About Willamette University

National Recognition

Willamette University has been honored nationally for a wide range of accomplishments, from being a good value and preparing students for successful careers to showing leadership in sustainability and public service. Our students and faculty frequently earn some of the top scholarships and fellowships in the country for their accomplishments both in and out of the classroom.

College of Liberal Arts

Colleges That Change Lives

Colleges That Change Lives

Willamette University enriches students’ lives for the better, according to “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges.”

The national guide, which was first published in 1996, is designed as an aid for prospective college students and their parents. Content for the newest edition is base on school tours and candid assessments by students, professors and deans.

According to the guide, "...Willamette is a rising star — a place that does its work well and has momentum to claim its rightful spot among the few colleges in this country that prioritize undergraduate education.”

Fulbright Scholars

Among the top producers of Fulbright Fellows in the nation

Willamette University is among the top producers of U.S. Fulbright Fellows. In the past five years, more than 15 Willamette students and alumni have received Fulbright grants. Under the Fulbright program, American students are offered grants to study, teach English or conduct research in more than 150 countries.


Forbes ranks Willamette among America’s top colleges

Forbes ranked Willamette as the 25th best school in the West and the 103rd best private school in the nation in 2014. The ranking "focuses on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt."

Washington Monthly 2013 Best "Bang For Your Buck" ranking

One of the most affordable colleges in the nation

Washington Monthly has named Willamette University as the 25th most affordable liberal arts school in the nation in 2013. Willamette scored the highest among liberal arts colleges in Oregon for getting the “best bang for your buck.” According to the magazine, the listing measures “colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students gain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”

U.S. News

U.S. News includes Willamette among 2015's “Best Colleges”

U.S. News & World Report listed Willamette University as the highest ranked liberal arts college in Oregon and among the top nationally in 2015's “Best Colleges.” The magazine’s ranking formula takes account of factors such as SAT scores, student/faculty ratio, peer reputation and alumni giving.

U.S. News also named Willamette among the top 11 up-and-coming National Liberal Arts Colleges in 2011 for making the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty and student life.

Fiske Guide 2015 Best Colleges and Universities

One of the country's best universities

Willamette is featured in the 2015 Fiske Guide to Colleges, which highlights the country's best and most interesting colleges and universities. Willamette's professors get "high marks for being amazing, engaging and supportive."

Honor Roll Presidential Awardee

One of the nation's best universities for exemplary service

The Corporation for National and Community Service named Willamette to the 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. In 2009, Willamette was one of only six colleges and universities nationwide to earn the Presidential Award, the honor roll's highest award. Willamette students, faculty and staff volunteer about 67,000 hours annually.

Peace Corps Top College

Among the top 25 small schools for Peace Corps volunteers

Willamette consistently ranks among the top small schools in the country for number of alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, more than 300 Willamette alumni have joined its ranks.

The Princeton Review Best 379 Colleges

The Princeton Review lauds Willamette's academic caliber

Willamette University was named as one of the top universities for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review’s popular guidebook, “The Best 379 Colleges.”

In the 2015 edition, Willamette scored exceptionally high for its green initiatives and its academic caliber, scoring 98 and 95 respectively out of a possible 99 points. It was also listed as a “Best Western College.”

As students note in the book, Willamette’s “learning opportunities outside of the classroom are endless.” Professors are lauded for being “very willing to help students find internships, jobs and research opportunities,” and the campus environment “encourages growth and development.”

College of Law

job placement

Top Quartile Ranking: Moody’s Investor Service

Willamette University College of Law has ranked first in Oregon and fifth among the West Coast’s 28 law schools for placing graduates in full-time, long-term, JD-required and JD-preferred jobs for the Class of 2013, according to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association. The statistics have propelled Willamette into the top quartile of a new nationwide law school ranking by Moody’s Investors Service released in May 2014.

National Jurist

Increased employment rates: The National Jurist

Willamette University College of Law leads all law schools in improving graduate employment rates according to a new study by The National Jurist, a national news source on legal education.

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Bloomberg Businessweek

Ranked top MBA in Oregon by Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek's 2014 business school rankings named Willamette's MBA program a "top business school." The Willamette MBA is the only program listed in Oregon and one of only two in the Pacific Northwest. 

The Princeton Review

Among the top 15 programs for preparing students for marketing

The Princeton Review named Willamette’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management a Top 15 Program for Preparing Students for Marketing. The ranking is based on a survey of 19,000 students worldwide.

The Willamette MBA program is also among the Princeton Review’s Best 301 Business Schools.

AACSB and NASPAA Accredited

International Accreditation for Business Administration and Public Administration

The Willamette MBA program is only one of two programs worldwide to hold dual accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (also known as NASPAA).  Both accreditation agencies represent the highest standards of excellence in graduate management education.  Less than 10% of schools of management and business achieve AACSB International accreditation.

Inc. Magazine

10 Best Entrepreneurship Courses in the U.S.

Inc. magazine named the Willamette MBA’s New Ventures to Market and Angel Investing courses among the top 10 best entrepreneurship courses in the U.S.  Each course emphasizes experiential and consequential learning, where students have the opportunity to invest in real start-ups and develop their own entrepreneurial ventures.

US News and World Report

10 Least Expensive Private MBA Programs

US News and World Report named the Willamette MBA program among the 10 least expensive private MBA programs in the U.S.  The list profiled ten private universities delivering high quality, personalized education with tuition levels under $40,000.

Listed among the “Best MBA Programs”

The Willamette MBA has been recognized as a “top MBA program for return on investment” by Forbes, profiled in Vault’s “Business School Buzz Book” and ranked as one of the top 100 MBA programs in the U.S. by Poets & Quants.