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Prospective Students


The Territorial University of Washington opened November 4, 1861, in a building on a 10-acre tract of hilly wilderness which is now in the financial heart of downtown Seattle. The University was firmly established as an institution of higher education by the time Washington achieved statehood in 1889. Growth made larger quarters necessary and in 1895 classes opened in Denny Hall, the first building on the present campus, which is located between Lake Washington and Lake Union. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, held on campus in 1909, opened a new period for the University by providing many new buildings and focusing national attention on the Pacific Northwest.

Since World War II, the University of Washington has earned an international reputation for its research and the quality of its graduate programs. For the last 18 years, the University has ranked among the top five institutions in the country and first among public universities in receipt of federal grants and contracts.

Enrollment at the University is over 30,000, of which about one fourth are graduate students. There are more than 3,000 teaching and research faculty positions and a staff of 12,000. The 700-acre campus has 128 buildings in a wide diversity of settings from formal quadrangles to native forests. The library collection of over four million volumes is one of the largest in the nation. Although there are a number of high quality small private universities in the region, the University by its size and academic and research stature is able to attract the top secondary school students of the region and beyond. Many members of the University’s teaching and research faculty have national and international reputations for their work. The University of Washington is one of the major seats of learning and research in the western United States and ranks among the finest
universities in the country.

The College of Architecture and Urban Planning originated when the University decided, in 1913, to create a College of Fine Arts which was to encompass a department of Architecture. An Urban Design and Planning department was added in 1941, and it joined with Architecture to form a separate college in 1957. The Department of Landscape Architecture and Building Construction was initiated in 1960, and separated into two different departments in 1963.

The university’s policy on equal opportunity and disability accommodation —



The University of Washington library system contains over four million volumes, thirty-nine thousand currently received periodicals and numerous government publications (federal, state and international), maps, manuscripts, microfilms, and newspapers. The Architecture and Urban Planning Library in Gould Hall holds collections of materials on the subjects of Architecture, Building Construction, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design and Planning, including more than thirty thousand books and bound periodicals, 280 currently received serial titles and five thousand microfilms. Secondary sources of interest to landscape architecture department students are housed in the Main Library (Suzzallo), Business Administration (Balmer Hall), Engineering (Engineering Library), Miller Library, Center for Urban Horticulture and Forest Resources (Bloedel Hall).

Audio-Visual Service Center

The College maintains a complete audio-visual facility as part of the College Library. This facility is staffed by a full-time photographer/librarian and student assistants. The AV Service Center has available approximately 110,000 images covering architectural, landscape, design and planning, and construction subject matter, supporting the curricular and research needs of the College. New materials for lectures and projects are continually added. Another 250,000 slides contained in the Art Department collection are available through the Center. The collection and equipment are available for use by faculty and students.

Computer Facilities

The College of Architecture and Urban Planning, through the Office of Computing support (OCS) supports several general purpose computing labs for CAUP students, but also provides more specialized design, CAD, and GIS software, as well as plotters and printers. College facilities include several clusters or labs with various configurations, including late-model Macintosh and Pentium computers, Sun and Silicon Graphics workstations, and a 25-station lecture space with video and data projection equipment. File and print services, accessible via the network, complement the workstations. The College also supports a “Web Center” to provide support for web sites related to courses. Please see College Computing Facilities for more information.

Photography Laboratory

A well-equipped laboratory for black and white photography is operated by the College providing studio and darkroom facilities for use by photography classes, design studio classes, special instruction, and independent activity.


A large, fully staffed, and equipped wood and metal-working shop provides students with the opportunity to design and build projects. The shop is used in conjunction with architecture and building construction studios and construction courses. Thesis and individual projects can be accommodated.

Coffee Shop

Gould Hall coffee shop serves coffee, teas and snacks and is a popular place for impromptu discussions, meetings, and social events.

UW Rome Center

The University of Washington Rome Center provides studio and classroom spaces, as well as living accommodations for visiting scholars participating in Italian Studies, in the Palazzo Pio on the Campo dei Fiori of Rome. A library of approximately 1000 volumes, shared with the Department of Classics, and a substantial slide collection are accessible to students and faculty. The Palazzo Pio is arranged to enhance interaction among students from the University of Washington and students from other institutional programs, and with practicing professionals residing in or visiting Rome. Several major universities regularly share studio critics and lecturers in a spirit of cooperation.