Originally Posted: Feb 17, 2017
Last Updated: Jul 6, 2020
The United States' Pacific Northwest has so much to offer, from outdoor adventures to urban cities. It's also home to a variety of great universities and beautiful campuses. As a student, the college you attend is where you will spend the next few years of your life, so choosing the right area for you is extremely important. Choosing a college can be a daunting process, but narrowing down what you want in your college experience and your campus life versus what you don’t is a crucial starting point.
For students interested in a private college, look no further than Reed College, just outside of downtown Portland, Oregon. Here you will find a small liberal arts school that prides itself on challenging course work, small class sizes, and an abundance of activities such as intramural sports and access to skiing and surfing, both just 90 minutes from campus.
If you’re looking for the climate of the Pacific Northwest but not the big city life of Seattle or Portland, check out Whitman College in Walla Walla. This private institution in rural southeastern Washington has some of the most unique opportunities available for outdoor lovers. Students can go on adventures like glacier mountaineering or a journey of the West in a covered horse trailer to earn course credit. You’ll also get to experience the small-town feel of Walla Walla and a college with fewer than 1,500 students.
Related: Finding a College Where You Belong
University of Washington
If a public university is more your speed, look into the University of Washington, right in the heart of Seattle. This campus places an emphasis on living green, so students who are concerned with the environment will feel right at home here. Complete with stunning mountain views and cherry blossoms in the spring, this urban campus is considered one of the most beautiful in the Northwest. On the academics side, UW is a research institution that encourages students to share their work with the community. With a highly ranked College of Engineering, School of Medicine, and School of Business, students are sure to get a great education while also experiencing the city around them.
University of British Columbia
For those wanting to reach beyond the states, the University of British Columbia is an acclaimed research and teaching center. UBC sits just over the border in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, about a three-hour drive north of Seattle. University of British Columbia’s large student body population, which includes students from countries all around the world, works to foster innovation and discoveries that can change the world on a global scale.
Related: How I Found My Perfect College Fit
For those with dreams of becoming lawyers, check out Gonzaga University, one of only three universities with law schools in the state of Washington. This private institution offers a competitive political law club as well as an array of opportunities for international students. On Gonzaga’s Spokane, Washington, campus, students can be involved in clubs, sports, and outdoor activities or just cheer on the outstanding men’s basketball team.
The Pacific Northwest is a phenomenal place to live, learn, and work. The schools above are just a few of the colleges and universities in the area, so check them all out using our college search tool.
What other colleges in the Pacific Northwest should students check out? Let us know on Twitter @CollegeXpress!