Best Colleges in Washington in 2024

January 26, 2024 | Admin

Online Colleges in Washington

In order to provide prospective students with the best chance at having a great education, we have compiled this list of the top universities and colleges in Washington. Some schools may excel at online programs while others may focus exclusively on the traditional, on-campus aspect of higher education. Regardless of the delivery format, these schools excel at providing a quality education for their students.

Although relatively new to the field of online and distance degrees, online colleges in Washington are born from the strongest of academic success and are only getting better every day. From the University of Washington to Gonzaga to Western, schools known across the country are ready to help you receive your degree and pursue greater success in every aspect of life.    

To help you find the right fit for your needs, we have put together a list of the 15 best colleges in Washington State. Each school earned a spot on this list due to its exceptional quality, academic excellence and devotion to non-traditional learning. And we know that one of them can be perfect for you and your new degree. 

Rank School Location
1University of Washington (UW)Seattle, Washington
2Washington State University (WSU)Pullman, Washington
3Gonzaga University Spokane, Washington
4Western Washington University (WWU)Bellingham, Washington
5Seattle Pacific University (SPU)Seattle, Washington

Here Are The Best Colleges in Washington


University of Washington (UW)

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

UW’s division of professional and continuing education allows students who already hold an associate to finish a bachelor’s degree or for students to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree or certificate. UW also hosts a large number of free Massive Open Online Courses. These innovative courses are not for credit and are available to anyone wishing to gain further knowledge and insight on a subject. The University’s 16 online programs in Washington are designed with working students in mind. Classes are structured so that students can dedicate one evening a week to class work. Hybrid classes are also available online for students wishing to learn in an online and on campus structured style. Online students have access to library services, and academic coaches and advisers to help them along the way.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $802
Acceptance Rate: 45%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
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Washington State University (WSU)

  • Pullman, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Students at WSU have access to both undergraduate and graduate Washington degrees online. Coursework for Washington State University online is available 24/7, providing students with the greatest level of convenience. WSU’s Global Campus is regularly recognized for innovation in online education. One aspect that sets it apart is its class structure. Major-specific courses are concentrated in a seven-week format, allowing students to complete required courses at a quicker pace. Online students have access to the disability resource center, career counseling, digital resources and webinars and even have their own student government. Online students are encouraged to build a sense of community together and face to face events are regularly hosted for students in Tacoma, Seattle, and Pullman.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $500
Acceptance Rate: 80%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
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Gonzaga University

  • Spokane, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

Gonzaga, a private Roman Catholic research university, offers students the chance to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree online. Distance learners have the opportunity to connect regularly with their peers and instructors through in-person organized events throughout the term, fostering a sense of community and comradery. Online students have access to the university’s online library and students that live over 35 miles from campus can also take advantage of the library’s book delivery service. Gonzaga is one of the few Jesuit universities in the nation, tailoring it’s education in a holistic style to strengthen students in all aspects of their life.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $945
Acceptance Rate: 68%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1 to 12
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Western Washington University (WWU)

  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

WesternOnline is WWU’s online academic program. Students enrolled in Western Washington University Online have the option to pursue term based classes, that follow a seven-week quarterly schedule where students interact weekly with instructors or self-paced courses that are completely up to the students and can be started at any time in the quarter. Hybrid classes are also available to students looking for both an online and a traditional course of study. Admissions at WesternOnline are rolling, so students may apply at any time. Transfer students may also transfer up to 104 credits.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $250
Acceptance Rate: 85%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
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Seattle Pacific University (SPU)

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

SPU is a Methodist-affiliated university offering online courses to students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Seattle Pacific University provides education in a Christian setting and is dedicated to promoting the development of culture, competence, wisdom, and character. SPU’s three core themes are academic excellence and relevance, transformative and holistic student experience, and vital Christian identity and purpose. Online students have access to a career and writing center, tutoring service and other online tools.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $572
Acceptance Rate: 83%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
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Whitworth University

  • Spokane, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

Whitworth University, a private Christian liberal arts school in Spokane, is regularly rated among the Top 10 Best Value Schools in the Northwest by US News and World Report. The school’s Adult Degree Program has also been recognized for its excellence in education. Whitworth offers students two master’s degrees in the fields of education. The Master of Arts in Teaching course focuses on teaching exceptional children and the Masters of Education emphasizes either elementary or secondary education.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $540
Acceptance Rate: 75%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
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Central Washington University (CWU)

  • Ellensburg, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

There are 17 programs when it comes to Central Washington University online degrees. CWU’s 17 online programs in Washington follow a modified schedule with two mini-semesters during each traditional semester. This flexible scheduling allows students to finish their graduation time at an accelerated pace. Hybrid classes are also available for students to participate in. CWU is best known for its research done in the fields of Geology, Weather, and Wine. Out of state students pay the same rate as in-state students and all online students have access to online tutoring, an online library, and other resources.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $300
Acceptance Rate: 87%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
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City University of Seattle (City U)

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

CityU, a private, non-profit university based in Seattle, offers 20 graduate level degrees to students either entirely online or in their special regional cohort system. This hybrid style of learning delivers lectures online but requires coursework to be completed at a participating college near the student. This style allows for the face to face aspect of a hybrid class while still allowing a student to live remotely. CityUis a military friendly institution offering soldiers a reduced tuition rate of $166 per credit hour for undergraduate degrees and $306 per credit hour for graduate courses. 75% of CityU students identify as non-traditional students.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $340
Acceptance Rate: 100%
Student to Faculty Ratio: unlisted
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Eastern Washington University (EWU)

  • Cheney, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

EWU‘s online courses in Washington are degree completion programs allowing students to finish their undergraduate degree at an accelerated pace. While courses are primarily online, some may require proctored exams to be completed at one of the several EWU approved locations. EWU stands apart from other schools by allowing students to take classes two quarters prior to their actual admission. This gives students the chance to experience classes at EWU and further advance their education. Online students have access to online tutoring and an online student orientation.

Cost Per Credit Hour: 312
Acceptance Rate: 82%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
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Heritage University

  • Toppenish, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Heritage University prides itself on providing assistance and education to migrant families who would otherwise be unable to afford or attend a university. To aid in this effort, the school has various assistance programs to help aid first-year students in migrant and seasonal worker circumstances. Heritage also takes a unique approach to admission, assessing students based on their willingness to succeed and potential benefit from the program over more traditional admission considerations such as SAT/ACT scores or grades. Degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate level and are self-paced with access to an online writing center, career services, and other resources.

Cost Per Credit Hour: Unlisted
Acceptance Rate: Unlisted
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7 to 1
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Northwest University

  • Kirkland, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

Programs at Northwest University are designed to provide students with the skills and experience needed to grow both personally and professionally. While the school primarily focuses on its six undergraduate degrees, it also offers an online MBA program. Degrees are designed to give students freedom and control over their own learning and are completely self-paced. The private, Christian university, puts a strong emphasis on learning both science and faith. Located right next to Microsoft, Google, Amazon and other technology giants, Northwest University has developed a strong connection with its community. These strong ties provide ample opportunities for students to reach out and flourish in science and tech-related fields.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $440
Acceptance Rate: 96%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
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Saint Martin’s University

  • Lacey, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

Saint Martin’s University, a Catholic school, is perhaps best known for housing a functioning Benedictine monastery on its campus. Many of the monastery members serve at professors at the university and consequently the school focuses on incorporating Benedictine principles into their curriculum. While most of the programs are done online, a 15-week internship is required for graduation. Students may also choose to enroll in hybrid style classes and may even try one or two hybrid classes before officially applying to the school. Saint Martin’s is a very military friendly institution and is known for not only offering military a significantly reduced tuition price but has also been known to house military personnel in times of need.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $455
Acceptance Rate: 89%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
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Faith International University

  • Tacoma, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 100%

Faith International University offers Christ-centered and Bible-based education in both online and hybrid formats. The school’s primary goal is to “educate and equip Christian leaders.” To this end, a rigorous academic education is grounded in Christian principles and doctrine. With a low student to faculty ratio of 15:1, students are ensured to receive individual and personal attention during their studies.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $152
Acceptance Rate: 100%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
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Seattle University (SU)

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

One of the 28 Jesuit Universities in the country, Seattle University follows the Jesuit traditions of teaching in a holistic style. The school emphasizes the need for students to think clearly for themselves and test commonly accepted knowledge. Students are encouraged to grow and improve themselves personally, academically, professionally, and spiritually. The school has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the West’s top ten universities for more than a dozen years. It has also received high rankings for its law school and macroeconomics program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $936
Acceptance Rate: 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
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Western Governors University Washington (WGU)

  • Kent, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 24%

WGU Washington prides itself on its devotion to student success. All students enrolled at the school are equipped with a student mentor, a degree plan, and a virtual community of students to collaborate with. These tools are available and adapt according to individual needs for the student’s entire time of enrollment. As a result of this attention and care, most students complete their degree in less than three years. Perhaps the uniquest feature at WGU is their approach to tuition. Rather than having students pay a price based on credit hours, students pay a flat rate for a six-month period. This method allows ambitious students to accomplish as much work as possible during a set period of time, creating not only much faster and driven results but also a truly unique and customized learning experience.

Cost Per Credit Hour: N/A
Acceptance Rate: 37%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
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We know that finding the best school to fit your unique needs is a huge challenge. For that reason, we work hard to develop lists of the best schools based on the characteristics most important for you. Whether that be cost of attendance, student success, resources available, flexibility of schedule, or any other number of important factors, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our ranking process and to find lists of schools based on specific characteristics, check out our methodology page.

If you know of a school that deserves to be on this list, but wasn’t included in this version, please contact us today!


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