Graduate Programs in Seattle, WA

Seattle colleges and universities enable graduate students to bridge their passion for nature with their love for the city. A thriving seaport city, Seattle is situated on a narrow piece of land between Lake Washington and the Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.

Green Lake and numerous other lakes and bays mark the city, and waterways run throughout. Seattle’s commonly cloudy and drizzling skies add to the city’s reputation for being wet and watery.

Where Is Seattle?

Seattle is situated in the Pacific Northwest, approximately 100 miles south of the Canadian Border, 100 miles east of Olympic National Park, and 150 miles west of Wenatchee National Forest. When you imagine Seattle and its natural beauty, picture vibrantly rich greenery and lush forestry that extends throughout the city and out through the Pacific Northwest. The city’s official nickname, “Emerald City,” points to its stunning, native beauty.i

Start your search by browsing some popular graduate programs from our partner schools near Seattle.

The Business of Seattle

Don’t let Seattle’s natural playground fool you: the city is all business. Five Fortune 500 companies call Seattle home (Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Expeditors International of Washington, and Weyerhaeuser) and numerous others stand proud in surrounding areas (Costco, Microsoft, Paccar, Nintendo of America, T-Mobile US, Expedia Inc., and Providence Health and Services). Still others make their way in the small business, niche, and international market. Consider earning a graduate degree in business administration and management, operations management, international business, or another area of business. Who knows where your degree might take you? Perhaps a global player or local hot spot awaits your talents.

Living in Seattle

The city of Seattle itself has skyscraper-rich density blended with modern and historical neighbors and breathtaking skylines. With a 2017 estimated population of 713,700, Seattle is the largest city in Washington State as well as the Pacific Northwest.i

Downtown Seattle buzzes with people working, playing, and creating. Roadways join with bike paths and pedestrian-friendly walkways to balance mobility between human and motor. Public transportation by way of streetcar, electric trolley, bus, and ferry, help Seattleites navigate the city with ease. Whether you head to college in Seattle Washington with a car, bike, or two legs, the city offers convenient and green ways to partake in the many areas of your life.

Photo Opp

Find and Take a Picture of: The Fremont Troll, a perhaps frightening but very well loved guardian of gardens. Hint: look for the Aurora Avenue Bridge, and do not expect to see a cute troll with a fuzzy puff of hair.

When the city’s constant movement and action overwhelms your senses, you can head to one of Seattle’s many well-kept parks or glance to the horizon to view Mounts Constance or Olympus. A trip to the top of Seattle’s famous Space Needle offers a bird’s-eye view of the city and new perspective of its breadth and depth. And weekend adventures to local lakes, nearby national parks, and beyond invite you to take a deep breath and relax.

If you have a passion for a sense of space and place, you can help keep Seattle and its surrounding areas strong, healthy, and vibrant by pursuing a degree in public administration or public policy, urban affairs and planning, or environmental management. Graduate programs at colleges in Seattle area could help you connect with government agencies and other organizations dedicated to treating Seattle and beyond with dignity and respect.

Seattle’s Music Scene

Seattle’s music scene provides a fun a caricature of the city’s residents. Numerous musicians produced their sounds and songs in the city, and their sounds seem to attract and inspire people of similar persuasions. Here are some of Seattle’s most formative music genres:i

  • Jazz! Jazz nightclubs were part of a regular scene in Seattle in the early to mid-1900s. Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and other jazz greats frequented Jackson Street early in their careers.
  • Folk! The Brothers Four, The Wailers, The Sonics, and the Fleetwoods all have roots in Seattle and the Puget Sound.
  • Grunge! Considered by many the home of grunge music, Seattle produced some of music’s grungy greats such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam.
  • Avant-garde, hot, and smooth jazz! Bill Frisell, Glenn Crytzer, and Kenny G cultivated some of their earliest sounds in Seattle.
  • Hip-Hop! SirMix-a-Lot, Shabazz Palaces, and others made beats in Seattle.
  • Surf! The Ventures used their tunes to inspire surfers likely seeking perfect lefts in nearby Westport or coastal Oregon.
  • Alternative! Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, Foo Fighters, Fleet Foxes, and numerous other bands made themselves at home in Seattle.
  • Rock! Jimi Hendrix, Duff McKagan, and other rock musicians shaped and shifted their early songs in the city.

Get Cultured in Seattle

Not only did Seattle give birth to or help raise some of music’s most magical creators, it also supports and promotes a wonderful music scene today. Numerous live venues host bands across genres, and Seattle provides safe haven for the century-old Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Opera, and summer and winter chamber music festivals. Plus. the city’s 5th Avenue Theatre offers Broadway-style musical shows featuring both international stars and local talent.i

A Healthy Climate

Speaking of getting cultured: Kombucha, kefir, and cultured vegetables all have a home in Seattle, and the city caters in part to people devoted to good health. Besides offering numerous opportunities to be active and fit, the city offers an array of health-food restaurants, organic-food stores and markets, alternative healing co-ops and businesses, and other agencies for harnessing health and cultivating well-being.

The Performing Arts in Seattle

Music marks just the beginning of cultural intrigue in Seattle. Approximately 100 theatrical production companies grace the city’s streets, and nearly two dozen live theatre venues play around with fringe theatre.i Add to Seattle’s thriving performance arts scene numerous museums, galleries, festivals, block parties, and community bike rides, and you’ll start to get a sense of Seattle’s vibrant nature.

Fine arts and design graduate programs in areas such as fine art, fashion, photography, and the performing arts (including areas such as musical composition and performance, acting, play-writing, and dance) offer opportunities to explore and develop your own creative genius. As you’re studying, Seattle will gladly serve as your faithful muse.

Attractions in Seattle

Once you settle into a Seattle university to pursue your graduate degree, be sure to visit these 5 top attractions:

  1. The Space Needle: Perhaps to your surprise, the Space Needle is more than a Grey’s Anatomy prop. One of the city’s finest icons, the Space Needle is an observatory that offers spectacular view of Seattle and its surrounding areas.
  2. Pike Place Market: Go there for seafood, clams, fish, and freshly-caught and harvested fare. This spot is chock full of tourists and locals alike and always present a fun and lively scene.
  3. The Olympic Sculpture Park: This free and public park boasts nine acres of outdoor sculptures and beaches. It was created and is operated by the Seattle Art Museum.
  4. Discovery Park: A 534 acre park on the shores of the Puget Sound. Go here to enjoy more than 11 miles of hiking trails and to breathe in the beauty of trees, flowers, and other stunning nature.
  5. Puget Sound: While you’re visiting Discovery Park, head to Puget Sound to see whales and salmon and to fish, sail, and otherwise enjoy marine living.

Seattle colleges give you the perfect excuse to move to Seattle and enjoy these and hundreds of other beautiful, quirky, and unique places in Seattle and beyond.

Find and Take a Picture of . . .

…a fifty-foot and growing wall of gum blobs. Yep, that’s right. Gum blobs. Ones that people have pulled from their mouths and stuck to a wall. Parts of the wall are several inches deep in gum. Why not add to the magic? You simply have to find the wall first.

Seattle Goes Green

Ranked a “smarter city” for its government policies and green economy, Seattle pays attention to designing neighborhoods that allow for healthy, vibrant living. Some common features of the city’s most treasured places include:

  • Good walkability
  • Plenty of green space
  • A strong community identity
  • A unique feel
  • Interesting homes

All of these qualities make many of Seattle’s neighborhoods intriguing, open for exploration, and downright livable.

6 Neighborhoods You Should Get to Know

Here are some of the city’s more popular neighborhoods:

  1. Ballard (Northwest Seattle): Once a Scandinavian fishing village, Ballard has transformed over the years to become a hip haven for foodies, families, and singletons. Its Nordic Heritage Museum, Ballard Locks, and Golden Gardens Park provide places to peruse and frolic, and Ballard Avenue’s independently-owned bars and restaurants are great for post-study blowing off steam and nibbling nosh. Boutique stores and quaint residential blocks with Scandinavian flare complete this neighborhood’s cozy look and feel.
  2. Capitol Hill (Northeast of Central and Downtown Seattle): Capitol Hill blends celebration with solitude by way of dimly-lit bars and forested avenues, the Capitol Hill Block Party and the Volunteer Park Conservatory’s cactus house. Features like these compete with each for residents’ favorite place to partake. Capitol Hill is also considered the LGBTQ center of Seattle.
  3. Georgetown (Southcentral Seattle): Massive industrial areas bear-hug Georgetown’s residential center, keeping its fabulousness a local’s secret. Georgetown is most well-known for its quirky character (yoga + beer + freight trains + Hat ‘n’ Boots, to give you a hint). The Corson Building offers good food in a gorgeous building (complete with a garden and century-old architecture and tiled roof) and Carlton Avenue Grocery, Seattle’s oldest continuously run grocery store, gives locals a sense of history and pride.
  4. Queen Anne (Northwest of Downtown Seattle): Queen Anne offers a wealth of culture through theatres, opera, ballet, and year-round events from the Seattle International Film Festival. Lined with century-old trees and big-money houses, Queen Anne’s streets offer more than what meets the eye: many of its residents have rallied to save an independent grocery store, establish a thriving farmer’s market, and support a neighborhood newspaper and social service agency. Queen Anne blends the fancy with the feisty.
  5. The University District (Northeast of Central Seattle and Capitol Hill): This aptly named neighborhood hosts the University of Washington and appeals to a more youthful crowd. Gathering is the game here, and students and residents alike do so in well-populated places such as the University Village and The Ave. Art galleries and museums infuse the area with culture and inspiration, and the University District Famer’s Market keeps people well-fed.
  6. Fremont (North of Central Seattle and Queen Anne): Fremont is the self-proclaimed Center of the Universe and hosts headquarters of companies such as Google and Adobe Systems. Despite its techy-ness, the neighborhood has a quirky, hippy-like, counter-culture vibe. It is home to Oktober Fest, the Fremont Sunday Market, and the Summer Solstice Parade.

Study areas of technology in Seattle, such as computer science and information technology. Technology contributes to Seattle’s “New Economy” and is quickly expanding to include a focus on biotechnology. Many universities in Seattle offer graduate-level education in technology.

Did You Know?

Seattle actually has less precipitation than New York and Chicago. However, because Seattle’s precipitation comes in breadth, not depth (small amounts constantly versus large amounts occasionally) it actually sees fewer rain drops, large or small, than many other cities in the U.S.

Sponsored Colleges in and Near Seattle

Let’s check out 5 schools in and near Seattle that you’ll definitely want to know more about!

The University of Washington, Seattle and Tacoma Campuses

The Seattle campus of the University of Washington offers graduate degrees across the spectrum of disciplines. Educational Psychology, Atmospheric Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Physiology and Biophysics, Speech and Hearing Sciences, and Management of Technology Organizations name just a few of the school’s most popular areas of study.

The University of Washington’s Tacoma campus is located in Tacoma, Washington, a city just under 35 miles from Seattle. The campus offers graduate degrees in business, nursing, computing, social work, and education.

UW Seattle is ranked #56 (tie) in National Universities, while UW Tacoma ranks #157 (tie) in Part-Time MBA Program by U.S. News & World Report.

The Bainbridge Graduate Institute

The Bainbridge Graduate Institute is located in Bainbridge Island, Washington, just across the Elliot Bay from Seattle. It offers graduate degrees in areas of business such as administration, sustainability, and organizational leadership.

The Goddard College

The Goddard College has Washington-based campuses in Seattle and Port Townsend (a city approximately 100 miles from Seattle). The Seattle campus offers an M.A. in Education, and the Port Townsend campus offers an M.F. in Interdisciplinary Arts and an M.F. in Creative Writing. Goddard College also offers numerous online options.

The Pacific Lutheran University

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University offers an array of degrees across disciplines. Education, nursing, business, social work, writing, and leadership all offer opportunities for graduate-level study.

Pacific Lutheran is ranked #16 in Regional Universities West by U.S. News & World Report.

Argosy University

Argosy University is located in Seattle and offers graduate programs in business, education, and psychology, mostly with an emphasis on developing leadership knowledge and skills.

Argosy University is ranked #16 in Regional Universities West by U.S. News & World Report.

Find Seattle Grad School Programs

Browse through Seattle colleges and universities or explore a bit beyond in cities such as Tacoma, Bothell, Kenmore, Bremerton, and others. You can also explore universities in Washington State by using our “Browse by Location” search feature. Live in a great city, earn a career-enhancing degree, and enjoy a life-expanding experience!

Use our site to find programs by subject or location. When you find a school or program of interest, contact the school directly through our site! Finding your perfect program and preparing to pack for Seattle is that easy!


  • Wake Forest University

  • Colorado State University Global

  • California Southern University, a member of the American InterContinental University System

  • Grand Canyon University

  • Western Governors University

  • The Catholic University of America

  • Seattle University

  • Seattle Pacific University

  • Antioch University

  • Presidio Graduate School

  • Argosy University

  • Lesley University

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