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Diversity Profile

Much of what makes Seattle great—its global engagement, cultural and ethnic diversity, natural beauty, environmental awareness, cutting-edge music, and progressive civic ethic—is reflected in the culture of Seattle University. If you are seeking a warm, welcoming, multicultural experience, you will feel at home as a Seattle U Redhawk.

The people who attend and work at Seattle University have sought an environment of diversity. They appreciate and respect cultural differences and, because they love people and learning, prefer an environment where they will be surrounded by people of different races, cultures, and religious traditions. They find the climate they seek at Seattle University, whose undergraduate student body is 22% Asian American, 4% African American, 9% Latino, 2% Native American, 2% Pacific Islander, and 11% international students.

This diversity draws people from across the United States and world; in 2015, 67% of the entering freshman class came from outside Washington State, with 51 states and US territories and 90 countries represented in the undergraduate population. California had the second-largest representation in the 2015 class on campus, followed by Hawaii, Oregon, and Colorado.

And SU pinpoints a few cultural programs within the University, like the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ annual Lavender Celebration for LGBTQ graduates and their families, the MLK March, the luau during International Week, and the Cesar Chavez Celebration reflecting on its namesake. But the heartbeat of our University is the daily composition of our student body. You see it on the faces of students walking to class and hanging out in the Quad. We don’t just claim the diversity on a page—it’s in our blood.

Because we value the many cultural differences our students bring to campus, we recognize and celebrate them through cultural and support organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), Muslim Student Association, Black Student Union, United Filipino Club, Indonesian Student Club, and Vietnamese Student Organization. Hui ’O Nani, the Hawaiian student association, is the largest student group on campus; for more than 50 years, its annual luau has been a quick sellout event.

Students from other nations are served by the International Student Center, where they enjoy learning from each other and blending cultures and traditions. The average class size is 19, and because the student-faculty ratio is 13:1, it is virtually impossible for a student to be invisible. Internship opportunities abound, as do opportunities for study and service abroad. Interaction is promoted through on-campus living, with over 2,000 students living in four major residence halls and three student apartment complexes.

As one of 28 Jesuit universities in the United States, Seattle University strives to develop the whole person, with an eye toward reaching your full potential. Our values of social justice, global awareness, leadership, service, and diversity—coupled with professional development—are the foundation of the Redhawk experience. Our objective is to prepare graduates to enjoy lives of fulfillment and economic success.

A large part of this distinctive Jesuit philosophy is respect for cultural differences and the unique contributions each person has to offer. Seattle University respects all faiths and perspectives, and more than half of our students identify with faith traditions other than Roman Catholic.

The incomparable city of Seattle is the home to Seattle University. It is breathtakingly beautiful, friendly, welcoming, clean, progressive, and fun. Because Seattle’s power structure is diverse, like its people, all enjoy dignity, respect, and opportunity.

Did you know Seattle is the home of:
    • Microsoft
    • Starbucks
    • REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.)
    • Nordstrom
    • Amazon

... and has given us:
    • Jimi Hendrix
    • Macklemore
    • Quincy Jones
    • The Head and the Heart
    • Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie
    • Bruce Lee
    • Pearl Jam



Location: Seattle, Washington

Type: Private; residential; one of America’s 28 Jesuit colleges and universities

Size: Medium sized—4,712 undergraduates, 1,981 graduate students, 712 law students; students representing 51 states and US territories and 90 nations

Programs Offered: 64 undergraduate, 32 graduate, and 20 certificate programs
    Undergraduate units—Arts and Sciences, Business, Nursing, Science and Engineering
    Pre-professional programs—Pre-business, Pre-dental, Pre-engineering, Pre-law, Pre-medicine, Pre-optometry, Pre-veterinary  
    Graduate units—Institute for Public Service, School of Education, School of Law, School of Theology and Ministry, Existential Psychology, Software Engineering
    SU is also home to the nation’s first Environmental Engineering program and the nation’s first Software Engineering program.

Student-Faculty Profile: Student-faculty ratio, 13:1; average class size, 19; typical freshman class, 25–30; largest possible class, 70

Campus: 32 buildings on 55 acres in the center of the city; designated by Washington State as an Official Backyard Sanctuary for its distinctive landscaping and environmentally friendly practices

Over 75,000 in all 50 states and 77 nations; they include attorneys, judges, physicians, nurses, diplomats, politicians, engineers, counselors, teachers, scientists, university deans and faculty, accountants, financiers, and corporate leaders.

Seattle University leads the Pacific Northwest in the number of its graduates awarded prestigious Truman and Wilson graduate scholarships and has produced two Rhodes Scholars.