Study in Washington State University


(HC Abroad) Washington State University (WSU) warmly welcomes international students to join the WSU Cougar family. WSU is one of the oldest land-grant universities in the western U.S. and has been inspiring problem-solvers and leading innovation across many academic fields for over 130 years.

International Students make up about seven percent of the WSU student body, or just over 2,000 students representing over 115 countries. Overseas students benefit from many opportunities such as study abroad and career development activities. The university offers over USD 400 million in scholarships and student financial aid, with several awards dedicated to international learners.

WSU offers Ninety-eight undergraduate major fields, 78 master’s and 65 doctoral degree programs. There are also three professional degree paths - in medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. Many programs are ranked among the best both nationally and around the world. Professors at WSU genuinely care about their students; they are dedicated to student success and teach through dynamic methods that spark creativity.
When students choose WSU, they join a global network of Cougar alumni committed to working together and using their education to make the world a better place. WSU students graduate with a distinguished degree, knowledge and skills for success, and new friends for life in their Coug family. 

Six campus locations

WSU is home to five different campus locations across Washington state, as well as the online campus. Each site offers something different where student communities are based around educational needs.

Most programs are held at WSU Pullman, where students live and learn in a traditional U.S. college environment. Students can easily meet classmates and make new friends alongside enjoying the fun activities happening around campus.

Washington State University (WSU), is one of the USA’s leading research universities, and enjoys “very high research activity”, according to the Carnegie Classification (2018). 

WSU Pullman is the university’s flagship residential campus, and it offers students the widest range of study options and research opportunities. WSU also offers study options online through its global campus. The U.S. News & World Report ranks this campus as the USA’s best for online undergraduate programs. 

According to the U.S. News & World Report 2021, WSU ranked 87th among Top 100 Public Schools, 69th for its engineering and computer science at the undergraduate level, 29th in agricultural sciences at the undergraduate level, and 15th for international business.

As a Research Tier I (R-1) university, one of 131 public universities with Carnegie Foundation’s Tier 1 Highest Research Activity Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, WSU faculty are industry experts, world-renowned researchers and members of the National Academies, which is America’s highest honor for scientific researchers. WSU scientists have made advances in fields such as health and food production.

With more than 200 fields of study, WSU offers 95 undergraduate majors, over 100 in-major specializations, 86 minors, and nearly 150 graduate and professional study options. Students also benefit from research opportunities, internships, and fieldwork at WSU.

Seven percent of WSU’s student population is international, and from over 115 countries globally. WSU produces graduates who are leaders in their fields. It enjoys an alumni network of over 200,000 graduates spanning 146 countries. Notable alumni include, the late Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; Scott Carson, president of Boeing; Sven Auken, the Danish Minister of Environmental Affairs; United States senator Patty Murray; and Anna Cabrera, CNN News Anchor.

What’s new

Top-class research 

WSU has a reputation for leading research in nearly 200 fields. Ian Wells, a second-year student at WSU, and student researcher in Professor Jake Leachman’s Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Lab, along with a team of WSU students, were awarded a prestigious grant. The grant is one of seven given throughout the United States through NASA’s Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge to wash lunar dust out of spacesuits. 

In 2017, the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center invented a whole new breed of American Apples, called Cosmic Crips, which are widely used in American households. Some of the other world-class research conducted at WSU includes that of Douglas Call, who is the Regents Professor of molecular epidemiology studies and Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Call has been recognized for his work in food and water safety, notably in relation to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in agricultural systems. 

Many WSU faculty and researchers pursue ground-breaking research every day.

Covid-19 updates for new student safety

Washington State University is working hard to ensure all new students can join the student community safely. It aims to provide a robust in-person experience where students can feel comfortable both inside and outside the classroom. In Fall 2021 WSU returned to in-person classes and housing.

Each campus location has specific procedures. For example, Covid-19 testing is available for everyone on the Pullman campus. Students are required to stick to the health and safety measures laid out by WSU, which may include wearing a mask, washing hands regularly, limiting sizes of groups, and keeping six feet away from other people where possible.

Virtual events

Students can chat to admissions officers virtually, attend online presentations to learn about academic programs and take a tour of the university from the comfort of their own homes with WSU virtual events.

Teaching quality

The university is home to 11 academic colleges that strive to help students become highly skilled citizens and leaders. Faculty are accessible and classes are small in size. The student-to-faculty ratio is around 15:1, and almost 80 percent of undergraduate classes have fewer than 50 students. Teaching takes place through lectures, lab work, seminars, research opportunities, fieldwork, and internships.

WSU’s academic staff are recognized worldwide for their work. They are among the best in their fields. Several of the faculty have been elected to the National Academies membership, one of the highest honors for scientific researchers.

WSU is one of the top research universities in America according to the Carnegie Classification (2018). It is also one of 131 colleges and universities, out of more than 6,500, that has “very high research activity” as a doctoral institution.

The ground-breaking research undertaken at WSU includes finding solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges in food production, healthcare, clean energy, security, and economic opportunity.

Department structure

Over 200 fields are available to study at WSU. Degrees are designed to reflect each student’s strengths. More than 95 undergraduate major programs have specialization tracks, minors, and certificates are offered by ten academic colleges.

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Students can choose from courses in areas such as economics or interior design.

College Arts and Sciences
Options include biology, chemistry, data analytics, environmental sciences, humanities, liberal arts music, mathematics, music, politics & public affairs, and psychology.

Carson College of Business
Students can pursue programs in a range of business-related disciplines, including international business, hospitality and tourism, wine and beverage management.

Edward R Murrow College of Communication
Programs are available in the six fields of communication, such as journalism and public relations.

College of Education
Study options range from counseling psychology to athletic training.

Voiland College Engineering and Architecture (VCEA)
Degree programs offered by VCEA include architecture, design and construction, award-winning computer science program, and all branches of engineering including, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical and materials engineering.

Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Students have several different medical pathways, including nutrition and exercise physiology.

College of Nursing
Upper-division courses in both undergraduate and graduate nursing are available.

College Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical sciences
Options include professional degrees in pharmacy and dietetics.

College of Veterinary Medicine
From biochemistry to neuroscience, students can opt to study a range of related programs, or pursue a professional degree in veterinary medicine.

School of Graduate Studies
Higher-level opportunities are available from the graduate school for students interested in pursuing Master of Arts, Master of Sciences and PhD programs in any of the ten academic colleges.

Entry requirements

Secondary school
Incoming first-year students must have completed at least 12 years of secondary school. They will need a minimum GPA of 2.70 (on a 4.00) scale.

College or university transfer
International transfer students need at least 27 semester credits or to have studied for a full year at an accredited post-secondary institution. They will need a minimum GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale).

English language proficiency
Non-native English-speaking students must meet the language requirements. They will need one of the following minimum test scores, or equivalent:

  • IELTS – 6.5
  • TOEFL CBT – 213
  • TOEFL iBT – 79
  • TOEFL PBT – 550
  • Duolingo English Test – 105

Alternatively, students can qualify for a language waiver if they are eligible or take a WSU English language program before beginning their academic studies.

Scholarships & funding

WSU offers students a world-class degree at a great value. WSU is committed to making education affordable for students, offering tuition and fees that are the lower than our peer institutions. Many international students benefit from WSU’s generous scholarships as well. There are awards specifically for international students and funding that all students can apply for. There is no limit on how many scholarships students can apply for.

International academic award
Eligible students will automatically receive USD 2,000 or USD 4,000 per academic year as a tuition fee waiver. This is a renewable award for up to three years. Students will need a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30.

International merit awards
A tuition fee waiver of USD 2,000 is available for eligible international students at the Pullman campus. This awards individuals for high achievement and participation.

Department, college, and campus scholarships
Scholarships may be available to international students in recognition of academic excellence, financial need, public service, and other areas.

Students are encouraged to check what’s available and the eligibility requirements, and apply before the given deadlines.


International students can study for a bachelor’s degree at five different locations across Washington state. Each campus location offers a unique experience paired with a high-quality education. Campus locations include:

  • Pullman – as the flagship residential campus it is the largest of the campuses, offering a wide variety of programs and opportunities. Students get to experience life in a traditional American college town
  • Tri-Cities – the STEM-focused campus has a practical approach to learning. It teaches STEM disciplines, the liberal arts, and social sciences and is home to a top ranked Wine Studies program
  • Vancouver – the urban campus is the only four-year research university in the southwest of Washington. It has an intimate atmosphere with a stunning scenic backdrop and 20-minute drive from downtown Portland, Oregon
  • Everett – the urban campus just minutes from Seattle is an idyllic location for transfer students who have completed college or university education in the U.S. or abroad
  • Spokane – serves as the health sciences campus hosting the medicine, pharmacy and nursing programs. WSU’s College of Pharmacy and College Nursing are ranked at number 40 by U.S. News & World Report and also accept international students

Each location offers comfortable on-campus and off-campus student residences. Options are available to suit different study interests or living styles. On-campus housing is widely available at the flagship residential campus in Pullman 

For example:

  • Global Scholars Hall – dedicated to international and domestic students who care about global leadership and cultural participation
  • Stephenson Hall – for students studying STEM subjects
  • Age-based communities – where halls are specifically designed for students aged 19 and over

Campus benefits
Students enjoy a large variety of facilities and services on each of the campuses. This includes:

Student support

Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC)
The ASCC supports students throughout the academic process. It provides educational and career advice and helps students plan their academic, career, and personal goals.

Students meet with an academic advisor at least once per semester. They can discuss any issues, tutoring options, resources, and opportunities. Advisors help students:

  • Understand their programs and graduation requirements
  • Plan academic and career pathways
  • Best use available resources for academic and career development

A free peer tutoring service is available as a drop-in service, so students don’t have to make an appointment. They can show up, and a tutor will be available. Tutors help with course content and development.

The WSU Academic English Program offers highly qualified, top professors and six levels of intensive English language instruction, from beginning to advanced. The bridge program offers a one or two-semester program designed to provide additional academic support to help students complete a bachelor’s degree on time with their chosen major. 

International students can also benefit from WSU’s nationally acclaimed writing program. The program helps students to communicate better through tutoring and assessment.

Student safety

The main campus is in Pullman, in the state of Washington. It’s an ideal location that has been named the fourth-safest city within Washington. There’s a free and easy transport network that connects students from campus to local destinations.

WSU is one of the top 39 universities in the U.S. for policies and practices that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students and allies (2021 Campus Pride Index).

WSU police
The university’s dedicated police department works hard to foster a safe and inclusive campus environment. Its services include:

  • Crosswalk safety system
  • Emergency blue light phones
  • Pedestrian laws and safety

It also runs Cougar Safe Ride, which provides free rides for the WSU community who are traveling home from university at night.

Campus housing
Student residences have tight security systems where WSU police and residence staff supervise and patrol residential areas. They can provide emergency and non-emergency support. Residence halls also have sprinklers in the case of fires.

Graduate outcomes

After graduating, WSU students join an expansive network of over 200,000 alumni in 146 countries. These connections provide invaluable career links and potential opportunities. Graduates work in variety of fields, including agriculture, architecture, business, healthcare, computer sciences, and engineering at prestigious companies throughout the world. Qualified international graduates can take advantage of OPT opportunities. WSU Graduates are business owners, company presidents, project managers, tech professionals, teachers, nurses, scientists, and more. The median income of WSU graduate is approximately USD 73,000 per year.

Career support
Specialist coaches help with career assessments and exploration. They show students how to decide which pathway is best for their values, skills, interests, and personality. Coaches also help students develop their self-awareness, professional knowledge, and decision-making skills.

Other career services students can utilize include:

  • Career courses for credit – academic courses in planning, internships, and peer leadership
  • Fairs and events – recruiter and networking events
  • Going global – subscription to a database with extensive career and employment information, such as internship and job listings
  • Handshake – on-campus resource for interviews, job postings, workshops, and events
  • Internship support

Entrepreneurial training is also available. Students looking to start their own enterprises can take advantage of:

  • Harold Frank engineering entrepreneurship program – for developing technology businesses
  • Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies – for learning practical skills, creating prototypes, and developing businesses
  • Business plan competitions – including an annual challenge where students gain expert advice for launching ventures and compete to win a scholarship

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