University of Puget Sound is a liberal arts college located in Tacoma, Washington in north-western United States. The student population is small, yet diverse with 2,400 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students representing 47 states and 12 different countries. Almost 25% of undergraduate students identify as students of color. The great diversity on campus feeds into the university’s mission to promote open discussion of different ideas and the appreciation of all people, no matter how similar or different they may be.   

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Tacoma and Puget Sound

A 'sound' is a large ocean inlet and the Puget Sound is one of the most well-known in the United States. The city of Tacoma sits on the sound, along with nearby Seattle, Olympia, and other cities. The University of Puget Sound, based in Tacoma, is distinct in that it is one of just a few national liberal arts colleges located in an urban setting.

The city of Tacoma has over 200,000 residents and plenty of history, art, music and culture. The community is progressive and inclusive – everyone is welcome in this warm and inviting city. Students can appreciate the many cafes, shops, museums, restaurants and music venues or else opt to explore the beautiful natural landscape. The nearby majestic Mount Rainier and the surrounding blue Pacific Ocean waters ensure that students can easily escape city-life and experience the great outdoors and other recreational activities.

Not only has Tacoma been dubbed one of the most livable cities in the US, it is also known as “America’s #1 Wired City”. The city encourages technological innovation and also offers many spectacular sites to visit, such as the nationally acclaimed zoo and aquarium or the opera. Another major city, Seattle, is a short 30-minute drive away and offers even more entertainment, culture and diversity. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, just over 20 km from Puget Sound’s campus, offers direct international flights to cities around the world.

Experience campus life

University of Puget Sound is spread over a 97-acre picturesque campus, dotted with ancient sequoia trees and green landscapes all in the shadow of the wonderful Mount Rainier. Most students live on or near campus and much of their daily lives revolve around the campus.

The university is host to many guest speakers, artists, and civic leaders throughout the year and there are numerous events organized for students and the local community. The annual LogJam event held every September welcomes students back to the campus with games, activities, performances, free food and even fireworks! The Spring Lū’au and bi-annual Repertory Dance Group (RDG) performances are also highly anticipated events every year. The Spring Lū’au invites the public to participate in Pacific Islander culture, and the RDG show is an opportunity for the community to enjoy an inclusive variety of student-choreographed dance performances.

The Puget Sound academic experience

There are over 1,200 courses for students to choose from at the University of Puget Sound and they span over 50 areas of study. Students experience a close, friendly classroom environment, with a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average class size of 17 students. Puget Sound offers many innovative and exciting programs and degrees, among which is the honors business experience, the Business Leadership Program. This program offers students numerous mentorship opportunities, hands-on learning and direct access to the business network in the region.   

University of Puget Sound is committed to excellence in teaching and learning and promotes open, interactive classrooms where meaningful discussions and learnings take place. The university nurtures graduates with critical thinking skills, intellectual curiosity, and sound judgment.

Achievements, awards and accolades

University of Puget Sound was named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the top 10 bachelor’s degree institutions in the US with the highest number of Fulbright Scholars. Forbes magazine named Puget Sound one of the “Top 20 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges” in the United States. True to the university’s altruistic spirit, more than 75% of students take part in community service – this is among the highest participation rates in the country.

Puget Sound is the only undergraduate liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest with a School of Music and the only one to have a symphony orchestra, concert band, jazz band, and comprehensive choral and opera program. It is also one of the few undergraduate liberal arts college to have a School of Business and Leadership.

University of Puget Sound is one of only two independent colleges in the state of Washington, and one of five in the Northwest, to be granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious academic honor society in the United States.

If you want to find out more about the University of Puget Sound, click on its SchoolApply profile page for more information!