Tuition (in-state)
$31,971 ($12,397)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2886 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: You can find any type of guy or girl at this school, the student population is so diverse. Once you find your group of people to hang out with, the guys/girls you like will be easy to find.

4 College Senior

Majors: There are a wide variety of scientific majors, which I really like. They do lack in a variety of arts majors though.

5 College Freshman

Weather: Washington is know for the rain. I'm use to this weather now, so I don't mind it at all. When the sun does come out though, the University of Washington looks beautiful because of the mountains and the hills around the university.

College Freshman

Majors: I haven't done an internship because I hadn't thought about 'til now but I plan on doing one this summer.

5 College Junior

Greek Life: The Greek system is VERY large at UW. However, UW in general is a large school. The Greek system is there if you want it, but doesn't have to be if you don't. If you do choose to go Greek, there is such a variety of houses that you are sure to find one that is the right fit for you. There is a formal recruitment is autumn before school starts, but many chapters participate in informal recruitment all three quarters as well. Even if you are not Greek, you can still participate in some Greek events (both frat parties and philanthropy events).

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: The dorms are split into two areas: North campus and West campus. I lived in a freshman dorm in West campus my first year and absolutely loved it. However, the West campus dorms were very old, and they've recently begun tearing them down and rebuilding a bunch of snazzy new ones. My second year I was in North campus dorms, which I also loved. But now that the West has been renovated, the North ones are the oldest. The first year the new West dorms were build, they were much more expensive than the North ones, but now they are changed so that everything is the same price. Personally, I love all the dorms and think they are a great experience for both freshmen and sophomores. They are all in good locations (especially North campus) and there are dining halls at both North and South. They have small gym facilities and study rooms as well. They are all very secure, an ID card is needed for building access and there is always someone at the front desk during the day. A lot of students like to complain about dorm facilities, RAs, HFS, etc, but despite the drawbacks, the dorms are still a great way to meet people and a convenient way to live for those who aren't ready to have all the responsibilities of off-campus living yet.

4 College Junior

Facilities: UW has a great athletic center (the IMA) close to campus that has a gym, track, basketball, racquetball, tennis, pools, classes, etc. Membership is automatic for enrolled students. We just finished remodeling the student union building (the HUB) right in the center of campus, and it looks amazing! Some of the older dorms are in the process of being remodeled as well, they are extremely modern and very, very nice. We have a couple main libraries (Odegaard, Suzzallo, Allen) for Grad and Undergrad, and various other smaller department libraries around campus. Suzzallo is especially well known for the Reading Room aka the "Harry Potter Room" (it looks just like the Great Room from HP). There is beautiful architecture all over campus, and the entire area is super green. In the quad we have rows of cherry trees that bloom in the spring. All the students lay out in the sun and take pictures of the cherry blossoms, along with a ton of tourists and weddings. From many places on campus you can see beautiful views of the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier. The beautiful campus is definitely one of the highlights of UW. Next to UW is a street called The Ave, filled with a ton of restaurants and shops (and bars for the +21 crowd) whose main customer base is students. The entire University District is a great area for students, and the bus system is very easy and can take you anywhere else is the city (there is a chip that works as a bus pass in your ID card).

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There is a very large selection of off-campus housing, most with a close proximity to campus. There's a large area around campus that has both houses and apartments that are filled mainly by students. The earlier in the year you begin looking for housing directly correlates to how close you will live to campus. Street parking can be a pain, so make sure you that if you have a car, try to find housing that includes parking.

4 College Junior

Diversity: UW is a very large school and I've found that the amount of diversity you see depends on what kind of classes you take and what activities you're involved in. The two largest ethnicities on campus are probably white and Asian. We also have a lot of international students (mostly from China).

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Seattle is a big city, with many neighborhoods that are all disctinct from one another. Because of this diversity, students at the UW will have an easier time fitting into the city. Students that live on campus are lucky to have many food, shopping and entertainment options. There are tons of restaurants on the ave, shopping in U-Villiage and several concert venues such as the Neptune nearby. Students that live off campus are also surrounded by many options. In my experience living on and off of campus, I would describe Seattle as a unique city with many options for every kind of person.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Seattle is a mecca for cheap, easy, fun and exciting dining. I always have somewhere new to take my parents, or just try on the weekends. I love the array of affordable Asian cuisine on the ave, but also appreciate the many restaurants that are only one bus away. In Capitol Hill there are many coffee shops such as Bauhaus that can be visited on a day out shopping. On Broadway for example, there are tons of restaurants that are very popular among students. Blue Moon Burger and Annapurna cafe are just a few affordable options.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are many housing options at the University of Washington, it is rare that students would ever need to live in the dorms if they didn't want to. The university district offers affordable houses, rooms, and apartments. I live in Capitol Hill, off campus and the bus system in Seattle makes it very easy to commute in the morning. This provides more variety, as campus is not the only reasonable place to live.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are not many options for students who are under 21 and not part of the Greek life. There are more house parties at other schools in the area, which I often attend because I do not live on campus.

3 College Junior

Weather: It rains a lot here, so for someone who isn't from Seattle, the clouds put a damper on life for a few months. Of course, there are a few nice days, but the rain can be a problem, especially when walking to class.

3 College Junior

Computers: There are many places where you can find a computer, even during crunch times. Of course, most students only know of a few, so you may have to hunt for the more obscure locations. WiFi is pretty good, outside of the dorms, so having your own is nice as well, since you could study outside, if you wanted to.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life is well known on campus for its parties. However, many of the students who live in the Greek system are a part of the student government, & they work towards making a campus a better place for all of the students.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Each dining hall serves a variety of cuisines and switch up their menu everyday. The HUB serves Subway, Pagliacci Pizza, frozen yogurt, etc. Most north campus dormers chose to eat at the 8 in McMahon while west campus dormers can buy groceries from the District Market or enjoy a classy meal at Cultivate. My only complaint as a dormer in McMahon is that the food can get old if you eat it everyday, and it is not the best quality for its price.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: There is a huge variety of students, and many international students. Some are very intelligent and hardworking while others are just there to party.

3 College Freshman

Parking: There are many parking lots so you will never have to work very far but the rate is quite costly. The only free parking is on Greek Row but there are seldom any spots open.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Seattle is a great city for dining out, and in the U District there are a ton of affordable places.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: I have noticed a somewhat varied campus. There is still a very heavily dominant white student population.

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5 Recent Alumnus

Computers: There is a brand newish computer lab at the UW Bothell. Awesome computers and volunteer staff to help with tech support.

5 College Freshman

Transportation: Great public transportation especially if you live in Bellevue/Kirkland area, then the buses come every 10/15 minutes. There are even buses that go all the way to Federal Way - I even have some friends who are able to commute from there. All the students are required to purchase a U-pass which is 75 bucks or so per quarter, which is a very good deal because you get access to all of the public transportation any time any day of the week.

2 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The first 5 weeks here were pretty much consisted of eating 5 hours a day. Then, you've tried everything. There is not much variety and most of it is prepackaged. The dining hall food is not the healthiest, but they really do try. All the dining halls serve similar foods, if not the same menu; as do the cafes. After all, we're not at culinary school! They do have a wonderful market (District Market) on the floor/street level of Alder Hall. There, I've been buying fresh, mostly local produce.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: We're in Washington, where marijuana is now pretty much legal. There's a field behind McCarty called the Field of Dreams. Weed, shrooms, and more. The drug scene is what you make of it. Personally, I prefer to distance myself apart from that scene. There is plenty of more worthwhile pastimes to involve myself in. The cops are everywhere too. Parties are often shut down, like Greek row was on Halloween this year. One house had 45-60 MIPs issued.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Emily Sugiyama
Seattle, WA
English/Women's Studies
View all previous student authors

Similar to the academic experience at the UW, the University is so huge that it's virtually impossible to predict what a student will think of the school. As the quotations attest, some people fall in love from day one and have to tear themselves away on graduation day, while others drag themselves through school as a chore and can't wait to get out into the post-college world, but it seems, like most things at this school, that it truly is what you make of it. Perhaps for a less socially-motivated person, UW isn't the ideal school. In a bigger environment, maybe it helps to be a little more outgoing-introduce yourself to people in class, meet some people at parties; you sort of have to put yourself out there in order to get anything back.

In all, if a student is determined to make his or her time at UW a positive social experience, it's definitely within the realm of possibilities to do so. There are so many groups to join, parties to go to, and people to meet that there's basically an endless list of social opportunities. There are always more people to meet, so if you don't want to get pigeonholed in a certain crowd, you can move on to a new one. At the same time, however, the size of the school can be daunting for more socially-intimidated students. Just as easy as it is to get out there and meet people, it's not too difficult to get holed up in a dorm room and end up being fairly antisocial. Overall, the key to having a good experience at UW is getting involved and experiencing as many things as possible. After it all adds up, you can allow UW to be a negative experience or you can craft it into your personal haven.

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