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SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT: University of Washington

The University of Washington is a multi-campus university, having locations in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell. Together these three campuses provide over 54,000 students with 16 colleges and schools, offering 1,800 undergraduate courses. The university proudly awards over 12,000 bachelors, masters, doctoral and professional degrees each year.

UW student have many ways to get involved. There are multiple clubs on campus, research and leadership programs, art and cultural groups, and government relations opportunities. Some famous UW alumni include Anna Faris and Bruce Lee, just to name a few.


Kira Goldner, UW student

Name: Kira Goldner

Major: Computer Science (concentration: theory); undergrad major in math at Oberlin College

Year: 2nd year of PhD program

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why did you choose to attend the University of Washington?

The Computer Science department here is incredible.  When I was making my decision, UW had risen to the #5 school for computer science, and the research output has risen even more since then.  Plus, the departmental culture here was by far the best of any school I’ve seen.  Professors really care about their students, prioritizing student research interests and valuing their non-academic interests as well!  Also, the beauty of the campus and the city in general really impressed me and made me want to live here, and Seattle is home to a lot of top-notch industrial research as well.

What do you like most about living in Seattle?

I love the city itself: the progressive culture, the countless vegetarian-friendly restaurants, the different neighborhoods’ personalities, and the art available for consumption — yet Seattle isn’t of an overwhelming size.  But, in addition to living in an awesome city, you’re surrounded by picturesque nature which is at most an hour away to immerse yourself in!

What do you like to do for fun/extracurricular/hobbies?

I spend a lot of time talking about diversity in computer science!  In addition, I play trumpet, I take a ballet class, and I try to check out live music and theater somewhat frequently.  UW has lots of awesome music opportunities, and the Seattle Symphony has an incredible student subscription deal.  I also love to play board and card games with friends, as well as cook and enjoy new restaurants.

Do you have any advice for incoming freshman?

Take a lot of random classes!  I didn’t take a computer science class until late in my undergrad career, and I only did based on a friend’s recommendation, not inherent interest.  And now I’m pursuing a PhD in computer science!  Also, one semester I randomly took a ballet class.  I was pretty awful at it, but it turned out to be one of my favorite hobbies.  Even if you’re coming into college thinking you know what you want to study, take classes in other areas, because you never know if you’ll wind up hooked.


If you are interested in attending the University of Washington or just want to learn more about the school, you can download the “Visit UW” mobile app. On the app you can take a virtual tour of campus or take a real GPS guided tour, see local restaurants and shops, view admissions information, learn about university top points of pride, and more!

Download the “Visit UW” Mobile App

about the author

Callie Pederson

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Degree in Communication and Creative Writing. Outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, blogger.