Located on the Pacific Coast, the state of Washington is the home to dozens of different colleges and universities. Some of the oldest universities on the frontier are located in this state, allowing it to have a rich and cultural education history. There are seven public universities, three of which are university systems with multiple campuses. There are nearly 30 community colleges and two-year universities. In addition to the public educational institutions in the state, there also are four private liberal arts colleges and 22 different private colleges and universities in the state of Washington.
One of the largest and oldest universities in the state is the University of Washington. It was established in 1861, making it not only one of the oldest universities in the state but also one of the oldest universities along the west coast of the United States. The University of Washington is one of the top-ranked universities across the globe, and is considered to be a Public Ivy institution. It is a university with very high research activity, and it has one of the largest research budgets among similar educational institutions around the world. Its research budget has exceeded $1 billion in years past.
There are three campuses that are a part of the University of Washington. The main campus is the University Center, which is located in Seattle. There also are two extension campuses located in Tacoma and Bothell. Some of its top academic programs include pharmacy, computer science and economics. There are many notable people who graduated from the University of Washington including glass sculpture artist Dale Chihuly, president and CEO of Alaska Airlines William S. Ayer and dozens of different NASA astronauts.
Another large and noteworthy university in Washington is Gonzaga University, which is a private Catholic university located in Spokane. Gonzaga University is a Jesuit university that was founded in 1887 by the Jesuit priests. The basis of Gonzaga's curriculum is liberal arts, and most subject areas has a specialized emphasis on writing. Some of its highly regarded academic programs include engineering, dentistry, theology, nursing and veterinary medicine. Many notable people left the Spokane campus after graduation and went on to do great things across the globe. Some of the most famous alumni who graduated from Gonzaga include actor Bing Crosby, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and many different professional athletes, especially professional basketball players given the schools prominent basketball program.