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BRIEF: Western gets national recognition as top-ranked master’s-granting university

Washington Monthly ranked colleges in the United States based on public service, social mobility, research … WWU placed 16th

Western's Communications Facility and Environmental Studies Building reflect fall colors on a warm afternoon. WWU ranked 16th place nationwide in promoting public services and social mobility. // Photo by Paloma Ortiz

Western Washington University was ranked 16th last month on Washington Monthly’s list of master’s-granting liberal arts colleges for its success in promoting public services and social mobility. 

According to its website, Washington Monthly ranks liberal arts colleges - “four year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and science rather than professional programs.”  

Washington Monthly measured each college and university's contribution to the community in three categories: social mobility, promoting public services and research. According to Washington Monthly’s methodology, top-ranked colleges needed to be excellent across the full breadth of their measures, rather than excelling in just one. 

Rankings are also partially based on the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants and the percentage of students enrolled in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. 

“One of the things that make us unique, not just as a college, but the university as a whole, is the opportunity undergraduate students have to do research,” said Paqui Paredes, Dean of Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, noting the opportunities students in the college have to explore library resources, software and data analysis through major-based research projects. 

Western is not only highly ranked for promoting public services but also teaching undergraduates and graduates to be promoters of public service and social mobility. For example, Paredes said Western typically ranks very high in numbers of Peace Corps volunteers.

“As a university, we have a commitment to strengthening the abilities that will help our students make a difference,” Paredes said. “We want our students to be contributors to society.”

Paloma Ortiz

Paloma Ortiz (she/her) is a second-year journalism student and campus life reporter for The Front. You can reach her at 

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