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“I knew early on that the University of Puget Sound was a place where my opinions mattered and where I could become a leader.”

— San Nguyen
University of Puget Sound


University of Puget Sound

University of Puget Sound is an academically rigorous, independent, national undergraduate liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest committed to civic engagement, environmental stewardship, global awareness, and the unfolding of creative and useful lives. Offering 2,600 students more than 1200 classes in traditional and interdisciplinary academic fields, Puget Sound programs range from international political economy to philosophy to molecular biology, and include a School of Music and a School of Business and Leadership.

Founded in 1888, the university occupies a beautiful Tudor-Gothic style campus in Tacoma’s North End, close to the urban centers of downtown Tacoma and Seattle, as well as outdoor and recreational opportunities throughout the Puget Sound area.

At the core of a Puget Sound education is developing the ability to think and write independently, logically, and analytically. “Our role is to be a cauldron for leadership,” says President Ronald R. Thomas , “a laboratory in which to create and test ideas, to discover and expand knowledge, to critique and transform our culture. Here at the University of Puget Sound , we seek to cultivate the leaders of the next generation.”

Academic Rigor

Puget Sound students work closely with faculty who have a strong commitment to teaching and represent a diverse range of scholars and researchers. More than 200 faculty members offer 1,200 courses each year in more than 40 major fields.

Distinctive academic opportunities include a conservatory-quality School of Music, a School of Business and Leadership, and many programs in the humanities, arts, and sciences that blend the traditional liberal arts disciplines with innovative interdisciplinary approaches and international emphases.

Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences opened in fall 2012 housing undergraduate programs in Psychology, Exercise Science, and Neuroscience, and graduate programs in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

Students work hard and expectations are high; the university is one of just five independent colleges in the Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honorary society.

Five Popular Majors

1. Business and Leadership
2. Biology
3. English
4. Psychology
5. International Political Economy

Community Engagement

The university is committed to its role as a unique intellectual asset in the region and in the nation. Students are involved in service activities throughout Pierce County , ranging from the university’s Civic Scholarship Initiative and Community Involvement and Action Center to mentoring local school children and distributing food to homeless shelters. The university and its students work actively on environmental and sustainability issues, hosting numerous educational seminars and zero-waste events. New this year is a sustainably living house, serving as a residence for students and a demonstration house for environmentally friendly living practices.


University of Puget Sound has 23 varsity teams, more than any other NCAA Division III school in the Northwest Conference. The Loggers collectively and consistently rank in the top 10 percent nationally among more than 400 NCAA Division III teams, and are frequently recognized as the best program in the Northwest Conference.

The university also offers a wide variety of club and intramural sports, plus recreation and fitness courses, and access to athletic facilities including a 25-meter pool, fitness center, indoor tennis pavilion, climbing wall, and more.

Campus Activities

The creativity, energy, and interests of students drive campus and community activities at Puget Sound . The choices are wide ranging—from government to outdoor exploration, community service to media, religion to academics, and arts, entertainment and club sports.

There are far too many campus activities to list each one; the main thing to know is that it's easy to join established organizations and to start new ones. The Associated Students of University of Puget Sound manages an activities budget of more than half a million dollars that helps fund everything from the annual Hui O Hawai'i Luau to the Repertory Dance Group, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Forum for American-Israeli Relations, and more.

A new residence hall, Commencement Hall, opened in 2013 and houses residential academic communities for Humanities, Puget Sound Outdoors and Environmental Policy and Decision Making, International and Global Education, Honors Program,

 Life after Graduation

After graduation, students go on to careers, post-graduate study, and international fellowships close to home and around the world.

The university is among the top 10 undergraduate colleges producing Fulbright Scholars, and the leading small college in the United States with the most alumni currently volunteering in the Peace Corps.

Graduate school acceptances include programs at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, the London School of Economics, Juilliard, and more, while employers of Puget Sound graduates include Amazon, Boeing, CNN, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Intel, Microsoft, Starbucks, United Way, and other leading organizations in business, medicine, social service, and the arts.

We invite you to learn more about University of Puget Sound by visiting us on campus soon!

Funded in part by a grant from
the Ben B. Cheney Foundation
published by Independent Colleges of Washington