University of Puget Sound

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The University of Puget Sound, locally referred to as Puget Sound or “UPS”, is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Tacoma, Washington. The university is the only independent nationally ranked undergraduate liberal arts college in West Washington and one of only a few located west of the Mississippi River.

University of Puget Sound offers accredited Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and doctoral degree programs in music, teaching , education, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. As of 2010, the university had a total enrollment of 2,841 (2,632 undergraduate and 209 graduate students). Students at the University of Puget Sound come from across the United States and throughout the world (over 20 countries). The university offers over 1,200 courses and more than 50 undergraduate majors.

In the past, the University of Puget Sound was well known for its wild partying and “active” social life, but over the last twenty years the focus of the college has dramatically shifted towards excellence in academics. Today, the university is nationally ranked among top colleges and universities. In fact, in 2009, the U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Puget Sound 80th among all liberal arts colleges in the United States. More recently the university was ranked among the top 5 small liberal arts colleges for the number of graduates who participate in the Peace Corps.

Also noteworthy, The Advocate’s ranked the University of Puget Sound among its list of “Top 20 College Campuses for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual [LGBT] students”, receiving 19 out of 20 points awarded for this category.

The demographics of the community where the University of Puget Sound is located is approximately 75% Caucasian, 8% Black, 6% Asian, 6% Hispanic, and 1% Native American.

Many undergraduate students participate in the university’s well developed study abroad program. The university offers students the opportunity to study in many countries including Argentina, Austria, Costa Rica, Chile, England, Germany, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, the Pacific Rim, China, Scotland, Spain, and Wales.

While nonsectarian, the university is indirectly affiliated with The United Methodist Church.

General Information

Admission Office

1500 North Warner Street

Tacoma, WA 98416-1062

(253) 879-3211

(800) 396-7191

Fax: (253) 879-3993

Contact: George Mills

Vice President for Enrollment
Main Address

1500 North Warner Street

Tacoma, WA 98416-1062

(253) 879-3100

Total undergrads: 2,577

First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 676

Degree-seeking undergrads: 2,566

Graduate enrollment: 281


Suburban setting

Small city (50,000 – 249,999)

Residential campus

Degrees offered:
First Professional

Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $50

Online application fee: $50
Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 65%

Percent of students who return for sophomore year: 85%

Tuition & Fees

Estimated Expenses for Academic Year 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
Tuition and fees $31,895 $33,975 $35,635 $37,225 +4.46%
Books and Supplies $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 0.00%
Living Arrangement – On Campus
Room and Board $8,265 $8,760 $9,190 $9,650 +5.01%
Other $2,300 $2,300 $2,300 $2,300 0.00%
Living Arrangement – Off Campus
Room and Board $8,265 $8,760 $9,190 $9,650 +5.01%
Other $2,300 $2,300 $2,300 $2,300 0.00%
Total Expenses 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
In-state On Campus $43,460 $46,035 $48,125 $50,175 +4.26%
In-state Off Campus $43,460 $46,035 $48,125 $50,175 +4.26%
In-state with Family $32,895 $34,975 $36,635 $38,225 +4.34%
Average Graduate School Tuition & Fees
In-state Tuition $32,690
In-state Student Fees $0
Out-of-state Tuition $32,690
Out-of-state Student Fees $0

Financial Aid

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students
Type of Aid Students Percent Amount Average Per Student
All students financial aid 579 86%
Grant or scholarship aid 545 81% $8,991,129 $16,497
• Federal grants 114 17% $512,658 $4,497
• Pell grants 82 12% $261,294 $3,187
• Other federal grants 114 17% $251,364 $2,205
Local and state government scholarships or grants 27 4% $147,859 $5,476
Institutional grants or scholarships 543 80% $8,330,612 $15,342
Student loan financial aid 308 46% $2,311,379 $7,504
• Federal student loans 304 45% $1,826,040 $6,007
• Other student loans 37 5% $485,339 $13,117

All Degrees and Programs

Program Completions for Most Recent Year BA/BS MA/MS Doctor AA/AS CERT
Grand Total of All Programs 632 81 34
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies
Asian Studies/civilization
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 58
Biochemistry 9
Biology/biological Sciences, General 32
Cell/cellular and Molecular Biology 17
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 88
Business Administration and Management, General 86
Management Information Systems, General 2
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 15
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 15
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 3
Computer Science 3
Education 3 55
Counselor Education/school Counseling and Guidance Services 13
Curriculum and Instruction
Education, General 42
Educational, Instructional, and Curriculum Supervision
Music Teacher Education 3
English Language and Literature/letters 55
English Language and Literature, General 35
Rhetoric and Composition 20
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 66
Chinese Language and Literature 1
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General 7
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General 31
French Language and Literature 7
German Language and Literature 3
Japanese Language and Literature 4
Spanish Language and Literature 13
Health Services/allied Health/health Sciences, General 26 34
Occupational Therapy/therapist 26
Physical Therapy/therapist 34
History 22
History, General 22
Mathematics and Statistics 23
Mathematics, General 23
Multi-/interdisciplinary Studies, General 23
Biological and Physical Sciences 18
Multi-/interdisciplinary Studies, Other
Science, Technology and Society 5
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies 18
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 18
Physical Sciences 20
Chemistry, General 6
Geology/earth Science, General 6
Physics, General 8
Psychology 51
Psychology, General 51
Social Sciences 137
Economics, General 31
Economics, Other
Political Economy 44
Political Science and Government, General 37
Sociology 25
Visual and Performing Arts 50
Art/art Studies, General 19
Drama and Dramatics/theatre Arts, General 16
Music Management 9
Music Performance, General 3
Music, General 3
Above data represent first majors only.
(-) Indicates that program is not offered at this award level.

Undergraduate Majors

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies

Asian Studies B

Arts, Visual & Performing

Art – General B
Drama/Theater Arts B
Music – General B
Music – General Performance B
Music Management/Merchandising B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Biochemistry B
Biology B
Cellular/Molecular Biology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

Business Administration/Management B

Communications & Journalism

Communications/Rhetoric B

Computer & Information Sciences

Computer Science B
Computer/Information Sciences – General B


Music Teacher Education B

English Language & Literature

English Language & Literature – General B

Foreign Language & Literature

Classics B
French B
German B
Spanish B


History – General B


Mathematics – General B

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

Natural Sciences B
Science, Technology & Society B

Parks, Recreation & Fitness

Exercise Sciences B

Philosophy & Religion

Philosophy B
Religion/Religious Studies B

Physical Sciences

Chemistry B
Geology B
Physics B


Psychology – General B

Social Sciences

Economics B
International Economics B
Political Science/Government B
Sociology B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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