Discover the 5 Largest College Campuses in Washington

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: November 14, 2023
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Washington is known for its breathtaking natural scenery, outdoor recreation, and high-tech industries. The state also provides diverse and innovative educational opportunities, especially for those pursuing higher education, and some of the best colleges have excellent research and liberal arts programs. If you’re looking for some of the best schools in the state, you might consider the acreage size of the campuses. Check out the five largest college campuses in Washington by land area and learn what they offer.

Check out the 5 Largest College Campuses in Washington.

1. University of Washington – 703 Acres

university of Washington,Seattle,washingto n,usa. 04-03-2017: cherry blossom blooming in the garden with crowded.

University of Washington is the largest college campus in Washington by student population and land area

©iStock.com/Joecho-16

Located in Seattle and founded in 1861, the University of Washington is the largest in Washington by student population and land area, featuring more than 52,000 students and 703 acres. It’s also one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. Located in the University District, the main campus is a sprawling 703 acres, featuring over 500 buildings, such as libraries, museums, labs, art centers, stadiums, and lecture halls.

The University of Washington is known for its scientific, medical, and engineering research, as well as its more than 20 varsity sports teams, including its football team that’s part of the Pac-12 Conference. This Seattle campus is near the shores of Portage and Union Bays and features spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. To get to the heart of the campus, check out the Red Square, a large open hub surrounded by artwork and used for many annual events.

2. Washington State University – 620 Acres

Panoramic skyline of Washington State University campus in Pullman, Washington. WSU has a number of towering residence halls on the south side of the campus that make up a large student population.

Washington State University is a major educational institution with a small-town feel

©JW_PNW/Shutterstock.com

75 miles south of Spokane, Washington State University’s main campus lies on 620 acres among beautiful rolling hills and features a small college-town feel. Also known as WSU Pullman, this campus is the largest with nearly 20,000 students. As it was founded in 1890, it is also the oldest campus of Washington State University. With a state-of-the-art facility, research programs, and Pac-12 sports, WSU offers students a full university experience.

This campus is a hub for most of the institution’s student organizations, such as its sports teams, art galleries, venues, museums, and more. The main campus features 238 buildings, including student halls, research centers, libraries, training facilities, restaurants, apartments, farms, and more.

3. Central Washington University – 380 Acres

Located in Ellensburg, Washington, and founded in 1891, Central Washington University sits on 380 acres in the central part of the state. The campus is in a charming, historic town surrounded by lush vegetation. While CWU has six satellite locations, the main campus in Ellensburg is the largest. It’s spread out over 380 acres and includes modern academic facilities, athletic facilities, and residence halls.

Students, faculty, and visitors can enjoy walking the tree-lined streets. They can also hang out in recreational spaces and take in the breathtaking mountain views. The campus offers 135 undergraduate degrees, 32 master’s programs, and many minor and certificate options. 

4. Eastern Washington University – 300 Acres

Eastern Washington University, or EWU, has a main campus located in Cheney, Washington, a city in Spokane County. EWU sits on 300 acres and includes a community center, recreational center, research institutes, campus housing, apartments, and many student halls. The university also has many athletic departments, including Division I football and Division II men’s cross country. The Riverpoint Campus is in nearby Spokane and is shared with Washington State University.

EWU also offers degree programs in several other Washington cities, like Vancouver, Seattle, and Bellevue. Students on campus can major in over 100 fields of study, including ten master’s programs and 55 graduate programs. Eastern Washington University’s main campus is in a lively college town and features many lush trees and shrubbery around campus.

5. Western Washington University – 215 Acres

This public university in Bellingham is the northernmost university in the contiguous United States. Western Washington University was founded in 1893 and sits on 215 acres along Bellingham Bay in Northwest Washington near the Canadian border. On campus, you will find many buildings, including a recreation center, residence halls, apartments, a boathouse, college buildings, a gallery, libraries, a performing arts center, and a dining hall.

The campus sits at a slight elevation and offers spectacular bay views. You will also find beautiful landscaping around the student halls and other buildings. WWU has more than 200 academic programs, including undergraduate and graduate programs. 

A Recap of the 5 Largest College Campuses in Washington

RankLargest College Campuses in WashingtonLand Area
#1University of Washington703 Acres
#2Washington State University620 Acres
#3Central Washington University380 Acres
#4Eastern Washington University300 Acres
#5Western Washington University215 Acres

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Joecho-16


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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Florida State College. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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