University of Puget Sound

University of Puget Sound student gather in front of a campus building together

The University of Puget Sound is a bright spot on the map of American higher education. Students searching for thoughtful professors, a lively interdisciplinary vibe, friendly classmates, and a beautiful setting ought to add the university to their short list.”
Colleges That Change Lives

University of Puget Sound
1500 North Warner Street
Tacoma, WA 98416-1062
⋅ 2,600 students
⋅ 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio
⋅ Average class size: 19
⋅ Students come from 46 states and 8 countries
⋅ Tuition, room, board, and fees (2016-17): $60,210
⋅ More than 90% of students receive need-based financial aid or merit scholarships.
⋅ Students are automatically considered for merit scholarships ranging from $8,000 to $22,000.

A student band performs at the University of Puget Sound

University of Puget Sound students hang out in the student center

The University of Puget Sound lit up at night

The University of Puget Sound Loggers football team

University of Puget Sound students kayak together

  • Founded in 1888 Puget Sound is one of a handful of highly selective liberal arts colleges in the Pacific Northwest. The college features an intellectually lively and academically motivated community.
  • Located on an intimate and inviting campus between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, along the shores of the Puget Sound near the creative urban center of Tacoma, Wash., the college offers close proximity to the cultural offerings of Seattle and the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Puget Sound offers the distinctive combination of an outstanding liberal arts curriculum and Schools of Music and Business and Leadership.
  • Innovative interdisciplinary programs include Asian studies; environmental policy and decision making; gender studies; global development studies; international political economy; Latin American studies; neuroscience; and science, technology, and society.

Worth Noting
  • Puget Sound is the only national independent liberal arts college in Western Washington, and one of just five independent colleges in the Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious honor society.
  • More than 40% of students study abroad in more than 40 countries annually.
  • As a founding member of the Nationwide Internships Consortium (NIC) and a participant in the Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN), Puget Sound connects students with thousands of internship opportunities across the country.
  • The college has close ties to Asia, including an Asian Studies Program; majors in Japanese, Chinese, and East Asian languages; and a nine-month Pacific Rim/Asia Study-Travel Program.
  • Puget Sound’s commitment to environmental sustainability includes STARS certification and numerous LEED-certified campus buildings.
  • In 2011 Puget Sound finished construction on The William T. and Gail T. Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences, which houses undergraduate programs in exercise science, neuroscience, and psychology, along with graduate programs in occupational and physical therapy. Commencement Hall opened in fall 2013 and houses themed communities for Entrepreneurship, Environmental Outdoor Leadership, Humanities, International District, and the Honors Program. Renovations and an 18,000 foot addition to Wheelock Student Center were completed in were completed in fall 2014.
  • In recent years The Princeton Review has twice ranked Puget Sound among the top 20 colleges for “Most Accessible Faculty.” The college has also been ranked for “Most Beautiful Campus” and “Best College Radio Station.”
  • The School of Music at Puget Sound offers degrees in Music Performance, Music Education, and Music with Elective Studies in Business. Students benefit from the school’s excellent faculty, broad ensemble offerings, student-run clubs, and the opportunity to audition for talent scholarships regardless of their major.

Faculty & Academics
  • A student-faculty ratio of 12:1 means small classes and close, personal attention from faculty members.
  • More than 1,200 classes are offered each year in more than 50 traditional and interdisciplinary areas of study. All classes and labs are taught by professors, never by graduate students or teaching assistants.
  • Puget Sound has seven Carnegie Foundation Washington State Professors of the Year, more than any other college.
  • 99% of tenure-line faculty members hold a doctorate or equivalent degree.

Areas of Study
For the most current listings, please check the college website.

Areas of Study
1 – Academic Minor Only
2 – Interdisciplinary Emphasis or Designation
3 – Advising Program

African American Studies – 1
Art (Studio Art and Art History)
Asian Languages and Cultures (Chinese, Japanese, and East Asian Languages)
Asian Studies – 2
Bioethics – 2
Business (Business, International Business, and Business Leadership)
Communications Studies
Comparative Sociology
Computer Science
Education – 1
Engineering, Dual Degree
Environmental Policy and Decision Making – 1
Exercise Science
Foreign Languages and Literature (French, German, and Spanish)
Gender Studies – 1
Global Development Studies – 2
Hispanic Studies – 1
Humanities – 1
International Political Economy
Latin American Studies – 1
Latino/a Studies – 1
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Music (Music Performance, Music Education, and Music with Elective Studies in Business)
Natural Science
Neuroscience – 2
Politics and Government
Pre-Med – 3
Pre-Law – 3
Science, Technology, and Society
Theatre Arts

Graduate Programs
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy

Campus Life
  • Students are actively engaged in co-curricular activities, including more than 90 wide-ranging organizations and clubs, student government, and Greek-letter organizations.
  • Recent performers and speakers at Puget Sound include Cornel West, Nina Totenberg, Philip Glass, David Sedaris, Twyla Tharp, and Spike Lee.
  • Themed residence halls and houses, such as the Puget Sound Outdoors Floor and the Humanities House, support the college’s 24/7 living-learning environment and create strong links between academics and residence life.
  • Puget Sound’s robust outdoor programs take advantage of the nearby Cascade and Olympic mountains, national parks and rain forests, and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
  • More than 75% of students participate in a wide range of service opportunities with approximately 250 community partners.
  • Students compete in 23 varsity sports in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference (NWC), as well as in a variety of intramural and club sports. Since 1999 the Loggers have won more than 40 NWC championships.

Varsity Sports

23 varsity sports in the NCAA Division III, Northwest Conference :

Baseball (Men)
Cross Country
Football (Men)
Lacrosse (Women)
Softball (Women)
Track and Field
Volleyball (Women)

Life After College
  • Puget Sound students have earned 49 national scholarships during the past two years, and 159 national awards since 2000. Recent honors include Boren, Fulbright, Goldwater, Mellon, National Science Foundation, Phi Kappa Phi, Rotary Ambassadorial, Truman, Udall, and Watson scholarships, among others.
  • Puget Sound ranks No. 1 among baccalaureate colleges in Washington state, and in the top 10% nationally, for number of graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees, according to a survey by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC).
  • Puget Sound graduates enjoy outstanding acceptance rates to medical and law school.
  • The college fosters a strong culture of service, and is consistently ranked among the top small colleges for alumni serving in the Peace Corps and Teach for America.
  • A strong alumni network provides students with lifelong connections and learning opportunities.

Academic Profile of Entering Class
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1740-1990
  • Middle 50% ACT composite: 26-30
  • Average Unweighted GPA: 3.52
  • 29% students of color
  • 79% students from out of state
  • 47% male; 53% female
  • 17% first-generation students