2023 Best Western Colleges and Universities

When most people think of the western portion of the United States, they immediately fixate on Hollywood or Las Vegas. However, they forget about all the other amazing things that this region of the United States has to offer. For instance, did you know that the western portion of the U.S. is home to some of the best institutions of higher learning in the country? Well, it’s true. In this piece, we will discuss the best colleges and universities that the western area of the United States has to offer.

Stanford University – Ranked #1 in California, Stanford is well known for programs in education, engineering, law, medicine, and business. First-year students are required to live on campus, but most Stanford students choose campus housing for their entire educational careers.

University of Washington – Ranked nationally among universities, this university is known for its research as well as colleges of engineering and medicine, and it is an outstanding business school. The university’s acceptance rate is 46%.

Claremont McKenna College – One of the top ten liberal arts schools in America, Claremont McKenna is known for its undergraduate programs focusing on leadership skills. Students enjoy small class sizes and hands-on experiences that lead to research projects and internships.

Harvey Mudd College – Harvey Mudd ranks highly across the nation in liberal arts colleges, and with good reason. The private, liberal arts school is an incubator for leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Whitworth University — Ranked prominently among regional universities in the West, it’s also a best value choice and veteran-friendly. Whitworth integrates faith-based decision making into its academics.

University of California – Berkeley – Well-known for activism and the Free Speech Movement, this school is a thriving hub of not only academics but also social interest groups, with over 1,000 student clubs and organizations. The university is considered one of the top 25 in the nation, a superior undergraduate teaching school, and a best-value school.

University of California – Los Angeles – Undergrads especially prefer UCLA, likely because of well-known schools in engineering, law, and medicine. The David Geffen School of Medicine is affiliated with the highly acclaimed Ronald Reagan School of Medicine. The competition for acceptance is fierce; UCLA turns away 84% of all applicants.

University of Southern California – Also known as the University Park campus, this school is home to the famous Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but it is also home to other programs of distinction like the Marshall School of Business and the Gould School of Law.

Brigham Young University – Provo – This nationally recognized university has been ranked #61 in the nation. The school is affiliated with the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints, and religion plays a prominent part in all studies and activities. BYU is a leader in teaching more than 50 languages, and 75% of the students at this school speak at least one other language.

University of Denver – The private University of Denver boasts many programs for study, including fine arts and engineering, and the curriculum in every discipline includes a focus on writing as well as cross-disciplinary studies. The acclaimed Sturm College of Law is housed at this school. Annual tuition is approximately $49,000 per year.

University of Utah – Known as The U, this university offers well-regarded programs of study in business, education, engineering, and law. The only place in Utah to study medicine is at The U’s School of Medicine. This school is also considered the best party school in Utah.

Warner Pacific College – Warner Pacific is a private school with a Christian liberal arts focus. The school prides itself on providing a personalized and well-rounded education.

Colorado College – This school offers an innovative block plan for taking classes, and students take one class at a time for three and a half weeks. Students can take advantage of small class sizes, and teachers are encouraged to spend as much time as necessary to make sure the material is learned. Every completed block class gets a several-day break before the next one starts. Also, all students are required to complete a volunteer service project.

Colorado Mesa University – A top-25 school in western regional colleges, this university focuses on the student academic experience by offering small classes that investigate regional, national and global issues. A little more than half of the student population is female.

University of Portland – This school is a private, Catholic institution of higher learning. The University of Portland offers 40 majors and is considered a best-value choice. The college also has a recognized engineering program and business program (The Pamplin School of Business) and has sixteen study abroad programs.

Seattle University – Seattle University commands seventh place among similar school in the Western region of the United States. Affiliated with Jesuit philosophy, the school encourages community involvement. It is known as an excellent school for legal writing. It’s also a good choice for veterans and considered a best-value selection as well.

United States Air Force Academy – Air Force requires that all students engage in military training in addition to their chosen field of study. Cadets commit to an ambitious schedule that takes up most of their days, but they also have an opportunity to become involved in additional activities. Academy graduates are well-known for their integrity, likely because they take the school’s honor code seriously. There is no cost for tuition.

Regis University – A top school in Colorado, Regis is a good choice for veterans. Regis is a private school that focuses on teaching values as well as academics.

Westminster College – This private, liberal arts school promotes independent thinking and community service. It has earned 19th place among regional universities in the West. The college partners with local business to offer internships that allow for hands-on experiences. Currently, Westminster offers nearly 40 undergraduate degree programs and twelve graduate degree programs. The McNair Scholars program, which prepares disenfranchised students for college life, is located here. The college is veteran-friendly and a best-value choice among similar schools.

Southern Utah University – This university is made up of four colleges, two schools (Business and Integrative and Engaged Learning), and a graduate and online school. There are also opportunities for studying abroad.

University of Nevada-Reno – This university is a top public school known for its business program and engineering program. The University of Nevada-Reno was the first public university in the state and boasts a tremendous research portfolio. This school also enrolls the most National Merit Scholars.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas – UNLV is recognized for its business program and engineering program (doctorate). Not surprisingly, their hospitality program is considered the best in the nation. Other recognized programs include creative writing, law, and entertainment engineering. This campus also has a Center for Gaming Research. .

Nevada State College – Nebraska State is the college of choice for 3500 students. This school offers 30 majors, 21 minors, and seven programs of study.

Weber State University – Weber State is #86 in the Western region, and it is known for its school of business and or engineering. It’s also a top public school that offers 225 degree and certificate programs as well as thirteen graduate degrees. This university has a 100% acceptance rate.

Whitman College – This college allows students to earn credits in wilderness activities. Whitman is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, and the college is a best-value choice. The annual tuition and fees cost $49,780.

Pacific University – With small classes and a 84% acceptance rate, Pacific University provides students with a well-rounded liberal arts education in a suburban setting. This school is also recognized for having low student debt rates.

Sierra Nevada College – This private liberal arts school has an enrollment of fewer than 500 students. One of the most popular majors at this college is Ski Business and Resort Management, and Sierra Nevada is one of only four institutions of higher education that offers a degree in snow-related hospitality and recreation.

College of Southern Nevada – This school is the most ethnically diverse college in Nevada. Southern Nevada has a 23:1 student:faculty ratio, an outstanding baseball team, and campuses in three locations in the state.

Great Basin College – Located in Elko, Great Basin offers associate and bachelor degrees for students interested in business and business administration, computer technologies, education, health sciences, human and social services, arts and sciences, and industry.

Lewis & Clark College – Lewis & Clark has small class sizes, with a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. The school is a best-value choice, and it has been recognized for the caliber of undergraduate teaching. More selective than some of the other universities in Oregon, the acceptance rate is 71%.

Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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