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About Washington State University

Founded as the people’s university, WSU embraces its land-grant heritage, seeking to transform lives through education, research, and community engagement and service. The University has been delivering life-changing knowledge and discoveries to the state, region, nation, and the world for nearly 130 years. WSU enjoys productive partnerships with major industries in the state, including agribusiness, aerospace, health care, software, technology, and construction. The colleges at WSU Health Sciences Spokane have formed robust partnerships across the state of Washington, both with large medical centers and hospitals, as well as a variety of rural and community hospitals and clinics.

The University places a high value on diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the institution. Some 30 percent of the student body statewide is ethnically diverse, and first-generation students represent nearly 33 percent of the total enrollment. About 15 percent of WSU students hail from outside the state of Washington and about 7 percent are international students. System-wide enrollment reached a record 31,607 students in fall 2019.

The WSU community is deeply committed to providing the resources and support students need to become global citizens and informed leaders who thrive in their professional and personal lives. The University annually awards more than $310 million in scholarships and other financial aid to more than 20,000 undergraduate students. The WSU Foundation consistently raises in excess of $100 million annually from private donors—funds used to support student scholarships and academic, research, and service initiatives.

A comprehensive institution, the University is organized into 10 degree-granting academic colleges as well as the Honors College, Graduate School, WSU Libraries, and WSU Extension:

  • Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Carson College of Business
  • Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
  • Education
  • Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
  • Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
  • Nursing*
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences*
  • Veterinary Medicine

* Effective July 2019, Chancellor Daryll DeWald assumed the added title of Vice President for Health Sciences. Dr. DeWald oversees the health sciences mission for the WSU system, and the deans of the three Spokane colleges report to Dr. DeWald.

WSU operates as an integrated university system, with all six campuses adhering to the same set of goals, practices, and policies. For example, degree requirements are similar across campuses; all instructors and researchers, regardless of their location, are considered part of one faculty; and the offices of student affairs and finance and administration are regarded as distinct but highly integrated components of the same divisions.

WSU is currently engaged in a formal process to redefine its multi-campus administrative and operational structures to ensure delivery of an integrated set of services while recognizing the unique nature of each campus. More information about the WSU campuses and the history of the University is available in Appendix I at the conclusion of this document.

The WSU campuses are home to a wide array of organizations and activities, including the arts, music, and theater; student-run media (including public radio, daily printed newspaper, and television stations); fraternities and sororities; recreational sports; an active student government, and others. The University offers access to more than 600 study abroad programs in more than 48 countries around the world, and the system is working to increase the number of students from all of the WSU campuses studying abroad annually to 1,000 by 2019.

Intercollegiate athletics play an important role at WSU, and “Cougar Pride” is evident throughout the state of Washington. More than 500 student athletes compete at the NCAA Division I level as members of the Pac-12 Conference, nicknamed the “Conference of Champions.” Eight of the twelve conference schools are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and all of the institutions are highly ranked by various groups, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (Times).

In summer of 2018, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reaffirmed the regional accreditation of WSU through 2025. Washington Monthly recently ranked WSU 29th nationally, a ranking based on what a college does for the country and its students. WSU is ranked as a “Highest Research Activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation and in 2018 was ranked 53rd among public research universities in the U.S. by the National Science Foundation. Also, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized WSU for its engagement activities with its Community Engagement Classification. Campus Pride Index recently recognized WSU as one of the top 25 universities nationally with respect to LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs, and practices.

The National Academies have selected 11 WSU faculty for membership, including three from the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. Three faculty members were named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2019, boosting WSU’s representation to more than 38 AAAS Fellows. Forty-three members of the WSU faculty have been chosen for membership in the Washington State Academy of Sciences, an organization that provides expert scientific and engineering assessments to inform public policy.

The University’s total annual operating budget tops $1.2 billion. Grants and contracts, combined with tuition and fees, account for about 50 percent of revenues. After years of declining state support, the Washington legislature began reinvesting in higher education in recent years. The legislature appropriated $111 million for capital projects at WSU during its last session, and state operating appropriations represent about 20 percent of University revenues. WSU’s total endowment assets are valued at more than $1 billion. The University’s research and development expenditures reached a projected $370 million in 2019. For two years in a row, WSU has led the list of U.S. Department of Agriculture research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey. WSU researchers expended $50.9 million in USDA funding during the 2017 federal fiscal year, the second of the two years WSU ranked first among 390 universities nationwide.