Seattle is an American metropolis in the northwestern state of Washington, constructed as a port town on the Atlantic Ocean. It is a modern city that retains its traditional industries and is one of the most dynamic and student friendly locations in the United States. Education is an integral part of the city, with eight higher learning institutions and more than half of the population has a college degree.
Despite a northern location, Seattle experiences a year-round mild climate. The city has a dedicated monorail system and students can experience sights such as the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum, or the Husky Stadium, home to NFL team the Seattle Seahawks and the UW Seattle American football team. The tallest building is the Columbia Centre skyscraper in the downtown district, which is 943 feet tall and has the highest viewing platform on the West Coast.
The city has a thriving music scene and was the birthplace of grunge which saw the success of many bands including Nirvana. There is also a history of jazz which sparked the careers of figures such as Ray Charles and Quincy Jones.
Seattle is also hailed as the birthplace of many big corporations including Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon.
Below are four of the best universities to study at in Seattle according to the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington (UW) is a public research university and the largest site in an academic complex that also includes campuses in Bothell and Tacoma.
In total there are 10 academic schools and five colleges, focusing on liberal arts, pre-professional programmes, and research. Founded in 1919, the school of aquatic and fishery sciences at UW is one of the oldest departments of its kind in the United States.
There are also 10 distinct artistic centres at the university. The Burke Museum has research and collections in the fields of biology, palaeontology and geology, and the school of drama produces theatrical performances open to the student body and local public.
American football games are played at Husky Stadium, which can seat over 70,000 spectators and is recognised as one of the loudest arenas in the United States.
Notable alumni include actor Joel McHale, co-founder of Baskin-Robbins Irv Robbins, co-founder of Myspace Chris DeWolfe, novelist Marilynne Robinson and martial artist Bruce Lee.
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Founded in 1891, Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. The primary 43 acre campus is located in Fremont, four miles from the downtown area.
As well as its college of arts and sciences, SPU has departments in health sciences, economics, psychology, education and theology. In total there are 65 majors and 57 minors options, and top ranking courses are in engineering and business. The average class size is 22, although almost half of all classes will have less than 20 students. Four doctorate programmes are offered at the graduate school.
The central academic administration building at SPU is Demaray Hall, which can be identified by its clock tower, a symbol of the university. The oldest building on campus is Alexander Hall, which houses the theology department. Ames Library is the primary study facility on campus, and contains 250,000 print volumes, and hosts a weekly symposium known as Creative Conversations.
SPU also hosts a wilderness field station in the San Juan Islands, and Camp Casey, a camping retreat and conference centre.
As well as the liberal arts, SU offers courses in pre-professional studies, theology, and law. The humanities department is known as the Matteo Ricci College, and offers a Jesuit-led education with an interdisciplinary focus.
Athletics teams are known as the Redhawks and have competed in the NCAA Division I since 2009. The Eisiminger Fitness Centre is open to all students and its 180,000 sq ft. contains both cardio and weight facilities.
A major event in the SU calendar is Quadstock, a music festival featuring indie music and other live events, taking place on Union Green and the Quad area of campus for which it is named.
Alumni include Medal of Honour recipient William Swenson, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, and author Gerri Russell. The university motto translates as "for the difference we make".
Founded in 1946 and one of 50 such Art Institutes in the United States, The Art Institute of Seattle (AIS) offers degree programmes in design, fashion, media arts and culinary professions. The institute is on the waterfront in the Belltown region of the city - the same neighbourhood as Argosy University, Antioch University and the School of Visual Concepts.
Programmes are designed to give students the skills and practical experience required for entry level positions in their chosen professional field. As well as more traditional courses such as fashion and interior design, students can utilise technology in their artistic pursuits through courses such as animation effects and gaming and technology.
The Portfolio restaurant on Elliot Avenue is open to the public and run by students of the International Culinary School, under the supervision of an AIS faculty chef instructor and restaurant manager. On the same street is the AIS Gallery, which hosts regular shows and exhibitions of the work of students and local artists.
Prior to its relocation in 1986, the institute carried the legend of being haunted by a ghost named Burnley.