teacher working with young student

The College of Education fulfills its mission by collaborating with poverty-impacted, culturally diverse schools to solve real-world educational challenges and close opportunity and achievement gaps. Our distinctive method places the College's teacher candidates, faculty, research and professional development programs inside schools, where leading-edge teaching practices are developed, tested and refined in real time. Our model prepares outstanding teachers and leaders who are change agents ready to dramatically improve the quality of entire educational systems and make excellent education a daily reality for every student in every community.

Our alumni are leading change in schools throughout Washington and the nation. Three College of Education alumni are currently community college presidents, while hundreds are superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals or assistant principals. One-third of our teacher graduates work in schools exceeding the Washington state average of 46% of students on free and reduced lunch and more than half of our teachers work in schools with a student racial and ethnic diversity population of over 40%.

Fast facts

  • UW is the nation's No. 4 ranked public school of education
    The University of Washington College of Education is tied for No. 4 among the nation’s best public education schools — and tied for No. 11 among education schools overall — in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Graduate Schools rankings.
  • 125 academic and research faculty
    The College's faculty recognized for their work advancing teaching practice, early learning, STEM education, special education, leadership development and more.
  • Since 2006, 9 alumni have been named Washington State Principal of the Year
    The University of Washington is ranked among the nation's Top 10 programs for education administration and supervision.
  • The College has 300+ partnerships with schools, nonprofits and communities
    Our research and professional preparation programs are deeply embedded in schools and communities throughout Washington state and beyond.
  • 43% of our students identify as BIPOC
    The College is dedicated to supporting a diverse community of future teachers, leaders, researchers and policymakers.
  • Our students perform 400,000 hours of service annually
    College of Education students complete student teaching, internships, service learning and research with local schools, early learning providers and other youth-serving organizations.
  • 7 faculty elected American Educational Research Association Fellows
    UW faculty are nationally recognized for their exemplary research in education.
  • The College's research and service generated $55 million in grant funding during FY2018
    Every day, in more than a dozen research centers, the College's leading edge research is directed at unlocking the full potential of every child.

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College history

Preparing young men and women to become teachers was an important function of the University of Washington from its early days. After becoming the Territorial University's first graduate in 1876, Clara McCarty became a teacher, the most common career for an educated woman at the time. The University established a specific program to train teachers — called the "Normal curriculum, as differentiated from the "Classical" or "Scientific" courses it offered — in 1878.

The University of Washington Normal College was established in 1892-1893 and switched its name to the Department of Pedagogy in 1893-1894, following national trends to give teacher education a position of social importance by institutionalizing it in the college and university as a legitimate course of study. In subsequent years, it went through several name changes: Department of Education, 1895-1896; Department of Philosophy of Education, 1896-1897; Department of Education, 1897-1898, School of Pedagogy, 1898-1899; and finally the name Department of Education prevailed for over a decade beginning in 1900-1901.

After many years as a Department of Education housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, on January 21, 1913, the UW introduced its School of Education.

The College of Education was officially formed December 15, 1914. With the formation, the College of Education became a four-year program with its own faculty responsible for graduation and curriculum decisions.

We believe it’s possible to make learning come alive for all students.
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Dr. Mia Tuan assumed the deanship of the University of Washington College of Education on July 1, 2015.