of Washington - Seattle Campus. This schools has a student population of around 45,000 (undergraduates and graduates combined). The next five largest, in decreasing order, are:

  • Washington State University (29,686 students)
  • Oregon State University (29,576 students)
  • Portland State University (27,488 students)
  • University of Oregon (24,032 students)
  • Western Washington University (15,332 students)

Lowest Net Price

Graduate school can cost a lot of money, which is why many graduate students strongly consider a school's tuition before making a final decision. The NCES determines a school's net price by subtracting the average amount of financial aid that full-time undergraduates receive from the overall cost of attending school. The top three Pacific Northwest schools with the lowest net price for 2014-2015 are all part of the University of Washington system. This includes, the Tacoma campus ($9,654), the Seattle Campus ($9,744), and the Bothell Campus ($9,913). The next five are ranked here:

  • Heritage University ($10,828)
  • Eastern Washington University ($12,318)
  • Portland State University ($13,476)
  • The Evergreen State College ($13,496)
  • Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies ($14,233)

Highest Graduation Rate

While the graduation rates calculated by the NCES are chiefly for undergraduates, they can still help graduate students assess a school's overall quality. Graduation rates are based on the number of first-time, full-time undergraduates who completed their programs within 150% of normal time (e.g., six years or less for a bachelor's program).

  • University of Washington - Seattle Campus (84%)
  • Gonzaga University (83%)
  • Reed College (82%)
  • Trinity Lutheran College (80%)
  • Willamette University (79%)

No matter what kind of graduate program you are interested in pursuing, you have plenty of options to choose from in the Pacific Northwest, including large schools, schools with high graduation rates and schools with strong rankings.


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