Aug 20, 2017



Located in the northwest of the country, the state of Washington is bordered by Canada to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The state also shares borders with Idaho to the east and Oregon to the south. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Washington had an estimated population of 6,971,406 in 2013.

washingtonstate_seattle_300x200The state capital is Olympia, while Seattle (pictured) is the largest city. Other major cities include Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Federal Way, and Kent.

Much of the state is covered by evergreen forests and mountains. Washington is a major agricultural state and a leading producer of lumber, apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries. The state is also a leader in the production of wine, ranking second in the country after California.

Manufacturing is another important sector, in particular the production of aircraft and other transportation equipment. The aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, has its headquarters in the state.

There are several higher education institutions in the state. These include the University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Central Washington University, and The Evergreen State College. The University of Washington ranks #42 among the top national universities, according to a 2015 report by U.S. News and World Report.

Top Reasons to Study in Washington

  • Quality of Life: Washington residents enjoy a relatively higher quality of life than residents of other states. A 2014 CNBC report ranked the state #6 in the country for its quality of life. In 2014, Bellevue was ranked by Livability as the 13th best place to live in the country.
  • Employment Prospects: Most of the employment opportunities in the state tend to be in the major urban centers, particularly in Seattle and Spokane. There are nine Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Washington, including Nordstrom, Starbucks Corporation, Weyerhaeuser, Expeditors International, Paccar Inc, Alaska Air Group, Microsoft, Amazon, and Costco Wholesale. Seattle has long been a major hub for aerospace manufacturing and is now also emerging as a hotbed of new technology manufacturing attracting companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and PetHub. The state saw a 9 percent growth in manufacturing jobs over the ten years ending 2014, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in Washington, contact the Washington Student Achievement Council.


College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
Pacific Lutheran University Business,Health,Social Sciences Private >10,000 Request Info
Seattle University Business,Health,Mechanic/Repair Private >10,000 Request Info
Eastern Washington University Business,Education,Health Public >10,000 Request Info
Western Washington University Business,Communications/ Journalism,Health Public >10,000 Request Info
Washington State University Business,Family/ Consumer Sciences,Health Public >10,000 Request Info