Think you know every college out there? Think again. Here are some diamonds in the rough from The Evergreen State.

List produced by the Experts

  • Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA): A Jesuit school, Gonzaga features a respected department of engineering and a communication arts department that includes five majors. There's strong school spirit, especially during basketball season. The lovely riverside campus has walking bridges that lead to downtown Spokane. Yes, connect me!
  • Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA): Often overlooked because of its Tacoma location, PLU provides a strong sense of community and a wonderful early start program for freshmen students who would benefit socially and academically. Its numerous offerings range from a school of business to a wonderful music (and music education) program with outstanding facilities, including one of the most beautiful concert halls in the state.
  • Seattle University (Seattle, WA): At this Jesuit school, students enjoy small classes, caring professors, and student-body diversity. The attractive, contained campus offers easy access to the city and the mountains. Noteworthy academics include strong environmental science and a major in creative writing. Yes, connect me!
  • The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA): Students develop knowledge and skills through shared experiences in a collaborative environment free of peer competition.
  • University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA): A nationally ranked undergraduate liberal arts college, UPS has solid academics, arts, and sports.
  • Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA): A public school of medium size in a great natural setting, WWU has an upgraded alternative college (Fairhaven), strong environmental science education programs, and a unique applied engineering program. There is a lovely campus, with most students living in nearby apartments and houses. Students snowboard at nearby Mt. Baker.
  • Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA): Although it may not still be a hidden gem, Whitman absolutely must be highlighted because it is loved by all. Tucked away in the southeast corner of the state away from the noise and congestion of the big city, this wonderful small liberal arts college has an amazing theater program in which many nonmajors participate, strong sciences, and astronomy (several telescopes and an observatory). Talented students are taught by "wicked smart" faculty. Although Whitman is highly regarded in many circuits, it remains virtually unknown in its own state, mainly due to its rural and isolated location in eastern Washington. What Whitman has going for it is an active student body that is very much outdoor-oriented, great community spirit, excellent academics as well as a cute little town to make you feel less isolated. Plus, Whitman sits in one of the top wine-growing regions in the country, and the town is getting a lot more sophisticated as a result of this growth. Walla Walla is turning into the Sausalito of the north.
  • Whitworth College (Spokane, WA): Nestled in a pine forest in Eastern Washington, this conservative Presbyterian college has faculty who really care about students. More than 80% of students study abroad.
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