Colleges in Olympia, WA: An In-Depth Guide

Olympia, the capital city of Washington state, is a vibrant college town that offers excellent education opportunities. With several reputable institutions, students have a wide range of choices for colleges in Olympia, WA. In this guide, we will explore in-depth the different colleges available in Olympia.

Colleges in Olympia, WA: An In-Depth Guide

The Evergreen State College

The Evergreen State College is widely regarded as one of the most progressive schools in the country. Founded in 1967 and located on 1,000 acres of beautiful forested land on Cooper Point Road NW, the school has an enrollment of roughly 4,600 students.

Evergreen emphasizes interdisciplinary studies and encourages students to design their own course paths. You won’t find typical academic departmental divisions at Evergreen because its curriculum emphasizes collaboration across subject areas.

In addition to traditional classroom learning, Evergreen offers experiential learning opportunities like internships and study abroad programs. Its location near both Seattle and Portland makes it easy for students to connect with businesses and organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest.

South Puget Sound Community College

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is a two-year public community college located just outside downtown Olympia. The school was founded in 1962 and has grown into a dynamic institution serving more than 5,500 students each year.

The college offers more than 60 degrees and certificates across multiple career fields including business management, nursing, culinary arts, and criminal justice. SPSCC also provides specialized training programs for workforce development such as welding technology or medical assisting.

SPSCC prides itself on being affordable for all students by offering low tuition rates combined with financial aid options like grants or scholarships. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to get started on their education journey without breaking the bank.

Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University is a private Catholic university established in 1895. Its beautiful 380-acre campus is located in Lacey, just minutes away from Olympia.

With a small student body of around 1,600 students, Saint Martin’s offers a personalized educational experience with plenty of opportunities to connect with faculty and peers.

The university boasts an impressive lineup of academic programs including business administration, engineering, education, nursing, and psychology. In addition to traditional academic programs, Saint Martin’s also offers study-abroad options in locations like Italy and Japan.

Pacific Lutheran University

Located less than an hour’s drive from Olympia in Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is a private Lutheran university founded in 1890. The school has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 students and offers over 40 majors across five different schools.

PLU provides an excellent liberal arts education with extensive research opportunities for undergraduate students. It also has graduate programs in areas such as business administration and education.

The university’s commitment to community service is evident through its strong partnerships with local organizations. World Vision International and the Washington State History Museum are just two examples of community partners that work closely with PLU.


Olympia is home to several colleges that offer a diverse range of educational experiences. Whether you’re looking for an affordable start to your college journey or a prestigious private college experience, there is a school for you here in Olympia.

From experiential learning at Evergreen State College to specialized workforce development training at SPSCC personalized attention at Saint Martin’s University or research opportunities at Pacific Lutheran University- all these institutions stand up in catering their best facilities to the students that come each year seeking quality education.

We hope this guide was helpful in giving you insight into the different colleges available in Olympia!


What are the colleges in Olympia, WA?

There are several colleges in Olympia, WA including The Evergreen State College, Saint Martin’s University, South Puget Sound Community College, and Centralia College

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