2020-2021 Catalog

History and Philosophy

Founded in the city of Seattle in 1973 as City College, the name of the institution was changed to City University in 1982 and to City University of Seattle in 2007 by action of its Board of Governors. Influenced in its early organization by the recommendations of the Carnegie Commission Report and the Seattle 2000 Commission, the University was one of the nation’s first to address the needs of the working adult.

The University’s mission is based on these philosophical principles:

  • Education is a lifelong process and must be relevant to the student’s aspirations;
  • Education should be affordable and offered, as much as possible, at the student’s convenience; and,
  • The opportunity to learn should be open to anyone with the desire to achieve.

Many of CityU’s programs are offered through distance education and other innovative modes. The distribution of instructional sites and the use of a variety of delivery systems are consistent with the University’s mission and vision. As the University has grown, its student-centered approach to education has been accepted all over the world. The idea of education as a lifelong process, unhindered by time, pattern, or location, has gained nationwide recognition and is accepted today by nearly all leaders of higher education. City University of Seattle is proud of the role it has played in the vanguard of this liberating movement within higher education, and continues its commitment to student-centered education.

In 2013, the University became an affiliate of the National University System (NUS). The National University System was established in 2001 to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st century. The System is uniquely aligned to connect a diverse population of students to a network of innovative educational programs that are relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities.

In addition to City University of Seattle, the affiliates of the National University System are National University; Northcentral University; John F. Kennedy University; and the Division of Pre-College Programs, consisting of National University Academy and National University Virtual High School.

City University of Seattle awards degrees and certificates at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level in dozens of academic fields. It offers instruction at locations throughout the state of Washington; the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta; and the countries of China, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Romania, Slovakia, and Vietnam. Each degree or certificate awarded by City University of Seattle is an affirmation of the knowledge, skill, and academic attainment of the recipient. The University’s success as an organization is measured by the accomplishments of its graduates and their individual contributions to society.